James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, has this brilliant newsletter (I highly recommend it) that’s called 3-2-1. Read a sample here, and consider subscribing!
Just for today, I wanted to take a page out of his book and attempt to write about recent experiences from which I’ve learned – in the form of 3 ideas, 2 quotes, and 1 question.
(1) Courage is more than overcoming fear. It’s about finding something larger and much more important than yourself, accepting it, and being able to act upon this realization when called for.
When I think about this definition of courage, I feel led to think about those times when I’ve exemplified an act of courage (and there’s admittedly not very many of them). These times are often when I was able to put aside my own safety or comfort or worldview to engage with or help someone in need. I had been most courageous when I was able to suspend my present self’s needs for a much larger vision that transcends me.
(2) I love this idea of course correction in aviation. It’s just this resolute acceptance in the plane going a few degrees off. Course correction simply means bringing the plane back on its proper course so that it reaches its destination.
We often give ourselves such a hard time (at least I do) when I find myself in the verge of failure. We all have been in situations when we tried something out and we failed. In these cases, we should consider the failure merely as a course correction, instead of a crash. We were just a few degrees off – it isn’t the end of the world.
(3) I have reasons to be suspicious of myself when things are going great. Let me explain. Oftentimes, when things are great, I am finding myself becoming slightly more arrogant, more impatient. To fix that, I sit down with myself to check in that I am not indulging in the thought that it is because of me that my life is great. Life is more arbitrary than that.
I think there is merit in perpetually reminding ourselves that our experiences, skills and knowledge are tools we can use to navigate life; but having these does not IN ANY WAY translate in us having figured it out. In this way, the sea is not a very terrible metaphor for life. We can learn to manage or navigate it, but we can never tame it. Life is not fair, and when I find myself in the better end of things, it is important for me to remember to be grateful, to shift the focus away from me. I must remember to be in awe of the sea and respect that it is far beyond me.
(1) “Don’t look so miserable!”
From my wonderful yoga instructor as she was making the class do increasingly hard sequences.
I love this! I remember myself smiling in spite of my sweat after hearing her say that. I find it funny and beautiful because it just feels a lot like she was giving back our agency in how we look, and ultimately in how we feel. Yes we are doing something hard, but we don’t have to look it!
(2) “What’s coming will come; and we’ll meet it when it does.”
Spoken by Hagrid, from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
I mean, it’s the time of my life when it feels right to reread the Harry Potter books (but really, when is it ever not a good time to reread this amazing story?).
This quote is just chockfull of wisdom on how we can best handle the stressful situations in our lives. All we can really do is try to prevent or delay, for as long as we can, bad situations. I just think that this advice from Hagrid is a much better approach than denial or avoidance of the unpleasant things in our lives.
What would be something in your life, your career, your relationships, your attitude, your worldview that you can course correct right now?