[AKN #96] How To Get Out Of A Rut
LAUGH: Weird Spotify Playlists, LOVE: Rats That Save Lives
Everyone is arguing over whether or not a student loan bailout makes sense.
I think it’s a terrible idea, but I’m not going to spend the time standing on my soapbox dividing the people and criticizing an idea.
Instead I’m going to choose to use my platform to bring the people together and propose a solution we can all rally around.
Ok. So hear me out…
Televised Student Loan Forgiveness Court hosted by Judge Judy.
If you have student loan debt you want forgiven, you show up and tell your story about why.
If you convince Judge Judy your loans should be forgiven then BOOM they vanish.
Do you have ANY idea how good this television show would be?
Like seriously imagine this guy walks into the court room:
HIM: “Hello your honor, I’m here to recover $46,000 in loans I took out for my dance major and vibes minor.”
JUDY: *exchanges a side gaze with the bailiff* “Ok and what are you going to do with the money if we forgive these loans?”
HIM: “Well, I would open a microbrewery in Brookl….”
JUDY: “JUDGMENT TO THE PLAINTIFF FOR $0”
Then the next woman would come in and she would be an absolute saint.
She’s a first generation immigrant from Ecuador and she tells a heart warming tale of coming to America and earning her way into Harvard Medical School.
She wanted to become a doctor to help make a better life for her family, but then tragedy struck.
She dropped out with one year left to help take care of her mom whose slowly deteriorating from Alzheimers.
Now, she has no clear path to paying off these loans and she is feeling the crushing weight of the interest piling up because of our government’s absolutely shameful 7% interest rate it insists on keeping.
We would cry.
We would cry because her situation feels so helpless.
But also because this mid day court television show is somehow capturing both the everlasting beauty of the human spirit and fleeting nature of life at the same time.
And finally we would cry as we watch Judy wipe clean all of her loans and release her from that financial prison.
We would celebrate life that day because yes she won, but also we all won.
…and then the next woman would walk up and say “I’m Bethany, I did 3 years at ASU as a communications major.”
And Judge Judith Sheindlin would slam her gavel on the table and say “BAILIFF, GET THIS BAFOON OUT OF MY COURT ROOM!”
This show would be must see television.
It would unite our divided nation and we could use the proceeds from the show to directly pay off more loans.
Student debt crisis solved.
But yea, your idea to haphazardly give a bunch of white guys $10,000 works too.
Go get ‘em, gang!
On to the newsletter!
LIVE: How To Get Out Of A Rut
I’ve been in a rut for the last couple months.
Nothing major. Just a dull ache and a perpetual feeling of not firing on all cylinders.
I’m not waking up with the same enthusiasm to tackle the day and I find myself living for the weekend.
I don’t particularly love it so I’ve been doing a little investigating using a framework I learned from The Power of Full Engagement (PoFE).
In PoFE, the authors talk about the components which need to be in place for you to feel like you are firing on all cylinders — or as they call it “fully engaged”:
To be fully engaged, we must be physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused and spiritually aligned with a purpose beyond our immediate self-interest.
Those are the four areas — physical, emotional, mental, spiritual — they say you need to work on balancing in order to maximize your energy output day over day, month over month, and year over year.
So to help think through getting out of this rut, I did an audit of how each area of my life is doing.
Physical: 9 out of 10.
I feel great about where I am at with my physical health.
I hired a coach to give me workouts and suggest macros to hit for my goals. This is the first time fitness has felt sustainable. No more fad diets or “hacks.”
Only physical health woe is a recent illness which messed me up. Common cold came back to remind me its a real thing this year…
Mental: 7 out of 10
My day job keeps me mentally stimulated. But like any job there are good days and bad days.
I’ve transitioned to being a manager recently and have felt a bit out of sorts. Ends up I’m not that good at delegating things. Which ends up with me taking on a bunch of tasks which I can’t finish alone before I finally realize I need to offload them to someone else. This leaves me overwhelmed which unfortunately leads to be shutting down and getting less done when in fact I need to get more done. Vicious cycle…
Emotional: 3 out of 10
Hobbies are a big component of how I maintain good emotional health. I have two main ones:
Newsletter: I’m enjoying the newsletter as always, but it does feel like a chore some weeks. Need to focus on remaining consistent with my writing schedule so I’m not writing it all on the last day. Also need to make sure I’m writing about the things I want to write about and not what I think others want to hear. Easier said than done sometimes though.
Comedy: I stopped writing comedy as much as I was and I completely stopped performing comedy in the last few months. I got busy plus I had a fall out with someone who was helping to hold me accountable and on the way out they damaged my confidence. Hard to admit that because I like to put up an image of being an emotionally strong guy, but acknowledging is part of the recovery process.
I’ve been finding myself around some negative people at work which has been pissing me off. And they are like structurally impossible to remove from my day…
Spiritual: 6 out of 10
Honestly, there are places where I could be living in better accordance with my values. Specifically, Laughter and Growth are two values I keep high on my list, but have felt like I’m neglecting recently.
Laughter: In-person, I’ve been a bit up tight recently. Probably a product of being overwhelmed at work.
Growth: I’ve felt pretty stagnant. Probably because of the transition to manager which has me feeling like I’m floundering there. This might be something which gets better if I bring hobbies back and start to get a bit better at those over time.
Now that I know where I am today, I can set up actions to get me where I want to go tomorrow.
Get rest and ensure you are 100% recovered from illness.
Offload tasks so you don’t feel overwhelmed. When you don’t feel overwhelmed, you do much better work and don’t have a hard time focusing.
Remember to keep working in sprints rather than insisting on marathoning everything. Need to rest your mind throughout the day.
Stay consistent with your writing so you aren’t last minute scrambling to write everything for the newsletter.
See where you can limit negative people in your day which you cannot outright remove.
Bring back your hobbies of comedy writing and stand up. They bring you outsized joy per hour invested. Add accountability structure here to ensure it happens and doesn’t get left aside due to “being busy.”
Ask “where can I insert a bit of laughter today?” while you are around people.
Set up a structured plan to get better at something whether it be work or hobby related.
That was my little exercise I went through to try and figure out how to get myself out of a rut.
Now I’m going to go take these actions and see if it works.
Wish me luck :)
LAUGH: Weird Spotify Playlists
LOVE: Rats That Save Lives
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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are strictly my own. Who else’s would they be?