Life

Good things can wait.

Besides, how good are they if they take away from your happiness?

They say adulthood requires suffering. It’s a lie you’ve been told.

Sure, you’ve got to be disciplined, but don’t suffer regularly for a paycheck.

Take your time and appreciate what you have, particularly when your plate is full.

There’s so much wonder and excitement and good books and amazing experiences out there.

And so much to look forward to, even things you might not expect.

So quit worrying. Work will always be there. And a good life requires play and appreciation.

 

 

I didn’t publish any posts this weekend.

Instead, I chose to immerse myself in moments.

I think I won’t publish from now on between Friday and Sunday.

I need these moments.

Because these moments allow me to immerse myself in myself so that the writing during the weekdays can be better.

They allow me to live a better life.

They allow me to explore.

And discover the things that need changing.

I wanted to write daily, but it’s simply unsustainable with the amount of work I have to do.

For that, I am sorry.

But the writing will be better this way.

And (I think) it’s only for now.

 

 

41vGBwZh0-L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_In college, I had the privilege of becoming an honors student in my department. Perhaps the greatest reward this offered was the opportunity to take a doctoral-level course. We studied Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America for four months.

My most affecting experience in that class was when I uttered the following sentence:

“I believe in doubt.”

It remains striking to this day because I was soon laughed and scoffed at. I was told, “You can’t believe in doubt!”

But you can; I know, because I do.

Here’s why: a quote in an old book called Morals and Dogma. It’s a tough read and a bit out there for most. But this quote is so important:

Doubt, the essential preliminary of all improvement and discovery. Knowledge is always imperfect … discovery multiplies doubt and doubt leads on to new discovery. The boast of science is not so much its manifested results, as its admitted imperfection and capacity of unlimited progress. The true religious philosophy of an imperfect being is not a system of creed, but, as Socrates thought, an infinite search or approximation. Finality is but another name for bewilderment or defeat.

We don’t know. And usually, the more we know, the more we feel like we don’t know.

As we get older, some of us get set in our ways. We grow prideful and start to say to ourselves, “I have amassed so much knowledge and experience, how could I not be right?”

But in reality, we probably got it wrong about a lot of things.

It’s absurd to think we’ve got the answers. The human race is so young, and the age of information has just begun.

So don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers yet; you probably never will, my friend.

And that’s okay because that uncertainty is how we progress.

 

Besides the basics of nutrition and regular exercise, where are we to discover well-being? The answer is simple.

But it’s so hard to achieve.

There are three fundamental aspects to the good life:

  1. Community
  2. Connection
  3. Character

If we have community and connection, we have a social system that promotes our highest potential and soothes us in turbulent times.

Though these won’t matter if we don’t have the disposition to appreciate them. And a lack of rightful understanding and conduct leads to toxicity and dysfunction in our lives. So it’s necessary that we strive to know what it means to embody good character.

Sorry, friends. I had to work on schoolwork and enjoyed spending quality time with my significant other.

But here’s one of my favorite quotes: The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions.

Have a wonderful Saturday!

 

Sorry for posting so late in the day, friends. I hope I haven’t lost your trust much.

I got caught up with living, and I completely forgot to write!

I want to share something a bit more personal with you: the things that I’m working on to be a better person right now. I’m sharing it because I’d like for you to know more about me. But if you find them inspiring, that’s great! I have a note pinned to the home screen of my Android phone to remind me regularly of the habits I’m trying to adjust.

All of them need work, but I can tell I’m getting better at them a little bit each and every day.

They are:

  • No social media (Reddit, YouTube, and Facebook) – This is one that I am not even close to ironing out, but it’s something worth striving for. And I can tell I’ve gotten much better.
  • Be patient, no frustration – There’s almost never any reason to get frustrated or angry. This is something I’ve nearly completed. I slip up once every three months or so. I quickly catch myself, though, and take a step back.
  • Talk little about yourself, be positive – I think a lot of folks have a tendency to talk about themselves or talk about negative things. They say what they don’t like and criticize others. Talking less about yourself makes you a more interesting person to others and being positive is just a good thing to do. It makes for a happier life.
  • No meat – I’m a vegetarian. I choose to not eat meat because it’s better for my health and the planet. Also, so many animals get treated poorly, and it’s hard to be a mindful consumer by avoiding purchasing from unethical farmers. But I do eat fish occasionally, particularly on days when I haven’t been able to get enough protein consumption.
  • Listen actively – This goes along with talking little about myself. So often we listen to respond. By keeping an open mind and avoiding asking ourselves what we’ll say next while someone is talking, we’re enabled to connect more deeply.
  • Be confident, don’t care – I have a tendency to care too much about what others think. I think the coolest people and the best leaders are folks who are just themselves.
  • Everyone is hungry for hope and encouragement – This isn’t a habit, but it’s in the note. I list it to have a regular reminder that, despite the cynicism I might feel sometimes about the world, everyone is just getting by and is imperfect. It also reminds me of the importance of creating art that feeds that need instead of contributes to the starvation.
  • Get feedback – Asking for feedback from people you trust can be tough. It might cause you to hear some uncomfortable things. But frequent feedback (particularly of the bold sort) is necessary to live a well informed, good life.
  • Meet people where they’re at – I have a tendency to go off the deep end with folks. While chatting with acquaintances I might start talking about intrinsic goals, dreams, and philosophy. I have to remind myself that a lot of people don’t like talking about that stuff, so before I get into a deep conversation, I should try to see where they’re at in their life.
  • Self-care – Enough said. My happiness needs to come before all else. I regularly ask myself, “What does a perfect day look like?” And I try to do the activities I describe in the response to that question as often as possible.

There are other parts of my life I’m working on besides what’s listed. For example, striving for creative and territorial thinking over competitive and hierarchical thinking; being more romantic, friendly, and kind; and taking myself less seriously.

I probably shouldn’t be doing so much, but for some reason, I’m not satisfied doing less.

 

In 2009, two brothers – Dave and Mike Radparvar – sat on the steps of Union Square in New York City and wrote the following manifesto. They had just quit their jobs and decided they would venture into the fashion industry with zero experience, and they felt they needed a guiding light.

Today, their company Holstee shares a similar mission to my own, namely bringing more meaning and inspiration into people’s lives.

Holstee Manifesto

Here’s the plain text:

“This is your life.  Do what you love, and do it often.  If you don’t like your job, quit.  If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV.  If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.  Stop over analyzing, life is simple.  All emotions are beautiful.  When you eat, appreciate every last bite.  Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people, we are united in our differences.  Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them.  Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself.  Some opportunities only come once, seize them.  Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them so go out and start creating.  Life is short.  Live your dream and share your passion.”

And if you prefer it in video format, here that is as well: The Holstee Manifesto: Lifecycle Video.