David Kadavy is the author of multiple books, including Mind Management, Not Time Management: Productivity when Creativity Matters and The Heart to Start: Stop Procrastinating and Start Creating, and a book called Design for Hackers. David has spoken at South by Southwest, TEDx and his writings have been featured in The Observer, The Huffington Post, Ink Magazine, Quartz, McSweeney’s, Upworthy, Lifehacker, and many other places. In addition to his writing and publications, he is also the creator and host of the Love Your Work podcast.
In this episode on the School for Good Living Podcast, David joins me to discuss creativity, productivity, and living a meaningful life. We discuss creating something David calls a curiosity management system and how he uses “crumb time” to learn and to create more than you otherwise might. We explore how David escaped being born in the wrong place, a suburban area in Nebraska, surrounded by people who didn’t understand him and with whom he didn’t really connect, and how he managed to create a fulfilling life of creativity and contribution and create a life in Columbia where he lives now. We also discussed the struggle that many artists and creators have of figuring out what their unique message is, exactly what their voice is, who their audience is, and how David has approached these things. Join us to explore these ideas of writing as a process of teaching ourselves and learning what we need to know and the fact that writing is often not a linear process and how to use that fact to your advantage.
“That’s kind of the secret of anything, being okay at being bad at it.”
This week on the School for Good Living Podcast:
- Looking past money, knowledge, and experiences to find meaning
- Using “crumb time” as a curiosity management system
- David’s “beige period” and how he found his way out of it
- How to finally just get started
- What happens if the human race goes extinct – and is it really a bad thing?
- Mind Management, Not Time Management: Productivity When Creativity Matters
Connect With The Guest:
Watch the interview on YouTube.
Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Spotify!
Visit the David Kadavy guest page right here on goodliving.com!
Brilliant Miller: [00:00:24] Your ego fears your art, because if you follow your art, you will self-actualize. You will become your true self. But to do so, you will experience failure, rejection and fear. So says my guest today, David Kadavy. David also says your art is the best expression possible of who you really are. David has spoken at South by Southwest, Tedx. And his writings have been featured in The Observer, The Huffington Post, Ink Magazine, Quartz, McSweeney’s, Upworthy, Lifehacker, and many other places. David is the creator and host of the Love Your Work podcast. He’s the author of multiple books, two of which I read and loved. Mind Management, Not Time Management: Productivity when Creativity Matters and The Heart to Start: Stop Procrastinating and Start Creating. Just the title is great advice already, isn’t it? He’s also written a book called Design for Hackers. In this episode, we cover a lot about creativity, about productivity, about living a meaningful life. We discuss creating something David calls a curiosity management system. We also talk about using something David calls crumb time to learn and to create more than you otherwise might. We explore how David escaped being born in the wrong place, a suburban area in Nebraska, surrounded by people who didn’t understand him and with whom he didn’t really connect, and how he managed to create a fulfilling life of creativity and contribution and create a life in Columbia where he lives now. I believe that David’s life is evidence that taking small steps can be a significant part of creating a great life for yourself that don’t have to be these massive leaps and transitions, but tiny steps. We also discussed the struggle that many artists and creators have of figuring out what their unique message is, exactly what their voice is, who their audience is, and how David has approached these things. We also explore the idea of writing as a process of teaching ourselves and learning what we need to know and the fact that writing is often not a linear process and how to use that fact to your advantage. David also breaks down what I think is an absolutely game changing model of creativity called the Seven Mental States of creative work, that these can help us to better understand and leverage the different mental states we all find ourselves in as we go throughout each day so that we can use them to complete our creative projects with less stress, more fun, in shorter times, earn more money, make a bigger difference, you know, just little things like that. All of which he details, by the way, in that book that I mentioned, the Mind Management, Not Time Management. So we cover a lot. David is one of a very small number of creators that I support personally on Patreon. I think his insights are legit, and the care and attention he puts into his work is first class. You can learn more about David and his work at KDV.co. You can find him on Instagram or Twitter at Kadavy. And you can subscribe to his Love Mondays newsletter, which I highly recommend. So I hope you enjoy this conversation with my new friend David Kadavy.
Brilliant Miller [00:06:40] David, welcome to the School for Good Living.
David Kadavy [00:06:45] Thank you so much for having me, Brilliant. It is an honor to be here. I really appreciate the invite. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:06:50] I’m glad you are. Will you tell me, please, what is life about?
David Kadavy [00:06:56] Well, I think there are a lot of different things that could be about, and it could be about nothing. I mean, that’s probably what I believe most is that it’s about nothing. You can make it about whatever you want, that it’s meaningless. And some people find that to be nihilistic or depressing or something, but I find it actually quite liberating because it means you can just create your own meaning. And then oftentimes the next question is, well, but I mean, what if your idea of what’s meaningful is like torturing people or something like, well, it’s not so good, right? I think that for most people, it wouldn’t be. And so I think that for me, it is about enjoying my time here, doing something that lets me be the person that I want to be while at the same time making something. And then hopefully that ends up also being useful to other people, which I think is just by a natural extension of the universality of a lot of what it means to be human. That just kind of happens naturally.
Brilliant Miller [00:08:22] Yeah, I think you’re right. And when you opened up with it could be about nothing. I wondered, is this just a big Seinfeld episode?
David Kadavy [00:08:31] I know it popped in my head as well. I’m a gigantic Seinfeld fan, so I’m pretty much always one thought away from something Seinfeld-related.
Brilliant Miller [00:08:41] Yeah. And when you mentioned creating, somebody suggested to me once and this had not occurred to me on my own, but someone had said, if we are in fact made in the image of our creator and who knows, right? But if we are, then necessarily we must also be creators. I was like, That’s actually kind of a cool thought.
David Kadavy [00:09:02] I think that it is the natural state to be in, to create things. And I think that it’s something that a lot of us have lost touch with. I’ve seen a really unsettling kind of anti-productivity movement lately where I think after the pandemic and after the really, really difficult part of the pandemic, at least, people were getting really stressed out and starting to ask, why am I working so hard? There has been a little bit of a backlash where now there are these books that are out that are all about the shortness of our lives and making these observations as if it should be really relevant to worry that our lives are short and that maybe the pursuit of material things. Isn’t that the thing that we should be trying to do? And then by extension of that, being productive is somehow kind of the enemy? I find that really unsettling and misguided. And I do hope that people come to the next level of that, which I think is that if you are able to do nothing, if you are able to take a pay cut to do the things that you want to do or to make your life love life less stressful. I think that even if you try to do nothing, at some point you find yourself with this internal motivation to create something, to do something, to do something that’s meaningful to you or that’s meaningful to other people. That is just the natural human state, but that’s also me doing a lot of what I experienced myself.
Brilliant Miller [00:10:55] Well, I do think that there is an innate maybe a need, even an imperative for us to grow, to connect, to serve, and to create. And this is I mean, it’s just a theory, right? But I know you’ve spent a long time, a large part of your life now, at least the last 15 years, being a creator, a creative person. And one of the things you’ve created is the Love Your Work podcast. And I listened to a few episodes recently, and one of the things I heard was you said that after 15 years, even though this is your full-time focus and that you’re able to support yourself and live many people’s dreams, probably to live abroad and to have people read your ideas and for them to make a difference for people that you still feel you haven’t made it as a cricket were you. Will you talk about that?
David Kadavy [00:11:48] Yeah. I mean there are so many different definitions of having made it. I think early on I would have thought that having made it would be like, Oh, I’m making $2,000 a month, you know, which now I’m making more than that. And also then you ask the question, Well, where is it coming from? And there’s been these various layers throughout my journey where at first I just wanted to get the bare minimum amount of money to get by. And I would do that. I wasn’t super discerning about where that money would come from, whether it was freelancing or whether it was some kind of passive revenue thing. I, for a period of time, was paying my bills off of an online dating advice blog that I had written under a pseudonym, which while it was fun and it was interesting to me, I didn’t want that to be a big part of my identity, part of why I wrote it under a pseudonym. And so bit by bit, as I have gotten pieces of financial security along the way, often coming along with where did that come from, how close was that to my core or what’s most important to me as I’ve sort of moved up that hierarchy, I continue to feel as if I haven’t made it in some ways. And then it becomes this new goal that I want to achieve before I feel like I’ve made it. And now I’ve finally gotten to a point where I’m making a solid income off of books that I wrote that really do come from about as deep within me as they could be. Or at least that’s what I think right now. And I still have come to that realization like, well, I guess when that first started to happen, I realized, oh, I actually sort of feel a bit of an emptiness here, like, oh, I’ve gotten to this. I’ve worked so hard for this, and now what? And so I guess I’ve come to the realization that, oh, that there is no making it, that I always want to feel as if I’m not making it. If I reach some goal there needs to become some other goal, whether that is financial or whether that is just continuing to explore myself that I’m going to want to achieve. That’s actually one of the things that I thought was really interesting when I got the email from you, because you were talking about how you come from this billionaire family and that you, if I remember right, that you felt very lost or you were kind of adrift and stuff. And that’s actually been something that I have for a very long time thought to myself, like, that would be awful. You know, I was like, I can’t imagine, you know, having so many financial resources at my disposal that there’s zero motivation. You know, there’s zero need, there’s zero financial drive there. I, I feel like it’s been nice that I’ve had a bit of a financial drive. Money isn’t super important to me. I’m still not making a huge income, but I’m quite happy and I can’t think of things that I would want to do with a lot more money. But I’ve been through that journey, bit by bit. Where at the same time, I also like exploring myself internally rather than just kind of like having that background just disappear from underneath my feet or not be there to begin with. While meanwhile, being in a world where everybody’s pretty much motivated by their financial needs. So yeah. Yeah. Anyway, if you don’t, if you have any comments on that. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:16:18] No, thank you for sharing that. Well yeah. A few things come up for me in what you’re saying. I thought that you and I were probably kindred spirits when I heard you say on the 200th episode of your podcast, when you said, I just want to read about the things that interest me, have conversations, use it all to inform my understanding of the world, and share what I’ve learned. Right. And nothing in there is I want to be a millionaire, I want to be a celebrity, I want to have, you know, these incredible vacations or whatever. There wasn’t anything material in that. And I remember when I was a kid I loved, and I still do, I love games of all kinds. And I had a video game that I would play. And in the game, it was just like, what these role-playing games where you release care, you create a party and you go throughout this world and you achieve these quests and so forth. And I found a cheat code that gave me infinite gold and instantly it destroyed so much of the fun of the game because the challenge was gone. And now you could just walk into a shop and buy the best equipment and like all this. And that really did teach me something about there is value in adversity right now, living life. There are many forms of adversity, right, from Maslow’s hierarchy. And the basic survival needs to, you know, the security and then the psychological and higher order needs if you will. But, yeah, what you’re saying, it really resonates. And at the same time, it’s like Cry me a river, right? Because there are definitely people that experience, that kind of challenge, a challenge that comes from wealth. But it’s not the kind of I mean, it’s interesting to me that our society both simultaneously reveres and revials wealth. And it’s, oh, if somebody is a billionaire, they must have done something really despicable to get that or they don’t deserve it, it should be redistributed. And at the same time, we esteem those people almost above anything.
David Kadavy [00:18:12] Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:18:12] So yeah, it’s interesting, but that connection of creativity and service, we all want that, even if it never comes with wealth.
David Kadavy [00:18:20] I think that’s part of what makes that idea scary to me is that simultaneously you feel nobody wants to hear you complain about anything because they figure that you can’t have any problems because yeah, like the amount of money that you have or something which is like such an arbitrary thing, like there are so many people who were billionaires that are dead now, right? Because that’s where we’re all going. Yeah, I read there are some billionaires who are living curiously long now, but in who knows what, what will they discover but that it’s just one little aspect of somebody’s existence.
Brilliant Miller [00:18:58] Yeah. No, doubt. And something too. And I suspect just from what I’ve read in your books about some of your experiences and I want to ask you about how you escaped the beige period. Let’s see about that in just a moment. But, you know, one of the things that I’ve learned, I think pretty much everyone in a Western industrialized, so-called developed country with any level of, you know, standard of living, what they would call a standard of living has learned that material things will never bring us lasting fulfillment. We know that it’s not a jacket you can buy or a car you can buy or even a home or any of that. It’s going to satisfy you long term. That took me a while to learn, but from there I thought, Oh, it’s experiences. And we hear this like prioritize experiences and that whole thing that the four hour workweek kicked off of like many retirements and live for the now. And that sounds good. And that’s probably an alternative, maybe a more fulfilling alternative to accumulating a bunch of stuff. But even experiences never last and they’re not inherently fulfilling. Then I thought, Oh, it’s knowledge. I’ll just go travel the world and learn as much as I can, you know? And then I learned that knowledge is just another form of accumulation. So now, as far as I can tell, is like, how can we deepen, like, how can we deepen our experience and expand our awareness? And it’s just a different game. I’m sure this will just be the thing that’s at some point I’ll look back and be like, Yeah, I was wrong about that too.
David Kadavy [00:20:25] That’s really interesting because I certainly value experiences, but I also see that, I think I see the dark side of that being somebody who lives abroad. And I encounter a lot of digital nomads or nomads who are traveling the world who have a very high experience bias, and for the most part, they’re pretty happy people. But sometimes you can feel this sort of sense of disconnection, their dissatisfaction, when you realize you can only get so much from experiences. Then there’s knowledge as well. And this is something that I think about for myself. Like when I was a kid, I remember I loved Encyclopedia Brown. Oh, yeah. There was a show with Fred Savage, the guy from The Wonder Years, and there were the books. And I wasn’t a huge reader, but I read some books on that and I just like, thought it would be so cool to just know everything. And sometimes I look at myself now and realize I’ve got this, that whole zettlekasten note-taking method that I write about. I read a lot. I’ve got my database of notes and stuff, and so I do what I’m often asking myself. All right, like, to what degree do you just want to be seen as smart? Because I think that that is a danger. To what degree are you escaping into the pursuit of knowledge? And actually, even I’ve been thinking about this idea of curiosity management, where I was searching within myself. And I realized sometimes I go through these periods where I’m just not reading enough. I need to read this article. I need to read this book. I need to learn about this thing and that thing and this thing. And when I search underneath it, I realize like, no, there’s a little bit of an and not enough-ness that’s driving that. And that’s where I started to create a bit of a system that I’m just kind of toying with now where I’m actually capturing every time I am curious about something, I’m capturing it into a system where I can then again engage with it appropriately appropriate to my level of curiosity. Because I think that my previous strategy was I’m curious about something like, Oh, I want to know something about Marie Curie. Okay, let’s go to Amazon and buy a book about Marie Curie and start reading that. And then you’ve got like 200 books. Yeah. And instead now I like put it on the lists and then when I’ve got a little bit of time, I go read the Wikipedia page. How much more curious me about this thing. Okay, well let’s put it in the queue there. And I found that I’ve gotten a lot less of that sort of residual, I guess I call it surplus curiosity that comes from that feeling of not enough-ness that can be a result of somebody who is in a mode of valuing knowledge.
Brilliant Miller [00:23:35] And I’ve never heard of a curiosity management system, but I like that. Yeah, I know we both are students of David Allen from Getting Things Done. And there’s this someday maybe, I think that comes from him, the someday maybe list.
David Kadavy [00:23:55] Absolutely.
Brilliant Miller [00:23:56] That’s kind of my curiosity management as I’ll just be like, maybe I’ll buy that book or look at that person. What tool do you use now? What does your curiosity management system look like?
David Kadavy [00:24:06] So I use what I call from time list. And again, this is another concept that I’ve been thinking about a lot is crumb time is these little pockets of time of sort of indefinite size and shape that sort of break off and fall on the floor throughout our day. Like to go to the dentist. We’re sitting in the dentist’s waiting room and we only have a couple of minutes. So naturally what we do is we just give away that time. And as part of why I like the idea of it, calling it Crumb Time is that we think of crumbs as insignificant. It sounds like an insignificant thing, but when you put crumbs together, they’re actually part of very significant things. Bakers have called something a crumb structure. I didn’t realize this until I did a little research in the web that it’s called a crumb structure. That’s like the structure of the crumbs, the sort of mixture of air and pastry that make up the cake or whatever. And then in agriculture, soil has a crumb structure. It has the right amount of moisture content. So it’s a good environment for plants to take root for microorganisms that sort of feed the plants and keep the soil healthy for all that stuff too, to survive. And so we think of crumbs as in this crumb time as insignificant. So we open the phone, we open up Twitter or Instagram. And that’s fine if that’s what you want to be doing. But a lot of times we’re just giving away that time because we don’t feel like we could do anything useful with it. And so one of the things I’m doing with my crumb Time is I have my crumb time list, which is just a list of different things that I thought for a moment. Oh, I’m curious about this. And instead of going directly to read about that thing, I just put it on the list. I think a lot of people use like a read-later app like Instapaper or Pocket. I’m not a big fan of that, one I think that it should be hard to save something that you want to read. The hard part is actually being able to read all the stuff that you save, so there should be a little bit of friction in that direction, I think. And then additionally, I think that subjects are more important than particular articles, right? So if there’s a subject that I want to learn about, it’s not necessarily that there’s a particular article that I want to read it, but I want to duckduckgo it and kind of see what’s there. And probably the first place I want to go is Wikipedia. And then if that’s just a text file and that’s just a list on an app that I have called drafts, and that is something that if I’m at a restaurant waiting for a friend to show up, oh, I’ll just quickly open up my crumb time list and see what looks interesting here and go search for that thing. And I’ll do a little bit of reading about it. And if I’m just like, if I can feel myself getting really interested in it, then I’ll go download the Kindle sample or buy the book. And then I’ll probably ask myself how much more interested in this. I think well, Not a whole lot. And so and then I’ll put it on as I’ve already read this list and then oftentimes it leads to other things that I’m curious about, certain footnotes and things like that. So that’s the way my system looks right now.
Brilliant Miller [00:27:42] Well, thanks for sharing that with me. So as I mentioned just a couple of minutes ago, you share in your books this experience you had. And it relates directly to the best blog post you’ve ever written, which also happened to be the worst blog post you’ve ever written. But I know that happened in a period of your life where things were monochromatic, experientially, or maybe literally. But when you talk about what was the beige, beige period and how did you escape it?
David Kadavy [00:28:09] Beige period. I love this. I love it. At first, I never thought of it that way. Like the rose period, and the blue period. The beige period. Yeah. So I was born and raised in Nebraska, and I was born in the wrong place and in a suburban lifestyle. And I remember thinking to myself, even growing up, like, why do I have to hang out with the people who just happen to live close to me?
Brilliant Miller [00:28:40] It’s your Karma, man, hasn’t been answered thousands of times?
David Kadavy [00:28:44] Yeah, yeah. You know, and I don’t share an interest with these people. They think that I’m weird because of what I’m interested in, and just because
Brilliant Miller [00:28:56] You love to stay in your room and draw all day?
David Kadavy [00:28:58] All I love to stay in my room and draw and play with magnets, like, you know, I collect bugs, you know? I wasn’t into Nebraska football enough, I think. So then after college, I ended up back in Nebraska again against my will, kind of because I wanted to move to just any big city.
Brilliant Miller [00:29:25] You had left for college for a while?
David Kadavy [00:29:28] I had left to college. But I yeah, I went to college, you know, first in a school in the middle of Nebraska, which turned out to be a big mistake. I spent three semesters there. Then I went to a school in the middle of Iowa, which surprisingly was much better. But I was still a scaredy pants. I was just so scared to go very far from home. And then through that experience of going to that school in the middle of Iowa, I did get to study abroad in Rome, which is a fantastic experience and privilege. And it was wonderful, that busted my brain wide open. And then after knowing how big the world was and how many different ways there must be to live, just having their awareness of that and realizing I wanted to explore that, I ended up back in Nebraska. I wanted to go to any big city. I wanted to go to San Francisco or New York or Chicago or Seattle or even Minneapolis to me was like, that would be a big welcome change. But I had a graphic design degree that wasn’t a huge hot commodity in 2002, and I couldn’t get a job in those places without living there, and I couldn’t live in those places without the job. And I also didn’t have the guts to just pack up and move and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, especially given the kind of upbringing that I had which was fiscally conservative in that, you know, you’ve got to have a job. You can’t just, like, go to some place. And by the way, it’s pretty hard to get an apartment when you don’t have a job. And so I ended up back in Nebraska and I got a job there and was working there for a few years. And in an office job, I was in a, in a really toxic relationship and, and everything was beige, so my cubicle was beige and then my car was beige and the carpet in my apartment was beige and the walls of my apartment were beige. And it was just kind of this beige existence. And I was pretty miserable, especially after the toxic relationship ended. And I didn’t want to be in Nebraska anymore, didn’t really know how to get out somewhere else, and didn’t have the guts to just throw it all away and go. And I started a blog, so I was really intimidated by all these blogs I was following online. There’s Douglas and these different web design blogs, and I really wanted to have a blog of my own, but they all looked so great. I didn’t know how I could create something like that. So I just went to remember there was this night, I think I was staying at the office late and I went to Blogger. I saw, Oh wow, you could just create a blog and it’ll have all that, you know, the category thing on the side and then, you know, maybe a calendar widget or something on there. Oh, like there are tools that just do this. You don’t have to code it all by hand, which was the way that I thought that maybe you had to do it. And so I remember telling myself, like, okay, just get this started, just get this started, just get this started. I’m like, okay, what’s the name of the blog? Okay, David Kadavy’s Blog. And then after I set it up, I realized, oh, well, you’ve got to write a blog post. So I did that. I didn’t know what to write about. So I just wrote about what I was experiencing at that moment, which is basically okay, I’m trying out a blog. I’m just going to do this because sometimes I’m a perfectionist and sometimes that paralyzes me. So I’m just going to barf this out. Cleaning up later and it’s still up there. If you search for Kadavy, my first blog. You’ll find it. It’s about 130 words. It has no structure to it. There’s a misspelling in it, which you acknowledge the technology didn’t exist at the time to find misspellings. I’m kidding. Probably. They probably did. And it’s up there, but it was just me getting myself started. And I’m so glad that I did because it was with the help of that blog that I got out of Nebraska and moved to Silicon Valley with the help of that blog that I got my first book deal. It’s with the help of that blog that I got connected with a company that sold to Google that I was an advisor to. I owe so many things to that blog I’ve written, you know, I don’t know, hundreds, maybe a thousand-something blog posts. Only a few have been big hits, but those have changed my life. And so that was how I got out of the beige period.
Brilliant Miller [00:34:38] Wow. That’s remarkable. And I think about, okay, so I had this really horrible blog post, but that’s also how I got on with my life kind of thing. That’s how I got onto the I think there’s a pretty big jump there.
David Kadavy [00:34:54] Yeah, I was just kind of, you know, I was miserable. I was insecure. I wasn’t getting the kind of support in my life and the people around me and the community around me that made me feel like I belong. And what I felt inside was as correct as it felt to me. You know, about wanting to create things, about wanting to do something that was all my own. I feel like everything I got from the world around me was pushing against that. And what I saw on the Internet was the exact opposite of that. And so I was just kind of like, you know, sending out my message in a bottle, hoping that somebody would that it would reach somebody.
Brilliant Miller [00:35:48] And they did.
David Kadavy [00:35:49] And it did. And, you know, like I said, one of the things that happened was that I ended up getting discovered by this startup in Silicon Valley. And, you know, they moved me out there and that got me out of Nebraska. And yeah, that was one of the things that came from that.
Brilliant Miller [00:36:11] Wow. And was one of the other things like the collaboration of the work you did with Dan Ariely?
David Kadavy [00:36:19] That’s right. Yeah. That came from a blog post that I wrote called Mind Management, Not Time Management, which also happens to be the name of my latest book. And that was another just that was just an email out of the blue from his business partner, which is actually kind of a funny story because I was busy at the time and I got this email that was the type of email that you respond to. It was like, Hi, I’m a Stanford professor. I’ve sold a company to Google. I think that we should talk. I read this blog post and I’m like, I’m busy. Can we talk in a few weeks? And, you know, fortunately, they were persistent. And I remember him saying, you know, I think that you’ll find that we were meant to work together. And then we yeah, we did work together on that. And I was an advisor to Time Fool, which was a company all about kind of rethinking the calendar in a way that is sensitive to your energy fluctuations. And Google ended up buying that company, and it was a surprise payday. And a lot of it just came from a blog post and a random email.
Brilliant Miller [00:37:33] Wow, that’s really cool. I know somewhere in reading your work or listening to your work, I think I saw a message, I guess a statement you made something about the economics of blogging are horrible basically today. It’s always been that way.
David Kadavy [00:37:50] The raw economics. I’ll revise that statement right now with the raw economics of it. Meaning that if you want to write a blog and get paid directly for it, that sort of behooves you to put ads on it, which makes the user experience terrible, but then also alters what it is that you’re creating in a way that makes it not so good. I’ve now, I think, learned how to do it better with better long-term thinking. So that’s how I would advise that statement, I guess.
Brilliant Miller [00:38:33] Okay. Thank you for that. Yeah. And I’ll read Tim Ferriss’ blog even still from time to time. And one of the things I’m interested in what you’re say is about how blogging is we might think of it, we might hear the word blog and think, Oh, that’s ancient technology. But how that’s actually still very powerful that people haven’t stopped reading that. Yeah, we have microblogging in the form of Twitter, and Tik Tok is so quick and all that, but people still read blogs. I was a little surprised to learn that. But let me ask you this, where you said you wrote like maybe 2000 plus blog posts. How did you get past that? First of all, that kind of fear that I heard you talk about, which I think is everybody has their own version of that today with whatever, like they might be starting a podcast today. It’s like, Oh, Rogan’s been doing it for 15 years and yeah, there’s so many. And Brené Brown is getting into it, and big media has, like we all have our own version of whatever it is we think we want to do, but there are the stories we tell ourselves to hold ourselves back. And you got past that inertia. So I love the example you are, but what kept you going? Like, how did you keep going?
David Kadavy [00:39:44] You know, I think I lucked out. And maybe there’s something in there somewhere. But I think that if I were to speculate about how it worked, I’m a writer, I was not born a writer. I did not like writing. Growing up, I did not aspire to become a writer. But now I’m a writer. And the thing that I wanted to be when I was coming of age was a designer. A famous international award-winning designer. And I admired, there was a magazine called Communication Arts that’s big in the graphic design world. And I would just pore through those pages and look at all the firms that were in there and think, Oh, my gosh, I would love to work for one of these firms. And also, by the way, look, none of them are in Nebraska. Woe is me. My life sucks. And so I loved design. And that was like a lot of the motivation for me to start my blog in that first blog post. I’m not sure what I’m going to do here, but I’m just going to basically write maybe about design and web design. And also I saw it as a playground for me to practice sass and HTML, those web design technologies. And then, you know, I think just one thing led to another. One of the things that happened was that very early on in my career, I did end up in that magazine. Like, it was like my first, like, big design project that I even did as a professional. I ended up in a magazine that was like the thing that I wanted to accomplish in my career, and that was what we had all been told. And in design school that was like the ultimate thing to achieve. And I just found it a really not that rewarding of an experience. And it sort of rocked my world and it made me rethink everything. And so, I mean, I kind of do wonder if I hadn’t had that honor so early, if I would still, like, be chasing that. And so it was about design, really. But then it sort of morphed into. It was just one little step after another. There were certain periods of time when I wasn’t writing in my blog at all. And there were periods of time when I was writing more. And it seemed to kind of go with How happy was I at work? If I was happy at work, I wasn’t paying attention to my blog. If I wasn’t happy at work, I was starting to work on my blog because it was like the thing that I was a little world that I felt like I could control. And then I was actually just talking to a podcast host yesterday who studied English, and she was saying that she would love to write a book. She hasn’t. And it made me realize, like, oh, my gosh, like, maybe that’s why I’m a writer now is because I didn’t expect it. I don’t have any expectations about how it’s done right. Whereas, like, I’m not even really a designer. I don’t really consider myself a designer now, but I know I have a lot of opinions about how that’s done. Right. And so in a way, it’s been in a way, I just don’t expect my writing to be that good. And a little bit of it is just giving yourself permission to suck and actually telling yourself like that that, oh, let’s make this bad. And one of two things happened. When you do that. Is that either you move your fingers on the keyboard and you write and you think it’s terrible. And then later on you go back to it and realize, oh, it’s actually pretty good. But I was just feeling so paralyzed and so I wasn’t able to do it or it actually isn’t very good, but you at least got yourself started and you’re continuing to move forward with that. And I think that that’s kind of the secret of getting good at anything, is being okay with being really bad at it. I live in Colombia. I’m not a natural at learning languages. I’ve been here for six years and I’m pretty good at Spanish. But by contrast, you meet people who maybe they want to learn English and they’re studying English and they know a lot about English, but they can’t speak any English. And when you try to speak English with them or try to practice with them, they feel very ashamed. And so they won’t even try, they won’t even make a mistake. And that is absolutely essential to say, to learn a language is that you’re going to say things wrong. People are going to correct you, but you have to keep doing it. And so that comfort with being wrong is vital, not just for learning a language, I think, but for making progress in anything. Yeah, especially creative things like obviously if you’re going to be conducting surgery, you know, you don’t want to be wrong, but like they’ve got that figured out, kind of there’s a curriculum that you can follow and there’s a degree that you can get. You can put it on your wall to tell people that you’re a surgeon and there’s a lot to learn to get that degree, etc.. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about doing this type of exploration that the only one that’s harmed if you don’t do it is yourself. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:46:19] And I have a suspicion that you know, like in the cosmic feel of things, it’s really not just us that there are people. And again, some of this gets kind of mystical even, but there are people who I saw one of my podcast guests, he linked to an Instagram post. It talked about why, why, right. And it’s just so kind of cheesy. But it was. But in a way, I think there’s a truth in it. It was like because right now there’s someone with a hole in their soul in the exact shape of your words, you know? But it’s like kind of true.
