Just do it

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After 2 miles of my Ironman Wales swim, I was in hell.

I had to stop swimming and put my head down in the water to take control.

I was vomiting blood and had a real anxiety problem due to the pain, waves and crowded conditions.

I had two options.

Do I give up? This was only a few months after I had run 100km and no one would have blamed me for at least trying.

Or I could keep going.

Keep going because the end was in sight.

Keep going because the only thing I can do it take one more stroke.

Then another.

I was closer to finishing it than starting it.

Once I stepped out of the water, I knew that without a doubt I would finish.

The bike was hard and the run was harder, but not only had I been through hardship, I had been through the mental process to get me through it.

Just do it, just get through it and at the end of your anxiety is the realisation that you can do it and it wasn’t as bad as you thought.

 

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You just gotta do things.

Scott Jurek is the greatest ultramarathoner of all time. 

His longest run is 166 miles.

In the Hardrock 100, possibly the hardest race in the world, he sprained his ankle before the race – and won. 

I’m Better, which starts in Death Valley and finishes up a mountain, he blacked out for yen minutes and came back to win and set a course record.

When he was younger he was made to work hard by his Dad, who told him, ‘sometimes you just gotta do things.’ 

This is what keeps him going over the 100 mile or 24 hour races. 

Sometimes you just gotta do things.

If you have to do them, enjoy them, do them to your best ability and finish exhausted. 

You gotta do them anyway, you may as well smash them.

The Case For Working With Your Hands by Matthew Crawford

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“Managers themselves inhabit a bewildering psychic landscape, and are made anxious by the vague imperatives they must answer to.”

“Most people take pride in being good at something specific, which happens through the accumulation of experience.

Yet the flitting disposition is pressed upon workers from above by the current generation of management revolutionaries, for whom craftsmanship is something to be rooted out from the workforce.”

“The great irony is that the anti-modernist sentiments of aesthetic revolt against the machine paved the way for certain unattractive features of late-modern culture: therapeutic self-absorption and the hankering after ‘authenticity’, precisely those psychic hooks now used by advertisers.”

“One of the principles of modern management is to ‘push the responsibility done and pull the credit up’.”

“The truth, of course, is that creativity is the by-product of mastery of the sort that is cultivated through long practise.”

“The tension between agency and autonomy ca manifest in the meaning of things themselves, or rather our relationship to them.”

“Choosing is not creating, however much “creativity” is invoked in such marketing.”

“The growing dependence of individuals in fact is accompanied by ever more shrill invocations of freedom in theory, that is, in ideology of consumerism.”

“I often find manual work more engaging intellectually.”

“I drew an icon of the thing rather than the thing itself.”

“At issue in the contrast between office work and the manual trades is the idea of individual responsibility, tied to the presence or absence of objective standards.”

“This exhaustion was surely tied to the fact that I felt trapped in a contradiction. The fast pace demanded absorption in the task, yet the pace also precluded absorption, and had the effect of estranging me from my own doings.”

“In any group setting, they have to protect their bosses’ “Deniability” by using empty or abstract language to cover over problems, thereby keeping the field of subsequent interpretations as wide as possible.”

“When a manager’s success is predicated on the manipulation of language, for the sake of avoiding responsibility, reward and blame come un-tethered from good faith effort.”

“When the point of education becomes the production of credentials rather than the cultivation of knowledge, it forfeits the motive recognised by Aristotle: “All humans beings by nature desire to know.”

“Here we see the utility of the idea of corporate culture. The corporation has to become in the eyes of its employees something with transcendent meaning: something that can sustain the kind of moral demands normally associated with culture.”

“These remarks highlight an important feature of those practices that entail skilled and active engagement: one’s attention is focused on standards intrinsic to the practice, rather than external goods that may be won through the practice, typically money or recognition.”

Binary options causes conflict

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Yes or no.

My way or no way.

Do you prefer this or that.

People know when you are controlling the menu.

By offering a binary option, all people see are limits.

They need to express themselves, to see nuance, to run free.

If you offer limited scope, you will cause conflict.

Life is never binary, it’s always flexible.

Offer people power of choice.

Let them express.

Get buy in.

 

Choose the best people

Yesterday I got to have lunch with an author and life tactician that I hugely respect and an hour with a person at work that I get huge value from. 

After both encounters I had a new perspective on a few things, calmness and clarity. 

Half of it is their POV and half of it is the act of speaking to them and trusting them.

Find those people, cherish them, value them- and let them know it.