Tag Archive | Identity

Identity-Affirming Habits

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What habits do you track?”

“In Superhuman by Habit, Tynan makes a distinction between new habits and old habits

All habits start as new habits. Starting a habit is the most energy-intensive part of the process. Through daily consistency, new habits progressively take less and less energy to maintain, until, eventually, they reach a point where the maintenance energy reaches zero.

An old habit is a habit that has become effortless. An old habit has become identity.

A new habit is something you do.
An old habit is something you are.

I see identity as a modular structure. I call the elements that make up your identity, identity-blocks. Identity-blocks, big and small, compound in making you who you are.

I track most habits temporarily. That is, I track new habits until they become old habits.

A select few habits, however, I want to track forever: the highest-leverage habits, and those corresponding to the most powerful identity-blocks. These are my non-negociables. I call them identity-afirming habits.”

“So they’re also reminders.”


“Which are your current identity-affirming habits?”


Writing (Playing with ideas)

Movement (Daily walk(s), Parkour, Perpetual Motion Machine [<link; very short read])

Non-Zero Progress [<link; very short read] – No day without progress towards my most important goals. 

Cold Shower

“Which of them has the longest streak?”

“Writing and cold shower: they’re both 651 days old.”

“Which is the oldest, and which is the youngest?”

“The oldest is meditation. Currently, it’s 395 days old, because I missed a day and I started back from zero.

The newest is non-zero progress. Currently, it’s 28 days young.”


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is the essence of metaphor?”

“Expressed as a principle, I call it Identification.

The imaginal process of conceiving of something as something else.

is y.

Creating identity.”

“What do you mean by imaginal?”

“Imaginary refers to the outcome of imagination.
Imaginal refers to the process of imagination.

Identification is one of the fundamental operations of the human mind, which we use to shape our inner reality.”

Active Love

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is Active Love?”

“It’s a special kind of well-wishing.

The practice of sending someone Love and wishing him/her to be happy.”

“So it’s also imagination practice.”


I think of myself as Love.

am Love.

As I think it, I experience an expansive feeling emanating from my Heart.

I imagine myself as the Sun, shining Love in his/her direction, and tell him/her in my mind:

I love you.”


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is a macro-template?”

“It’s a template [<link; medium read] that gives a big-picture overview of who you are and what you stand for. It’s a central access-point for retrieving everything else.”

“What does yours look like?”

“Like this:

My macro-template

It has three main systems:

– Identity
– Values
– Soul Quests”

“What are Soul Quests?”

“Meaningful things you’re moving toward but can’t possibly reach. They give your life direction. Another metaphor for them is Guiding Stars

My central identity-block (modular-identity [<link; medium read]) is Life-Artist [<link; medium read].

My central value is Loving Play [<link; short read].

I have two central Soul Quests:
– my Ikigai, my reason for getting up in the morning, which I express in one word as Beautify [<link; short read]

Each of them is itself a deep mind-map.

As a side note, in actuality, they’re all deeply interconnected.

The hierarchical structure helps with retrieval, with combating our tendency to forget.

I use the macro-template as a journaling template every morning. I actually write it down.”

“Can’t you simply read it?”

“In writing something down, you engage in active recall, you’re actively retrieving it from memory.”

Playing with Meaning 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I’ve been playing again with Brian Johnson’s Big Three,


“You do that a lot.”

“I love it. It’s a beautiful model.”

“What does this iteration look like?”

“In terms of the what, I’ve connected them with another Big Three in my life, three Soul Quests that make up my Path of Mastery:


The Quests for endlessly developing my capacity to Think, Feel and Move.

Expressed as identities:

(Focus: Embodiment, Creating, Learning/Teaching, Design)

(Focus: Embodiment, Connection)

(Focus: Embodiment, Parkour, Dancing)

In terms of the how, I’ve connected them through Play.

Playful Energy
Playful Work [<link; short length]
Playful Love [<link; short]

Playful Thinking
Playful Feeling
Playful Moving

Yes, that’s like me.”

Collector 3

The purpose of querying an oracle is not so much to foretell the future as to enable the questioner to delve more deeply into his own intuition when dealing with a problem.

Most oracles contain a series of messages from which the questioner randomly selects.

The oracle is intentionally ambiguous in order to force you to go beyond the first right answer.

Random insights can force you to look at your problems in a way you would not have otherwise.

(Roger von Oech, Expect the Unexpected (Or You Won’t Find It))

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Why are you collecting cryptic and ambiguous quotes? I thought you valued clarity.”

“Both clarity and ambiguity have value.

Clarity has value for communication and understanding.
Ambiguity has value for stimulating creativity.

I collect cryptic and ambiguous quotes for my Oracle [<link; short read]

The Oracle is a wonderful creativity tool, for generating ‘(Creative) Movement’ – to use Edward de Bono’s terminology.

Whenever I’m in the generative phase of the creative process, or I’m feeling stuck, I like to extract one at random and see where it takes me.”


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

I am a Tool-Maker.

“What do you mean?”

“As you know, my One Thing I want to master in this life – and my greatest Passion – is Thinking [<link; medium length]. There are two aspects to it:

Creating optimal conditions for it, through Energy Management and Emotion Management.

Creating persistent structures in the mind – metaphoric tools of the mind – for optimally performing its many operations.

Knowledge is not enough. It is the mental-tools you have and how you use them that determine the quality of your Thinking. 

I collect mental-tools through my Learning. However, more importantly, I create my own. I am a Designer and Innovator.

The most important tools are meta-tools – tool-making tools.”

Life-Artist 4

When people say: “You do so many things. You’re a musician, you’re a painter, you’re a composer, you’re a cinematographer, you’re the editor.” I go, “No, I only do one thing. I live a creative life.” When you put creativity in everything, everything becomes available to you. (Robert Rodriguez)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I make my life a work of art?”

Live a creative life. Make your Creator identity a central aspect of your being, make Creativity a central value of your life.

And make today a work of art. Your life is but a precious string of todays.”

On Magic and Playfulness

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“There’s a new Magic the Gathering set on the horizon called Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths [<link], inspired by the Japanese Kaiju giant-monster genre.”

“I love it how every set is like a big puzzle.”

“Yes, it’s fun to discover the possibilities a new set offers. 

Magic is a beautiful game. For me however it’s also a source of inspiration.

A card that appeared in the context of the set really resonated with me. This one:

“What about it resonated with you?”

“The title: Otrimi, the Ever-Playful. More specifically, the linguistic pattern ‘ever-playful‘.

Playfulness is one of my central values [<contextual-link; medium read]. This pattern gave me a beautiful new way of expressing this essential identity-block [<link, medium read]:

I am Dani, the Ever-Playful.

Thinker 5

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What do you want to master in this life?”

“People use their Thinking to master various things.

I want to master Thinking itself.

“If you were to choose a Magic [the Gathering] card to illustrate this idea, what would it be?”

Mind Unbound: