Not so easy

The answer depends on whether he recognizes that though he may have subdued his external obstacles and enemies, he must overcome psychological foes — depression, anomie, angst — which are no less formidable for their ethereality. He must embrace the fact that though this world may be thoroughly charted, explored, and technologized, there remains one last territory to conquer — himself.

~ Brett McKay from, https://www.artofmanliness.com/character/advice/sunday-firesides-mans-last-great-conquest-himself/

I would argue that all the external conquering and subduing was the easy part. That existential dread? That’s not so easy. The first part of solving that problem is of course realizing it is a problem for oneself. Yeah, I’m working on that.

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Cool-Whip

Later, when the Doritos were reduced to crumbly fragments barely worth fishing out of the bag, I reflected on what had gone wrong, and remembered something I discovered years ago about resolutions but forget constantly.

~ David Cain from, https://www.raptitude.com/2022/03/you-dont-need-a-promise-you-need-a-plan/

The other day, I finished off the remaining more–than–half of a can of Cool-Whip. To be clear: I mean that I ate it directly. It’s not terrible as far as things go. But it’s absolutely not the sort of “food” that I want to eat. It definitely doesn’t move me towards my goals. I knew I was going to do it, weeks ago when the can appeared in my refrigerator to be used with some dessert or other. I knew I was going to do it when the can went back in the fridge after dessert. Sure, it took a couple of weeks, but then after an entire day of being stressed out, things played out just as I knew they would. Cain has a plan. I should probably get a plan before the next can of Cool-Whip is left like a lamb for slaughter.

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Some ironic distance

Finally, when it comes to your own self-opinion, try to have some ironic distance from it. Make yourself aware of its existence and how it operates within you. Come to terms with the fact that you are not as free and autonomous as you like to believe. You do conform to the opinions of the groups you belong to; You do buy products because of subliminal influence; You can be manipulated. Realize as well that you are not as good as the idealized image of your self-opinion.

~ Robert Greene

slip:4a1004.

Named your fear must be

Sometimes, our heads won’t stop thinking about something. Our thoughts will spin around and around, not willing to let go, obsessing. It might be about another person, a big event coming up, or about ourselves. It might be overthinking a decision, big or small.

~ Leo Babauta from, https://zenhabits.net/obsess/

I read this the other day after its being queued for ages. It was eerily apropos of a really bad mood that I was in. Except I read it just after I had deployed Babauta’s “face the fear” strategy that he describes. It definitely works. And for some reason, Yoda’s admonishment that, “named your fear must be, before banish it you can,” sprung to mind.

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A rare repeat

Because sometimes I experience small periods of blissful serenity. I’d particularly like to be able to go there on a more regular basis. It seems to me that spending about 10 days doing nothing but meditating in silence would be a delightfully mind-altering experience.

~ Me from, https://constantine.name/2019/08/30/waiting-for-the-next-one/

I’m a process maniac. I have automation that feeds me links to my historical blog posts. This one from three years ago was something I really needed to reread (and was therefore very glad I was given the nudge to do so.)

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The message

There are mountains of content. None of it is new. How do we decide what to practice or teach? A message can clarify this. There was a time when I did not have a message. I delivered great content, accumulated from various teachers I’d studied from. The participants had fun, but my lack of messaging left me without answers to questions like, “Why does this much strength (or mobility) matter?” or “Why have you chosen these moves and not those moves?”

~ Kyle Fincham from, https://www.kylefincham.com/post/what-s-your-message

It used to be, that when I read things like this article, I would be launched into deep thinking. It’s nice to know what my message is. It’s nice to know why, specifically, each piece of my menagerie is in my care, why I continue feeding it, and what my hopes for it are. It’s nice. I point this out not in some attempt to jump on my soapbox about how everyone should sort their own menagerie out… no. I’m literally just pointing out that my experience of it is nice.

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Your best

To me, quality means doing the best you can with what you have to work with. Your environment. Your equipment. Your voice. Your experience. Your level of comfort. All of those things are part of your overall “working with” toolset.

~ Evo Terra from, https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/making-your-commitment-to-quality-podcasting

This is something I often struggle with. Terra is writing about podcasting specifically—something I spend a lot of time doing—but I have this problem more generally. It would serve me well to be thinking: Is this the best I can do now, with the tools, knowledge, situation, and skills I have now? If so, terrific! That’s great enough.

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