Done Is Good

Aug 23 2012
Jun 13 2012

Day 231: Living Off the Menu

When Jung discovered that she was allergic to gluten, we enjoyed going out to restaurants more than we do now. It had always been a challenge to find restaurants which served food we all — adults and children — liked and now we had to add “gluten-free” to our list of requirements. One of the few local restaurants which qualified, however, was a Thai restaurant. Although the food was good there, we had some negative experiences with service there until the manager made a point of assigning us a server, Tram, whom he could trust to treat us well. He was right.

Not only did Tram understand what we needed, she soon got to know our tastes and began to suggest food that was off the menu. As our mutual trust grew, she took to surprising us: after asking us what we felt like or didn’t feel like eating that day she would secretly put together a meal for us — we wouldn’t know what we were going to get until it arrived at the table! Going to this restaurant was more fun than going to any other because we knew we could trust that the food would be delicious, safe for Jung to eat and that we wouldn’t get bored. When Tram was promoted to manager, she insisted that we call ahead to let her know when we were coming to eat so she could continue to serve us surprises.

It’s been a while since we’ve been to that restaurant, only because Jung took to cooking after MyCrownShift and we enjoy eating at home a lot more now, but we were reminded of Tram today when we realized how much stress has fallen away from our lives since we began living “off the menu.” Because we now see and choose beyond what conventional wisdom offers to us, we live much more in accordance to our values. Even though we are working harder now than we ever have before, because our work is in line with our values, it doesn’t tire our souls — only our bodies.

Living off the menu — akin to thinking outside the box — allows us to live a life that is healthy, delicious and seldom boring. Most restaurant menus are put together by someone who is trying to appeal to the most potential customers while trying to offend the fewest. The result is something which the mythical “average person” will enjoy. The problem is that none of us is that person! Each of us is unique and has particular likes, dislikes and needs. We had to give up control and have faith in Tram that she would treat us well when we went to that restaurant, but the results were well worth it. Living off the menu is no different: it requires giving up control and having faith, but as unique people, we never want to live any other way again.

Look around your own life for choices outside the four corners of your menu — you can make, create, or build custom-tailored options that are uniquely suited to your taste, preference, and delight!

May 24 2012

Every Day, I am in school for “15 hours”


(Source: koreanstudentsspeak)





1. External things aren’t an accurate measure of self-worth. 

Because we can most easily compare the things that we can objectively measure, we live in a world that is great at measuring and comparing externals. Somewhere along the way, we decided that we could determine who is living a more valuable life by comparing our clothes, cars, body size, weight income, beauty and occupation. The reality however is that external things do not define your self worth. The person you are inside—your character, your attitude, your goals and dreams, your morals and values, the way in which you treat others—these are truly self-defining. The external things don’t have the power to discount who you are as a person. 

2. You always compare our worst with their best.

Comparing your life with others is always a losing proposition because there will always be people who “appear” to be better off than you and seemingly live the perfect life. We always compare the worst of what we know about ourselves to the best assumptions that we make about others. The truth is that other people’s lives are never as perfect as your mind make them out to be. Everyone struggles. Everyone feels insecure. No one’s live is easy. People tend to put their best face on in public. Know that what you see is not usually the whole picture.

3. There is no end to the comparison game.

There are an infinite number of categories upon which you can compare yourself, and an almost infinite number of people to compare yourself to. Once you start down that road, you will never, ever find an end.

4. Life isn’t a competition.

How you measure up against others holds absolutely no importance in your life. Other people’s strengths, talents, and successes don’t discount your own. They don’t define who you are as a person. Your goal in life isn’t to be better than everyone else. The goal is to be the best you that you can possibly be.

4. Comparison puts your focus on the wrong person.

You can control one life – yours. When you consistently compare yourself to others, you’re wasting precious energy and time by focusing on other peoples’ lives rather than your own.

5. Comparison robs you of joy.

Comparing yourself to others will always cause you to regret what you aren’t, rather than allow you to enjoy and celebrate who you are. It will always steal the joy and happiness that is within your reach. It keeps you from recognizing and appreciating all the wonderful things that make you, you. And ultimately, comparing prevents you from fully living your life. It causes you to envy and fixate on other people’s lives rather than experiencing and engaging in your own.

Making comparisons doesn’t make us feel any better. It makes us feel inadequate and worthless, and in many ways, it keeps us stuck. While the temptation to compare may never be completely eliminated, there are definitely some practical steps that you can take to challenge the comparison thoughts. 

1. Recognize the inherent problems in comparing yourself to others.

You are a unique human being with an individual set of strengths, struggles, talents, insight, and characteristics. You can’t make comparisons, because as a unique person, you have a unique life. You can’t possibly expect your life to look like anyone else’s because there is no one else exactly like you. 

2. Celebrate who you are.

Instead of focusing on all the things that other people have, start focusing on all the things make you special. You have so many wonderful things that make you who you are. These things that make you different are the things that make you beautiful. Don’t forget them.

3. Challenge the voice telling you that you aren’t good enough.

Your tendency to make comparisons isn’t a result of inadequacy. It stems from your insecurity and the belief that you aren’t good enough. When you can challenge these thoughts and counter them with truths. When you accept yourself for the person you are, and recognize all that you have to offer, the need to make comparisons will fade, because you’ll realize that other people’s lives and successes don’t have to take away from or discount all the things that make you wonderful. 

4. Remember that nobody is perfect.

We live in a society that strives for perfection. The reality however, is that perfection is unrealistic and unobtainable. Everyone has flaws and imperfections. Everyone has made mistakes and messed up. No one’s life is perfect. You are no exception to that. Know that happiness doesn’t come from having the perfect life. It comes from looking past the imperfections and struggles and holding onto the good things. The sooner you stop striving for perfection, the sooner you can start enjoying your life. 

5. Try something different.

Chances are that you’ve been comparing yourself to others for a long time. You know how awful it feels, and you know that it hasn’t really gotten you anywhere. So why not try something new? You have absolutely nothing to lose. So instead of shaming yourself for being different, try celebrating what makes you unique. Instead of beating yourself up for making a mistake, try accepting and loving yourself for who you are without conditions. Instead of striving for perfection, try to be the best you that you can be. Instead of making comparisons, try to remind yourself of all the things that make you special. 

Be excellent to each other…and to myself, too.

(via roxannameta)

Piracy is robbery with violence, often segueing into murder, rape and kidnapping. It is one of the most frightening crimes in the world. Using the same term to describe a twelve-year-old swapping music with friends, even thousands of songs, is evidence of a loss of perspective so astounding that it invites and deserves the derision it receives.
Mar 15 2012
Mar 12 2012
Mar 05 2012
Feb 29 2012
We get smart by being around other smart people. As important as formal education is, the most important thing cities produce is entrepreneurial talent.
— Harvard economist Edward Gleaser at TED 2012. Also see these 7 essential books on cities. (via explore-blog)

(Source: explore-blog)

Introversion — along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness — is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal are like women living in a man’s world, discounted because it goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality trait, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.
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