The Antithesis of Anxiety

I've finally learned how to focus.

For most of my life I've tried to 'do it all'.

Whether this was sports, academics, work, or relationships my belief was that if I just worked harder I could do it all.

In Oliver Burkeman's Four Thousand Weeks he brilliantly describes the modern relationship with time as a sort of object than can be collected and that is separate from ourselves.

I think that this perception of time is what can lead to the erroneous belief that you actually can do it all.

I cannot express how relieving it is to submit to the finitude of time.

The acceptance of less as a means to more...


As a business owner, there is a ubiquitous background 'buzz' of anxiety as your work to keep the entity alive and growing.

I've heard entrepreneurship described as a modern form of a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Every day you wake up and have to go 'hunt'.

It is not the easy life.

It can also make you feel that you have to seize every minute opportunity which means you never get to put your entire effort into anything.

I've felt that frustration as well.

I'm about half way through another book called Deep Survival and the author recounts several survival stories from shipwrecks to people who got lost in the woods.

There is mention of a fascinating phenomenon of people going through these harrowing ordeals like P.O.W. camps, nautical disasters, and war after which having returned to 'normal' life, a part of them misses the objectively horrible experience they survived.

I believe it has to do with having an extreme encounter with focus and purpose.

To me - focus is the antithesis of anxiety.

It anchors the mind and when paired with a clear vision of purpose the positive feedback loop can feel supernatural.

A survival situation requires focus - you have no choice.

In our modern world you can be distracted close to 100% of your waking hours.

You have to choose focus.

I've learned that focus also requires a learned affinity for saying "no".

Most of what I observe myself saying no to are good things and/or ideas.

That's the real challenge.

In the past - I would say yes to anything that was remotely "good" and even to many things that were mediocre at best.

It was a fear-based, scarcity mindset that led me to try and hoard as much 'gold' as I possibly could...

Even though I had no more room to store it.

I'm certainly a far cry from any state of 'enlightenment', but I do notice a tangible shift in my ability to focus.

It is a choice I have to make repeatedly, but like any habit it continues to get smoother with time.

Now - I'm much more capable to 'letting go' and am at peace with the absolute fact that I will never, ever be able to do it all.

I wish you the best with whatever it is that you decide to to find focus.

Much love!

-Wildman Dan

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