Lifelong consistency is impossible

http://www.raptitude.com/2009/06/4-brilliant-remarks-from-historys-wisest-american/

When someone is that afraid of being contradicted, they are no longer concerned with the truth, only with protecting their priceless investment in what they have said. To honor a statement you made yesterday as a binding declaration of who you are is a tragic, yet extremely common mistake. This is the fundamental error that plagues humanity: to mistake one’s ego for oneself.  Enforcing an impossible, lifelong consistency in what you say and believe can only lead to dishonesty and despair.

~ David Cain

When I thought I was basically “done” becoming who I would become, I got bent out of shape over all the problems I saw in the world.

Now that I realize that the only meaningful life is one where I continuously tinker with self-improvement, I see that–just like me–everyone else is on a journey of transformation… wether or not they realize it.

ɕ

Same purpose, different style

http://www.raptitude.com/2009/05/same-purpose-different-styles/

While I’m worrying in my little apartment about getting my writing done or doing my laundry, it lends me some perspective if I can remember that somewhere out there, precisely as I’m tending to my human to-do list, there are beavers taking down trees, ants hustling to feed their queen, rabbits feasting on backyard gardens, and elephants showing their children where the water hole is.

~ David Cain

Perspective is a wonderful thing.

In the beginning, a few months of summer vacation represents a significant portion of your life’s memories. Years later, each month flies by. In the beginning, the first project you create is the greatest idea the world has ever been shown. Years later, the projects are too numerous to recall, and the next one is considered with a weathered gaze before being sent out into the world. Challenging physical activities are dopamine-fun in the beginning. Years later, the physicality brings only a pleasant, difuse joy.

Perspective is empowering.

ɕ

The secret to connecting with people

http://www.raptitude.com/2009/04/the-secret-to-connecting-with-people/

Let the other person have the privilege of being the first one to be understood. The biggest distraction to understanding someone else is self-importance. Needing to say something means you have to be thinking about it, and thinking about it means you have very little mental capacity left for empathy. Free up yours, and it will free up theirs.

~ David Cain

Empathy is the most useful ability I have ever developed. Sure, I first had to develop my abilities of self-awareness and self-assessment. But at that point, the need for empathy and compassion became plain as day.

ɕ

Nine thoughts worthy of immortality

http://www.raptitude.com/2009/04/9-thoughts-worthy-of-immortality/

Deep in the vast, mostly forgotten (yet immediately accessible) archives of the blogosphere lie billions of touching, hilarious and brilliant thoughts that humankind has been stockpiling for years.  Here are nine that moved me, with excerpts.  Bookmark this if you don’t have a lot of time right now.

~ David Cain

This is not like the think-pieces I’m normally drawn to share. This is literally a list of nine, individual blog posts (from among the billions) which are worthy of being called great writing. These are among the best things humans have ever written.

ɕ

Seven profound insights from the Beatles

http://www.raptitude.com/2009/04/7-profound-insights-from-the-beatles/

While “let it be” is profoundly wise in its own right, the passage above contains an idea even more powerful: we all suffer, and that brings us closer. No matter what differences people have, the one guaranteed common thread among us all is that we know what it means to lose and to grieve.

~ David Cain

Over the years, as my hearing has faded, I’ve still always had music. I think–but am not certain–that I appreciate music all the more now that I understand how poor my hearing really is. Sometimes I simply stop and take time to sit and listen. It’s not-at-all amazing that music is closely connected to emotion. It’s not-at-all amazing that emotion is a common ground we all share.

ɕ

Does Your Story Have This Common Weakness?

http://www.raptitude.com/2009/05/does-your-story-have-this-common-weakness/

Another common curse: the belief that happiness cannot coexist with an imperfect world. For you to be okay with your story, do you require any of the following to occur? A crime-free city. A drug-free America. The day corrupt officials see the error of their ways. The end of suffering on earth. World peace. The day everyone starts using their turn signals, and stops mixing up “there” and “their.”

These are tall orders. Certainly worth aiming at, but never worth waiting for.

~ David Cain

I’ll nitpick and say the following about his opening Indiana Jones story: The fact that Indy closed his eyes and did not look at the contents of the Ark shows that he changed. Instead of his literally ceaseless quest for artifacts, he chose to let this artifact remain unknown to him. That’s why the demons in the Ark spared him.

I digress.

I love that he’s writing about Indy.

…and the rest of this article is even better: So, does your story rely on the “deus ex machina” trope? …since this is reality, how has that bee working out for you so far? I can tell you it didn’t work out for me, so I rewrote the script of my life.

ɕ

The only resource more precious than time

https://www.raptitude.com/2009/03/the-only-resource-more-precious-than-time/

Unlike money, everyone is ultimately on a level playing field when it comes to time. We all get the same allowance of twenty-four hours a day. Just as there are ineffective ways of investing your money, there are ineffective ways of investing your time.

If we all have the same amount of this essential resource, why do some people achieve so much, and others so little? Where we start from — in terms of economic class, skills and education — certainly has something to do with it, but there are just as many riches-to-rags stories as there are rags-to-riches stories, so obviously there is another factor at play here.

~ David Cain

I found the realization that it’s really my attention that is my limiiting resource to be both liberating and scary. Liberating because it means that all I need to do is focus my attention and long-term success is within my grasp. Applying my attention, even in short stretches, inevitably leads to progress on my favorite projects. And scary because every time I’m tired, run-down, don’t want to do something– every time, food or the Movie-monster call my name, entertainment or distraction– there are so many opportunities for me to turn my attention away from the things I find valuable.

ɕ

Letting years go by

https://www.raptitude.com/2009/03/protect-your-dreams-from-contamination/

In fact, I’ve let years of my life go by this way. I could be working on something I truly love, and then I’d hit a snag. I’d get frustrated, then avoid it for the rest of the day. I just wouldn’t want to be frustrated anymore, so I wouldn’t touch it. There’s always later. Perhaps if a better mood came along I’d be willing to tackle it.

~ David Cain

I’m not sure I agree with how easy it sounds the way he puts it. But he’s dead on with the point.

Here’s another spin on it, the late, great, Jack Vance as Curly.

ɕ