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Stressed? You Likely Need Models and Standards.

Stressed? You Likely Need Models and Standards.
Life is short. You need a standard.
In other words, don’t reinvent the wheel.
Do you get what I’m talking about yet?
To say it a few more ways:
Have a model.
Don’t start from scratch.
And do not reinvent the wheel.
This is where stability–and good mental health–comes from.
Here’s how I went from always-anxious to (mainly) in control.

Anxiety Due to Lack of Models / Standards
Here’s how I approached life in high school.
I thought I could hold everything in my head.
I thought that my mind could work out any problem I was confronted with.
That’s what I was taught in my classes, so why couldn’t it work for the rest of my life?
It sounded like a great idea, but it actually just caused massive anxiety.
Because I had no standard off which I could base my ideas. I was starting fresh each time.
I would solve one problem in my life only to be smacked in the face with another one a day or so later.
I should have used components of old problems to solve new ones.
But I had not yet discovered the concept of modeling my ideas off old ones, whether my own ideas or the ideas of others.
I certainly didn’t know about the term design thinking.
Which is what we turn to next.
How to Not Reinvent the Wheel
"Why did we let Bob be the drawer again? Is that a website or a washing machine?"
"Why did we let Bob be the drawer again? Is that a website or a washing machine?"
So what are standards? What do I mean when I talk about models?
That probably sounds more abstract than a modern museum full of squiggly-line drawings.
Standards are models are starting points.
They are foundations for the work you need to do.
Toyota uses clay models to guide the latest iterations of their cars.
A web designer starts with a bare-bones outline of a website’s structure called a wireframe.
Heck, even your breakfast or lunch routine is based on a standard.
You’ve probably altered the structure–or outline–of your mealtime plans very little over the last few months.
And why do you do this?
To save time.
And energy.
And sanity.
When I was in high school, I didn’t know any better. Every issue turned into a problem, and every problem felt major.
What I was lacking was the ability to find the heart of the matter and start from there.
Because everything felt so important, I couldn’t break down a problem into its individual components.
But now I see them, the models and standards that guide my life:
  • The email newsletters I write each week follow a similar structure. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
  • My pre-work routine involves journaling what I’m grateful for, what I’m excited about, and how I’m going to use my time that day to accomplish my goals. I’m not starting from scratch.
  • Even the way I read non-fiction books now has a standard. I scan the back and front cover and then flip through the sections. I prep for what I’m about to read to know what’s coming ahead. And I flag what I hope to learn so that I know what to hone in on when I read.
Standards and models might seem like overkill, but they’re not.
The point, for me, is not to meticulously organize every moment of my life.
It’s to be a boat so that I have less chance of getting destroyed by the rocky seas.
The structure is in the standard.
Everything else is left up to beautiful, creative interpretation.
And now for something new. I’m really excited to share this email space with Adam, another newsletter creator.
We’re all in this together, and I’m thrilled when I come across writers doing similar work. I especially like the interconnected nature of Adam’s focus on mental health and living a happy, fulfilling life.

Here’s Adam:
My name is Adam Reed, and I publish a weekly e-magazine called The Power Up with which I aim to help my 1500+ subscribers better navigate and thrive in our fast-changing world.

I do this by curating thought-provoking articles, videos and podcasts on topics such as physical & mental wellbeing, conscious and eco-friendly living, and our complicated relationships with technology.

Recent editions included a special focus on the critical role of Sleep, an exploration of the pursuit of Happiness, and a look at some of the latest science on How our Brains Work.

The aim of each edition is to increase my readers’ awareness and equip them with tools to help them snap out of autopilot, take back control and live more conscious, energised, and fulfilled lives.

If this sounds like something you’d find valuable, you can sign-up to The Power Up here, or view past editions here.

I hope to speak to you again very soon.

I hope you enjoyed today’s issue and this introduction to another writer. Any thoughts about any of this? Just reply and let me know.
Have a great Monday, and don’t be hard on yourself. Build the models and standards of your life, one day at a time.


P.S. Seriously, check Adam’s newsletter out. If you like my writing, I think you’ll find his curated style pairs well with the topics I discuss. Have a great day.

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Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate

The Mental Health Update provides you with authentic mental health articles that make mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and OCD meaningful AND accessible.

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