From "Connected (with Abe + Isaac) — Volume 23"

Designing your days

For me, design is this:

  1. Working to honestly understand your own purpose

  2. Exploring how that purpose would express itself in the current context

  3. Bravely accepting the best, truest, strongest expression that you find

  4. And then, acting

This applies everywhere. Everywhere that you have the opportunity to make a choice—and you have that opportunity everywhere. Your work. Your hobby. Your friendships. Your family. Your cooking, your workouts, your mindset. It’s all design.

And it is brave because a clear-sighted view, on the best expression of purpose in a situation, is going to constantly yield surprising results. Whether you require bravery for surprising yourself, or for surprising other people, you are going to find surprises.

Now, design is important because it determines what the future will have to work with. The future will demand its own set of choices, and in the now you get to establish what the options then are going to be. A brave design decision now means that tomorrow you’ll get to carry the momentum of that decision, if you choose to, and it’ll be a little bit easier tomorrow because you’ve already begun.

I chose this way of thinking, a long time ago. I chose to design my decision-making—literally, to design the way I design. And today, I have a mindset that is tuned to weigh every decision, using that process I outlined above.

I’ve done enough hard things, enough brave things that I’m no longer afraid of where this leads. I resist the surprises less and less, because I know that those four steps, repeated over and over and over again, by definition lead to something that is perfect for me. And in the long term, it’s the only way to live. It can be uncomfortable, in a moment (or in a week, or in a year), but once you’ve acted on a thing you know, the transition happens once. And then you’re there, in the place that you’ve designed for yourself. Even if it’s a small change, even if it’s next door to where you started. The changes add up. They add up, and you cannot know exactly what they will add up to, but you can know for sure that they will add up to something that’s yours. Deeply, honestly, comfortably-once-you-get-there yours.

If this feels new to you, try it. In the small moments, first. Figure out how it feels. Even if it’s just putting the dishes away. Begin with step one: bring fresh eyes to the situation, and figure out what the purpose is. Is your purpose to get things put away quickly? Is it to set yourself up for easy cooking, or easy setting-the-table? Is the purpose something less concrete? Is putting the dishes away less about where they go, and more about taking meditative space for yourself for a few minutes? Think about it, feel about it. Figure out what your purpose is. Then, explore how that purpose applies. Try things. Experiment. Iterate. This is exploration, without a specific result in mind—it’s all about seeing how the purpose lands most powerfully. And it may not require bravery to accept the results, since we’re talking about dishes here, but it might—maybe you have a partner who you know is gonna hate you changing this routine, or maybe you have it in your head that changing routine is hard. But if it is easy, great! Enjoy this gentler introduction to the process. :) Act on what you’ve learned, and repeat. Every day, at first, working your way until you are applying this in every single choice.

This is a muscle. You’re going to feel sore in the morning. But when you begin to learn, when you develop some muscle tone and strength and some familiarity with the moves, it will get easier. And the results will get better, and better, and better.

I’m ten years in, doing this with my business. I’m closer to fifteen years in, doing this with my life. And I love this ride, y’all, more than anything. I have so much trust, such absolute trust in this process; I have knowledge that it all leads to good.

If you feel any of that, give this a spin. Test it for yourself. Build your own relationship with your own process. It is a ride, but it is yours, completely, and you get to begin where you are. You can only begin where you are. The only risk is that tomorrow will be different. :)


The month is turning over, and so are you. How are you unfolding?

Originally sent out via email

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