Imperfect Love

When you love someone, you love them whole. You love their imperfections.

It's a romantic notion, but not a very helpful notion.

Love is about tolerating your partner and your own imperfections gracefully, being forgiving, and striving to help each other grow to remove such imperfections.

Love is to strive for perfection, as defined by the values of the couple, together as a team, communicating with and respecting each other every step of the way.

However, not every imperfection is created equal. Some are worth simply tolerating while some should not continue being tolerated.

It's not as simple as tolerating everything or fixing everything. Such is the nuanced nature of love.

Retail Therapy is Not Therapy

In fact, maybe just the opposite.

When something is therapeutic, not only should you feel good, it should give you a sense of fulfillment, and maybe even bring you closer to others around you. Shopping only does the first part — makes you feel better — and only for a short stint.

The long term effects are that it causes you to want more. The next best thing. The next upgrade. And we become addicted to the chase. We begin chasing, for the sake of chasing. Not because the thing we are trying to purchase is a necessity.

Focusing on the next thing is no way to live. There's plenty to be enjoyed now, if we only spent our time appreciating what we already have instead of being infatuated with what luxury to pursue next.

Most of us have water, food on the table, a place to live, and a means to make money to uphold a basic standard of living. That means we have extra money and extra time. It's more important than ever to ask ourselves what we are doing with the rest of the time. Are we enjoying it with loved ones? Deepening relationships? Appreciating the fulfilling and nuanced life that we live?

Or is it just a chase for the next thing, all so you can continue the pursuit for the next thing following that?

Retail therapy is not therapy.

On the other hand, appreciation therapy might be a thing. Appreciation is a way to spend our time, just like shopping is. Except it does everything shopping doesn't do well. It nourishes our soul. It deepens emotional connections with others and builds relationships. It emphasizes that we can be content with what we already have.

I suppose one thing appreciation therapy doesn't do well is acquire material things. But what big deal is that, for someone who has decided that material objects aren't all that important.

Low Hanging Fruit

There are times when the low hanging fruit is the most appropriate option.

Doing something is often better than doing nothing.

Often times, we'll find that once we reach our hand out for the low-hanging fruit, we realize that there are better options if we just keep reaching.

The purpose of the low-hanging fruit is to get us to reach out. What we actually grab is not the point. The point is to grab at all.

This is basically true in any creative medium; If we want to get better, we should reach our hand out more often, and do the thing more. The more we spend time being creative, the more creative, innovative, and meaningful our work becomes.

Just keep pushing. The concept of pushing through and continuing to create more is the theme of one of my favorite videos. It's incredibly motivating, and I can't recommend bookmarking this enough:

Reach out for the low-hanging fruit.

What is Money For?

Googling "money" gives us this:

Anything of value that serves as a (1) generally accepted medium of financial exchange, (2) legal tender for repayment of debt, (3) standard of value, (4) unit of accounting measure, and (5) means to save or store purchasing power.

But I don't think money ends there; it has a much more profound meaning.

Money buys you time.

Time is the most precious asset that we have as humans. There is only a finite amount of it, and once we lose it, we never get it back.

With wealth comes the ability to choose how to spend your time. The greater your wealth, the less you are obliged to earn money for survival. And, at some point, you can have enough wealth where you aren't obliged to earn money for survival at all.

This all works thanks to the fact that money can earn more money. Because of a generally growing economy, money, if invested properly in appreciating assets, will earn interest. If we have a big enough nest egg, the interest it earns can be greater than our living expenses.

Unfortunately, if you don't allocate the money properly towards appreciating assets, you lose out on this precious ability to buy back time.

That's a great baseline goal we should all strive for, regardless of how far you are in the hole with debt, or how inflated your lifestyle has become. I can't think of a reason not to want this.

If you think about your own mortality and the fact that you will eventually be gone one day, what other conclusion is there, than to value our time as if it's our only finite resource?

What's the worst that can happen?

My single biggest source of stress seems to be overwhelm at work. Feeling like I don't have enough time to finish my deliverables is what gnaws at me every day.

The strange thing is, I've never not finished what I promised I would. I am not so sure what I'm worried about.

Then again, it could precisely be that I finish the work because I am worried. Does that mean that if I learned to cope with the overwhelm effectively, would I be less effective?

I am a little afraid to find out. But being consistently overwhelmed is also not productive as it can lead to burn out and even resentment in some scenarios.

As with most other difficult situations, it seems to be that shedding a light on negative emotions with a big-picture perspective helps alleviate my concerns.

What's the worst that can happen?

This question seems to magically align big picture priorities in my life and make clear what I'm worried about, and whether I should be worried about it.

In this example, it highlights that, at its core, a job is an economic trade for the employer's money and my time. They pay the market rate for the skillsets I provide, and either one of us could walk away should the deal be too unfavorable for either side.

So if I don't do well, the worst that can happen is that I lose my job, and I continue by searching for a new one. Sure, it'd be inconvenient, but it would not cause a permanent emotional wound, like say, losing a loved one would.

This process of asking myself, "What's the worst that could happen?" seems to be my go-to method for dealing with professional overwhelm.

Maybe my worries are just not that big of a deal.