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Go Deeper, Not Wider

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I keep imagining a tradition I’d like to invent. After you’re established in your career, and you have some neat stuff in your house, you take a whole year in which you don’t start anything new or acquire any new possessions you don’t need.

No new hobbies, equipment, games, or books are allowed during this year. Instead, you have to find the value in what you already own or what you’ve already started.

You improve skills rather than learning new ones. You consume media you’ve already stockpiled instead of acquiring more.

You read your unread books, or even reread your favorites. You pick up the guitar again and get better at it, instead of taking up the harmonica. You finish the Gordon Ramsey Masterclass you started in April, despite your fascination with the new Annie Leibovitz one, even though it’s on sale.

The guiding philosophy is “Go deeper, not wider.” Drill down for value and enrichment instead of fanning out. You turn to the wealth of options already in your house, literally and figuratively. We could call it a “Depth Year” or a “Year of Deepening” or something. 

In the consumer age, where it’s so easy to pick up and abandon new pursuits, I imagine this Depth Year thing really catching on, and maybe becoming a kind of rite of passage. People are already getting sick of being half-assed about things, I like to think.

Having completed a Depth Year would be a hallmark of maturity, representing the transition between having reached adulthood chronologically and reaching it spiritually. You learn not to be so flippant with your aspirations.

By taking a whole year to go deeper instead of wider, you end up with a rich but carefully curated collection of personal interests, rather than the hoard of mostly-dormant infatuations that happens so easily in post-industrial society.

Someone’s Depth Year would be a celebrated cultural moment in their community. Oh, Sam is starting his Depth Year this winter! Maybe he’ll finally read his copy of Moby Dick, and start learning complete songs on guitar instead of just bits of them. There could be a bar-mitzvah-like ceremony on the eve of your Depth Year, which would create a bit of accountability. Maybe at the end of the year your peers present you with a special ring.

A big part of the Depth Year’s maturing process would be learning to live without regular doses of the little high we get when we start something new. If we indulge in it too often, we can develop a sort of “sweet tooth” for the feeling of newness itself. When newness is always available, it’s easier to seek more of it than to actually engage with a tricky chord change, the dull sections in Les Miserables, or the dozens of ugly roses you need to paint before you get your first good one.

The consumer economy nurtures this sweet tooth. There’s just so much money to be made in selling people new paths—new equipment, new books, new possibilities. The last thing marketers want is for people to get their excitement and fulfillment from what they already have access to. They would hate for you to discover the incredible wealth remaining in what you already own.

Among many other possessions, I have a set of watercolors, a guitar and amp, and a bunch of “Learn French” books. If I were stuck in a prison cell with these items I would almost inevitably become the accomplished guitarist, painter and polyglot I wanted to be when I purchased each of those things. But new options seem to enter my life all the time, and so I drift from old ones.

It’s wonderful to have the freedom to continually widen our interests. But like many luxuries, it has an insidious downside. Ever-branching possibilities make it harder for us to explore any given one deeply, because there’s always more “newness” to turn to when the old new thing has reached a difficult or boring part.

The joy and enrichment you could derive from a single musical instrument, or a set of paints, is enough to fill a lifetime, and many people have demonstrated that. But those deeper levels are effectively inaccessible without some limit to the splitting of your attention and interest.

Many bookshelves make our modern day width-to-depth problem obvious. You might acquire several books for every one you read. There’s something fishy about that—you buy the book under the pretense that what you want is to read it. But again and again you prove that you want a new book more than you want the unread books you already own—books you bought months ago under the same pretense, and from which you derived the same cheap thrill of acquiring it.

If books were much harder to acquire, or if flippant new acquisitions were a bit taboo, we might actually crack that Margaret Atwood trilogy rather than tell ourselves we’ll get to it someday, while making another Amazon order in the mean time.

As long as we live in a consumer culture, it may always be easier to go wider than deeper. Going deeper requires patience, practice, and engagement during stretches where nothing much is happening. It’s during those moments that switching pursuits is most tempting. Newness doesn’t require much at all, except, sometimes, a bit of disposable income.

So unless we’re locked up in a room with only a piano and a pile of Tolstoy, or we partake in the fictional tradition of a Depth Year, we need to find a way to put up our own limits. When we give ourselves fewer places to dig, we go deeper, and what we uncover is more rare and valuable than the usual stuff near the surface.


Photo by Syd Wachs

Abhijeet Kumar December 18, 2017 at 11:32 pm

I get the point about going deeper, as it seems on an average in a consumer driven lifestyle, deep is rare. But there is value in adding variety. So this would depend on the personality. For instance, I tend to go deep naturally. That is my default mode. Being mindful, allows me to not get too lost in something, and opens up possibilities of adding variety. I feel happier when there is a balance.

But wide doesn’t have to be ‘buying’. Wide could mean being open to new. For example, be curious about the boring but inevitable task coming your way, and put a spin on it.

David Cain December 19, 2017 at 9:01 am

We’re definitely talking about more than just buying, for sure. But the issue is tied to the economics of consumer society. It pays to get people used to starting new things. It seems to me like few people in post-industrial society are short on variety, as far as options for spending your time. What we’re short on is time, and it’s not hard to see why.

Abhijeet Kumar December 20, 2017 at 10:55 am

There is a difference between wanting, and actually having. We might think we have a lot of options or variety (and that is part of the society’s illusion). But we are mentally locked in. Variety comes in experiences, and in my experience what the mind wants is usually not what is wanted. Serendipity has its own charm.

:e)rling December 19, 2017 at 2:52 am

I like it David. Thanks for all your good thoughts and for always digging for a better and more meaningful life.

David Cain December 19, 2017 at 9:03 am


Zoe December 19, 2017 at 3:16 am

That’s a really interesting idea. It would be nice if everyone doing the Depth Year would have a little showcase at the end to present what they’d explored (if they did something creative) during that year.

In 2018, I plan on creating some “learning time” in my schedule. Setting aside some time each week (starting with two hours and taking it from there as I see how it goes) where I study something – gardening, a language, piano, etc. I don’t want to say “I’m going to do 4 hours of Japanese per week!” because I know I probably won’t stick to that, at least in the beginning. But I want to open up some space where I can delve into a subject I want to know more about, depending on what I feel like at the time. I’m curious to see if it’ll work or not and what the results will be.

David Cain December 19, 2017 at 9:14 am

I love the showcase idea. And I think I’m going to do something similar with the dedicated exploring time. Let me know how it goes!

DiscoveredJoys December 19, 2017 at 3:46 am

See also: Tsundoku (Wikipedia) is the phrase for acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them. Plus the Electric Monks (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency) are coincidentally humanoid robots designed to practice religion in their owners’ stead.

