“Do nothing which is of no use” -Miyamoto Musashi

A hunger for the knowledge of things grows in an incubator, not in the cold. What I wonder is, why does the incubator exist? What makes me different? I look around and see my peers struggling forward for more toys, more power. Me? I’m hungry for wisdom and knowledge. Why? Would I still hunger if I had extreme riches?

I don’t want to boil it down to an argument between nature v nurture. Instead, how about we acknowledge that different people want different things, even if we are all the same (for the most part).

You can argue that we are so different, but that’s not true. Take away his comforts and security, and mankind becomes another animal. What once was philosophical is now murderous at the chance of survival. He will deceive, kill, and take by force just to survive. He will amass as much power as possible so as to not toe the survival line again.

When I was a kid, I almost beat up another kid for using a swear word. It made me so angry that he was using such profanity that I was willing to use violence to change his words. Terrible, yes, but what child hasn’t done something idiotic.

What I wonder is why people are still like that: going against a higher value to enforce a lesser one.

Keep your values close.

Do nothing which is of no use.

Miyamoto Musashi

Year Review: 2018

This year I’m starting a tradition. I’m looking back on the year at what mistakes I’ve made, what I learned, and how I’ve grown. No plan forward, just looking back and learning.

Here’s what I have so far:

Mistakes I’ve Made

  • Not putting my physical health first.  It’s cliche, but important. Without physical health, we get nowhere. I chased the urgent while ignoring the important.
  • Not putting my growth second. In line with the first, and just as important. I cut one hour out per day to read but didn’t take it. Again, I chased the urgent at the cost of the important.
  • Not being present with my family. This is a tough one. I find my phone in front of my face more and more, while getting less and less done, and being apart from my family.

What I’ve Learned

  • I am distracted at the core.  A tough realization. My health, family, profession, and growth all suffer from my distraction. I am appalled.
  • I know nothing. I used to think I was pretty smart until I actually started reading more widely (thanks to twitter). Now I realize that I know one percent of what I thought I did.
  • I crave wisdom and growth. More than stuff, money, or status. It took me over 30 years to learn this one.
  • Training for me is spiritual.

How I’ve Grown

  • I used to love being on my own before becoming a father. Now I relish time spent with my family more than almost anything.
  • I’ve grown to love wisdom in all (I think) it’s forms. I am curious about everything in art, science, philosophy, training, physics, design, etc. Above all, I crave philosophy. A year ago I was solely about optimizing my business among distractions.
  • I have learned that maximal effectiveness comes from balance. That means cutting out distractions and obligations as much as working on effective things efficiently. I now realize, at least partly, the value of getting enough sleep, meditation, journaling, reading, and writing.

Themes for 2019

  • Focus. I know what I want and how to move forward. It’s the distractions that are slowing me down.
  • Growth first.  Carving out times to train, read, sleep, meditate, etc, then following through with it.
  • Being present.  More airplane mode.

If 2018 Were A Person

Barely living, un-disciplined, mentally weak toddler in a mans body.

Here’s to 2019 and another wonderful year of this funny thing we call life.

Multipliers: Reading and Writing

We hear it often. Making reading a habit has second order effects that propel us forward. That’s the thing though: second order effects. We quickly forget them due to their submersed nature.

Most multipliers are like that. Quiet, unseen, un-loved by most.

Communication is a multiplier (or steroid) that all need in order to make a ruckus. Why? Because reading and writing help the mind stay clear. “Clear writing is clear thinking” and vice versa.

When you are done.

“When can I be done?”

We ask this during our ‘education’ years. “Someday, I’ll be done. Then it’ll be worth it.”

We fail to realize that most of our lives are spent in limbo. Spent, in the time between yesterday and our next goal.

Those 5 minutes over there.

This day off over here.

That’s the sweet stuff.

All any of us has, is this moment right here.