• Day 1
  • I walk down the street.
  • There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
  • I fall in.
  • I am lost…
  • I am hopeless.
  • It isn’t my fault.
  • It takes forever to find a way out.
  • Day 2
  • I walk down the same street.
  • There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
  • I pretend I don’t see it.
  • I fall in again.
  • I can’t believe I’m in the same place.
  • But it isn’t my fault.
  • It still takes a long time to get out.
  • Day 3
  • I walk down the same street.
  • There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
  • I see it is there.
  • I still fall in… it’s a habit.
  • My eyes are open; I know where I am;
  • It is my fault.
  • I get out immediately.
  • Day 4
  • I walk down the same street.
  • There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
  • I walk around it.
  • Day 5
  • I walk down another street.
  • — Portia Nelson
  • So much of our lives feels akin to playing a giant, cosmic “Groundhog Day” video game.
  • Where do you get slayed, flayed or played into making the same fatal mistake – each and every time you put your quarter in, and spin?
  • I know that much of my own life is ruled by this strange habit of automaticity and self sabotage – this odd attraction of finding the gaping holes – the weird, wobbly, wonky soft spots on the road -feeling their magnetic pull, and with both feet betraying my better directional intuitions- tripping, slipping and falling in.
  • (only to have to dig another quarter out and spin again
  • Setting a mindfulness alarm, for me, is like the ultimate superpower.
  • It requires that I ask myself – “what are my feet doing?” – and it reminds me, in every moment, I am in control of my character – I know where i’m heading – and I can always choose anew.
  • I know many of you reading this are following us for entrepreneurial ideas – and I can think of no better advice – for avoiding the “doom loop” – the dubious distractions – the bright and shiny objects that never are quite as bright or shiny up close – than asking yourself something similar – to stay ever vigilant – and always on course.
  • To me? This is the META rule that rules all other rules.
  • But ultimately – it’s really about paying full attention to the character of our lives.
  • What are my feet doing?
  • What is my heart doing?
  • Am I awake and in control?
  • Or am I just sleep walking through busy, hazy days that will invariably conspire to lead me, and bury me back in the bottom of the same ditch I tripped, slipped and fell in last week?
  • The bane of the doom loop – the thing that makes it so depressing and frustrating and aggravating, paradoxically, is also it’s liberating virtue.
  • You always get to choose anew.
  • No matter how many times you’ve found yourself on the wrong end of a deep ditch looking up and wondering how you got there, today, you’re feet are back on a firm foundation.
  • The path ahead is dimly lit – but NOW, you know where the potholes and road blocks are.
  • So pay attention on the path. Walk confidently, but carefully.
  • And keep a pocket full of quarters. Just in case you want to spin again.