I have piles of books to be read and DVDs with the cellophane wrapper still on – but as long as I ‘have’ them there is no need to ‘consume’ them. I guess it’s like a squirrel storing up nuts… If you have a Depth Year you are also running your stocks down – and that can be frightening.

Sandy Parsons December 19, 2017 at 6:17 am

I suffer from Tsundoku, too. My main dealer is Amazon, but I can get my fix from other places, too. Even friends who mention they are giving their books away. I’ll take them, I say. They offer to put a couple aside for me if I mention certain titles. I’m like no, I’ll just bring over some boxes and pick up all of them. I never read a book I own when I have a deadline from the library, and there are always new books from the library.

In one area, I do go for depth. I read or reread Raptitude almost every day :)

David Cain December 19, 2017 at 9:17 am

I kept encountering “Tsundoku” while researching this article but I wasn’t sure I was using it right so I left it out.

I wonder if we’d really run our stocks down too much. I know there are more unread books on my shelf than I normally read in a year. In any case though, flirting with “running out” is part of the reason for going deeper. If we were extremely limited in options (such as in the prison cell scenario) we’d simply get more out of the same books and media, rereading or rewatching them.

Maciej Kozlowski December 19, 2017 at 3:53 am

That’s it! Thank you David, it’s just what I need. I’m gonna start my Depth Year RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW! For me, it’s mainly books and games, so I’m going to actively NOT acquire any new books or games, and I’ll try to avoid reading about them in the Internet. And this comment will be here to remind me.

David Cain December 19, 2017 at 9:18 am

Great. I’m going to do a mild version: write down a number of neglected pursuits I’d like to revisit, and go to one of them whenever I’m considering starting something new.

Let me know how you do with it.

Maciej Kozlowski January 2, 2018 at 3:08 am

So I kind of lost already… but not tragically. I am a player in a tabletop RPG campaign set in mythical Japan run by a friend. We’ve endured half-year breaks, personal crises and game master burnout and we are miraculously still going. So I am hell bent on keeping this thing on, since it almost broke down at the end of the year. This led me to buying a small tabletop skirmish ruleset set in the Samurai era, along with a couple of models to represent our party and adversaries. But I’m still good in the books department :)

Norswap December 19, 2017 at 4:15 am

So, is this going to be one of your fabled experiments?

David Cain December 19, 2017 at 9:20 am

I thought about it but there are a lot of details that would have to be worked out (can I buy new guitar books, for example?) But I am going to make a list of old pursuits to revisit and choose from them whenever I want to try a new pursuit.

Paul December 19, 2017 at 4:51 am

I like it. Its a good idea. There is something foundational in this idea.

Denise December 19, 2017 at 6:45 am

What an interesting idea. At first I thought, well, once I retire in the next couple of years. But I’m so intrigued by it that I think it will be my goal for 2018. Not a resolution though. Hey everyone, I’m heading into my Depth Year!

Nancy December 19, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Just a heads up from one who is already there – being retired doesn’t solve the issue. In my experience, if anything it has the potential to make it worse.

Tara C December 19, 2017 at 1:26 pm

I’m retired too, and this is absolutely true.

Rodrigo December 19, 2017 at 7:21 am

Just perfect, David.
I think I suffer from the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). I always want something new: a new book, a new gadget, a new tv show, a new xbox game, everything.

This makes me sad and I pile lot of things that I never had the courage to look deeper into it. It’s like whenever I acquire something, my desire is a hundred percent completed and enjoy the thing I just bought rarely occur to me. Because of this, I made several credit card bills that I have to pay in 2018.

So your text helped me to think about my lifestyle and I decided that 2018 will be my Depth Year.

I always be thankful for knowing your blog.

David Cain December 19, 2017 at 9:24 am

I think FOMO has become a serious problem in society. We’re hyper-aware of what we’re not doing. Marketers have definitely exploited this, especially now that they’re all over social media. It’s hard to believe that instagram had no ads on it only two years ago.

Krisztina December 19, 2017 at 9:41 am

Yes! – I’m making 2018 a Depth Year too… We should build a community around this, it’s such a great concept!
Personally, I’ll focus on books and kitchen gadgets (those are my area of impulse buying weakness…)
I’m planning on taking a week off early next year and go through all my bookshelves and cupboards and sort through unread books and unused gadgets. I will give away/sell anything that I don’t consider useful any more or I really don’t want to read.
Thanks for idea!

Dawn December 19, 2017 at 7:35 am

What a great idea. I am putting this at the top of my list of goals for 2018. Going for a Depth Year will also help me reach some other goals (e.g., consume less).

Thank you very much for your posts. They always make me think.

CARLA December 19, 2017 at 7:37 am

I have been needing to hear this. I too have books waiting, craft, art materials waiting, and I feel all discombobulated and unfocused.
I do believe this is a solution to make this Conscious in my life.
2018 here I come!
Year of going deeper.
With very few exceptions I think this can work.

Rachel December 19, 2017 at 8:13 am

I am in love with this idea. I have discovered this year that I have ADHD. I’m trying to not be so tempted by the next shiny thing, which is extremely hard for me. I have stacks of physical and electronic books. I have a tenor ukulele, a baritone ukulele, a guitar, calligraphy pens, brush pens and markers, sketch pads, notebooks upon notebooks, and a 3/4 finished screenplay. Instead of increasing my triathlon distance this year, I just try to get better at shorter distances in the discipline. Perhaps it’s time to dive deep.

David Cain December 19, 2017 at 9:27 am

Your list here reminds me of a possible issue with this, which is that many of us already have too many “open boxes”. Aside from ceasing to start anything new, we have to decide which of the open boxes we will dive into.

Charlotte December 19, 2017 at 8:40 am

I am so glad I decided to catch up on some of my blogs today. This is exactly what has been stirring inside me. I have too much and have decided not to buy in 2018-clothes, shoes, books, crafts, journals, etc. etc. You get the idea-I am a marketer’s dream and think this one last thing will be just want I need to be a better______ (fill in the blank). I am sick of it and want to slow down and enjoy what I have. Make a quilt, sew a skirt, cook a new recipe from one of the many cookbooks I have, read one of the many books I have without buying another one. I absolutely love this concept of deeper not wider. I am going to make this my mantra for 2018. Thank you for putting into words what I was feeling. Thank you!!

