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Continuing an annual tradition inspired by my good friend Chris Brogan, here are three words that are going to power my ideas and actions for this new year. 

Like last year, mine are less of a to do list, and rather a to be list. Enjoy! 

Yugen

This comes to us from Japanese aesthetics and has no direct translation into English.

In essence, it is the study of things that are both subtle and profound. As Zeami Motokiyo explains: it is, for instance, “to contemplate the flight of wild geese seen and lost among the clouds.”

What I like best about this concept is it invites you to appreciate both what you can see and what remains a mystery.


Don’t be in such a hurry to get answers to life’s questions. Some things take time. And others reveal truths by what remains out of reach.

Patti

Understand: resiliency is defined by more than just the ability to recover from something.

It is also the capacity to withstand adversity when you are in the thick of it. 

Iconic songwriter Patti Smith spoke eloquently on this subject in a 2010 commencement address to Pratt graduates:

"We might ask ourselves, what tools do we have? What can we count on? You can count on yourself. Believe me, your self is your best ally. You know who you are, even when sometimes it becomes a little blurry and you make mistakes or seem to be veering off, just go deeper. You know who you are. You know the right thing to do. And when you make a mistake, it’s alright — just as the song goes, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and start all over again."

Deliberate 

Daniel Kahneman reminds us there are two systems that govern our thinking process.

The first system is our fast mode: we make snap judgements, trust our gut, go where intuition takes us.

It’s essential to our survival, but it’s riddled with cognitive biases.

The second system is our slow mode: it is more deliberate.

This system is how we exercise a sense of agency in our lives and make thoughtful choices, but we only get there through disciplined thinking.

Here's to a happy, creative 2016!

Very best,
Patrick 

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