David Kadavy [00:46:52] I think that’s true. But I’m also somebody who is very that this is an odd thing. I don’t know if I even know how to articulate it quite right. And it often confuses people. But I am very careful to not I. Make too much of the work that I do about helping somebody else, which sounds awful, but I worry that if the more that I convince myself that I’m helping somebody else, I’m actually not right. I come. I try to come out from more of a place of. Let’s do something that’s going to create something that at the same time is creating a better version of yourself. Yeah. And search for those, those moments where you’re afraid to reveal something or to share simply because you want to make yourself look good. When often. Oftentimes it’s through the process of doing that. You would actually. Be doing a better job of making that better version of yourself. Which. Often that happens to be helping people. I mean, I certainly get messages from people very often telling me that, you know, your work makes a difference, etc.. And I’m sure like, really? Wow. Okay, that’s cool. I don’t want to when I get up and do every day about that sounds selfish, I think, but it is me trying to help myself and at the same time putting on my oxygen mask first, I guess.
Brilliant Miller [00:48:45] Yeah. No, I appreciate it. I appreciate that because I think on the other side there is I don’t know, it could be a slippery slope toward do-gooder-ism. And I don’t know, I’m not a fan.
David Kadavy [00:48:57] Right. And yeah. You know, the term being a virtuous signal, which can be a loaded term, you know, you can argue against or for it. I think if you have an intelligent and honest conversation, but yeah. And I worked in that world for a while. That was sort of my last stop before going on my own trying to save the world. Right. If you’re going to work for like a green sustainable startup and being exposed to that industry and seeing that. Of patting oneself on the back for doing good when. You can’t be so sure. And in some cases, you’re doing the exact opposite. And that left a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t I don’t want to be like that. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:49:52] Well, I do. I do have just a few more questions about the blog. I’m really curious. I hadn’t realized this right now, but this is an interesting thing to me about what I would say, artists or creators, where I think it’s very common that artists are creators. They know they want to share something. They know they want to create something, but they don’t even know what it is necessarily. They don’t know the form even if they don’t know the words in another message. They don’t even know the audience. They haven’t discovered their voice. I think it’s a lot of uncertainty just even at the outset. And of course, we can get some clarity by sharing. Right. But when you started your blog, how clear were you? You mentioned now that you knew it was about design. So you were writing about design. You were practicing design. But how much of a sense did you have about who your audience was and what your topic or your message was? And then how did that evolve over your, you know, thousand or so blog posts?
David Kadavy [00:50:51] Very little sense. And I still don’t have it figured out. And I’ve but I’ve learned to embrace it and sort of work with that. I think it took me a very long time to realize that there are different types of people. And there’s a lot of different ways to categorize this, that kind of turned out to be kind of the same thing, you know, in Myers-Briggs, which, as I understand is pseudoscience, but like there’s the perceiving versus judging. But I think that those are valid sort of qualities. You get people who are. I think that the corollary in like the more supported psychological research is like the need for closure, a high need for closure, low need for closure. Low need for closure would be to perceiving people who like take in a lot their inductive bottom up the judging people the the the those in higher need for closure. They are decisive. They want to close the loop. They are deductive rather than inductive. There’s an economist, David Gallatin, who says that, oh, there’s experimental creators and conceptual traders or experimental artists and conceptual artists. And he found that those who followed an experimental mode of creation, their paintings tended, the prices of their paintings tended to peak later in their careers, whereas those who do the conceptual approach where they just kind of like an idea that they execute rather than spending a lifetime searching for something, those who take the conceptual approach, they peak early. So the perfect, the perfect archetypes being Picasso, who peaked very early, made his most important painting when he was 26, didn’t do that much important stuff in the next roughly 60 years. And versus Cézanne, who did his most important painting in his very last year of life because he was constantly searching for this thing that he couldn’t really find. And so and there’s also the dichotomy of Fox versus Hedgehog. That’s from an essay by Isaiah Berlin, where the Fox knows many things and the hedgehog knows one thing. And Philip Tetlock has found that people who have a fox cognitive style are actually better at telling the future. And it. They’re even better than the experts in particular fields about understanding or predicting what’s actually going to happen. But by contrast, in sort of traditional media, it’s the hedgehogs who get invited on CNN, the political pundits, etc., who are just going to have the sound bite, who are going to say this is the way that things are. And so early on, I knew I was going to be exploring web design. Experiment with blogging, blogging about a variety of different things. And I’ve never really homed in on one little thing. And that has made my progress, I think, very, very slow. In contrast to, say, the online dating advice blog that I had were okay, this is just about online dating. And I like writing about that and writing with search engine optimization in my and that thing did quite well and made me like $150,000 or something that really helped me free myself up to explore a lot of things. And so now I’m very mindful of that sort of dichotomy and balance. I don’t think that you have to be one or the other. I think that it’s you know, it’s a spectrum at that. But I try to be mindful when I’m inhabiting the fox or the hedgehog mindset, I have to work pretty hard to be. It takes effort for me to be a hedgehog. I tend more towards the fox cognitive style, which is what you’re going to hear people. You could hear it when somebody speaks, when they say, you know something, maybe is this way, but also you can consider this. And they kind of go off on tangents. And that’s the way that I talk now when it comes to my work and how I present myself to my audience. Now, I think of it as a little bit of both. I try to kind of turn my sort of fox explorations into hedgehog, I guess you could say honey pots or hedgehogs. It’s funny. I don’t know. It just sounds right.
Brilliant Miller [00:55:48] They probably would. That’s what I’m just guessing.
David Kadavy [00:55:50] They probably I probably would be totally into the honey and they probably aren’t that sense of the bee stings. I’m making all this up, but just as an example, like the book that I was just talking about, or that The Economist that I was just talking about with the conceptual experimental creator dichotomy that is based on a book called Old Masters Young Geniuses. I have read that book, and so now I’ve written a summary on it and it’s going to be on my blog. Or when I read about, say, Marshall McLuhan and I read Understanding Media and I really absorb that book, then I make a summary about it. And now that it’s a piece of my broad interests, but it’s also something that people will specifically search for. And so then that can kind of bring that into my world, into my audience. And when it comes to like my creativity books, there’s the hard to start my management, not time management. These are sort of conceptual books, at least my management and time management already fits into an existing category, which I think has really helped it sell very well. But then I also have other books that are a little bit more tactical, such as digital datacasting, which is all about the note-taking system, which people are probably saying, what is that? Who cares about that? There’s actually a very active and there’s actually a very active and passionate community around that topic. And it’s something that people search for. So that book has done extremely well, but it also brings people into that world where I can be a little bit more conceptual, I can be a little bit more conceptual. That’s an unfortunate use of the word conceptual because it’s really experimental. And so so where I can be a little bit more experimental and I can be more exploratory, but I’ve brought them in through, through one of the topics that do actually interest me. And ultimately there is no here’s what the David Academy is about. If you have to define it these days. I think it is about creativity and productivity, but it is something that I’m constantly exploring.
Brilliant Miller [00:58:10] No, that really resonates with me. And I suspect a lot of people listening, especially anyone who’s listening to this far into our conversation. But I remember a few years ago I was at an event with a mentor of mine, the New York Times bestselling author and CEO coach Marshall Goldsmith. And he was advising all of us, the coaches who were there to build our own brand. He was on this whole thing, build your own brand and declare like pick something that you will be the world’s leading expert in. Pretty bold approach, I think. And I went back to my hotel room that night and I had a dry erase marker and I wrote on the mirror, I am the world’s leading expert in blank, and it’s just such a confronting exercise, like to declare this and live into it and create the evidence for it or whatever. And whether you attempt to achieve that through positioning, oh, it’s totally new. It’s at the intersection of this and this or it’s something traditional that you just, you know, muster up the. Whatever the body of work to prove is true. Either way, it just felt so challenging and I’ve kind of abandoned that. I mean, Marshall has done that, and I think he’s lived into it. And I look at other people again, like going to Tim Ferriss where like his whole blog, I interview the world’s leading performers in a variety of fields, and people are interested in that naturally. And for what I do, what I think you do. It’s not as simple as a single topic. Right. It’s not Brené Brown’s vulnerability or Simon Sinek is purpose or like some people, and I always wonder, like, I don’t even think they started out and said, Well, here’s the one thing and then I’m going to drive everything at it. I think it’s almost too, after the fact, things made sense, or maybe they moved in a direction. So that was part of what I was curious about with your blog and your audience and your message. So thanks for kind of breaking that down.