David Cain December 19, 2017 at 9:33 am

Cookbooks are another one. I think it would reveal a lot about us if the spine of each of our cookbooks showed the number of times we made a recipe from it. I know what number most of mine would show :/

Lisa Schall December 19, 2017 at 8:52 am

Another thoughtful post that sends us to the place of fewer hangups, burdens and dead ends…Thank you.

LuAnne December 19, 2017 at 8:52 am

I actually have been doing a version of your Depth Year idea for 2017. This year I focused on buying no new clothes or books or other purchases that were not absolutely necessary. I have done pretty well with this challenge. The pleasure of it has been all the time added that I might have spent shopping or looking at ads and the equal pleasure of a reduction in stress over issues like buyers remorse or getting the best deal. In a few weeks I will release myself from this challenge but I suspect my shopping habits will have changed for life.

David Cain December 19, 2017 at 9:39 am

My friend Cait at caitflanders.com did a “shopping ban” for more than a year, and wrote a memoir about it, due in January. She also said it changed her habits for good.


Ken December 19, 2017 at 8:53 am

There are so many articles, books and blogs on the newest self help topics, whether it be meditation techniques, exercise routines, diets, alternative therapies and medicines, that it is truly overwhelming. I start one and inevitably something new and shiny comes along, which has the full backing of a very enthusiastic writer, and there I’m off on a new hunt. I run so quickly in so many directions that I ultimately move nowhere, like a cat chasing its tail.

I’m the 3 qtrs man. I’ve given many things a try and always pursue them with about 75% of my focus and energy. Not giving it my all in just about every facet of my life has been a truly regrettable bad habit of mine my entire life. This year, I will dive deep. It simplifies things and will also save me money!

Thanks, David, for yet another truly insightful article. You really have a gift for articulating what so many of us are thinking on a deeper level.

David Cain December 19, 2017 at 9:42 am

I’m kind of the same. When the going gets tough, I start something new :)

Susan Srigley December 19, 2017 at 9:03 am

I really appreciate this reflection as someone who is always ordering more books – many of which don’t get read.
It reminds me of living in a house in southern France one year and I found a bookshelf on the third floor that had a few English books. Devouring those books was a delicious pleasure.

David Cain December 19, 2017 at 9:44 am

A little bit of constraint on our options goes a long way, doesn’t it :)

Alexa Fleckenstein December 19, 2017 at 9:18 am

Best self-help I have read in a long time …

Phil December 19, 2017 at 10:21 am

I have been thinking exactly this recently, although not so well thought out. I’ve spent the last few years doing lots of classes in different things, some stuck, some didn’t. And now with those that did it’s got to the hard part where the novelty’s worn off and I just have to work at them and sometimes that feels rubbish or massively daunting so I end up thinking of starting something new instead. So this is perfect and I’m going to do it for 2018. Thank you!

David Cain December 20, 2017 at 9:03 am

A big part of it seems to be separating out the joy of novelty from the joy of actually engaging with the activity. The novelty is more accessible but it’s very limited.

Shohna Neumann December 19, 2017 at 10:24 am

This post reminds me so much of “Tidying Lady” (as I have come to call Marie Kondo). Reading her book several years ago changed the way I looked at my possessions and, fundamentally, the way I looked at my life. After many purges, what I have left in my house is, generally speaking, what I value, and want to reuse. That goes for books as well.

I guess the above paragraph makes me sound like a self-righteous martyr, but my actual point is that I agree with your idea wholeheartedly. Part of my going “deeper” rather than “wider” is reading your posts, which help me to plumb the depths of what it means to be human (rather than my alternate tendency, which is looking for the various and sundry BuzzFeed-like articles that catch my fancy on any given day). < Nothing wrong with BuzzFeed. I just think your work brings a lot more value to my life than most of that stuff.

Thanks, as always, for providing a great thought in a well-written and easily-understood manner.

David Cain December 20, 2017 at 9:05 am

I found the same thing from the Marie Kondo book. It really makes you examine your relationship with not just your things but your choices about how you spend your time. I’m about due for another purge.

Raghav December 19, 2017 at 10:55 am

Well put David. Time to get back to all those unfinished courses, books and assignments.

Part of the problem for me has been my inability to acknowledge finiteness of time, energy, attention. I can only do so many things perfectly and deeply. So, learning to let go of all those other “new” things that tickle my interest, and sticking to the course of deeper journeys is probably the key.

As always, your post has again helped me discover an unknown facet of myself. Kudos. Happy new year!!

David Cain December 20, 2017 at 9:06 am

Yeah I wrote about that specific part of this problem — the letting go part — in a different article:


Eric December 19, 2017 at 11:16 am

If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend the book Refuse To Choose by Barbara Sher. It very thoroughly describes a small group of people she calls Scanners, as opposed to most people who are Divers.

This is a post primarily for divers. That’s fine as far as it goes, and scanners can certainly take some lessons from it. The problem comes from the taking view that scanners don’t or shouldn’t exist—that we all are better off as divers. This can be harmful to scanners who haven’t learned about their nature and who continue to criticize themselves for failing to dive.

A good comparison would be to translate this post to advocating for a year of dedicated extroversion… Clearly being extroverted is the best way for us all to live. We should all take a year to live intensely as extroverts before going on with our lives. That’ll show us how amazing it is to live as a hardcore extrovert.

Unfortunately that kind of stuff had been written for decades before the concept of introversion as an inherent and even valuable quality caught on. Introverts can learn from extroverts and apply some of their methods, but will be utterly miserable if they attempt to live completely as extroverts, even for the limited period of a year. Such a year would be excruciating if it could be achieved, but more likely would be a year of mental self flagellation for repeatedly failing to follow the concepts.

So it is with scanners. We can learn from divers and be better off for implementing some of their methods, but will be utterly miserable if we attempt to live completely as divers, even for relatively short times. (Weeks of forced diving can be torturous. A year is often impossible.) Most scanners have not learned about their nature. They don’t know that this quality—like introversion—does not have to be a weakness but can be a phenomenal strength. They are bombarded by a society telling them that diving is The Way to which we all should aspire. It feeds those all to frequent internal questions: Why can’t I do this? What’s WRONG with me?

As a lifelong suffering scanner who only recently learned about this stuff after 32 years, and is now learning to embrace and harness it, I try to look out for other scanners who haven’t learned yet.

I love your writing. This post just felt like it has a bit of a blind spot. Hopefully in the future you can either learn more about scanners and integrate those concepts, or phrase relevant posts in a way that’s helpful to divers without being harmful to scanners.

Thank you for all the work you’ve put into your writing. This is one of the very few blogs that I look forward to and read every single post.

David Cain December 20, 2017 at 9:21 am

Everything you read has blind spots, haha. All I can do is write from my own experience and I’m aware there are always people who will not be able to relate. That’s just what it means to write for a large group of people.

