Those defiant words

I am unafraid as I prepare myself for that day when the artifices and disguises will be stripped away and I shall make judgment of myself. Is it just brave talk, or do I mean what I say? Were they for real, those defiant words I spoke aginst fortune, or were they just theatre – Just acting a part?

~ Seneca

This greater good you’ve found

Indeed, if you find anything in human life better than justice, truth, self-control, courage – in shrot, anything better than the sufficiency of your own mind, which keeps you acting according to the demands of true reason and accepting what fate gives you outside of your own power of choice – I tell you, if you can see anything better than this, turn to it heart and soul and take full advantage of this greater good you’ve found.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Only when you breath your last

Lectures and learned seminars and sayings culled from the teachings of philosophers and educated conversation do not reveal the mind’s real strength. For speech is bold even where the speaker is timorous. What you have achieved will be revealed only when you breathe your last.

~ Seneca

On civility

If civility is a kind of claim to regulating, or governing our disagreements on the basis of something shared, then what really matters is, what exactly it is we’re claiming that we need to share in order to have a civil disagreement.

~ Teresa Bejan

I’ve heard discussion about “controlling the conversation.” The idea being that when there’s a power imbalance, one side can control what can be talked about, and what can be blocked or suppressed as “beyond the pale.” This discussion on Philosophy Bites explores what it means “to be civil.” In my interpretation, it may not be possible to be civil in cases where there is insufficient common ground upon which to build civil discourse.


The devil always gets his due

Anyone can be an idealist. Anyone can be a cynic. The hard part lies somewhere in the middle i.e. being human.

~ Jason Korman

I’ve recently been on a run with posts about “balance” simply because that’s what I’m struggling with most these days. Confirmation bias then ensures I’m seeing things “about” balance everywhere.

realist: n., optimist with experience.

I’m not going to say the best place to be is always in the middle of a given spectrum. Actually, it’s not even perfectly clear to me that “idealist” and “cynic” are opposite ends of a spectrum; but I’ll run with that assumption for today. So given that acting from an entirely idealistic or cynical position is going to end badly… what can I take from that?

I think it’s pretty simple: Strive for the best, and plan for the worst. Running with that idea, I’ve been returning to my old, first step of my current journey: Self-awareness.

“Look, you’re freaking out. Simple fact.”

“Is this really the end of the world?”

“Is this maybe too far toward the cynical end of the spectrum?”

“Could I maybe do with a little less drama?”

“What if I turned around and looked back at what I’ve accomplished?”

“Would that at least bring me a little peace?”


One who acts naturally

One who tries to stand on tiptoe cannot stand still. One who stretches his legs too far cannot walk. One who advertises himself too much is ignored. One who is too insistent on his own view finds few to agree with him. One who claims too much credit does not get even what he deserves. One who is too proud is soon humiliated. These are condemned as extremes of greediness and self-destructive activity. Therefore, one who acts naturally avoids such extremems.

~ the Book of Tao

Explore yourself

A good teacher can never be fixed in a routine. Each moment requires a sensitive mind that is constantly changing and adapting. A teacher must never impose this student to fit his favorite pattern. A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence. A teacher is never a giver of truth; He is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself. I am not teaching you anything. I just help you to explore yourself.

~ Bruce Lee

Your life’s work

I had a wonderful day, thanks in no small part to hearing George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” on the radio while I ate breakfast. I walked into town relishing the sunshine, and enjoyed every minute of today. George moved his last block in 2001.

~ David Cain

This seemed at first a cold way to think of one’s life: The sum total of the changes wrought in reality. On the other hand, there’s a huge amount of strutting and fretting and worrying and machinations and gyrations and chaos in my internal world. I’m sure it will be a good thing if that all evaporated from the world.

On second thought, how great would it be if I could get all that stuff to evaporate before I’m gone.


Personal judgement

Embedded in White’s point about language I find a reflection of one of my core beliefs about life in general: that rules are excellent organizational tools and efficient reducers of cognitive load, but they are no substitute for contextual sensitivity and personal judgement.

~ Maria Popova

Looking back a decade or so, I know that my working on self-awareness was the turning point. What did I discover, through my new-found skill of self-awareness? …an alarming lack of judgement and sensitivity.


Time to take action?

The thing is, we still live in a world that’s filled with opportunity. In fact, we have more than an opportunity — we have an obligation. An obligation to spend our time doing great things. To find ideas that matter and to share them. To push ourselves and the people around us to demonstrate gratitude, insight, and inspiration. To take risks and to make the world better by being amazing.

~ Seth Godin

Someone recently asked me about Movers Mindset. “Why is craig doing this?” and my first thought was, “Isnt this obviously a great thing?” But perhaps he wasn’t asking about the thing but rather about me. I had focused on the, “…doing this” when I perhaps I should have focused on, “…Craig doing.”

It’s simple: Movers Mindset is the community I wish I could join. To find inspiration. To find like-minded persons. To find a high-fidelity space where my ideas can be exposed to the Marketplace of Ideas.