David Kadavy [01:00:00] But what were your thoughts? It’s both. It’s both bottoms up and it’s primarily bottom up. It’s primarily what am I interested in right now? And trying to reconnect with that feeling of being alone in my room and just like losing track of time. That’s kind of always been the metric that I’ve chased since my first day on my own. It’s how does this feel? The thing that I’m working on and I lose touch with it from time, from time to time. But then once I’ve done something with that and created something, I kind of step back and say, okay, well now who can this be for? How can I make this something marketable that is of some utility to people? And how can I categorize it and name it and label it in a way that the people who need it can find it?
Brilliant Miller [01:00:57] Right. They’ll understand it once they find it that they’ll want it right. That it’s compelling. It’s got a compelling package or title or whatever. Yeah, because I. I signed up for a marketing course online with Seth Godin, someone I know you’ve interviewed. And one of my big takeaways from that was just about, I mean, in age-old wisdom, right? But it’s like, who do you serve and what problem do you solve for them? And I find for myself, that’s pretty challenging. But then I’ll talk to other people and many of them are in the spiritual teaching realm. It’s not exclusive by any means. But like I interviewed Mark Nepo, the author of The Book of Awakening, and a pretty successful guy if you measure my book sales. But he would say I write my books. He says writing advice is right. What you know, he said, but I write what I need to know. And in that way, my books become my teachers. And I was like, That is such a beautiful perspective. Like, you know, I have a book I’m thinking about writing right now about prayer, which even myself I’m like, Where did that come from? I’m not I don’t consider myself religious. It’s not something I understand very well, but I’m super fascinated to go learn like what’s the indigenous perspective on this and what is the traditional religious perspective, and the eastern perspective. And like all this and I don’t know where that comes from, but my curiosity is pulling me in that direction.
David Kadavy [01:02:16] Yeah, I experience this as well when I am writing to teach myself something, something I want to discover. I’m writing to discover. And I think that there is a nice way of thinking about this that can help somebody identify what it is that they’re doing. And for me, it’s are you being the expert or you being the angel? So like an angel is somebody who’s been through it and they’re showing you. So that’s what I think that I am when I’m writing to discover is I’m discovering it. And then just after discovering it, I’m going to tell you about it. And I’m telling you about it in order to teach myself as well. And then there’s the expert, which is this is just something that, you know, and people have asked you a million times, the angel.
Brilliant Miller [01:03:14] And because of the expert, the first one you mentioned.
David Kadavy [01:03:16] Yeah, the angel.
Brilliant Miller [01:03:19] Angel is the first one that’s been through.
David Kadavy [01:03:20] It. Well, the angel is the one that’s just been through it. Okay. The experts, are the one that has been through it so long ago that they just know and can list off exactly how to do it. They can write the outline for the book before they write the book. And this is something I always struggled with in English class growing up. They would say, Oh, right. The teacher would say, Write an outline. I’m like, Well, how am I going to write an outline if I haven’t written the paper yet? Would always be my question. But now I know have written about things that I actually know. No, because I’m an expert on it in some way, that when you are an expert, you can write the outline because you can see the whole book in your head. But we are an angel. You are discovering the contents. As you’re in the process of writing. And so you’ve got to go back and forth between writing free form and writing the outline. And for myself, I sit down, I’ve got a typewriter barely seated over my shoulder, sit down. And I typed on the typewriter and I just write free form with that, and I’ll do that on my mornings. And then every once in a while I’ll sit down and I’ll try to like write the outline of the book or whatever it is I’m writing and I’ll use the I never complete an outline. I usually get about maybe halfway through it and there’ll be either I hit some sort of vein where I start writing on this one bullet point and I just keep writing or I. Feel like, okay, I that’s not. I’m stuck. I can’t write more of this outline. I just need to go to free-form writing and then let time pass and then try again a few days later or a week later or a month later. Try again. And I sit down to write an outline as clear here. Yeah. And it’s that process, that’s the inductive process. I mean, that’s what that coach said he was a very deductive top-down j high need for closure thing, and some people were wired that way. Yeah, I think some people, they just they can go an inch wide and a mile deep on something. They can just have an idea and execute that and then stick with it for 30 years. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:05:55] And make a great career around it.
David Kadavy [01:05:57] And that’s not us. Yeah. I’m a lot more comfortable when you’re. When you realize that, I think.
Brilliant Miller [01:06:03] Yeah, that’s right. That’s I think so much of what your book. Especially mine management not time management has really reminded me or taught me about how much just how much the creative process really is about self-discovery and creating awareness. Right. And so I want to I do want to ask you about this and this part you talk about. You’ve identified something you call seven mental states.
Brilliant Miller [01:06:30] Which I thought was pretty interesting because, and I’ll just kind of preface this by saying I love that saying about all models are wrong. All right. That famous scientific saying all models are wrong, but some models are useful. Right. And so you’ve created a model and this is something that I think without the awareness of this model. So it’s not that it’s the truth with a capital T, but it can help us to become aware of something that might have been the unawareness was the impediment we were experiencing when we sat down. Why can’t I write right now? Or this project might be all wrong or whatever? And so will you just say a little bit about what are like? What are the seven mental states? How did you discover it? Why are they important and how can we use them to achieve them? Okay, activity, productivity. There’s a lot there.
David Kadavy [01:07:21] I usually avoid talking about it on audio because there’s seven and it’s quite a lot. But let’s give it a shot. Okay. So I think of them as an acronym PER, G, PAR, so I think of it as per golf par. And the G for golf is in the middle par per golf par. And so the seven mental states for me are prioritize, explore, research, generate, polish, administrate, recharge. Let’s think about this from a creativity standpoint as a writer. When I sit down in the morning and I write and I have a pretty good idea of what I’m trying to write and I’m trying to make some kind of useful writing that for me, is a generated mental state. Mm-hmm. And. Sometimes in the process of doing that writing, I will come across something that I don’t know. I have some idea of what it is. Maybe it’s a year. Maybe it’s the name of somebody. Maybe it’s just that I want to have a good example to support the thing that I’m writing about. And it’s not immediately coming to mind as I’m writing and I’m in this generate mental state. And that’s a time when I will just type a bracket or on my typewriter parentheses because there’s not a bracket. And that is a signal to my brain that now I can. Talk on a different level or be sloppy and that might be that I just type in a year and that just signals to me that later on I’m in need to go get that and this helps keep me in that mental state because when we switch mental states it’s very cognitively taxing and it’s a waste of energy really. If you’re getting moving on something that you are generating, it doesn’t make sense for you to, you know, go check Wikipedia to make this name right, because you just have to switch mental states. And then it also involves you getting on the Internet. And if you’re on a typewriter, like I like to write, then that’s not very useful because now you’re in this environment where you can very easily get distracted and get completely off track. And. And then there’ll be some other time, like maybe later on in the afternoon where I’ll go over that and I’ll look at the things that are in the brackets. And that’s when I would go into that research mental state where I’m looking for something specific. To generate for me is like generating some work that I’m actually going to use. The research mental state is looking for answers to a specific question. And then there’s the Explore mental state, which is one that I really enjoy and that can be free writing, that can be reading something that I’m just really curious about, even if I don’t know exactly how it’s going to apply to anything that I’m working on. And then there are things like the Polish mental state, which is that’s the time when I’m editing and I feel and I have found that there are different times of day, different times of the week, even, where I am more apt to be in any of these particular mental states. And so I like to divide up my work according to these mental states. So, for example, if I get an email from my account and it says, Hey, review these financial statements, hopefully, it’s not an emergency. It better not be if it’s from my accountant because there should be a lot of surprises there. I will just use an app called Boomerang to take that email out of my inbox and have it come back to my inbox on Friday afternoon. Y Friday afternoon, because I’ve been working all week, I’ve really put all my best creative juice into the writing that I’m doing. And whatever it is that I’m creating and looking at financial statements is kind of mindless activity that I don’t want to use that best mental energy for. And so Friday afternoon is kind of the time that I do that administrate administrative work. And so that’s just a little bit of a tour of the mental states and how I actually use them in day-to-day work.
Brilliant Miller [01:12:02] Think. Thank you for sharing that. I was particularly intrigued, in this idea of mental states. There are a couple of things that really stood out to me. One was in some of the learning I’ve done with Tony Robbins, and he’ll talk about peak states just generally in life curiosity, gratitude, you know, playfulness like these kinds of things. And he’ll teach about shifting our states consciously to find, you know, basically to motivate ourselves to stay productive just because of the experience they are in and of themselves, that kind of thing, which I was intrigued because I had experienced definitely. There are times when it’s easy to write, but there are times when the challenge for me to write is that I’m trying. And I hadn’t I hadn’t had the model for it. I didn’t have a language for it I taught myself, like you pointed out, either going into a research state or a Polish state when I think my writing would have been best served by staying in the generated state. And then like you’re saying as well, that there are times when there are other tasks that are important to do. But if I let the things that would be appropriate for the administrate state be attended to at that time, I’m not only going to enjoy the experience more, I’m going to be more likely to finish and produce something. So I really loved having that framework for that.