I don’t see any reason to interpret this idea as a reason to self-criticize. It’s nothing more than trying Approach B if you see problems with Approach A. The dichotomy you describe is a different view. I’m not sure sure we can be divided up so easily into types, as nonfiction writers often do. I see this issue as a behavior pattern we either fall into or don’t, not an intrinsic type. The tendency to go needlessly wide seems like a common and easy to understand side-effect of living in a world of such aggressive marketing. Not everyone will have the same experience of course.

Bernie December 19, 2017 at 11:24 am

This is exactly what I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, in that I don’t get people’s absolute need for a hobby to be expensive. I’ve been a golfer, cyclist etc, so I’ve had my share of costly interests, but I also have an acoustic guitar, six nice juggling balls, a deck of cards. These latter things I’d put in the “pay once, have fun & improve for a lifetime” category. I look at people around me who are living paycheck to paycheck and can’t understand how they do it, and wonder if it wouldn’t be enough for them to replace one expensive hobby with a cheap one to improve their situation.

David Cain December 20, 2017 at 9:24 am

It’s wonderful that there are hobbies across the whole spectrum of expense, so this idea isn’t just one for a particular economic class. You could learn a thousand magic tricks with a deck of cards, or you could buy a set of golf clubs and never use them.

Jeff S December 19, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Hi David,

Call it synchronicity or whatever the term, but this article came at the perfect time. I hop from one exercise program to the next, from one career to the next, and it’s all in a search for a novelty, and a method of running from discomfort. Anytime anything gets hard or tricky I can just move to something else! I like your metaphor about the prison cell. I’m going to start treating things in that way.

Thank you, again!

Mark Kandborg December 19, 2017 at 12:49 pm

My problem with unread books is extreme, but a stems from something a little different. I buy a book in hopes that I’ll enjoy it. I start to read it and I am disappointed 95% of the time — so I stop. I have the same problem with Netflix. I probably have 200 books on my Kindle, I device I’ve grown I probably have 200 books on my Kindle, a device I’ve grown increasingly bewildered by. I spend a lot of time in the sauna now, a practice I couldn’t recommend more by the way and it’s a perfect environment for a 20 minute read. I’ve taken to firing up my Kindle in there and doing, precisely, a deep dive into my e-library.
It’s been a bit saddening, really.

David Cain December 20, 2017 at 9:27 am

I have a similarly low rate of finishing books. I put down most of the books I start and don’t have a problem with that. But there’s a difference between trying and putting down a book, and buying new ones when you never even try to read.

One of the reasons I don’t have a kindle is that it would make the acquisition problem a thousand times worse.

Calen December 19, 2017 at 1:01 pm



I think the bit I take away from this is to conquer the high that comes with novelty. Give me a second here; I’m a scanner like you (never heard the term before, but the moment you mentioned it I liked and thought “yup. That’s me.”) I also tend to pursue my passions long enough to extract a real benefit from them. And many of them are done with the goal of extracting something meaningful that will enrich my life and offer practical utility, even if it’s just a new wadi of looking at things.

Let’s take David”s idea and turn it sideways. Say that, for one year, we were to have a “breadth year” where your job was to try as many new things as you could, and dive just a little into them, so you could grow. A year of free exploration, with a single caveat – the things you choose should be meaningful and challenging. They should be things that force you to become more than you are. They should be the things that you’ve been avoiding because they would make you feel awkward, or uncomfortable. Learn to dance. Try being fashionable. Learn a coding language. Try to understand the works of Kant. Whatever means something to you, whatever you’ve secretly felt would make you grow but dammit, the thought of it makes you feel just plain timid. How much would you grow by the end of that year, if you were perpetually throwing yourself into the middle of the things you’d always avoided out of an irrational fear of change?

And, to turn things sideways in a different direction, imagine you took a depth year and got very, very good at one or two immensely frivolous things. Like cleaning the doorknobs in your house.

Breadth and depth are just distance, oriented in different directions. I think if people get caught up on the divisions between the two, they might miss a subtler and more profound point. The pathological pursuit of novelty is often a way to avoid moving any distance at all. It’s a drug to medicate away the feelings of discomfort associated with creating something meaningful; a spoon-and-needle approach to feeling great without doing anything that makes life truly rich over the long run.

So, you can read a hundred books on a hundred topics and go broad. Or you can read a hundred books on one topic and go deep. But this post is more about conquering the desire to buy books compulsively without ever reading them at all.

That in mind, I think I’m going to try what David suggested here. I’m going to pick one or two areas in my life which need forward progress, and commit to a simple principle: No new things. Just finishing ones I’ve already started, for one year.

Tara C December 19, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Best comment on this post so far! I love what you are suggesting and it dovetails nicely with what David’s article proposes.

I agree the pathological pursuit of novelty is just a numbing technique, to help us avoid discomfort.

2018 will be my year of going deeper into reading and yoga practice. I need to break my addiction to novelty and create new habits. Once I’ve done that, I need to turn it on its side and start doing lots of new things, things that make me uncomfortable, in an effort to grow and break out of the brittle shell I feel myself trapped inside.

Calen December 19, 2017 at 3:03 pm


If you’re looking for additional thoughts/ideas on how to make meaningful long-term change, I recommend looking into mini-habits. Finding out about them was a big deal for me. It’s a very useful way of looking at things which has helped me overcome the inertia associated with feeling like I need to do a thousand things all at once, immediately.

Eric December 19, 2017 at 2:51 pm

So much of the complexity of life comes from the fact that there are exceptions to everything, and what is great advice for 90% of people can be horrible advice for the other 10%. There was a lot of good stuff in this article, and in your comment. I’m just writing for the 10% who may read articles like this and something just doesn’t feel right… they feel a little bad about themselves and their repeated inability to follow through on things. They feel like they should be forcing themselves to finish more of the books they buy/start.

Of course for many people (even scanners), following through more would be a good thing. However a huge part of being a scanner (certain types of scanners in particular) is accepting you do NOT need to finish everything, or even most things. We’re taught that any unfinished project is a failure, that if you’re not going to finish you shouldn’t even start. This is toxic for scanners.

In the book she compares it to a bee collecting nectar. It would make no sense for a bee to extract all the nectar in a flower, or all the bee could carry, and then keep trying to collect more. It’s done. Everything that was meant to be got has been gotten. But that’s what scanners are constantly told to do. To use the book example, I buy a book and read three chapters and never pick it up again. The common message is I failed. I didn’t finish it. It’s incomplete. I’m distracted and spread too thin. Etc. But for a scanner often the reality is, I got my nectar. I got everything I desired to get out of that book, and to keep reading it would be as pointless as the bee trying to keep collecting more. Mission accomplished. Move on and don’t feel bad about it.

