I've admired Leo at ZenHabits for years now. I read him every day during my three years in the Peace Corps and now for three years after it. He's one of the reasons I got into blogging in the first place. I've even got a picture of him on my wall of inspirations alongside Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, my Dad, Ben Franklin, Martin Luther King and other awesome people.
So when he asks me for me, I say yes. Of course.
Change Labs Program
Right now Leo is writing a book to summarize all of the amazing things he's learned in creating ZenHabits, one of the most successful blogs of all time. He's testing out the ideas in the book on a small group of people. I volunteered. He wrote back a few months later. Here we go!
I'm excited to share all the awesome things we do here. Our assignments. My learning and much more.
Our first assignment is to start a regular journal and share it with our group. We’ll do journal entries twice a week, so not too difficult.
Fresh Book Smell
If you've ever bought a new journal (I hope you have, if you haven't go get one right now) then you know the smell of opening up a fresh new book. It smells like possibility.
The single best thing I did before I left for the Peace Corps was attend a meditation retreat. I was silent for 10 days straight and did over 120 hours of meditation.
Before that retreat the most meditation I'd done at once was 15 minutes. Part of me thought I was crazy.
The other part of me was on-fire excited. I knew this was good for me.
10 days and several songs suck in my head later (who knows where they were coming from, I still don't know) I was done. It was incredible, terrible, wonderful and horrible. I recommend it to everyone. Why? Fear.
The biggest problem I'd like to work on is simplicity.
I feel like my life could be a lot more simple if I just focused, used my time more effectively, didn't clutter my schedule with unimportant things and spent more time meditating on a regular basis.
I think my ego might be a big part of the reason why I try to do too much and attempt to much.
I try to impress people, I try to be more and I'm afraid of not being enough.
If I come from a place of happiness and self-worth I won't have to spend so much time trying to do more more more.
I'm excited about the new groups for us here in the Change Labs, but I'm still trying to figure out how it works.
I think I might only be able to see posts that are new and I only currently see Emma's posts in our group. Hopefully we will see all of our fellow group members' posts soon. : )
How did I do?
I did my Unprocrastination Sessions 4 out of 5 days this week.
What impediments were there to the process?
A consistent schedule was hard for me. My wife's hours at work are irregular so it's hard for us to plan. I'm trying hard to be consistent and go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time. That is helping.
What can I do to remove the impediments next week, and improve the process?
I'm literally writing my thesis right now. Or I should be. I am a month away from finishing graduate school (a Masters at SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont) and the "home stretch" can really feel long. I'm worn out, ready to move on and be graduated, and I have 49 or 50 things done that need to get done.
I know that Leo is write with the small actions adding up over time, so I've been trying to do that. And it's been working. I have broken things down into pieces and tried not to take on too much at once.
I am really wanting to be finished today or tomorrow, so I'm diving in right now. Wish me luck!
As Leo says, it's very true that we can easily get sucked into our ideals. I think being around great people you love can help you, it certain helps me, refocus on what matters.
Being a good person.
I was reminded of this yesterday by something I wrote years ago.
I've been trying this exercise when I am meditating and working on my first writing during the day. It's motivating me to be healthier, do more push-ups, eat healthier foods and relax more without putting pressure on myself.
I really like it. It's so easy to be hard on myself and this practice is helping me be much easier with myself.
I love it. : )
Mission 7So here’s your mission for today:
Practice the self-acceptance technique here: