Seeking a balanced life: you can’t have it all at once

Thoughts on slowing down have led me to consider the meaning of a balanced life.

What does that exactly mean? It looks different to each one of us.

This poem by Kenneth Koch, though, is a game changer at least for me.

Poem originally published in The New Yorker, May 18, 1998 P 80.

What’s true is of these three you may have two and two can pay you dividends but never may have three. These are the strongest verses in my opinion. It’s a hard pill to swallow, and if you think about it, there’s truth in it. You can’t have it all at the same time.

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Genius vs Scenius: rediscovering the creative process

The genius vs scenius dichotomy has profoundly changed the way I think of creative process. I first heard about it in Austin Kleon’s book Show Your Work!

In this book, Kleon decodes one of the most common myths about creativity: the existence of a “genius”; someone who is extremely talented person and is able to create anything from scratch and without any influence. Someone who has a direct connection to the muse or some sort of divine entity.

This is impossible.

Creating something without influence is unrealistic. Talent is the result of practice, of betting on long-term goals and of compounding. Inspiration has nothing to do with muses or divinity. It comes from intentional discipline.

There is no genius in the formula to success. That’s where “scenius” comes into play, proposing a more integrative approach.

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Long term over short term games: choose one to play

I’ve been thinking about the meaning of choosing long-term over short-term games in any aspect. You name it, personal goals, business strategies, career paths and so on. There’s an urgency to see results as soon as we start working so that we feel accomplished. However, in the game of life, processes to achieve results are non-linear.

“How can I easily reach my goals this year?” “What are the best hacks to find the quickest path to success?” The truth is, there’s no shortcut. It’s important to understand the game we want to play. Anything that’s worth achieving requires a long-term journey.

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