It’s a complex topic, which is why there was a whole book written about it. I agree with you that for *most* people, continual novelty is not good. And you may do very well with a year of no new things. But if so, that proves you’re either a diver or the type of scanner who primarily scans between a fixed number of topics. There are other scanners who scan a stream of new topics indefinitely, spending from days to years on each one. Your example year would be a disaster for those operating on a shorter time between topics. And it’s not a choice, how one scans. It’s hardwired, so all you can do is learn your type and how to best work with it, and stop fighting it.

I guess I just really want to emphasize, the common advice can be extremely valuable for most people. I just like to put a little out there for the small percentage of people it doesn’t work for, and who don’t understand why. They may be scanners, and working in alignment with their nature can be life changing.

David Cain December 20, 2017 at 9:35 am

Well put Calen. The crux of the issue is novelty, and how its appeal is exacerbated by increasingly exploitative marketing. The idea of the depth year (not that it’s a serious proposition) is to explore the easy-to-overlook possibility of exploring pursuits that no longer have any novelty associated with them — something we’d have to do if there weren’t so many options available.

Russell James December 19, 2017 at 2:24 pm

You have this nack of dropping your writings into my inbox at just the right time as I embrace the subject matter in my own thought process.

Each year I like to choose a word to use as an anchor and Consistency is 2018. I found your article tied in with the word and action well.
Sure you can consistently go out and buy new shiny objects …but what if as you point out you stay consistent with the projects you already have, the growth you want to see in yourself.

Thanks, David again another pleasant inbox arrival from you.

John Norris December 19, 2017 at 2:58 pm

I once read a book called How To Want What You Have. I didn’t love the book but what a great title!

Ever December 19, 2017 at 4:17 pm

“Oh, Sam is starting his Depth Year this winter!” what a great right of passage that would be. I love this concept and am going to take it on board this coming year. “Focus” was an intention for 2018 and this ties in nicely. Thanks David.

Sue Hauke December 19, 2017 at 5:31 pm

I like Eric’s comments about scanners and divers. Interesting perspective. I’m not sure where I sit between the two. I’m a classically trained musician, graphic designer, yoga enthusiast, dabbling painter, frequent reader, avid baker, have-been knitter…etc. When I have gotten into ‘new things’, I’ve dived in earnest into all of them and been the marketer’s dream target. I’ve gone whole hog and bought all the gear, wool, paints, books, the nicest ukulele. Some dives have been deeper than others and with some I’m still diving and others, not so much ($700 of critical alignment therapy props currently collecting dust in the basement, oh well…). I’m interested in learning about, and experiencing a lot of different things, peeking into the worlds of others, but not necessarily wanting to take them on. For instance, I’d like to go to a monster truck show, and maybe if I’m really honest, I’d love to sit in one of those trucks and take it for a spin. But that’s about as far as it goes. There’s something about experiencing a completely different world or sub-culture which helps give me perspective about my own life and an appreciation for theirs. (Another reason why travel can be so valuable.) These taste-tests are what enrich our lives. For sure, there’s novelty in exploring and curious, open minds can find lots to indulge in. I don’t see that as a bad thing. Just my spin on it…

David Cain December 20, 2017 at 9:56 am

There’s definitely nothing wrong with checking things out, and I hope nobody takes that from this post. The basic idea is that the more novelty is available to us, the easier it is to choose it over a pursuit whose novelty has worn off but still contains a lot of potential for fun and fulfillment.

Astrid December 19, 2017 at 7:15 pm

Haha, I’m glad to read this because this is basically my life!

Got no merit though, it’s just how I was raised. My parents were the kind of folks to listen to the same music and read the same books repeatedly, delighting in finding new elements in them each time. They also have few interests or hobbies but really go deep in them, and consider each purchase they make very thoughtfully.

I inherited all those tendancies, but I gotta say sometimes it causes me problems because it’s just not the rythm most people live to. For instance, I do not consume new media very fast or in a large quantity so I’m often critically out of the loop. Like, even if I’m really into comics and sci-fi, I spend so much time revisiting and picking apart my favourites that I’m never up to speed.

Now at least next time a friend makes an outraged face because I still haven’t watched Game of Thrones, I’ll tell them it’s because I take my time engaging with other media in a deeper fashion!

I often have to challenge myself to explore new things though, so I can connect with people over them and participate in the cultural zeitgest. I have to remind myself that sometimes it’s ok to just approach something casually, just to try it out or get acquainted with it.

As always, balance in all things is best. All in all though, I’m glad I engage with my interests the way I do, even if I’ll never be the girl who has seen/read/listened to everything. I think it helps me have a kind of insight that not everybody has. Like all differences, it can prove to be valuable.

David Cain December 20, 2017 at 9:58 am

It’s good to be unusual in certain ways! In fact I think some friction with the zeitgeist is a sign that we’re motivated by our own ideas.

Jazztonight December 19, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Along with virtually everyone who frequents your site, I think you’re terrific – a thinker, a seeker, and a very good writer. That said, you’re still young. The perspective of advanced age (I’m 71) gives one insights impossible to possess earlier.

I once had a beautiful Gibson guitar and an amp, and studied and played at a certain level, always wondering why I couldn’t get much better. Years later, it came to me–I’m not a guitarist. I love the guitar & guitar music, but some people are born to play the guitar; alas, not I. Eventually, in my 50s, I got a BA in Music Composition. I now play several instruments, but I am the master of none. I found my niche in composing.

The same goes for art and other pursuits, including cooking. I do not believe we’re all meant to master a particular subject even if we work hard at learning it. Just because I’m reading the Talmud (in English, which I am), doesn’t make me a Talmud expert. Just because I can do 50 pull-ups (which I can), does not make me an Arnold-type strongman. These and other pursuits simply make me what I am.

Perhaps, then, there is wisdom in playing to one’s strength while at the same time enjoying and/or working on other interests. There’s no harm, really. (And btw, the guitar is one of the easiest instruments to play badly. It’s a truly difficult instrument to master.)

Keep up the wonderful writing, seeking, and thinking. You are a true modern-day philosopher.

David Cain December 20, 2017 at 10:00 am

I don’t think we disagree here. There will always be things we’re better at and get more out of than other things. But if we’re flitting from pursuit to pursuit, never getting past the novelty stage, we may never know what suits us best.