David Kadavy [01:13:20] It’s really nice to have. I mean, it’s pretty advanced. I think it takes quite a bit of practice to get to the point where you actually have like these buckets of time throughout your week like I do, where certain stuff is going to get done though. Then again, maybe not. It’s not particularly hard to do to like when one of these things comes along like, Oh, you’ve got to pay somebody through PayPal or something, and you just put it in this bucket that there’s going to be this time where your energy is a little bit more appropriate for doing that type of stuff. And it’s it. Works beautifully in two different ways. One is that your energy is a little bit better for doing that administrative stuff during that administrative time. But then you also feel more at peace and present with that most important and creative work that you’re doing while you’re doing it. Because you don’t have that open loop in your head where you’re thinking, Oh, I need to be doing that thing. You need to be doing that thing because you’ve already you already have a system that you can trust during which a lot of that is going to be it, where that’s going to be taken care of. I’m sounding like David Allen right now.
Brilliant Miller [01:14:30] Yeah, well, no, that was actually the exact next place that I was going, which was, you know, David Allen’s system, the Getty was it GTD, getting things done system where I think for anyone who has studied it and really tried out the power of context, the contextual tasks, how important that is, that we can close these open loops, we can free up mental energy, we can increase our peace by not trying, certainly by not trying to remember in our heads or on sticky notes of buying cat food when we’re at work, but when we’re at the store.
David Kadavy [01:15:02] But on that and those are like the same thing kind of is physical context and mental contexts are almost the same thing. It’s almost as if it makes almost as little sense to think about buying cat food when you’re sitting on your couch and you’re not at the grocery store or the pet store, as it does to think about, you know, you need to make this payment when you’re not in the right mental state to do that. Or actually, even more, important in the converse where you’re trying to write this thing and it’s just not the time of day or time of the week in which you have that energy and that juice to do that type of mental task.
Brilliant Miller [01:15:50] Yeah, I’m totally with you. And that’s where this is like the chapter. David Allen didn’t know he was missing this about, you know, and I love even the subtitle of your book, Getting Art Done.
David Kadavy [01:16:03] Right? Yeah, that’s the series, you know, Getting Art Done. That was hopefully will be a trilogy and working on the third book for that and I do really see I owe a great debt of gratitude to David Allen and I do see the things that I’m writing about as sort of a lay something that sits upon that foundation of getting things done. You have your kind of basic time management figured out. Time management isn’t totally evil, and then you need to have some kind of way of managing the inputs in your life, and that frees up your creative energy. But hey, now what do we do about making the most of that creative energy?
Brilliant Miller [01:16:44] Yeah, absolutely. And for anybody who’s hearing this and has any inkling that this might be a value for you to increase the amount of, I would say, the peace you feel, reduce your stress, increase your creative or productive output. I highly recommend that you pick up this book.
Brilliant Miller [01:17:02] Mind Management, Not Time Management. And, really to see for yourself. I love, David, what you’ve written. You say it’s a waste to try to force yourself to do work. You aren’t in the right mental state to do it. And I think that’s totally true. But then you go beyond just pointing that out and then give us some depth on like what to do about that.
David Kadavy [01:17:23] Yeah, I think that we a big mistake that a lot of us make is that we live by the to-do list. We have our to-do list. It’s maybe not in any particular order. We just kind of stare at it and we try to pick an item off of it and maybe it’s not so easy, but if you think about an elite athlete, they’re not going to just show up to a meet or a fight or a game, having not warmed up, having not gotten themselves into a state for the performance that they’re that they hope to have, you know, why do we treat our to-do lists as if anything is possible at any moment? It’s much more productive and more fun and enjoyable, I think, to do the thing that matches the mental state that you’re in at the particular moment. And this is why I actually categorized my to-do list by mental state so that when I’m in a particular mental state, I can just go look at the tasks that fit it and just go straight through those.
Brilliant Miller [01:18:31] Yeah, it makes sense and I do think it’s a next-level kind of thing. And I’m curious too because there’s also that, okay, I’m in the state, what are the tasks that are appropriate for this context or this mental state? But there’s also the here’s this task that I’m committed to doing or I have to do or whatever. Now, how do I generate that state? And I understand you’ve cultivated some practices over the years to help you do that. Is that true?
David Kadavy [01:18:59] Yeah. I mean, that is kind of a next level sort of thing in that you’re getting yourself into a state because you don’t always have the luxury of waiting until you’re in the right state in order to do something. So there’s a great story in Josh Waitzkin Art of Learning about an executive who was having trouble focusing in meetings. And he said that what he did was ask him, Well, when is the time that you feel? The most in the right state to that you would like to be in when you’re in meetings like focus kind of flow state is like I’m playing catch with my son and so he prescribed for him this sort of routine of play catch with your son, eat this snack, do these stretches, listens to this song, then goes to your meeting. And gradually over time kept doing that so that eventually all he had to do was not just listen to the song, but maybe even just think about the song. And then that would get him into the right mental state to go to his meetings. And so there’s a lot of different things you can do different cues that you can set up. I mean, one is really just like trying to imagine the last time that you were in the state that you would like to be in. And that is something that where you could start to find maybe those cues that there might be a snack or a song that you listen to or a physical activity that you do that gets you into that state where there can be other sorts of cues. One thing that I did was early on when I started on my own, I had a tiny bedroom in San Francisco and that was the space that I had available to me. And I was working late at night. The cafes were closed. I couldn’t go to a cafe necessarily. So I could go to a cafe and. My bed was right next to my desk and I didn’t want to confuse my brain so that I would be in sort of sleep mode while I’m working or work mode while I was sleeping. So I had a soggy screen. I had this whole routine, the soldier to screen when I would cover the desk and I would open it up so that it would create sort of a cubicle. And then I had a clip lamp that I put on the soldier screen and I would direct it upwards towards the ceiling so that it would give soft lighting. And then I would put on aromatherapy and I would choose, I think, lemongrass at the time. And then I would listen to a particular album. It was Ryan Adams Gold. And so just and I think I probably started off with La Cienega just smiled. And there’s this sort of like simultaneous bass guitar and kick drum thing at the beginning of that and that combination of things. As soon as I heard that I was in work mode and that I would spend many hours doing that, and then when it was time to go to bed or maybe get started getting ready to bed, changed aromatherapy to lavender, changed the lighting for it was so discreet around the desk. Change all those cues so that I could change my environment while actually still being in the same room. And you know, it’s almost like it could be anything. My Kimber wish writer it was it said in daily rituals like you could kind of just tell yourself, you know, my writing routine is going to be that I’m going to wear earmuffs on my back porch and like, that’s going to help me write. And as long as you believe it, it’s going to be true. And especially if you do it repeatedly, it is going to make it true. So it is a little bit of setting up cues and a little bit of also just convincing yourself that you can do it. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:23:00] No, I. I absolutely believe that. And so what we’re saying is that it can work both ways about both just recognizing that as we live each day, we go through different states and we can be aware of those and we can leverage those. And then there are times when we can create those.
David Kadavy [01:23:18] Yeah, I think of it like the first time I ever tried to play the guitar, anybody. I don’t know what it was like for most people who have to play guitar, but the first time that I tried to put my fingers on the proper strings and depress them down hard enough to like, not make the fret buzz. And I said to myself, this is not possible. You can’t contort a hand in that way. But after enough practice, you know, you can not only do it, but you can switch and you’re not even thinking about it. It’s just happening. And I think that we can gain the same mastery over our minds if we believe it. And if we practice it, we can get ourselves into the states that we need to be in and also gain that sense of the kind of sailing with the wind, I guess, right? Is that the wind going a certain direction? You need to go over there. How are you going to get to that direction if it isn’t such that it’s going to take you directly there? Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:24:27] Yeah, right.
David Kadavy [01:24:27] On.
Brilliant Miller [01:24:29] Well, David, we’ve talked about so much already, and if you can believe it, we’ve only covered about a third of the questions I had outlined, but with your permission, I want to go ahead and transition us to the enlightening lightning around.
Brilliant Miller [01:24:50] All right. So this, again, is a series of questions on a variety of topics. My aim, for the most part, is to ask the question kind of stand aside. You’re welcome to answer as long as you want, but I’ll work to keep us moving through here and maybe only occasionally tug on an answer. So, okay, question number one. Please complete the following sentence with something other than a box of chocolates. Life is like a
David Kadavy [01:25:18] An avocado, because you never know what you’re going to get when you open it.
Brilliant Miller [01:25:29] I don’t know what kind of avocados you eat, but I feel pretty confident when I open one.
David Kadavy [01:25:32] I opened one. Oh, really? I actually have an entire article about this on my website about how my wife and I just like to have this exercise where every time we would open an avocado for a month, we would say, All right, how confident are you that this avocado is perfect? Like 60%, 70%, 90%, 100%. And we use that to predict, to rate our ability to predict the future, and also to come up with some sort of model of how to how do you define a perfect avocado. So actually, I find avocados to be extremely unpredictable. All right. Not extremely, but I’ve done like I am better at predicting them than I used to be. But they’re still unpredictable to me. If you don’t know what avocados are like in Utah.
Brilliant Miller [01:26:20] Yeah, they’re they don’t grow here, so they’re all imported. But maybe that’s why by the time they’ve made it here, they’ve passed some kind of test. I don’t know.
David Kadavy [01:26:27] Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:26:28] Right. Okay. I’ll never look at an avocado the same way again. Question number two What’s something about which you have changed your mind in recent years?
