Fantastical challenges

· 1 min read

Buy a ten-pack deal on yoga classes. Sign up for a salsa intensive. Set out to eat a low-carb diet for 60 days. Learn to play guitar! Challenge yourself to do 1000 pushups in 30 days. Learn Chinese. Run a marathon. Attend a Zen retreat. Maybe martial arts is your calling? Do CrossFit every day! Work long hours to get ahead of the competition! Don’t you want to feel like you are making progress?

Context is the key. What you do is not as important as why you do it. Yes, some can benefit from doing the things in the list above. However, in the vast majority of cases, these challenges are distractions.

There’s always one thing. You fear it so bad you’d prefer to torture yourself learning to play the piano. The thing you will do anything to avoid. This thing you know you need to do next to make real progress. Everything else is a fake fantastical challenge. What’s your next thing?

Inspired by “Pretend It's a City” S1E5 (2021) by Fran Lebowitz and “The Damnedest Thing” (2002) by Jed McKenna.