Hi, I’m Matt. Welcome to Steady Beats: a newsletter about building the middle-aged life you want in small and steady beats.
Turning weakness into strength
Salman Ansari is a talented writer and illustrator—amongst other things. But when he revisited his childhood love of drawing as a adult, he found frustration:
I started to hate my own drawings. I was never satisfied with how the human figures turned out.
Did he quit drawing? No. Instead, he leaned into the shortcoming.
my friend Dave offered a solution. He said I should stop trying to draw humans
Instead, he suggested I draw made-up animals. It was a brilliant idea.
I started drawing all kinds of creatures. I loved it.
Salman turned frustration into fuel, propelling his art in a new direction.
Art by Salman Ansari
Sometimes, our shortcomings can be slingshots into something far better.
Sprinting through Dread
That project you’re avoiding? Stop resisting. Just move.
This feels very Buddhist; notice the unhelpful feeling, but operate separately from it. “Dread Sprints” seem seem like an ideal way to get out of your head and get going.
But: If you’re constantly feeling dread in your work, that’s a sign other changes are needed.
Dread can also be a signal.
Which of the Four Tendency types are you?
The Four Tendencies questionnaire is a short and useful quiz from Gretchen Rubin for understanding your work motivations.
After a few questions, you’ll be categorized as an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, and get a detailed report on what that means:
Developed by happiness and habit expert Gretchen Rubin, using years of research and observation, the Four Tendencies personality framework answers the question “How do I get myself—and others—to do what I want?” Her book, The Four Tendencies is a New York Times bestseller, and over 3.5 million people have taken her quiz.
I found the results dead on.
For example, an Upholder (hi!) stringently maintains commitments to themselves and others. They are habit-driven and relentless—even when it doesn’t make sense sometimes (hi again!).
The insights warrant a few minutes of your time.
The buildout of the Book Notes page continues. This week I’ve added “Talent” by Tyler Cowen and Daniel Gross.
“Talent” provides a rich set of tools and strategies to help early-stage companies avoid directly competing with large firms to hire A-players—and still win the war for talent. You can read a quick review and key ideas from the book here.
Thank you for reading.
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Dread sprints sound fun! What a great way to reframe procrastination!
Thanks for sharing, I discovered I’m a questioner 😅🙋♀️