Some people have no regard for where things belong.
The other day I saw a bloke walking down the street holding a coffee mug.
Not a disposable cup or one of those reusable cups that looks like a disposable cup, but an actual fucking proper mug. It even had a handle!
The absolute nerve of this guy.
From the wary glances of passers-by, you could tell that this flagrant disregard for societal norms was making people uneasy.
Why does a ceramic mug belong on a table but a paper cup can go anywhere it likes? Who makes these rules?
These little rules exist in our brains to alert us to a difference in the environment that may or may not be a threat. It’s not a rule it’s just out of the norm.
Doing it on purpose is what we call creativity.
Doing it every day makes it a habit.
Doing it in public makes it normal.
Doing it for money makes it professional.
And doing it for free makes it an identity.
Except for mugs.
Mugs are just mugs.
We never really appreciate a great routine until it’s gone.
A great routine can work such deep, comforting grooves in our brain that it becomes almost impossible to do anything outside of it.
Routines can turn a frustrating chore into an automatic action we don’t even remember, but the trick is getting them good enough to take out of the box.
Skip town or jobs or even just a weekend and it’s not long before that routine crumbles and all the things with it.
The workout plan got left at the boarding gates.
The healthy diet got left on the plane.
It’s about all I can do to cling to these words.
Until I’m back in a routine again.
I don’t know about you but something strange happens when I travel great distances at speed.
It’s more than just jet lag.
Step off a plane a few hundred miles away and suddenly, it’s someone else’s money I’m spending.
Sometimes a bit of that new person sticks around even after the old me catches up with all his baggage.
But every time, there’s an adventure to be had — and Future Ben foots the bill.
So — tequila shots all round before he gets here.
People think that to change your behaviour or reach your dreams, you have to change your mind. But that’s backwards.
Mindset plays an important part, but the truth is, when we change our actions first, our minds will follow.
That’s why even a tiny behavioural change — like drinking a glass of water in the morning — can make us healthier.
That one small action opens the door to dozens of other small but positive actions over the day. And over time, these all add up and move us closer to where we want to be, and who we want to be.
We can’t talk ourselves into change, but if we act as if it’s already happened, our minds will quickly catch up.
Some ‘life advice’ is just terrible.
“Live each day like it’s your last…” is one example.
It sounds good. It has that existential quality, and it nods to our great motivator: death.
But beyond that, it’s useless.
First, most people wouldn’t spend their final dozen hours doing anything productive at all. And even if they did, it’s doubtful that they’d be able to create anything worthwhile in a day.
Just as you won’t change your life in a day.
So, as attractive as it may be cast aside our responsibility for tomorrow and focus on what we want right now, this won’t get us very far.
The chances are, we’re not going to die today.
Why not live each day like it’s our first, instead?
Lay each day like a bricklayer places the first brick of the world’s tallest building: carefully, in the knowledge that he has many more bricks to place on top. Each brick must be laid well, or the building will fall.
Every day you have the opportunity to lay the foundation for something monumental.
And if you do that, when you look back, you’ll see that what you’ve built is great.