Do Better Better #13: Flailing, Perfected

Quinn Emmett
January 13, 2021
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In moments like these, it’s helpful to keep your feet on the ground.

And by “moments like these” I mean a sitting president orchestrating a violent coup with the support of hundreds of sitting Congresspeople, a week after a flagrant, massive, terrifying cybersecurity attack; the same day a preposterously young Jewish man and an environmentalist Black preacher became senators from Georgia but another 4000 Americans died from COVID as new mutations tore across the globe’ and all the while the seas continued to warm and rise, California’s snowpack ran dry, the markets peaked, Bitcoin did whatever the hell Bitcoin is doing, and millions and millions of Americans went hungry, thirsty, and homeless.

It would be easy (cough cough) to react by throwing our long-established values, mindfulness techniques, and carefully crafted systems of thinking to the wind and, for example, sprinting downstairs to the local candy shop (should you make the enormous mistake of working above a candy shop) and buying three pounds of the quickest chocolate they can serve you.

What I’m saying is -- be angry. Be sad. Be scared. Seek answers, seek comfort, seek consequences, seek leadership, seek more chocolate, seek love.

But don’t flail. Not for very long, at least.

Everybody flails (see paragraph three). But you’ve spent all this time trying to better understand how the world works in 2021, and, well, here we are. You’ve built both a philosophy and a discipline for leveling up yourself, your family, your investments, your work, your giving, our planet.

***

Keeping your feet on the ground means not overreacting.

If you do, again, that’s totally understandable, no judging here.

But after that, when you hit the “What do I do?” question, take some deep breaths.

Remember that you’re a good person, you’re a person who reads to their kids, who reads to other people’s kids (Geoff), who doesn’t buy when the market’s frothy, who supports sustainable products and companies, who gives to impactful, reputable organizations that benefit humanity and animals and oceans, who knows their Congressperson’s number by heart (or uses 5Calls.org for speed dial), who’s spent a year working on the frontlines of a pandemic, or who’s spent a year doing whatever you can to support those same people, mostly by wearing masks, bu staying home, by ordering in -- from local restaurants and exciting new sweatpants startups.

You are someone who believes in moral accountability, who subscribes to a newsletter called “Do Better Better”, for fuck’s sake. And so while you’re shaken, and angry and sad and all of that, remember: the Do Better Better mindset isn’t just for the good times, for the calm times. That’s boring.

It’s most essentially for the hard times, the confusing times, the big life decision times, the “there’s a new strain of the virus” times, the “we have to impeach this guy like yesterday if we have any hope of saving the place” times.

Look down at your feet, at the ground you stand upon (it’s your living room floor, but still). Be thankful for who you are, for the roof over your head, for(most of) the choices you’ve made and for the opportunity to make new choices today.

Let’s get back to work.

— Quinn

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