Jema @ Halftheclothes December 19, 2017 at 9:31 pm

I wrote about collections of stuff we’ve obtained for “later” earlier this year when I returned to my 7-year nomad life after a few months helping family. I think an additional point is not just that we lose value when we don’t go deeper, we lose precious mental energy each time we look at the stack of Atwood books or the guitar we’ve really been meaning to pick up more often.

It also seems to me that it’s painful for us to be wrong. Succumbing to the constant thrill of new stuff also requires us, in the future, to face many uncomfortable moments where we either admit we were wrong (ouch!)… or continue to delude ourselves that we really will do all 8 lifetimes of stuff (and many new future things) “someday.” Both are painful, no? The pain of being wrong, or the pain of overwhelm at a literally impossible quantity of actions?

Love you writing, David! So happy to be a loyal follower and to read so many articles on things I think about all. the. time. Cheers!

David Cain December 20, 2017 at 9:53 am

we lose precious mental energy each time we look at the stack of Atwood books or the guitar we’ve really been meaning to pick up more often.

I have noticed something like this — seeing evidence of our fickle track record makes us feel bad. Getting rid of books I know I’ll never read and clothes I know I’ll never wear feels like a weight coming off.

John Norris December 20, 2017 at 4:40 pm

I keep my guitar as it’s one one of the few (beautiful) possessions in my studio apartment (it brings me joy). I dropped the desire to be able to play it well a long time ago. And all is well :)

Ritchie December 20, 2017 at 12:26 am

“..the dull sections in Les Miserables…”

Guilty as charged. The trouble being I generally do actually like to finish a book before moving on, so M. Hugo is currently clogging up my Kindle (there are a LOT of dull bits). I think that there is maybe a flip side to this – a kind of sunk-cost fallacy in persisting with something that just isn’t as enjoyable as the new Hilary Mantel that I got for my birthday…

David Cain December 20, 2017 at 9:37 am

To be honest I skipped much of the battle of waterloo interlude and don’t feel bad about it. In fact I would recommend that (along with the similarly unnecessary interlude about the Paris sewers). The point is to carry on rather that stopping in favor of novelty somewhere else.

Ronan December 20, 2017 at 7:37 am
woollyprimate December 20, 2017 at 8:27 am

I second what Eric wrote. I learned of scanners and divers through another book of Sher’s entitled, “I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What it Was.”

I think it’s a hard-wired thing like introversion and extraversion, as Eric said. I’m a scanner, and I can’t change that.

My podcast list is probably typical for a scanner. I am learning lots of new things, but I wouldn’t want to learn everything there is to know about linguistics, for example. But a podcast with interesting tidbits about language is right up my alley. Incidentally, it did take me longer than the average person to figure out what I ought to do for a living. I can imagine myself doing several things, but at my age, the training would be too long, although if they ever fix the whole aging/dying thing, I would totally go back to school to get a new career (assuming my brain was still supple).

David Cain December 20, 2017 at 9:50 am

I guess I’m skeptical of any “intrinsic types” theory. They can be useful ways of framing things but if we believe in them as real, measurable traits (such as, say, blood type) we might limit ourselves because we believe we’re somehow not “meant” to learn guitar or paint portraits. “Oh I’m the ‘engineer’ type, so I can’t learn to sing.” I haven’t read the book in question but in my experience nonfiction writers love to make up “people types” to explain their point of view, but they’re just ways of grouping behavioral tendencies whose causes we don’t really know.

Eric December 20, 2017 at 11:38 am

I’m skeptical of such books as well. The difference probably comes down to whether or not you have the problem a given book addresses. If the description & intro of her book don’t speak to you and it comes across as yet another contrivance of artificial types… be thankful! It’s a miserable way to live, and nearly no one in the self-improvement world has a useful explanation for these behavioral tendencies.

woollyprimate December 23, 2017 at 9:10 am

Good points. I’d like to add that I think it’s a good thing to occasionally go against type in order to stretch ourselves and keep from becoming caricatures.

And also, that doesn’t mean that anytime I abandon a project or take up some new interest I’m just being a scanner. I could be doing it for the reasons you outline above. Being a scanner is not ALWAYS the reason for doing things. And I think there is value in going deeper at times.

I’ve cycled through hobbies, but I’ve also kept one hobby consistently over the years and I’ve enjoyed becoming more experienced and capable at it, to the point where I’ve moved into the teacher role with it. Knowing so much that you can pass that knowledge on to others is deeply satisfying.

Karla December 20, 2017 at 10:32 am

“There could be a bar-mitzvah-like ceremony on the eve of your Depth Year”

I am intrigued by this ceremony. I was already thinking because of a similar post on another blog about strategies finishing previously started projects. One of them was to make an inventory of said projects and prioritize them. I am thinking this list should be part of the ceremony. It would be a dedication of sorts. I am also thinking of who I would like to witness this ceremony, as a sort of accountability team. Maybe I will make two separate ceremonies, as my two areas are quilting projects (some that have been sitting here for over 15 years) and books. In January I will be with my sisters on a quilting retreat where I had already signed up for classes to make me better at the fundamentals of quilting, as I am a rather haphazard quilter. That might be just the place/time/community for my ceremony on quilting. Then I could have a separate “ceremony” with my book club. We have already picked the books we are reading for 2018 so I will include them in the list of the books I have that I have not read and am choosing to read in the coming year. I could ask them to encourage me to be strong in this quest (the book one will be the harder of the two).

Thanks for this post and I am excited by the inspiration/energy/life it has given me.

Brady Faught December 20, 2017 at 12:16 pm

It’s actually why I love long distance flights. It forces me to disconnect (even though today flights offer wi-fi, a negative in my opinion) and read my book, do a few chapters my Spanish workbook, or relax and watch that 3 hour movie without guilt of chores or other hobbies vying for my attention.

Ash December 20, 2017 at 4:14 pm

This is my first comment but I’ve been lurking on your blog forever and I frequently share your posts with friends for discussion.

Just felt I should comment to let you know that this post in particular really resonated with me. And, as a front-end software developer in particular, we deal with a lot of ‘newness’ anxiety which I’ve been really trying to combat hard over the last couple of years.

It took me a while to realize that even ‘save it for later’ apps like Pocket where feed into this FOMO-anxiety and not letting me move on with actually get (un)comfortably deep with just one particular hobby/subject.

