Hey ,

I'd like to start this newsletter with a recent tweet from DHH (one of the co-founders of 37Signals):

"The more passionately you champion a cause, the greater the risk it'll become the only lens through which you see the world."

37Signals are renowned for having very strong opinions about the way they work, building remote teams and the kind of company they are creating. So when I saw this tweet two days ago, I totally understood what it meant to 37Signals: they had pioneered this "one way" of going about their business and that's been incredibly successful to them.

I however also understood it for a very different reason.

I've been in a bit of a rut recently and have felt emotionally exhausted after a challenging year thus far. This has probably been evident in some of my recent writing.

My problem has been that I've been staring at the problem too much. And that problem has been the basis of what I'm working on with PublicBeta: to help other entrepreneurs with the emotional and mental challenges associated with entrepreneurship.

So the deeper I dove into all of these things, the more I became conscious of how this was affecting decisions and experiences in my own life. In an almost hypochondriac-way, I was feeling worse just by looking at this problem to the extent that those emotional challenges became the lens through which I was looking at the world.

As with many of my realizations in life, it took a serious conversation with my wife to make me realize that I needed to change my perspective on what's going on in my life. I couldn't change my passion for tackling this problem or the fact that I too suffered from this at times (which confirms my bias to wanting to fix this; scratching my own itch & all).

But I could control the things that I decided to do about this and in the last couple of days, I've done the following to help change my perspective a little:

  • I spent more time doing smaller, contained to do's where I could exact close to complete control (without any dependence on someone or something else to complete that). This has helped me feel more in control of my life.
  • I stopped thinking about the bigger picture and just focused on what I needed or wanted to get done today or this week. Thinking smaller has helped to get more done and also down-plays the perceived challenges that I face (which are still there).
  • I've been writing more and have focused on writing about positive things (i.e. things I've done well). As I'm writing this, I'm on a streak of having drafted 5 separate blog posts with a combined word count of 2000-odd words. This has helped decrease the amount of overhead in my head.
  • I've been forcing myself to reflect about past victories (regardless of their magnitude) and especially things I've accomplished this past year. Stacking all of these up, makes all of the challenges look pale in comparison.

Sometimes it just feels like life is completely and utterly shit. Every ball that is pitched your way is a curveball and every hand your dealt is one that'll help the house win. I know I feel like this often.

What I've learnt going through the above exercise(s) was that this is mostly a problem of perception and not of facts. We can't ignore how we feel, because that is an essential part of what makes us human and what makes us, ourselves (as an unique and awesome individual).

Sometimes all you need to do is to change the lens you use to look at the world.



PS. If any of you are feeling this way, I'd love to chat to you and figure out how we can help you out. Just reply to this e-mail. :)

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