Link round-up (May 2021)

The subtle obedience of ‘should’ is no foundation for the vision we need as we build a future that will sustain us.

This quote is taken from another entry in Steve Marshall’s journal, this time on what happens when we listen to other voices that tell us what we ‘should’ do.

Related to the topic of following our own path, here’s something I discovered while reading an interview with Emily Segal in The Creative Independent. It’s V. Vale’s Goals of Life (this link will open/download a PDF). This is the latest addition to my collection of personal manifestos/philosophies for life. One day I’m going to get mine out of my head and on to paper.

At some point, we all learned to think from someone else.

I’ve been pondering this sentence since I read it in James Clear’s article introducing the concept of Shoshin or the beginner’s mind.

The mutiny against our conditioning by Dan Oestreich is another article about not seeking solutions from other people but finding our own formula instead. I didn’t set out to give this month’s links a theme, but it seems I have unintentionally ended up here.

And finally, in lieu of a parting thought, here’s a message from Chloé Zhao:

I’ve been thinking a lot lately of how I keep going when things get hard, and I think it goes back to something I learned when I was a kid. When I was growing up in China, my dad and I used to play this game: we would memorize classic Chinese poems and texts, and we would recite them together and try to finish each other’s sentences. And there’s one that I remember so dearly. It’s called the Three Character Classics and the first phrase goes, “People at birth are inherently good.” And those six letters had such a great impact on me when I was a kid. And I still truly believe them today. Even though sometimes it might seem like the opposite is true. But I have always found goodness in the people I’ve met everywhere I went in the world. So this is for anyone who has the faith and the courage to hold onto the goodness in themselves and to hold onto the goodness in each other, no matter how difficult it is to do that.

Featured newsletter

A Working Letter by Mandy Brown is the newest addition to my newsletter roll of honour. Brown describes herself as a generalist and therefore writes on a whole range of topics including culture, technology and the nature of work. She also shares reading recommendations, under the headings reading fast and reading slow, and cocktail recipes.

Featured image by Ray Fragapane on Unsplash

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This post originally appeared in my newsletter, Gathered Thoughts.

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about emma

I am a coach and facilitator helping people to pause, reflect and make conscious choices about what comes next. In my writing I explore themes of personal development, reflective practice and what it means to live well.