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Resurrecting the Art of Sustainability—From Within.

By Erinn Mallett

The current state. It’s fast. It’s furious.

Shit gets tossed away in a blink.

Goods. People. Beliefs.

Running with the fickle mob—it’s either easy or they’re out.

The superficial is the acceptable.

Fast. Easy. Expendable.

A rubble mindset in a disposable world.

Yet, there are others who seek to endure.

Those who are in it for the long-haul. Who welcome the test of time. They aren’t a flash in the pan or drive-by remembrance. They strive for sustainability—and understand that the cost is perseverance.

They see value in the struggle—the suck—and openly seek it. 

Those who withstand the madness and thrive. Those who seek to endure; who savor the fight. Who, many times, just crave a well-matched adversary. Those who value the process—the win and the lose.

To some, ‘sustainability’ refers to homestead or the environment. 

But the applications are much broader. Sustainability starts as an inside job—it starts from the heart and consumes the mind. It’s an approach to life that can span into health, finance, business relationships and conflict.

Sustainability gives you a say in both the process and the outcome.

A willingness to embrace time and tempo is a key element for longevity. Whether it’s to sustain for a day. A year. A lifetime.

Find importance that you’ll neither let fade nor falter.

This can be your health, your relationships or the person you wish to see in the mirror. Keep your vision close and commit to see it through—even if it becomes a lifetime of work. Make a promise to yourself that you will not acquiesce. 

Connect with those who seek risk and reward.

Find those who realize they are either fully living or rapidly dying. Remember, inertia is a cancer. It’s insidious. Know that the easy default to stay still, small and quiet is a costly comfort. 

The inability to move will consume any momentum.

Not moving means pissing away irreplaceable time. But remembering kindness costs nothing—question if losing humanity is worth the reward. Find your people. Hold those who don’t quit—those who endure—close by. 

Flow and move subtly through the sharp realities of life.  

Grieve, mourn, then move on—not out of selfishness—out of survival. The path is messy. And sometimes, so is the anguish.

The world offers a million ways to hold you down. Hold yourself up.

It’s the nagging voice that agrees with the naysayers. You will never succeed. Who do you think you are? Don’t allow your inside voice to join the mainstream crowd. The demise of an idea or goal is often by a death in one’s own mind.

You will experience loss, grief, heartbreak, injury and aging.  

It’s difficult to recover from sudden, wild reactions to disappointment. The ability to reflect, adapt and continue will serve you well. 

At some point, you decide you will not give in or give up. 

You will choose for yourself. Right or wrong. Win or lose. You are the architect of your future and the path it will follow. 

The world needs victims—don’t be one of them. 

The strongest and most resilient people have experienced profound hardship. Victimhood is not an absolute. 

You get to define yourself.

Forgo the urge to define yourself by labels—they automatically restrict your growth and how you proceed.

Own it all. 

The good and the bad. The shit you did and what you didn’t see coming. One person’s excuse is another person’s power grab. 

There is magic in resistance. 

There is a kinship in complacency. The constant wind of compliance blows strong against ships seeking their own course. Even a seed must have resistance. Without the wind, a seedling cannot become strong enough to grow. It crumbles amidst its own weight.  

Self-doubt will fuck you up. 

There is no scarcity of critics. The sea of naysayers is vast and deep. Don’t be one of them.

Be flexible but focused. 

The ability to adapt, sometimes in mid-flight, is essential. A rigid, set mind is just that. Staying fixed to a given outcome, idea or sense of security will provide endless opportunities for demise. 

Details are essential.  

Pay attention to small details, but don’t attach to small-mindedness. Attention to drama is quicksand for vitality and a killer for momentum.

Adversity is your companion, and discomfort, its wingman.  

Make peace with discomfort. Embrace the fact that the road might be hard, long, painful and frustrating. Adversity is essential. 

Give little attention to discomfort and you’ll start to ignore it.

The chronic “grouser” who complains at each inconvenience stays locked in the minutia.  

Choose words with caution; choose actions with discipline.

Remember, it’s the actions—not the words—that are the true measure of substance. Actions are forged from ownership, adaptability, mental fortitude and heartbreak. 

The ‘art’ of sustaining—the culmination of grit and grace—is realized when perseverance becomes your signature.

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