In Search of the Lean Six Life

Smarter, not harder. Preferrably A LOT smarter.

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Ode to Self-Help Books

You may be wondering why my blog posts consist of a random mix of self-help / self-improvement / lifehacks and gardening / foraging. No, it’s not a symptom of multiple personality disorder, I promise! (Or is it?)

I am struggling to find (make) time to write. My weekly foraging series (while mostly unread) has created a firm commitment that I will post something, however short, at least once a week. But I have so much more to share.

I keep thinking… just one more technique from one more self-help book, and I will at last discover the ultimate trick to unlock my true gifts and unleash my creativity on the world. I will finally overcome (or embrace) the resistance, and be able to write.

Just as soon as I am done getting things done, papers filed, inbox to zero, boxes checked – then I will finally be have all the time I need to write.

Maybe I can change my life by tidying up, which will help me cultivate an uncluttered mind, and then I will finally be able to write.

You know, I need to manage my budget better, and when I am less concerned about finances, then I will have the spare brain cells to be able to write.

I must exercise, and eat healthy (including cooking meals from scratch), and take all the nutritional supplements because when I am at my peak, physically speaking, my mind will be as well and then I will be able to write.

If I could just lifehack a little more free time into my day, then, well … you know.

If I could only perfect my sleep so I could survive on less thanks to the amazing quality of the sleep I did get, then … sigh.

…are we noticing a theme here?

“Is there any chance that the healing you seek is just another form of resistance?”

–Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

My friend Kristen at The Sojourning Spinner recently suggest that for at least a month I try – get this – rather than spending time on lifehacks to free up time to write, I just (gasp!) write.

It’s a great idea. And I’m going to give it a serious try. But first, I need to find my “Flow Pattern” on the Flow Genome Project so I know I can really maximize those precious few moments to write.

…. oh wait. Oops.

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Soy un perdedor…

As I was catching up with this morning, I finally found the management framework which the most sense to me: The Gervais Principle.

I, apparently, am a loser.

Not in the social sense – although I’m sure many think that’s up for debate – but in the sense of “I have traded freedom for the security of a regular paycheck earned daily at a cube farm.”

All these years, I sensed there was something else going on. I knew I dreaded the inevitable rise to middle management, with its pointy-haired-boss associations. I learned that “expectation management” (i.e., always say it will take you twice as long, and dally however much needed to finish *just* inside of your promised due date) was the safest road to work-life balance. Risk? Me? Never! Too many meetings marked the gradual transition to “importance”, so they were to be avoided at all costs. Coworkers showing initiative were to be treated with distrust, and anyone suddenly being nice was instantly suspect!

It seems I understood, at least subconsciously, the world I was operating in. But some part of me craved that scariest of all things: a meaningful job.

Clearly becoming clueless is not the right answer. That leaves either opting out of the system all together (too much risk!), or becoming a sociopath (against my kind and benevolent nature!).

On the other hand, Venkat has offered additional insights into the dynamics of a corporate office, focusing on the languages used to communicate between the different layers of the hierarchy.

I am intrigued. I want to learn more. I wonder if there is a branch of anthropology that deals strictly with work environments…