Part of living a deliberate life is the work of mindfulness, of choosing the best over the good, and of working to align our decisions and behaviours with our values.
Another part is the practical day to day of living it out.
That’s where the right tools can make all the difference.
In this post I want to share 4 apps that I find incredibly helpful in allowing me to filter, process, action and organise the stuff of life, deliberately.
I’ve always written. But I haven’t always called myself a writer.
Somehow, it felt like a title that had to be bestowed by someone else. As though as some point I would reach some kind of indeterminate level of professionalism which would qualify me to actually ‘be’ what I doing. I had already had a few freelance jobs, so I knew people were willing to pay me for working with words, but still, in my mind, that wasn’t enough. Surely there was some official signifier that I hadn’t hit yet.
Except that no-one actually does ever tell you you’re a writer. And so one day, I just decided. I ordered some business cards, and right underneath my name, I had them put one word –
Everybody has gifts.
Some of our gifts get more external validation, and therefore develop more naturally. Gifts to do with the ability to make a sale, plan a project, or generate enthusiasm around an initiative or brand will generally find plenty of outlet and affirmation in a variety of fields of work.
But not all gifts shine as easily in everyday life. This is especially true with gifts to do with the arts.
I’m a big fan of personal growth. I love the idea of continually growing to be my best self, so I am able to give to the world, and the people in my life, the best that I can.
The question, though, is where do you start? How can I narrow down where I want to focus my desire to grow, when I have more than enough weaknesses to keep me busy improving myself for several lifetimes? And do I even focus on my strengthening my weaknesses, or do I double-down on my existing strengths?
A few years ago, I came up with a framework to help me narrow in on the types of self-improvement efforts that would yield the most impact. I work predominantly by this principle:
Increased risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes. Lower metabolism rate. Higher rates of hospitalisation. Lower life expectancy.
Lower life expectancy.
These weren’t the effects of an activity traditionally associated with risk-taking. These were the results, I was increasingly starting to read, of excessive sitting. ‘Excessive’ meaning, basically, what pretty much anyone who works at a computer does.
So when I headed back to work after summer vacation a couple of years back, I set myself up a makeshift standing desk as an experiment. To my surprise, I haven’t looked back.