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Ow or Wow?

By: Michael Blankenship |

“Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in ten years.”

– Bill Gates

Good morning!

Did you know Ancient Romans would sometimes drop a piece of toast into their wine for good health. That’s where we get the idea of “raising a toast.” Sounds soggy. But it sure beats going to the doctor!  

This email is made possible by The Prompt, a new community for storytellers to write and share the stories in their head. 

– Mike & Alec

Ow or Wow?

Why do you do the things you do? 

Humans only really have two main motivators: pain and pleasure. In our actions, we either run away from pain or we run toward pleasure.

Today, for instance, you might be going to work because you love your job and you’re excited to challenge yourself, move forward in your career, and become an expert at your field. 

Or perhaps you went to work because you’re afraid of the repercussions of not going to work. You could lose your job, your integrity, and your regular paychecks. 

Take an honest look at the things you do (or don’t do) and you’ll find that some of those things are motivated by fear, anxiety, and pain. Others are motivated by excitement, desire, and growth. 

Here’s the kicker…

When we take action from a place of fear or anxiety, the results we produce are not as profound as what we could have produced if we’d been motivated by growth and creativity. 

If you think, “I don’t want to do it but I just have to get it done,” then you’re approaching the thing from a place of pain… and that’ll show in your result. You’re rushing. You’re checking something off a list. And the quality of your work will suffer. 

But if you think, “I want to do this and I’m going to take as much time as I need,” then you’re approaching the thing from a place of pleasure. You’re embracing the process and giving the thing you’re doing the attention and time it needs to be a success. That’ll also show in your results. 

This applies to parenting, passion projects, friendships, work, business, creative pursuits, and everything in between. 

But… we are adults.

And we all have to spend some time doing things we don’t want to do.

The key is, when we’re doing something that we care deeply about, we should allow our passion and creativity to motivate us… rather than a silly checklist or a fear of failure.

As Tony Robbins once said, “The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.”

This post is made possible by The Prompt

Want to write more fiction? Maybe create a daily habit? Or finish a book? 

My wife and I created a new way for you to write and share the stories in your heard… without facing the blank page or scrolling through thousands of uninspiring writing prompts. 

It’s only $5 per month. 

And you can try it free for 7 days here

Bounce, Bounce, Bounce Back

Speaking of taking action from a place of passion and creativity, Yoann Bourgeois was certainly doing so with this remarkable performance.

The video shows a simple staircase leading toward a metaphorical high-point, the goal our performer is trying to reach. 

He falls and falls and falls, always bouncing back a single step higher. 

Then right when he’s near the top, he falls his farthest yet, and it seems like there’s no recovery. But our protagonist keeps bouncing. He reaches. He swings. He refuses to lose his momentum entirely. He recovers, reaching a little bit higher. Then higher. With each bounce, he recovers some of his lost progress until, finally, he reaches the top of the staircase. Fittingly, Bourgeois’ performance is called “Success isn’t linear.”

Sit Before You Quit

Having a bad day? Feel like quitting on something you care about?  

We recently stumbled across this series of images created by Big Life Journal.

It contains some great wisdom we just had to share (not just for parents… for everyone). 

Image of The Week

As Seneca once said, “We suffer more in our imagination more often than in reality.” Found it over here but unsure of original source.

This Week’s Riddle

Here’s this week’s riddle — the answer is at the bottom of the email!

What can run but never walk?

This Week’s Journaling Prompt

Take some time to think through the following journaling prompt. 

What is something you do that you should approach from a place of passion more often? What would that look like? 

This Week’s Challenge

What are you stressed about? What’s weighing you down? Close your fist tight and imagine that you’re holding onto a chain which carries all of your fears. Imagine that if you could only let go of that chain, all of those worries would fall away. Then slowly, surely, open your hand and let the chain slip through your fingers and fall to the floor. 

Riddle Answer: Water.

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