My Seven Words


Words to live by.

My Seven Words

Experiment. Have a bias for action. Learn things by doing them. Spend time reading, researching, reviewing things but aim to apply it quickly as an experiment in my own life. Avoid procrastination - aiming for perfection or fearing failure - by trying small, simple and fast experiments. Think a lot but do even more.

Handcraft. Make my own things. Use my hands as much as possible. If I am writing or coding, don’t just copy and paste. Learn the basics first and do it the hard way. Then find the tools to make it all efficient. I learn so much doing it myself, that it is a breeze later on. When I cook, try to start from scratch with the ingredients and see as the magic passes through to the food. Hand crafting is essential to life and learning.

Mindfulness. Live in the moment. Aim for present centered awareness in my life. The more time I can spend focussed on the moment in front of me rather than the moments in the past or present, the more alive I am. Give each task at hand the full attention. Give the space between the tasks also my full attention. Walk in the rain.

Subtract. Simplify, edit, remove. Focus on taking out things from my life instead of bringing it in. Addition is mostly mindless, but subtraction can be mindful. Look at all my possessions, commitments, activities and ask myself what I really need. Healthy food, homely shelter, basic clothing and simple relationships are all I mostly need. Everything else is likely to be a want. Subtract out a lot of my wants and my life looks very different.

Flow. Focus on the process. Do not get caught up in results or even my goals or ambitions. Use any goals as a marker to navigate towards but keep my eyes and the mind on the course. The path will be zig-zag and the whole idea is to enjoy that journey.

Listen. Talk less and listen more. Allow the conversation to happen. Aim to understand before being understood. So be open to listening for what is said and what is unsaid. Stories emerge in every interaction, but only if I am listening for them.

Rhythm. Find my own pattern. Look for inspiration but aim to chart my own course. Develop a portfolio of things I like and am interested in doing. Build on the patterns that still make sense and remove the ones that no longer do. Play my djembe to my own rhythm.

01 June 2013