Johan December 20, 2017 at 10:08 pm

Over the past few years I’ve been trying many different hobbies/activities. I didn’t realize until I read this that out of all those new things I did try, there were a couple that really stuck with me and I dug deeper into them. Astronomy became an everyday thing (read every Carl Sagan book) and keep myself studying the night sky and the latest discoveries. Musical instruments have been part of me since I was a teenager but it wasn’t until I found bands that I absolutely LOVE that I dug deeper into learning music. If you’re having trouble picking up that guitar I recommend learning music and an entire album of a musician/band you adore. So I think trying many different things isn’t a bad thing. Filtering to keep only the ones you absolutely will have fun pursuing deeper is what David is trying to convey.

I wonder how well this idea can apply to relationships (friends/dating). In the swipe culture we live in, we never focus on one person to dig deeper. The next dopamine hit is always waiting for us and round and round we go. I’ve been more conscious when I match with someone and only focus on getting to know that one person and see where it goes.

Tony December 21, 2017 at 3:41 am

Hi David,
Amazing that you wrote about this as I have just completed my first “Depth Year”.
I postponed all new projects and deliberately identified, acknowledged and documented everything in my life that gives me a feel of thankfulness and appreciation.
Fostering my gratitude for what I have right now.
One of my three steps to collecting happiness.
And, coincidentally, there is also a copy of Moby Dick that still remains unfinished.
Good tradition to start – “Depth Year”.
Thanks for the idea.

daniela December 22, 2017 at 5:10 am

Hi, in your opinion is this topic valid for every activity or the expensive ones only? Is it about consummerism only? for example ,practicing at home : yoga or pilates or stretching or… can be enriching, don’t you think?

Nayeem December 23, 2017 at 10:46 am

It’s true that there have no fixed time to start something good, but a year change would be a time to get something new for me or discover myself in new way through drilling previous year…..

Kimberly December 23, 2017 at 2:30 pm

hi David, I love this post but I wonder if many commenters here have gotten a little too caught up in the logistics of the ‘depth year’ rather than just seeing it as an idea to keep in mind every time you might feel tempted to buy something new or start something new ….. you can tell yourself this: I could go a WHOLE YEAR just doing things I have already acquired in my home, unread books, unlistened to music, unwatched movies…. you could recover a chair instead of buying a new one, you could learn how to be okay with the ugly colour and tattered appearance… its unique and it still serves its purpose!’ organize your photos, print some and put in frames….. wow this is starting to look my ‘to do’ list…. I take the point from this being – lets put ‘newness’ out of vogue, lets quit attaching some prestige to always being able to announce a new thing you are learning or doing or trying….. everybody wants to know ‘whats new’ – nothing! nothing is new! and i am fine with that! I went to walmart today….. so sad….. I mean all the buying….

Kelley December 25, 2017 at 11:02 am

Excellent spark for the week of planning 2018. I too enjoy tsundoku, but have gotten control in a simple way: fiction from the public library only. As for the year of going deep, French and piano will do. Skittering along with both, with family in France and an electric piano I bought 10 years ago.
On the other hand, being an inch deep but a mile wide has its advantages. I can converse and show interest in anyone’s occupation. And on ersations with people are my favorite new thing to acquire.

Amman December 26, 2017 at 8:08 pm

This article was so relevant! I try to read a fiction/non-fiction every other week. I realized I’ve only read my favorite book of all time (Lord of the Rings) maybe twice.

Until reading this article, I felt guilty of wanting to re-read the same story when my list of books to read on Amazon was growing faster than my reading-rate. That “Customers who bought this item also bought” stresses me, come to think of it. You just keep opening new tabs for each book on there, and the number of tabs explodes. By the end of the session, you have 20 news books in the list.

Enough: I’m going deep in 2018. My collection of books and movies is immense, more than a lifetime’s worth for the average person. I’m going to re-read and re-watch my favorites, and pick up things I missed the first few times or forgotten over the years.

devo December 27, 2017 at 1:08 pm

nice one cain!
congratulations on your year of going deeper young sir, dilly dilly!
i’ve discussed with friends many times the erosion of rights of passage in our western culture. what makes this such a good idea is that it contains several life enhancing principles, not the least of which is present moment awareness in both assessment and action. maybe, after the first year of going deeper, it could cycle back through our lives a annually for shorter periods. perhaps 30 days before and after the spring solstice. a spring cleaning of the mind, a reset of the ‘want’ mechanism. “camp deeper”? thanks again!

Jodie Utter December 27, 2017 at 7:06 pm

I wait to read your posts until I have time to savor them, because each one of them, quite literally, positively impacts my life and fine tunes my way of thinking. And this is no exception. I encountered and embraced minimalism 2 years ago, at a dark point, which is so often when one does encounter new and better guiding principles. And your thoughts on going deeper not wider with what we already own and involve ourselves with compliment minimalism so nicely. So thanks again for thinking and writing and sharing, David. Good, good stuff.

Annie December 28, 2017 at 12:58 am

Hi David, what a wonderful post, thank you so much. The past few months I’ve been consistently drawn to the need to go deeper in my life. I love the ideas you have put forward here and have decided to make 2018 my go deeper year.
A few years ago I challenged myself to a year of gratitude and it was absolutely life changing, I’m hoping this will be too.
I might even get around to finalising my gratitude posts on my blog lol.
Thanks again.

Kevin Ogden December 28, 2017 at 3:00 pm

I just found your blog…recommended by a friend. I was truly inspired and found the concept incredibly thought provoking. A similar thought from the book, Essentialism, is “Do Less Better”. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Andrea Frazer December 28, 2017 at 5:34 pm

Great post! Toni McClellan turned me onto it after I mentioned reading a book called “Present Over Perfect.” It’s about stopping the hustle and really learning to embrace the stillness. And, of course, when it’s painful to face the thoughts in our brain and the wounds and the committee that threatens to take us over at every turn, it talks about leaning even deeper into it for true healing. To quit running. Your post is a nice spin on this same concept and it’s one I will think about for sure!

Angelika Schwarz December 29, 2017 at 11:14 am

I so needed to read this. I feel totally restless if I don’t have some project going on… whereas, I could finally do so many things at home. I’m saving this blog… forever.

Nancy H. Vest December 29, 2017 at 4:04 pm

I lost my husband this year, suddenly and at a young age. I have a new appreciation for life in the present. Love this blog post.

Verena December 30, 2017 at 8:28 am

Thank you for this wonderful and inspiring post. 2018 will be my Depth-Year and I am really looking forward to it. Wouldn’t be great if we could create a Depth-Year movement?
Wishing you all light filled, happy and healthy year 2018,

Mary Ann McNeely December 30, 2017 at 9:58 am

I am so glad a FB friend mentioned this as her new year’s intention. Mine is to simplify. And this is exactly the support I’ll come to as I carve out this new path. So grateful!
I habit I’m letting go of…buying a book whenever I read an article that resonates! In fact I jumped at trying to find a link here…to buy a book and when I didn’t see one, I realize…aha…this website is ENOUGH!

