Life

Prioritization or the art of not caring

The art of not caring is really about prioritizing what’s important in your life and what isn’t.

While this might sound harsh, the simple truth is that we all have a finite amount of emotion and focus. While the total amount may fluctuate over time, it’s still static at any given moment. If we’re able to describe why something or someone is important to us then we’re able to prioritize it. But if we’re unable to identify that definition then it’s time to stop caring ™ and move on.

Sure, it makes sense to care little bit about the things that require only a little attention and care–you can certainly have a gradient of value vs. care–but forcing yourself to take stock of what matters in your personal and work lives will allow the things that really are important to flourish. In our lives at home this is closely tied to our personal values, and at work, these factors are closely tied to what will move the business forward.

The art of not caring also shouldn’t be moralized. It’s not about laziness. It’s not about doing something because we should. It’s not about bucking perfectionism. It’s about allowing the best parts–the areas where we truly feel we’re meeting the values we’ve set out for ourselves–to come to the forefront so that we focus on and prioritize them. And if you don’t truly care about someone or something, then you have no business bothering them or it.

Too often we feel compelled to “finish” something, or see something (or someone) out because we’ve already sunk so much time, or feel compelled to drag ourselves along due to some other cognitive bias that keeps us stuck in the past and unhappy. But the truth is that the sooner you quit something, and the sooner you stop caring, the sooner you’ll be able to prioritize what gives you deep happiness and success over all else.

The rest falls away and the foundations for a good life can flourish instead.

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Software startups take over your life

Software startups take over your life. This isn’t a bad thing. Rapidly growing a company including simultaneously building an incredibly skilled team, fundraising, and writing code requires laser focus and surgical allocation of time. 

It’s not a journey most are able to take. But if you do, meditating on your personal life is just as important as how you think about your company, team and product. 

Brad Feld is a legendary startup investor who is not only incredibly skilled from a technical and business perspective, he’s widely known as one of the best writers about life in general on his blog Feld Thoughts. His thinking about philosophy as it relates to work in startups is incredibly compelling, as is his unafraid approach to openly discussing mental health, personal life, etc. 

Learning from the best, I hope to do even a small fraction of the same. 

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The passing of time is good

The passing of time is an unambiguously good thing. There have been periods in my life where I wish time would stop so that I could capture a specific sense of joy or awe, but on the whole I have never felt afraid or sad about progressing through each year of my life.

Time heals painful parts of our past. Time provides the space for new experiences, new people, opportunities and relationships. It allows shame to fall away gracefully, and for reflection on a myriad of types of experiences to fully set in and change your life. It affirms decisions you’ve made as the best path you could have possibly chosen to move forward, or forces you to reckon with mistakes you can then use to learn more about yourself and grow from.

To me, the biggest tragedy in life would be to stay exactly where I am. And what better way to fight stagnation, pain, setback or sadness than to use the passing of time to make our lives stronger, more beautiful and more full of life every single day.

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