David Kadavy [01:26:40] I used to think it was a really dumb idea to go to Mars or to invest a lot of resources in going to Mars. And now I at least respect the contrary opinion to that. Which is that I read a way but a wise rundown of Elon Musk. There’s a whole Kindle book of the articles that he’s written. Or that Tim Urban has written about Elon Musk and it kind of goes through. All right. Here is the likelihood that there will be a massive extinction event. And by going to Mars, we can back up humanity so that we don’t entirely have our species get wiped out. And I think that’s a decent argument. I think that you can make the argument of how tragic would it be if our species disappeared or not. I’m not completely clear that is something that we should prevent at all costs. We don’t necessarily have control over it if we don’t back ourselves up to Mars. Regardless of how good we are to our planet. But so now I at least see, oh, that’s actually pretty interesting. I’m not going to invest in going to Mars myself, but I understand that perspective. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:28:18] You know, there’s a few people I wouldn’t mind if they went to Mars. What you’ve said, though, about the human race. I’m with you there in not being certain about, like, we should do everything, know, save it at all cost or whatever. I mean, life will go on whether or not humans go on.
David Kadavy [01:28:39] I listen to George Carlin on this.
Brilliant Miller [01:28:41] I haven’t heard his bit on that.
David Kadavy [01:28:43] I mean, he’s got this amazing bit that like really challenges you where he says, you know, these environmentalists want to save the planet. Save the planet. How arrogant is that? And you’re thinking like, what? What are you? And then he just takes you on this turn where you were like, oh, my gosh, you’re right. The planet is going to be fine. It’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. We’re the ones who are screwed. And then there are other clips of him where he’s like, You know, I’m not really a big fan of the human race. I kind of root for it to be wiped out for blah blah. And he might be joking, but he very well might not be. Yeah, like I like individuals, but I hate when people get into groups. I’m like, I think I agree with that perspective as well. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:29:34] I do like George Carlin. I interviewed somebody a few years ago who wrote a book about the future. And one of the things that he talks about in his book is, as Alan Weisman called, he wrote a book called The World Without Us about what would happen. And in that book, I learned about something that is a real thing. Have you heard of the acronym is VHEMT. That’s the voluntary human extinction movement. It’s a group of people who actually think we shouldn’t be here, we should stop reproducing and we should kind of run the course down and just I’m like, whoa, that’s it.
David Kadavy [01:30:15] That’s pretty extreme. I’m not a part of that group, I don’t think. But I mean, I, I think I actually still respect that opinion as long as they don’t want to actively kill me, but they probably do. Um, but yeah, you know, this is, this is that fox cognitive style is that I can kind of entertain any sort of opinion and, and a lot of things that certain beliefs or widely held beliefs or arguments rest upon that are assumptions that maybe a lot of people don’t even question or notice, such as would it be a tragedy if the human race were we’re wiped out. Most people I think like that’s a no-brainer for them. And for me, everything is fuzzy. Yeah. Especially as a human. Like I’m biased, right? Like I want to live. I think humans are. We should be, I like humanity being here, but I am a human. Of course. I think that.
Brilliant Miller [01:31:19] Yeah, naturally. Okay. Question number three. If you were required every day for the rest of your life to wear a t-shirt with a slogan on it or a phrase or saying or quote or a quip, what would the shirt say?
David Kadavy [01:31:37] This is a lot like Tim Ferriss if you could advertise something on a billboard to a lot of people. Question What would it say? And I did a little stunt where I advertised my management, not time management, on a billboard in Times Square so that I could get Tim Ferriss to reach a video of it, which he did. And so the media thing that comes to mind is my management, not time management on the T-shirt. Right on.
Brilliant Miller [01:32:09] I listened to your podcast I thought it was actually really cool and how you broke it down and how generous you were with sharing. I mean, that’s really interesting and creative.
David Kadavy [01:32:19] That’s pretty cool. It was fun.
Brilliant Miller [01:32:21] Yeah. So I do want a link to that podcast in the show notes for anybody listening to it here, surprisingly affordable. And it sounds like, although it was maybe hard to quantify exactly, their benefits came in unexpected ways.
David Kadavy [01:32:37] Oh, yeah. I mean, then that’s what I’m always trying to do, I think it is. Create conditions for unexpected benefits to occur.
Brilliant Miller [01:32:48] That’s pretty cool. Okay. Question number four, what book, other than one of your own have you gifted or recommended most often?
David Kadavy [01:32:58] I think daily rituals. I really just I just love to read about the habits of creators of all types. There are actually two of their daily rituals, and there are daily rituals of women at work. They’re both fantastic. In fact, the second one is perhaps even better. I don’t know if it’s because of the content because or because Mason Curry improved his writing style or what. But I love those two books and they’re nice, like bite-sized short chapters. And I find it quite inspiring, inspiring, and very interesting to hear about the work styles of different creators.
Brilliant Miller [01:33:39] Yeah, that book changed my life. It really did. And helping me see that we don’t need to work 16 hours a day. Fact, we are counterproductive too. But if we’re in our zone of genius, we’re doing what we love. And we are consistent and especially and we have talent and we stay with it. Very often we do succeed.
David Kadavy [01:34:02] Yeah, pretty much nobody works. I mean, especially not writers. You don’t see them, painters, you know, they’ll be working around the clock sometimes, but not the writers unless they do a lot of methamphetamines. So. Yeah. And then they have that in the book, too.
Brilliant Miller [01:34:20] Yeah, that’s right. I don’t remember who did this, but I saw kind of a visual summary of the book where someone it wasn’t Mason, but someone took and made like a chart of all the practices, like it will say, going for a walk, taking a nap.
David Kadavy [01:34:36] Oh, cool.
Brilliant Miller [01:34:37] It was really interesting the time of day they worked and it was like a bar chart. It was really interesting.
David Kadavy [01:34:41] Oh, I look that up.
Brilliant Miller [01:34:43] Yeah, that’s cool. Okay. Moving on, question number five. So you’ve traveled a lot in your life many times. I understand from your books times that you’d probably rather not have been traveling about.
David Kadavy [01:34:56] Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:34:56] What’s one travel hack meaning something you do or something you take with you when you travel to make your travel less painful or more enjoyable?
David Kadavy [01:35:15] Keeping packing lists of my trips. And when I go on a trip that is somewhat like a trip I’ve previously been on, I just make a copy of it and go through that list. And that way I can kind of mentally pack before I use the lists. I really struggled because there’s always this issue where I can’t pack that because you still need it. Yeah. And so thanks to that, it just makes it easier for me to even plan trips. So for example, if I just want to go on a weekend trip to a beach somewhere, I’ve already gone on that trip and I could just take the packing list and I can be packed, you know, in half an hour or so with everything that I need. And I won’t forget anything. And. I pack a lot of different stuff. So it makes it really easy to actually use lists. Right on.
Brilliant Miller [01:36:15] Okay. Question number six, what’s one thing you’ve started or stopped doing in order to live or age well?
David Kadavy [01:36:37] I guess I’ve mostly stopped drinking. If that is to age well? I’m not sure why I stopped. I guess I just enjoyed being sober. But now, as I’ve learned more and more about the effects of alcohol, it is a little bit of a health decision as well. And I’m about to start wearing daily facial sunscreen protection because I’ve moved to a pretty high altitude where the UV index is very high. I’m certainly somebody who is wary of the idea of sunscreen to some extent. And any time that there is money to be made in something, I’m skeptical. But I think with a UV index is 11, it’s probably time to put on some sunscreen.
Brilliant Miller [01:37:29] All right. Question number seven. So this question is recognizing that you were born in, raised in, and don’t currently live in the United States of America.
David Kadavy [01:37:40] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [01:37:40] But what’s one thing you wish every American knew or every U.S. citizen knew?
David Kadavy [01:38:13] I wish that people in the US were maybe less risk averse. And I mean that in a way that. Like I live here in Colombia and things. They have a very sort of laissez-faire attitude about things. And that can be annoying sometimes because maybe sometimes something bad happens and it really shouldn’t have happened. But they have there’s a certain level of freedom that comes along with that. For example, I’ve been trying out gyms here and just today. I went to a gym and I said, Hey, I just want to buy a day pass for this gym. And they said, Oh, just go in. You know, it’s your first time here. Like you can come in for free. I didn’t have to fill anything out. There was no waiver to sign. I just went into the gym and worked out and something terrible probably could have happened and I would have been SOL and wouldn’t have had any recourse about it. And there’s isn’t that litigious sort of society here. Whereas you go, if that were to happen in the US, you would have to fill out a bunch of stuff. You get an idea. There’s just this extra bureaucratic machinery that I find suffocating, and it keeps its way into all aspects of life. And it’s something that I don’t enjoy, and I don’t think that it has the effect that people hope for it to have. So I wish that people would give up a little bit of their desire for control because they can’t control everything.
Brilliant Miller [01:40:02] Yeah, for sure. Well, they also would have added you to a marketing list.
David Kadavy [01:40:07] It would have got, Yeah, the emails and then the calls and yeah. You know, I don’t think there’s as much of the do not call this registry here. So certainly the calls spam and the text spam is a little bit out of control here. And I have thought about getting a different phone number for that. Um, but one thing is wonderful about living here that I found suffocating. Living in the United States was junk mail. So much junk mail in the U.S.. And I get none here. I almost never get mail. If I get mail, it’s usually something important. So I don’t have to do this exercise of coming home every day and there being a mailbox that I have to empty because it is completely full of things that I don’t want. Yeah. And I, I think that we underestimate I think Americans underestimate the cost of that, that cognitive load just in the mailbox, which I think permeates throughout the entire culture. And then you hear people make this crazy argument like, well, the junk mail is what subsidizes the mail service and makes it possible for us to send letters for $0.32 or whatever it is. Like, that’s just a crazy argument that you’re going to withstand getting junk mail to the degree that you do in the United States so that you can buy a stamp for cheap three times a year to write to your 90-year-old aunt. Like what? How how is that? How does that logic exist?
