Today I ran 23 kilometers on a treadmill while listening to a conversation between two of my favorite podcast hosts, Tim Ferris and James Altucher. What struck me was how good they are at asking seemingly simple questions that make people stop and ponder. One of the questions that made me pause and think was “What should I write when I feel stuck or have writers’ block?” I’d like to be more earnest about my writing and so this got me curious. The answer was, “write about what makes you angry”.
So what makes me angry? I rarely get angry but when I do I unfortunately resort to stonewalling and complete detachment. I noticed that the lack of consistency upsets me. When people say and act a certain way then completely do otherwise the next time. I had a lot of this growing up and maybe that’s why I strive for constancy. I am scared as shit that if I let a day slip not doing what I have to do then I will just not accomplish anything. I seriously think that because this was part of my history that I have to be vigilant.
Maybe it also upsets me because I feel unsettled when I can’t read people or situations. The consistency allows me to draw certain conclusions. In a way it is wanting to have some certainty and semblance of control. It’s a good thing through that I’ve come to embrace a bit of the unknown and have gotten more comfortable with experimentation. And I think a bit of stoicism has helped, providing me with the reminder that we cannot really control other people’s consistency, only our own.
It’s good to keep asking these questions and the other seemingly simple ones that evoke deep thought and consideration. I like it and appreciate being asked these things. I hope someday to have the courage to ask more of these questions and bake this inquisitiveness consistently in my conversations.