If You Can Talk, You Can Write

We get writer’s block, but we rarely get talker’s block.

Why is that?

It’s largely because we recognize that conversation is a tool. We don’t usually speak for the sake of speaking. We usually speak for the sake of making meaningful connections or creating practical results.

If I need to find the bathroom in a restaurant, I walk over to a server and ask “Where is your restroom?” I don’t think twice about using the perfect choice of words. I don’t fret over making sure my sentences are pretty. I’m too focused on finding the bathroom. My words are just a tool to help me realize that goal. That’s how communication works when you have something to say. When you have something to say, you don’t get talker’s block.

Writing should be the same way, but we make it more complicated. We lose sight of the fact that writing, just like talking, is a tool for communicating. So instead of saying what we want to say, we make the mistake of trying to be writers. And that’s when we get stuck. That’s when we psyche ourselves out. Writer’s block, more often than not, is the symptom of a more fundamental problem: losing sight of our voice, our story, and our message because we’re too busy trying to make sure we live up to a standard that has nothing to do with the results we want to create.

Everyone has a story or a message or a conviction or an idea that they just can’t keep quiet about. Find out what that is for you, and focus on that. If you keep sharing what fires you up, you’ll gradually get better and better at finding more effective ways to say it.

If you want to be a writer, forget about being a writer for one second and just say what you need to say.

The Principle Thing

Being liked? Overrated.

Come talk to me when those same people are annoyed or disappointed with you.

Feeling good? Overrated.

Come talk to me when your emotions betray you and you wake up feeling sluggish, crappy, alienated, and downtrodden for no apparent reason.

Here’s what’s not overrated: being a person of principle.

Have things that you can live for regardless of how you or anyone else feels about you in the moment. Have values, ideas, and convictions that move you out of bed and keep you going at any time on any day during any season.

Your feelings, your friends, and even your family will have days when they let you down, but principles will endure the test of trying times.

It’s the principles that guide us. It’s the principles that remain stable when the earth seems to crumble beneath our feet. It’s principles that anchor us in something deeper than our ability to get our way or get along. Principles are the principle thing.

Conflict Resolution, Conceptual Systems, & The Complexity of Contextual Communication

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I was recently interviewed by the Human Current podcast on System Theories, Racism & Human Relationships.

In their most recent episode, I discuss how humans allow their conflicting mental models to influence the way they handle controversial topics like racism. I also share my thoughts on how understanding context and patterns within human systems ultimately empowers us to actively contribute to human progress. Click on the above image to listen to that episode.

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Additionally, I wrote a post for the Human Current blog on the role of mindfulness in conflict resolution, why it’s self-defeating to dismiss others as stupid, and how we can gain progress in helping ourselves and others achieve greater clarity in our thinking. Click on the above image to read that post.

I hope you enjoy.

Cheers,

T.K.

Break Your Own News

“BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS!”

Relative to some media company’s self-interest, there’s a breaking news story every few minutes.

Relative to some media company’s self-interest, there’s a breaking news story every few minutes.

If you try to keep up with it all, you’ll get to think of yourself as an “informed” citizen, but towards what end? Whose agenda is informing you? Whose priorities are shaping your concept of what it means to be informed? How much of that information is relevant to helping you create the results that matter most to you? How much of that information contributes to your awareness of the power you have to change the world? How often are you placing someone else’s definition of being “informed” above what your own intelligence is telling you?

Don’t let the headlines dominate your attention-span.

Instead of devoting your life energy to BREAKING NEWS, devote it to BREAKING PATTERNS of self-negation, mediocrity, and fear. Devote it to BREAKING FREE from the reaction/response orientation. Devote it to BREAKING CHAINS of addiction and apathy. Devote it to BREAKING ROUTINES that no longer serve your highest interests.

What you do with your time today WILL matter 10 years from now. The same isn’t true of most headlines.

The Cycle Of Self-Sabotage

Did you know that more people are afraid of giving a public speech than they are of dying?

That makes perfect sense to me.

There are no responsibilities that come with being dead. It’s somebody else’s job to plan your funeral, perform the eulogy, and properly bury you. All you have to do is lie there and be dead. It’s impossible to get it wrong.

Our world is a world of the walking dead. We live for being dead. We exist to do things that are impossible to get wrong. So we treat things like leading, innovating, and art-making as if these are special tasks to be performed by special people. These are the chosen ones.

If the chosen ones get it wrong, we get to be angry, annoyed, or amused. And when we get angry, annoyed, or amused, we engage in the revolutionary and daring act of belittling the chosen ones.

This is the little game we play: always picking on the chosen ones, but never picking ourselves to join the chosen ones; always feeling superior to those who are out there stumbling on the playing field, but constantly dodging the challenge to live up to our own greatness

This post is a rewrite of Stop Being Afraid of Your Own Power.

Something You Should Know About What You Should’ve Known

“I should have known better.”

Famous last words.

Perhaps it is true that you *should* have known better, but that doesn’t change the fact that you only could’ve known what you actually knew.

Wallowing in guilt about what you think you should have known isn’t going to make you one bit smarter. In fact, it might just delay the process of you learning from your mistakes and moving forward in a constructive manner.

Instead of condemning yourself for not having known something in the past, celebrate the fact that your experiences have made you more prepared for the future.

What you “should” have known doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is what you’re willing to do in the present moment to become a better version of yourself.

The Problem With The World

The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew lacks compassion for others.

The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew refuses to think critically.

The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew doesn’t work hard enough.

The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew doesn’t understand politics.

The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew fails to understand how economics works.

The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew is scientifically illiterate.

The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew has horrible tastes in music, fashion, and film.

The problem with the world is that everyone except for me and my crew has all the wrong priorities.

Does that sound like you? Are all the world’s problems the result of everyone except for you and your crew?

Well, if that’s true, then you and your crew better to get to work. The world isn’t going to change in response to self-congratulatory rants about how stupid everyone else is.

The emotional sensation of being outraged is overated. Ultimately, nothing gets done until you channel your convictions into constructive and creative action.

So if the world needs to be more like you and your crew, start challenging yourself to come up with compelling answers to the question “What can I DO?”