Jamie December 30, 2017 at 12:14 pm

I’m in for sure!

KG December 30, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Wonderful inspiring post, great message!!

Sara Walsh December 30, 2017 at 11:24 pm

Thank you. What a focusing insight this is. Good food for thought — & action — for the New Year.

Merle Drury December 31, 2017 at 11:41 am

Retirement, for many of us forced to live on a reduced income, is the ultimate Depth Year…. Re-reading books is a way of life. Using clothes we’ve had for years, getting back to painting to use the vast stock of paints and stuff. The one thing I haven’t tackled is the guitar but it’s on the list… We’re even using up old paint Colours to decorate our hallway. It’s a blast!

Janis January 2, 2018 at 3:29 pm

I thought the same thing! As I approach retirement, I’ve thought of the many things I will have to do that are already present in my life.

Sandy December 31, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Interesting and good read, as always! And while I realize this post was probably meant for those who do madly hop from project to project while refusing or unable to be meditative about such projects, I must add: many of us thrive on trying new things and tackling new projects, and I do not think that a “scanner” personality (one who “scans” the world for new things to try) should be downplayed or scanners made to feel bad or “forced” into focusing on things with the type of passion that only “divers” (those that dive into one topic only their whole life, presenting another set of challenges that may leave a person narrow-minded or very one-dimensional) naturally wield.

Personally I feel trapped when focussing on only one thing for too long. I love learning a “little bit about a lot of things”, and have done so my whole life, and thrive with this way of living. That said, I do consider myself a “deep scanner” and really tackle a hobby or project when I am passionate about it. If the passion is not there, I do not force it, and move on to what speaks to me.

And, although scanners may never become divers or “deep divers”, this post is a good reminder to try ones hand at becoming a “deep scanner” instead of flitting from one thing to another and not being completely, wholly present in whatever project is in front of them. Definitely requires some thoughtful habit changes. Again, great post and discussion! :)

Elaine January 3, 2018 at 7:24 pm

Just what I need for 2018. I am definitely going for it and can’t wait to read more about this.

Ashish January 3, 2018 at 9:51 pm

beautiful advice for new year. thanks for this.

Lena January 3, 2018 at 10:18 pm

Thanks David!
As usual, your post is enlightening and motivating. I’m not ready for a depth year – but I will try a depth month during Jan, and see how I go. I’ll also try a depth year with current friends. While I’m always meeting new people, I’d like to concentrate on deepening the relationships I already have, and reaching a level of intimacy that’s more satisfying that the fleeting high of making new friends.

Catherine January 4, 2018 at 8:17 am

You put my thoughts into words so well – I relate to so much of what you’ve said! I’ve just found your blog from a link in Leo Babauta’s mail and very pleased that I have. Thank you :)

thealmightyjohn January 4, 2018 at 2:08 pm

Thanks for sharing. I’ve been slowly drifting away from what I consider the “typical American consumer mindset”, and the further I get the more bazaar it seems. However that addiction for a “hit” of newness is hard to shake. Your idea of going deeper into what we already have, the things we were at one time excited about, is a great mindset to make help shaking that addiction.

Stalyn January 4, 2018 at 2:20 pm

Thank you for sharing this great post. Me personally, I need to focus more just in one project, one thing at the time.

Nick A January 4, 2018 at 3:06 pm

Good article. I have been purging my stuff over the last few weeks, it feels so freeing, I now only have 3 books, enough clothes, a few dvds. I have also got rid of all the things I ‘was going to do’ or ‘were going to get round to’. As a result, I feel that I have the space to ‘be’ and I can take a greater pleasure in life in the moment. I am also – as a result of this article – looking at my two books that I haven’t looked at very much – world atlas – fascinating to see all the countries and place names. Also an anatomy book – really interesting reading them. I have also decided to watch my remaining dvds that I haven’t got round to watching in years.

Chris January 4, 2018 at 4:16 pm

What a stupid idea. It will hurt the economy by hurting the stores that are still open. More will close. Some of us are Renaissance people with many many varied interests. We want to move on once we “get it:. Finishing some projects is just pointless. Maybe we learned that we don’t like that project. Learning new things is good for your brain. Diversity is good for your brain.

Sharon January 4, 2018 at 7:10 pm

This is great advice for me and I am so going to make this my Depth Year!

charlie January 5, 2018 at 10:14 am

Yes. Trust my internal and external creations and acquisitions heretofore, access gratitude, and go deeper, go higher. I’ve recently began working with the imagery and experience of working vertically more than horizontally; your writing here supports my efforts. Thank you, thank you.

Cynthia January 6, 2018 at 7:00 pm

My friends and I liked this idea so much that we made a Facebook group for it…if anyone else wants to join in and meet some new people feel free:


Johnathan January 8, 2018 at 1:12 am

Ugh, I hate how right this is. There’s so much over the last few years that I’ve just scraped the surface on that if I went deeper, I’d have the next few more years taken care of.

Damilola January 9, 2018 at 4:05 am

Whao. I love this write up. It has been really helpful, Great Job.

David January 9, 2018 at 9:11 pm

Really awesome article! By going in deeper rather than wider, helps you to achieve big success. Thanks for sharing the information!

Lone Christensen January 10, 2018 at 10:22 am

Great article! I really like the idea and so need to dig deeper and not wider. Thank you for the inspiration! :)

Erin January 10, 2018 at 6:55 pm

Wow. I love this! I found your blog trying to search for ideas for month-long experiments, instead of a standard new year’s resolution. I would never have thought of this myself, but I probably need it more than any other idea I’ve seen so far.

I spend time almost every day browsing video game sales and trading subreddits, even though it’d take me a full year to play everything I already own. I honestly don’t even feel like I need video games in my life every day, it’s just so easy to get that thrill when you can buy digital goods online and there are always so many deals compared to the MSRP. And like almost everyone else, I also have an ocarina I’d like to learn how to play, Japanese books, emails about free online courses, and other ads and “golden opportunities” that give me information-overload every day, but that I feel obsessed with to the point of being stressed about the 101 things I want to stuff my life with.

I’ve already been trying to say “no” to more things so that I can actually have time for the things I say “yes” to. But for some reason it didn’t as easily occur to me that it’s just as important to stop the influx so that I can focus on what I already have. I will have to make this one of my biggest experiments/challenges this year. Thank you so much for writing this post! :)

Paul White January 15, 2018 at 8:43 pm

Why would this website not accept my website?

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