YLR 006: Why Having More Disturbance In Your Life Is A Good Thing

I have seen a lot of people lacking direction over the past nine years as I work with college students at the University of Colorado Boulder. It has only been recently, however, that I've begun to pick up common characteristics among these individuals who seem to be drifting through their university years. What I've noticed is that they are lacking the right proportionate of "disturbance" in their lives. Either these drifting individuals stay within their comfort zones all four (or five or six) years in college, holding on for dear life with the dream that their major will pave their future for them, or they numb themselves from the pain of personal disaster by living a dangerously idle life.

If we want to maximize our greatest potential, we need a healthy balance of leisure (more in episode 005 about leisure) and disturbance in our lives. Taking a lesson from our ecosystem, biodiversity depends on small natural disturbances for flourishing (i.e. lightening strikes within a forest to make room for new species). Of course, when disturbance turns to disaster, that too can prevent life from flourishing (i.e. a lightning strike that ends up wiping out an entire forest). If we want to live the most effective, productive, creative, joyful, and connected life possible, we need to safeguard our life from disaster, and lean into opportunities of disturbance.

  • Mindset by Carol Dweck - One of the most groundbreaking books in modern psychology, Dr. Dweck reveals the two fundamental mindset types we all wrestle with to one extent or another. This book will completely change the way you see yourself, and provide the encouragement and skills to build a more robust "growth mindset" propelling you toward achieving your greatest potential (and ridding yourself of the anxiety and worry along the way). A must read in general, and a necessary read for anyone who has children or wants to have family someday.
  • Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg - An indispensable book for anyone feeling as if they are simply too busy to make the impact they want to in life. Duhigg does a fantastic job of unearthing the best principles gleaned from the most success people and companies in the world. Want to achieve your greatest potential in life, and made an enduring positive impact in the world? It is possible but it does not come automatically. These principles will take you to this destination, but it is easier read than done, so get started now! 
  • The Now Habit: A Strategic Plan for Overcoming Procrastination, and Enjoying Guilt Free Play by Neil Fiore - This book taught the principle of the "unschedule" which is all about scheduling the most important things your life first before all the unimportant things take control of your calendar. This principle alone has been a life-saver in having my day work for me rather than me working for my day. Great book and great read!