Dig Holes. Climb Out. Repeat.

The flower market in Ho Chi Minh and these beautiful trees carved into Buddha’s. Would have taken one home if I could have.


I dig myself into the biggest holes sometimes only to wait until my mind turns around and climbs back out. Case in point, this feeling of running on a treadmill of uncertainty and feeling like I’m not making progress.  Pressure!  Self inflicted absolutely but pressure nonetheless.

Notes from my journal this morning:

Write some more stuff down to really beat up on yourself later because you didn’t follow through…

Yikes that is dark!  I even wrote that part afterwards (“Yikes, that is dark!”) and realized it’s time to climb back out.  Choose to climb back out.  Choice of course is the answer and typically my swings will carry me down this path until I hit a point where I take another leap forward. Don’t ask me why but this seems to be my process or cycle. Choice on how we process and on how we view the things that we tell ourselves. Without question these words, unsupported by choice and action, could continue to spiral down a path I’m not comfortable with. My own safety mechanism is a general sense of optimism I carry around and knowing that I have the ability to change things.  It’s a powerful belief. The belief that we have choice and we have the ability to change things for ourselves.

My latest find has been James Altucher. An incredible content creator and someone who lives by sharing most of what’s on his mind at any given point in time. He’s also been a guest on Tim Ferriss’ podcast (of course he has!).  I don’t recall his podcast though, just his excerpt from Tools of Titans (AF) and this quote:

“We all have, let’s say, two or three dozen massive pain points in our lives that everyone can relate to. I try to basically write about those, and then I try to write about how I attempted to recover from them.” – James Altucher, Tools of Titans, 111 (e-book page)

A great quote and perhaps, unknowingly, what I’ve been writing about here for the last year and a half with varying degrees of success. His blog is a breath of fresh air with honesty coming from all aspects of his life. A couple of posts I loved that you may also enjoy:

What Do I Do When I Feel Lost… Do This

His thoughts on reading gave me a moment to pat myself on the back and a different frame work for how to look at the joys and benefits of reading books:

“But reading 10% a day from each of the four books above means I’d finish 4 books (at least) every ten days. That’s 146 books a year.

Since most people don’t read anything, that’s 146 books more than anyone else. Which means I could then teach, sell, create, flourish, more than anyone else.”

Why reading is a good guide to making a good day…

A great list of some incredible books; some of which I’ve covered in these very pages. Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things (AF) is in fact my current read and I’m looking forward to sharing a few thoughts on that one soon. It’s worth checking out James’ blog if you haven’t already and consider a couple of takeaways.

  1. As deep of a hole we dig for ourselves there is always choice. Choice. Choice. Choice. Recognizing that we are in fact the ones holding the shovel in our own minds we then have to understand we can put it down and climb out.
  2. Read. Consider James’ last comment “…I could then teach, sell, create, flourish, more than anyone else.” The ideas that we take in from books over a life time of reading can only help to build us up.  Even if you read two books a year and only remember one of those books there area ideas in your mind now that didn’t exist before. There is growth in those thoughts and ideas.


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