Building Greater Self-Reliance: Day 05

31 Journaling Prompts for Building Greater Self-Reliance:  Day 05

“All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.”

― Peter Thiel

“The dynamic [of competition] is not unlike a popularity contest in which everyone tries to win by being equal parts friendly, happy, active, and fun. Or an election campaign in which all the candidates try to be charming, serious, humble, and strong. Once everyone starts doing it, no one stands out.”

― Youngme Moon

To compete is to choose to play somebody else’s game. This can be a massive source of energy, but it’s also a dangerous game. The billionaire investor and founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, said that the fierce competition in his college career nearly kept him from doing what he actually was meant to do. He later wrote in Zero to One, “All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.”

When we’re locked in competition we tend to obsess on doing the same thing but faster, bigger, or cheaper. Competition can blind us to opportunities to truly distinguish ourselves.

In fact, the fiercer the competition, the more similar things get. Harvard Professor Youngme Moon writes in her book Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd that, “The dynamic [of competition] is not unlike a popularity contest in which everyone tries to win by being equal parts friendly, happy, active, and fun. Or an election campaign in which all the candidates try to be charming, serious, humble, and strong. Once everyone starts doing it, no one stands out.”

Put simply, Moon has found that, “The more diligently firms compete with each other, the less differentiated they can become.”

Even more often than businesses, individual lives are ruined by being too preoccupied with competition to look around. Where are you competing in your life that you don’t actually want to be (e.g., money, audience, position, possessions, looks, awards, travel, experiences etc.)? If you weren’t worried about winning that, what would you focus on?

Continue reading
Advertisements

Building Greater Self-Reliance: Day 04

31 Journaling Prompts for Building Greater Self-Reliance:  Day 04

“The objection to conforming to usages that have become dead to you is that it scatters your force. ”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

What pieces of your old identity do you hold onto that are no longer serving you or you no longer believe in wholeheartedly? Are they worth letting go of?

Continue reading

Building Greater Self-Reliance: Day 03

31 Journaling Prompts for Building Greater Self-Reliance:  Day 03

“I would write on the lintels of the doorpost, Whim. I hope it is somewhat better than whim at last, but we cannot spend the day in explanation.”

― Emerson

If we don’t trust our whims to guide our exploration of possibilities for our lives, we’ll quickly find ourselves relying on others for answers.

What areas of your life have you shut off to whims? Are there any you’ve written off? How might you try following them responsibly? (Is it writing an outline for a ridiculous-sounding blog post? Picking up that book that feels “unproductive”? Joining the boxing gym you pass daily? Asking that girl out you’ve had your eye on? Booking the trip you’ve been thinking about?)

Continue reading

Building Greater Self-Reliance: Day 02

31 Journaling Prompts for Building Greater Self-Reliance:  Day 02

“ The virtue in most request is conformity. ”

― Emerson

“ People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. ”

― Joseph Campbell

Where do you find the most meaning in life and feel the most fully alive? Is there something you’d love to do but don’t because the world thinks it’s silly or worthless or wrong? Is there anything you do that you consider virtuous yet the world looks down on? How do you handle the tension?

Continue reading

Building Greater Self-Reliance: Day 01

31 Journaling Prompts for Building Greater Self-Reliance:  Day 01

“The primary cause of disorder in ourselves is the seeking of reality promised by another.”

―Jiddu Krishnamurti

What is something you have or are pursuing, that other people say is worthwhile, but you haven’t found valuable? Do you continue to pursue it based on the promises of others?

Continue reading

“31 Journaling Prompts for Building Greater Self-Reliance” (v2)

I attempted to start a post series back in April of 2018, based on a 31-day journaling prompt collection from the Art of Manliness (AoM). I managed to get only one day pumped out.

I’m trying again. but this time, with success! and you can follow below.

James’s Musings on Self-Reliance
Day 01: Wed 04/03/2019
Day 02: Sat 04/06/2019
Day 03: Wed 04/10/2019
Day 04: Wed 04/17/2019
Day 05: Sat 04/20/2019
Day 06:
Day 07:
Day 08:
Day 09:
Day 10:
Day 11:
Day 12:
Day 13:
Day 14:
Day 15:
Day 16:
Day 17:
Day 18:
Day 19:
Day 20:
Day 21:
Day 22:
Day 23:
Day 24:
Day 25:
Day 26:
Day 27:
Day 28:
Day 29:
Day 30:
Day 31:

if you’ve forgotten what exactly it was about, feel free to keep reading for the introductory excerpt from the AoM piece itself.

Continue reading

“31 Journaling Prompts for Building Greater Self-Reliance”

y’all know me.  I’m always trying to do a proper series of sorts on here.  so here’s another go at it.

below is the intro as written by its creator — so all credit on this post below the cut goes to him.

Continue reading