Or at least on the blogs and in the mainstream media. It’s kind of amazing to me how two shitty weeks in the public markets can impact how every one thinks and talks about things.
I know the early presidential campaign is impacting this. The amount of vitriol, hatred, and fear that is coming out of the mouths of the various people running for president always surprises me. I know it shouldn’t, but it does.
As 2016 kicks into gear, I have simple advice for founders that I offer up every time things get noisy – in either direction (good or bad).
Focus on what you can impact. Tune out the noise. Concentrate on things that matter. Have a long term view.
I know it’s simple. And I know it’s hard, because it’s the distraction that creeps into every conversation. It’s the discomfort of an uncertain future that lurks around every corner. And when it gets amplified and whipped into a frenzy, it seduces you to focus on the wrong things.
As Yoda likes to say, “Calm you shall keep and carry on you must.”
I received several powerful emails in response to yesterday’s post Sometimes You Just Want To Scream. This often happens when I post about personal / emotional stuff – some folks would rather send a private email than post a public comment. I totally respect and appreciate that.
A consistent theme in these emails was “I got through some of this by meditating.” That resonated with me as Amy and I have been talking about meditation for the past week. She’s been a long time meditator, including going on a number of Vipassana 10 day silent meditation retreats. Some of my close friends, including Ben Casnocha, meditate daily and one of my favorite posts about meditation was Ben’s Reflections and Impressions from a 10-Day Meditation Course.
So I’ve decided a new daily habit I’m going to work on developing is meditation. First thing in the morning, and last thing before I go to bed. Through the comments I discovered the Calm app which is a delightful way to get started. I did it last night and this morning and know that if I do it every morning and night for the rest of the month it’ll become a real habit for me.
I’m loading up on reading about meditating and brain plasticity, which a friend linked nicely in an email to me. If you have suggestions on reading about meditating, other online things that are helpful, or even offline things to explore, please leave them in the comments or email me as I play around with this for the next month.
Separately, but linked, I’ll end with an awesome short video from my friend Jonathan Fields of the Good Life Project. While Jonathan and I have only spent a few hours together physically, I find him wonderful to be with, incredibly thought provoking, and a huge calming influence. Take a look at his video of what 29 people (including me) say in answer to the question “What Does It Mean To Live A Good Life.”