Friday Flow #29: Simple isn’t easy
(Plus: you can now support Being Human)
Hey. This week I’ll be sharing some thoughts on fundamentals and my essay for this week (it’s about habit-building for slackers from a fellow slacker) and a lovely song a friend shared with me. And scroll down to the for details on how you can support my work if you’d like to—besides sharing this email with your friends!
Let’s get it.
It’s been such an eventful month already hasn’t it? I don’t know about you but this month alone I’ve heard of more people I know lost to COVID than I heard of in all of 2020. Feels like things are getting worse, and I hope you and yours are keeping safe: wearing masks, washing hands, avoiding gatherings and physically distancing—the basics, basically.
But it’s the basics that we struggle with the most, isn’t it? They won’t give us 100% chance against getting infected—nothing can, really—but they go a long way. And yet every day I see people taking masks off (which makes exactly zero sense) or see video or news of people gathering together unsafely.
We tend to assume complicated problems must require complicated explanations or solutions. The same people who ignore the basics will buy into wild conspiracies. Even entire countries failed on the basics of putting lockdowns in place while putting all their energy into the far more complicated (and longer-term) work of creating a vaccine and then rolling it out (the latter turning out to be more complicated than expected).
The basics are simple, and so we somehow think they’re easy. Too easy, even.
The basics are almost never easy.
If they were, everyone would be doing them.
Understanding something doesn’t mean being able to practice it. Which, when you think about it means we probably don’t understand it as much as we think.
It’s always the basics that trip us up.
Essay: Slacker habits
This week’s essay is about habit building for slackers.
You can learn a lot about habit-building from any number of books, and I’ll share my favourite at the end of this essay. But if I’ve learned anything about learning, it’s that when you get stuck, more knowledge isn’t helpful—it’s more frustrating, even. No, what you need then is to figure out why you’re stuck and how you can come unstuck. And in those moments I’ve found the most help in those who’ve struggled too. Sometimes by insights from their own experience, other times from just the kinship of knowing my struggle isn’t unusual. I’m offering both.
There were 3 areas I tended to get stuck on: goals, streaks and stats.
Check the full thing out here: The slacker guide to habit-building
A friend who’s a new mother (after years of trying) shared this with me and it’s just such a beautiful indie song by an artist I hadn’t heard of.
There’s a grace in the depths of self-destruction
I had to face before I held you in my arms
All the demons I have taken just to shelter you from harm
I’d do it all again for you my pearl
The proverb for this week is
It is little by little that a bird builds its nest.
Like I said, the basics.
You take care now, and talk next week,
PS. The Being Human website and the Friday Flow weekly newsletter are both offered completely free, and I'd like to keep it that way, but there are costs associated with running it. So I’ve created a page where you can give if you feel so inclined, either one time or on a regular basis. Thanks!