Take the donut

In 1845, Henry David Thoreau built a 10-foot by 15-foot cabin where he spent two years, two months, and two days living as simplistic as possible. He would go on to write about his experience in his essential book, Walden.

Two little known facts about his time in the woods was that he had built the cabin on a piece of land owned by his wealthy friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson. In addition, every week Thoreau’s mother would stop by and drop off a basket of fresh-baked good for Thoreau to enjoy. Inside, he would often find donuts.

When we are doing our best work, it is easy to fall into the trap of not excepting help from others. We are afraid of what people might think and we do not want to lose the purity of the experience.

We forget to take the donut.

Next time someone offers you a few bucks to say thank you, take the donut.

When someone wants to give you a ride or a free meal or a couch to crash on, take the donut.

Even the most self-reliant among us needed help along the way.

Moderation in all things

We live in a world where harmful behavior is more accessible than ever before.

Relying on willpower alone is not enough.

The answer then is to create an environment where temptations are not around.

(Out of sight, out of mind.)

A chocolate cookie on the kitchen counter is much harder to resist than in the grocery store.

Here is the thing we need to understand about social media:

If you use social media, you are not their customer. You are their product.

It has been intentionally marketed and optimized to make you just unhappy enough that you will continue to use it over and over again. (Like a dog that presses a button to get a piece of food.)

The problem is that you can’t be abstinent from technology. You can’t create a world where your job doesn’t use email. Technology is ubiquitous. Which means we need to be ever more vigilant in setting boundaries, making access more difficult than just one click away.

One simple harm reduction strategy that works

Guaranteed to reduce stress, fear, anxiety, depression, uneasiness, discomfort, tension, pressure, agitation, nervousness, worry, eagerness, impulses, urges, pain…

While increasing productivity, profits, longevity, happiness, health, well-being, aspirations, inspirations, motivation, encouragement, enthusiasm, drive, ambitions, pleasure, satisfaction, contentment, joy, prosperity.

In addition, it will improve your relationships with your family, friends, and strangers.

Turn data off your phone.

Human beings have weak stopping rules. We do not know when to quit. Turning data off your phone is built-in time to unplug when you leave your home or office.

70% of office emails are read within six seconds of receiving them. We can access or be accessible anytime, anywhere. But advanced productivity comes with human costs.

The updates, the dings, the pings, the itch gets worse every time we scratch it.