Is it beautiful?

It’s funny. I thought that when I got my own house, the coolest thing would be to fill it up with all my treasures. Book. Magazines. Comics. Video games. CDs and DVDs, LPs and assorted knick-knacks. A treasure hoard worthy of a dragon.

As it turns out, now that have a house, I feel like I want to own less stuff. Most of those treasures, they’re just pieces of paper or plastic or wax. The worth was what was inside, either knowledge or entertainment. Experiences, and most of them… They were nice, but not worth repeating. Having so much stuff around… It feels heavy. It weighs one down.

Save them for the memories? I dunno. If you need to have a plastic box on a shelf to remind you of the good times you had with it, were the times THAT good?

The exception is beauty. Some books are beautiful. Some LPs as well. DVDs and games? Rarely so, but it happens. Beauty… It’s worth keeping around. It rouses the soul.

So I ask myself: is it useful? Not useful “someday, maybe” – useful soon. No? In that case, is it beautiful? If neither useful nor beautiful, it’s not worth keeping around.

Hoards are for dragons. And dragons are, more often than not, cruel, vain, malicious creatures. Is it a coincidence?

Taking The Day Off

Nothing wrong with taking a day off. Even God needed one.

Except…

If it’s not a strict commitment (like your job) where other people keep you accountable, then breaking the chain is problematic. Because it’s much easier to let it slide. It’s much easier to break a chain than to fix one.

A cheat day becomes a cheat weekend which in turn becomes a leftover Monday.

Miss a day at the gym, and before you know it, you haven’t gone in a week.

Creative work? Breaking the chain is death. The mind gets lazy; willpower flies out of the window. The muses don’t show up every day, but you should – if you don’t, then they won’t, for sure.

This may sound harsh. When I was reading “On Writing” by Stephen King – the book I credit with taking me through the writing of my first novel – the great author magnanimously allowed me one day off per week.

I guess that’s not so bad.

The problem with scheduling the day off, though, is that it doesn’t account for the other days off. The days when the kid (or cat!) gets sick. The day when the car breaks down, or the kitchen floods.

Gym. Dieting. Creative work. Learning.

Life gets in the way of all of those.

So what about, instead of scheduling our “day off,” we start saving them for those emergencies?

Raising The Baseline

I don’t believe in the “money doesn’t motivate” mantra. It’s lazy, one-dimensional thinking.

Sure, if we consider a c-suite executive who earns a 7-figure pay-check, has a room entirely dedicated to storing Prada bags and is trying to optimize the time she spends brushing her teeth so she can glance at her kids for an extra minute before leaving home… Then yes, giving this person a 10 to 20 percent raise won’t motivate her. Hell, a 100% raise won’t do it. I’m with you there.

But what about the middle-manager who is busting his chops to put food on the table for both kids while his wife works part-time to be able to afford college? What if that guy is suddenly able to afford to take his wife on a dinner date once a week? How motivating do you think that would be?

Yes, yes. He would get used to it. We get used to the good things fast. The raise that resulted in a palpable quality-of-life improvement soon becomes baseline.

Nothing wrong with raising your employee’s baseline.

Writer. Podcaster. Marketer. Dental Surgeon. Gamer.