The 3-2-1 Newsletter: 3 ideas from me, 2 quotes from others, 1 question to ponder.
3-2-1: On control, saying no, and keeping an open mind
April 9, 2020 | by James Clear
“The most wisdom per word of any newsletter on the web.”
This is a strange time. I’m trying to stay sane by getting a little movement and exercise in whenever I can. (I also finished The Sopranos last week. What a show. I miss it already.) Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are staying safe and healthy.
Let’s take a break from the constant news cycle and spend a few minutes exploring 3 ideas, 2 quotes, and 1 question…
3 IDEAS FROM ME
“Ultimately, the only way to truly be in control of your life is to be in control of your thoughts.”
“Slow and steady often wins because it keeps you motivated.
Take on manageable challenges and you’ll get frequent signals of progress. Bite off more than you can chew and progress stalls.
When you make progress, you want to keep going. When you break progress, you want to stop.”
“When you say no, you are only saying no to one option. When you say yes, you are saying no to every other option.
No is a choice. Yes is a responsibility.”
2 QUOTES FROM OTHERS
The architect Christopher Alexander on how to design a room that people love:
“Light on two sides of every room. When they have a choice, people will always gravitate to those rooms which have light on two sides, and leave the rooms which are lit only from one side unused and empty.
This pattern, perhaps more than any other single pattern, determines the success or failure of a room. The arrangement of daylight in a room, and the presence of windows on two sides, is fundamental. If you build a room with light on one side only, you can be almost certain that you are wasting your money. People will stay out of that room if they can possibly avoid it…
The importance of this pattern lies partly in the social atmosphere it creates in the room. Rooms lit on two sides, with natural light, create less glare around people and objects; this lets us see things more intricately; and most important, it allows us to read in detail the minute expressions that flash across people’s faces, the motion of their hands … and thereby understand, more clearly, the meaning they are after. The light on two sides allows people to understand each other.”
Source: A Pattern Language
Sharon Salzberg on faith and keeping an open mind:
“It’s not the existence of beliefs that is the problem, but what happens to us when we hold them rigidly, without examining them, when we presume the absolutely centrality of our views and become disdainful of others.”
Related: The idea of continually upgrading and expanding your beliefs and identity is discussed in greater detail in Atomic Habits.
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
Can you sit still, do nothing, and breathe deeply for the next two minutes?
Until next week,
P.S. If you’re looking for something new to watch during the quarantine, try this.