Brilliant Miller [01:41:53] Yeah. No, I’m with you there. Yeah. Thank you for that. Okay. Question number eight. What’s the most important or useful thing you’ve ever learned about making relationships work?
David Kadavy [01:42:08] I think that’s a. It’s that people aren’t e-commerce items. I think I learned that from doing a lot of online dating, as I said, an online dating advice blog. And I do remember seeing a profile once. It was like, oh, e-commerce. This is like taking e-commerce to a new level. Well, that’s interesting. And then I think it took me a while to come to the realization that I might have been treating people like e-commerce items in that you go on, say, at the time, OkCupid was the one that I was using a lot. And you fill out all these survey questions and how important is it that they like chocolate or they don’t like chocolate or that they like this ban or they don’t like this band? And then you get this percentage that tells you to like how good of a match they are. And then, of course, you go on the date with the person, and even though there is 98% matches like it’s totally wrong. But it gives us this perception not only that they’ve found the right person for us, but that they have customs, that that we have customized them, that whatever sort of input or ideas that we have put into this machine has presented us with this perfect person that meets all of that criteria. And I feel like I’ve been on the receiving end of that sometimes when, when, when you’ve come to the realization that somebody has been. Ascribing qualities to you that you do not have or have had expectations about you that do not fit who you are, and that you have just really been this blank canvas upon which they have projected this idealized image. And I think that the sort of online dating game supports that. And so I think coming to the realization that whoever it is that you have any type of relationship with, you get that they’re not customized for you. They are not, what is it called, an RPG or GN player and they’re not an NPC. They are actually another person who is imperfect and you just have to take them at that and work with that.
Brilliant Miller [01:44:35] All right. Thank you for that. And the last question here in the enlightening lightning around is, aside from compound interest, what’s the most important or useful thing you’ve ever learned about money?
David Kadavy [01:44:59] I think that you can only save so much money and that there is a lot of cognitive loads that can go into the act of trying to save money. And I think by extension of that, the idea of some sort of aspirational time value. So say you’re at a grocery store and you’re trying to decide between two cans of soup that are more or less identical. The branding is different on them, but one is $0.04 less than the other. Any amount of. Once you reach a certain level of financial security, any amount of consideration regarding that price is a waste of your time and mental energy because. It might not be readily apparent, but by not expending that energy, you could make more than $0.04 doing that. And then I think also by extension of that, I have tried to be as good as I can about giving myself enough padding to not put myself in situations where I have to make any sort of urgent decisions about money, where there’s like, I need to stop everything so that I can figure this out. That’s where I try to have like a certain level of automation, but then there’s a certain amount, in each bank account. So there’s padding. So I don’t have to like sit there and calculate and I’ve tried to like build up to that point. And so I guess maybe that’s just all to say that the cognitive. Cost of trying to lower the raised floor. The minimum amount of money that it takes to exist is way greater than anything that you could possibly save. And so you can be well-served by trying to raise your ceiling instead of lowering your floor.
Brilliant Miller [01:47:08] Right on, not something that is, I think, obvious, but I think it’s insightful.
David Kadavy [01:47:14] Oh, thank you. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:47:16] So thank you for that perspective. Okay. Well, speaking of money, one of the things that I have done in an attempt to demonstrate my gratitude to you for sharing so generously of your experience and your learning is I have gone on the microlending site kiva dot org. Do you know this organization?
David Kadavy [01:47:34] I vaguely recall them. They give loans to people who are starting businesses in, say, rural Africa, for example.
Brilliant Miller [01:47:44] Yes, that’s right. So this is something I’ve done for a number of years and I like to do this for my podcast. Guess is one way I use Kiva talk. Part of what I love about it is that it’s not charity. So although I don’t earn interest on this, the model that Kiva uses is that there is a full partner in each country where they work, and it’s the field partner who will receive the interest and it goes to fund their operations so that they can create hopefully a virtuous cycle. And then the entrepreneur is able to use the money and improve the quality of life for themselves, their family, and the people they serve. So the woman that I made this loan to, her name is Maria. She actually is in Colombia. And she will use this to actually she will buy alcohol, should buy liquor, and snacks to sell. And she’s I understand just north of you in a place called Tereza.
David Kadavy [01:48:40] Tereza, I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard of Teraza, but I’m writing it down right now.
Brilliant Miller [01:48:43] I think it’s about 5 hours north of Medellin, so that was a small thing I did. And then as we started recording, I jumped aboard your Patreon to be a supporter.
David Kadavy [01:48:56] So thank you for that. I received the email for that, and I really deeply appreciate that. I love the Patreon support. And as I’ve said, it is not the largest source of my revenue, but it is the most meaningful.
Brilliant Miller [01:49:16] That’s pretty cool and I love that. It’s one of the things that I’ve enjoyed and appreciated hearing you talk about is how not all revenue is equal. Not every dollar is the same as every other dollar. And how I think your podcast also does not have sponsorship at least currently.
David Kadavy [01:49:31] Is that right? Yeah, I don’t do sponsors anymore. I used to do them and. I came to the realization that while I was getting all these podcast pitches, I was getting pitches for people to be guests on my podcast. And it was weird to me because I thought, Well, how am I getting so many of these? And I came to realize, oh, they, they think that I am looking for guests that are not really like looking to interview people, that there are people that I’m interested in. And why would I be looking for guests? Oh, because if I had a podcast on which I had advertising slots, then it would behoove me to take whatever guest I could get because that would be extra revenue because I would open extra slots with every interview that I did. And so I realized, oh, that’s a perverse incentive. I don’t I don’t want that. I want when I interview somebody on my podcast for it to be about what I’m actually getting out of the interview. And so I no longer take sponsorships and I don’t plan to in the future.
Brilliant Miller [01:50:39] Yeah, that’s similar a bit to my experience where I just don’t want the hassle of soliciting sponsors and then I don’t want the work of fulfilling that and I don’t want my listeners to hear it. I mean, I’ve tried it in the past and maybe at some point in the future, but I don’t do Patreon and myself. And there’s only one other author whose Patreon I also support. But as I was telling you before we began recording, I think that more creators could actually find support from a community of people through Patreon financial support if they only put it out there. And to me, it’s a little bit like I remember reading the Steve Jobs, the Walter Isaacson biography, where he talked about when before Apple Music came out and everyone was many people were stealing music through Napster or whatever. And it was jobs contention that if we just created a legal and easy way for people to buy music, they would do it. But we haven’t yet. And I think there’s that kind of equivalent like Patreon people would support us if only we made it easy for them to do so.
David Kadavy [01:51:44] Yeah, create a way for you to be able to give them money. I mean it sort of reminds me of Tim Ferriss is has helped me a lot with all the things that he’s created. I think I borrowed the four-hour workweek from a friend and I’ve maybe bought a couple of his other books. So we’re talking about like a lifetime, you know, $30 maybe that I’ve given to him for all the value he’s he’s created for me. And it’s like, I mean if he had a patron, I would be supporting him, but it’s not available.
Brilliant Miller [01:52:15] Yeah, he’s been someone I’ve never met him myself or talked to him at all. But he’s, he’s been very generous with what he shared. And a lot of what I’ve learned in this realm has come from Tim, too, so. Well, David, I’ve really enjoyed our conversation and I really do have so much more that I’d love to talk to you about, but maybe at some point, we’ll do a part two.
David Kadavy [01:52:37] Absolutely.
Brilliant Miller [01:52:38] Just to acknowledge we’ve already gone quite long, so perhaps we can just wrap up. If I ask you by asking you, what advice or encouragement do you leave those listening with who are either at the cusp of embarking on their own creative project, something they’ve thought about but hasn’t done, or they’re in the messy middle? What do you say to people to get them going or to keep them going?
David Kadavy [01:53:06] Well, I think if you want to get going, I think. Do the most insanely basic thing that you could possibly do. So for example, I have an email course called 100-word writing habit that’s at 100-wordwritinghabit.com. And the idea behind that is to build a habit of writing 100 words a day. And I think that’s one of these actions that I think are really helpful for getting started for anything is it sounds like 100 words are insignificant. Why even bother? So I think that if you don’t have that reaction to whatever this first step is, this seems so insignificant. Why even bother then? You’re asking too much of yourself. And for continuing to get going. I think. For myself, I very often have to. Ask me that question. How does this feel? Is this the way that I want to feel doing this work? Is there something that I can change that can get me to the feeling that I want to have to do this work? Is there an assumption that I’m making that is creating some kind of resistance that is making it more difficult than it needs to be for me to continue with this work? And if so, can I change so that I’m not making that assumption and so that I’m doing something that feels right? Right on. Makes me want to keep going.
Brilliant Miller [01:55:00] Okay. Well, thank you for that. And thank you to everyone listening. I hope you have enjoyed this. I hope you benefit from it. If you haven’t already picked up David’s books, at least a few of them, they’re probably not all for you. He’d be a pretty unique person if every single one of them was right on for you. But that’s part of what I think is great about him. In particular, I can highly recommend the two I’ve read. Mind management, not Time Management, and The Heart to Start. Stop Procrastinating and Start Creating. You can learn more about David at KDV.co or if you’re writing as you’re seeing that website he just mentioned hundredwordwritinghabit.com. And with that. Thanks again for listening. Take care and I’ll talk to you again next time.
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