This post is a “day in my life” sort of thing. My friend and roommate, the artist Olya Dubatova, took a picture of me in a cafe and I realized the picture revealed a lot of what is going on with me and my work. So here it is, with a post that is essentially one long caption.
When I was No Impact Man, people asked me all sorts of questions but the underneath motivation was almost always, “How do I make efforts that matter to the problems in the world I care about? How do I feel, if I must struggle in life, that my struggle at least matters to others?” Here are some questions that can help you build your legacy.
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Back before I did the No Impact Man lifestyle experiment–in which I completely deconstructed my life and then put it back together, small choice by small choice–I worried mostly about getting the right job, the right relationship, the right home. It was all about making the right HUGE choice. It was scary–because what if you get a huge choice wrong?–and hard–because the HUGE choices take so much energy to change. Then, I learned that life is lived just as much in the smaller choices as the big ones. And I could make smaller choices to make my life happy and helpful now (instead of later, when I could change the big choices).
When Freud, Jung, Rogers, Perls and others developed analysis and therapy in the last century, so many of them–and their patients–lived in stable, safe, happy worlds. If they were personally unhappy, there was something wrong with them and they needed to change themselves. But what if our unhappiness comes not from something we need to fix in ourselves but from something that needs to be changed in the world? Here are some hints.