One single resolution
#85: Betting on a quick trick, ft. some b-sides from the west-coast
BECAUSE NEWSLETTERS ARE THE FUTURE
I would be remiss not to welcome some new subscribers (I’m assuming most of you are coming here through The Sample – which is a great tool for discovering newsletters). I’m glad you’re here and look forward to sharing more with you in 2022.
On this newsletter
Over the past few years, I’ve dipped in and out of writing this newsletter — as one may dip in and out of a bar or a diner over the years, slowly managing a reputation somewhere between regular and acquaintance.
Eighty-five issues since the first (in 2016), it’s been regular enough. I am committed to it, no doubt. But last fall was the first time it seriously became a part of my work-flow — and I’ve been consistent since. In 2022, I will be sending one issue (and perhaps more) every single one of these 52 weeks.
As the year has begun, I’ve been thinking about what I want out of it. In lieu of pure goal-setting, I’ve settled instead on determining how I’d like to be. I’m taking the wisdom of James Clear’s Four Laws of Behavior Change (make it → obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying) and repurposing them into one ambitious resolution.
Resolutions in their purest form and by my own definition are the desire for behavior change with the end-goal of happiness or satisfaction. For that reason, I’m getting straight to the point. My main goal for this year is to be happy — but when I seriously think about it, my bet is that I'm already happy.
To prove myself right, I’ve started a ‘Happy Journal’. At the end of every day, I’ll simply mark yes or no. If at the end of the year I have more happy days than not — it is decided that I am, in fact, happy. Consider it a statistical practice in perspective and gratitude.
To state the obvious and appease my skeptics, happiness is far more complex than this. My bet here, however, is based on the existence of this journal and the perk it provides to making a sincere attempt to live in a way that makes me happy. Simply having a record of my happiness will not only make me want more of it, but it will make me happy in itself. If we are even marginally grateful, happiness should beget happiness. That’s my bet anyway.
So far? 4 yeses. 1 no. Let’s keep it going.
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Some west-coast b-sides 🍔
I know what you’re thinking — “…more b-sides? Surely this guy will make some new work eventually, yea?” Next week, y’all. Next week. To hold us over, enjoy some never-before-seen 35mm snaps from a west-coast tour with Motel Radio a few years back. In between moments; the process — this is what we live for! Are the b-sides actually the a-sides?
📕 Miniature book review: Atomic Habits
Brief and concise in its explanation of how behavior change works. Super helpful to me. Recommend to anyone trying to change anything!
📖 Currently reading: The World-Ending Fire (a collection of essays) by Wendell Berry
“I think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall the riches of a season, how without grief (it seems) they can let go and go deep into their roots for renewal and sleep...Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.”