With Dan on sabbatical, Merlin is joined by Jonathan Coulton to talk about traveling, horn sections, and Jonathan’s new album, Artificial Heart.
Tagged with “barriers” (35)
TOPIC: Confidence, Courage, and the Problem with Thinking
This week, Dan and Merlin talk about why we may or may not feel confident to do stuff. How do other people seem to get it so easily, and where do they find the courage?
Well. You walk through The Forum, you check the mics, and you never let thinking get in your way.
Too much thinking? UNACCEPTABLE!
Dungeon. Seven years. No trials.
TOPIC: Stressing Out About Stress
Dan and Merlin talk about what happens when stress meets stress, anxiety feeds anxiety, and 10 guys maybe try to jump you in the woods.
Which kinds of stress are simply unavoidable? Which ones are addictive? Which ones can be tolerated? And, yes, which kinds of stresses can be vanquished by firing your boss?
TOPIC: Karmasucks, No-Sayers, and Black and White Thinking
Dan and Merlin consider the karmasucks and black and white thinking that lead to inertia and a culture of derision.
Anyone can laugh at an agenda, and it only takes one turd in the punchbowl to ruin the party, so don’t ask permission, ask yes or no questions, and keep your judge behind your explorer.
This week, Dan and Merlin tackle the problem of changing cultures at work. It’s not a snapshot, it’s not a kitchen table, and it may actually have surprisingly little to do with you.
Which is complicated.
Merlin and Dan talk about successful lawn care secrets and getting angry over dog poop, paper towels, duck crossings, and the Dark Side.
No one ever saw the error of their ways because they saw a note from Management. Instead of counting piles and grabbing coals, maybe act a little more like Mr. Rogers.
Merlin and Dan talk about your attachment to old coffee cups, Captain America glasses, and Grandma’s underwear cabinet—all the physical (and emotional) clutter that keeps you from making the things you love and having the life you want. The Kipple. See: it’s not a red snapper problem, it’s an emotional problem. So, quit being scared of your fridge, or your inbox, or your todo list. Just suck it up, buy some contractor bags, and never organize another thing that’s not worth keeping.
TOPIC: Slipping on Dates, Sliding on Days
Merlin and Dan talk about managing projects, scheduling calls, and being home when you scheduled a party. It SEEMS SO SIMPLE but then Jeannie has to go to Guam and slipping is your SOP.
The way out of this quagmire is to admit you can’t get out of it. You can’t change a culture of slipping with a poster or a fairy princess. You have to fix the slides if you want to fix the slips.
Merlin and Dan talk about rumors of layoffs—when the fear gets you, and you start filing in the narrative with a panther, even if you’re developing the best-of-breed cereal portal or have been in the newspaper’s Accounts Payable department for 20 years.
What do you do at the fork in the road? Do you interview with The Bobs? Do you just grow up and ask what the hell’s happening? Do you try to pray away the hurricane?
Or, do you just get tragically okay with being 10 times more terrified for 10 more years?
Yes: there are lessons from The Wire.
TOPIC: Resolving to skip the New Year’s resolutions.
In the last episode of 2011, Merlin and Dan talk about fresh starts and modest changes rather than rehearsing for sucking. You don’t need a calendar to tell you to change. Whether you want to give up nail biting, onanism, or drinking a gallon of vodka a day, you need a plan and a tolerance for failure. Plus, a little care never hurts.
How to do it? Keep it small, keep it time-limited, keep it action-oriented.
Happy New Year, jackals. We love you.