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Hello, my dear.✨

Today, I want to draw on one of my favorite articles I find highly inspirational. It's from Ayodeji Awosika and it's called 10 Shortcuts to Help You Choose the Right Direction in Life.

It comes with tons of tough love and a core message along the lines of No matter what it is you want to do with your life, just start:

"You’re worried about wasting time trying to pursue a new life path or goal that may or may not pan out. But guess what? Incessant thinking without taking action takes up the most time.

You’re better off running ten experiments, failing at nine and succeeding at one over spending ten years thinking about your next move."


The whole piece resonates so much with me for two reasons:

1) I used to spend weeks or even months to ponder my next move. A good example is this newsletter. I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted to have a clear structure and frequency I could follow for the rest of my life so you can all rely on it and know what to expect.

By now, I figured my life doesn't work this way. If you've been with me for a while you know this letter started out as the Juli Weekli, then became the Pro-Crastinator, then the Daily Self-Letter and now it's the (almost) weekly Self-Letter.🤷‍♀️

While this sounds like erratic chaos the core of the letters stayed the same: It's my personality and it's allowed to change. I share my experiences in the hope they can help others. The nature of these experiences and how I package them cannot remain identical by definition because life isn't identical and constant.

While some people hit unsubscribe with every letter, overall, my audience grew to a few hundred within a year in spite of my perceived inconsistency and I receive warm-hearted feedback from people I don't know which means the world to me.

2) I see way too many talented friends with great ideas who have been pondering their next move for years. It's not like they didn't do anything during that time but when it comes to who they ultimately want to become when it comes to pursuing their creativity and grant time for their dreams they're stuck.

Usually, the reason is perfectionism (they have an ideal-self/work in their mind they feel they cannot live up to) paired with the fear of failure (I'm not good enough, what if people will laugh at me, where do I even start?).

I don't tell you all this to brag but to hammer this point home: I guarantee your dreams won't go anywhere if you don't do anything but ponder how you could best execute them.

I also guarantee you'll end up somewhere and see results if you constantly put work into something you love. There's no way to know in advance what these results will be and where you'll end up. Heck, maybe you don't even have an idea of what your ultimate passion is or what you love.

Nevertheless - whatever you do, it will be endlessly more satisfying than the incessant thinking and worrying paired with analysis paralysis.

💡Here are further brilliant points from Ayodeji's article:

1. Find a shit sandwich worth eating💩🥪
This one actually originates from Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic

"The biggest indicator that you’ll stick with something is the fact that you’re willing to stick with it. Most pursuits are hollow when you add the element of obstacles to them. The ones that you’re willing to eat shit for are the ones you’ll…eat shit for."


Or phrased differently: “What you would still pursue if you knew your first attempts would surely fail?”

2. Go outside and look at the stars at night✨💫
This is magic and I do this whenever I hike in the Alps. It's an endlessly humbling experience:

"Sometimes we’re so worried about making the wrong choices because they seem so important. But the reality is that nothing you do here really “matters,” and the universe doesn’t care about you anyways.

This exercise has taught me to be more productive by taking my life less seriously. The more you gamify your life, the easier it is to try new strategies without getting too caught up in whether or not they ‘work.’

Who cares if you get rejected? Who cares if you fail?
Only your ego, which is just a voice living inside of you — another insignificant piece of cosmic matter."


3. Ignore anything your family and friends tell you🗣️🔇
I sought out a lot of advice before I ventured into the waters of self-employment. While it felt good to receive encouragement and the opinions of others, I realized how the only valuable advice I followed came from people who did similar things as me and my audience - the people whom I did my products and writing for.

The thing is, 

"[S]omeone who hasn’t done the things you want to do just doesn’t have all that much to teach you."

Bottom line: If you have any dreams or passions you procrastinate upon, press that play button. Dedicate 30 minutes a day to it and see what happens. Don't worry about the how, the why, and what other people will think.

You think it matters a lot to have a detailed plan but really, in the beginning, action beats any pondering.


 

Things I enjoyed in the past week


📰 Article: How the Japanese Concept of Ichigo Ichie Can Tune You Into Your Life by Héctor García
Ichigo Ichie is the Japanese art of treasuring the unrepeatable nature of a moment: "We must value each moment like a beautiful treasure. We must become moment hunters."

🖼️ Article/Gallery: A Fuller Picture of Artemisia Gentileschi by Rebecca Mead
Artemisia Gentileschi is a 17th-century painter and an icon of feminism; a badass woman who survived rape and empowered other women through her canvases. This is a brilliantly elaborate article about her life and work. Jason Kottke made the effort to collect and hyperlink all the referenced art.

🐅 Nature: The Best Live Animal Feeds From Around the World
Research shows it can make us happier to watch animals as they go about their day and, therefore, the New York Times collected the best live animal feeds for us. Buckle up for puppies, kitten, gorillas, pandas, and more!

📚 Collection: From Cut-Out Confessions to Cheese Pages: The World's Strangest Books by Edward Brooke-Hitching
Rare book collector Edward Brooke-Hitching created the so-called Mad-Man's Library, in which he gathered the strangest and most bizarre books he could find.

🍿 Movie: A Life on Our Planet
David Attenborough's latest documentary drives home how much destruction we did to the planet. during his lifetime only (a few years shy of a century) humankind managed to destroy 65% of the planet's species. He also lays out some glimmers of hope about how we can restore biodiversity. Nevertheless, I feel like the next decades will be a bumpy ride.

📖 Book: Winners Take All
by Anand Giridharadas
Just finished this book about the hypocrite philanthropy of the super-rich and the institutional crisis to which it leads by New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas.

🎶 Music: I wrote this letter while I listened to Japanese composer Akira Kosamura's In the Dark Woods - a wonderful modern classical album.

Love,
Juli🖤

Thank you for being here.🙏

 
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