Dear Sister, Your Habits Are Eating Your Dreams

Dear Little Sis,

Here is a short inspirational read on habit, I found last year. The fact it’s from 1887 once again suggests we are the same old humans, falling into the same old traps.

I strongly encourage you to continue meditating on the power they have. Habits can be powerfully good AND powerfully bad. We only have one bucket of energy per day… you want to be extremely fucking careful where you pour your bucket. (fuck essential for emphasis – I learned from Mom)

In the 1990’s, one of my favorite authors, David Foster Wallace, wrote an essay about how TV was wasting people’s lives. He compared it to eating chocolate, but for your brain. Today I consider the same problem exists. in a new form… now it’s smartphones and the internet. But even more broadly than TV and the internet, is the infinite allure of distraction.

I have suggestions below. One section is about bad habits, one section is about good habits.

I highly suggest you consider REMOVING:

1) Remove alcohol completely from your life – it really serves no purpose to your current goals. If you feel like you need it to relax, I urge you to think about if that’s really true. I would be totally happy to talk about this more with you, if you like. If you feel like you “need” alcohol, I really want to talk about this.

2) Take all the junk off your phone. Youtube, social media, even news. Make your phone as boring as possible. After you take the junk off, you will notice yourself pick up your phone and stare at it mindlessly when you are bored. Use this as a sign to do something wholesome for yourself, instead. Go read a good book, or work on your goals.

3) Stop watching TV. Or at the very least, limit it to weekends. If someone came right now and pulled my TV off my wall, I could not give less of a fuck. If you want to read the essay, I will send it to you. But realize that TV is a gigantic fucking distraction. It is mindless and it is not giving you any wisdom or knowledge or power.

I highly suggest you consider ADDING:

1) Like we discussed last night – wake up early – and pour your energy bucket into YOURSELF first daily. I have no idea what you do for caffeine, but avoid it past 11AM, so you can sleep early.

2) You mentioned you used to have a gym routine. I deeply believe the mind-body connection is a treasure. If you take care of your body your mind will be happy too. Even if you ran for 15 minutes first thing in the morning. (or – told (not asked!!) your boss you are going to the gym at lunch from now on).

3) Get yourself out into the world. I don’t mean you need to be social , but your mind needs to step into other places now and then. This might be the walk in the park, this might be volunteering, this might be a painting class. Even if it were once per month, this is healthy.

I am expecting you to be totally honest with me and if you want to debate any of this I am ready. I don’t want you to blindly listen to me, if you have disagreements we should have a respectful convo about whatever you want. Arguing, as long as it is respectful, is actually an extremely healthy process. Do not hold your feelings in.

Last comment. I know you can do this. I really believe that. And I know you believe it too because I hear your beliefs and I know you’ve done this before. However, I will leave you with my favorite ever lesson from Dad: Talk is cheap.



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