On commitment, environment, and self-renewal
Later this morning, after I publish this, I'll be driving out to Joshua Tree for a long weekend of rest and relaxation. Chances are, the weekend will also feature a non-trivial amount of shenanigans and tomfoolery. Maybe some psychedelics. But through it all, I plan to keep publishing.
I haven't written about this yet, but there's more than meets the eye with the daily publishing I've been doing. For me, these 100 days are a sacred commitment. I made a vow to lean into a small handful of simple activities for 100 days, no matter what. These activities include daily writing and publishing and invitations, sure, but I also have an earnest spiritual/prayer practice for the first time in my life. Plus I'm rucking every day, along with working through some old emotional patterns I have around money and food. There's a lot going on in the background that you don't see.
I haven't written about that stuff yet because, frankly, it feels rather terrifying compared to waxing poetic about marketing. But I will be writing about it soon. That's why there's a "life" tab on my substack. Because the way I'm building my business and practicing marketing is intimately connected to how I live the rest of my life. These things are one and the same. Talking about one without the other only tells part of the story, and feels like a lie by omission.
Anyhow, all of which is to say that it's super fucking important for me to stay committed to this 100 day challenge. This is how I'm walking my own path of Creative Individuation, and becoming the man I want to be.
Over on my other site, Ungated Life, I've been toying with this conceptual frame of "regenerative philosophy." Basically, I'm interested in how we can break the patterns of rigidity that grip our individual lives and our institutions, and begin operating more fluidly and adaptively in the world. Basically, how do we constantly renew ourselves in a world that's changing faster than we can fathom?
This trip out to Joshua Tree feels like a chance to play with one of my own patterns of rigidity. I have this story that I need maximum control over my environment to keep my output where it is. In order to write these daily essays, I've been getting up at 5am every day, and spending at least 2-3 hours buckled down and focused on them. Sometimes more. I've also made it impossible for anyone to book a time on my calendar in the mornings. Other than a wild, manic cat who likes to interrupt my writing, and who probably deserves his own post here at some point, I am in total control of my time and my environment.
Part of me believes this control is essential, and that I'd break my vow if my life were any more chaotic or unpredictable. Another part of me, however, has learned not to believe my internal stories. That part is curious about what's possible, and who I could become, if I seek to expand my sense of self, and continually push beyond my comfort zone. I already know what my life looks like when I shrink ever further into patterns of rigidity and smallness and control. And I don't like it. There is very little aliveness in that life.
So my plan this weekend is to remain committed to my project, my vow, while giving up some of the rigid control I've been exerting. I'm gonna loosen up and go have some fun. It's time to put this story—that I am dependent on my natural habitat—to the test. I don't want to be a prisoner to the stories my head spins up anymore. I want to expand my sense of self, and expand what I'm capable of. I want to become a self-renewing human who adapts to an ever-changing world.
See ya tomorrow, homies.
Rob's daily invitation
Last week, I found a use for generative AI that I really, really enjoy. Whenever someone purchases one of my products, I get a Slack notification. For years, those notifications have been fun, but unchanging. But over the weekend, I set up GPT-3 to generate custom notifications for every sale, and I tried to make it as unhinged and ridiculous as possible.
So if you join The Frontier this weekend, I will get an absolutely nonsensical notification about it, and it will make me smile.
Great post. Also makes me feel even worse about stopping publishing daily. 🤣 but I love how you connect everything you’re doing in your work life to who you in every area of life.
Also kudos to you for letting stories of control be stories. For a long time I had a story that I don’t sleep well unless I have heavy blankets. A few days ago I was given a bed with a sheet--just one sheet. And I decided right then that my story of needing heavy blankets was bullshit. And I’ve had better sleep than I have had in months. It’s a trivial example, but I’ve come to realize that we’re far more resilient and adaptable than we believe ourselves to be.
yeah, allowing the right environment makes everything else fall into place