How’s everyone doing? What have you been working on lately? What’s most exciting in your life right now?
Since moving to Arizona, I have had a lot of interesting insights and have been facing a new set of challenges. I thought I would share a little bit about the “cool” things I have been up to hoping to keep your attention in this article which is essentially 1,300 words about some things.
A recent read
My most recent read was Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel. This one has been on my list for a while and is highly recommended by many influential people. After reading, it’s no surprise to see why.
Among the abundance of powerful language throughout, a couple of my favorite quotes within were:
“George, you must realize that the world is a joke. There is no justice, everything is random. Only when you realize this will you understand how silly it is to take yourself seriously. There is no grand purpose in the universe. It just is. There’s no particular meaning in what decision you make today about how to act.”
“The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity – even under the most difficult circumstances – to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified, and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self- preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal. Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him. And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not.”
“We need to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Life means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”
“It is a dangerous misconception of mental hygiene to assume that what man needs in the first place is equilibrium or a tensionless state. What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. The call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”
“We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation when facing a fate that cannot be changed to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement. In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of sacrifice.”
“Man is not fully conditioned and determined but rather determines himself whether he gives in to conditions or stands up to them. Man is self-determining. Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.”
Finally, a perfect quote in the final sentence of the book:
“The meaning of your life is to help others find the meaning of theirs.”
Seriously. Pick this book up. You will not regret it.
An investment into Stoicism
I’m pretty impressed with the subject of stoicism through the recommendation of Tim Ferriss (check out his podcast if you want your mind blown). Stoicism is a fascinating practice that sets out to remind us how unpredictable the world can be and to help people find how to always be in control of their thoughts and actions. It’s been a tough practice I have been trying to live by.
Subscribe to The daily stoic if you are looking for daily nuggets written on the subject.
What I’m reading
A while ago, I continually kept circling back to the same question:
Why are you not spending your free/wasted/unfocused/bored time reading? Thus, beginning my attempted dedication to always having something to read.
These past 2 weeks, the only thing I have been doing in the morning has been reading for about an hour and a half or so. It’s been pretty great.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius – #stoicism
A new podcast discovery
During my exploration of thinking differently, I have been led into many subjects I never thought I would end up at.
There is a specific podcast that I have been listening to on my commutes. It’s called The RobCast with Rob Bell where he discusses Christianity and different perspectives on God/religion. The guests are typically Christian thought leaders and theologians.
It’s not about the question of does God exist? This is the wrong question. He approaches it in a unique way and avoids that question entirely. It’s nothing like you would imagine and I’m sure many people who wouldn’t consider themselves religious could find deep meaning in some of the discussion. Very eye opening.
So many hikes
When we moved to Arizona, I knew I wanted to hike. In fact, I made it a goal of mine to take a hike every weekend. So far, I am three for three despite them all being in the Superstition Mountains. This is of course because there is too much epic nature and views in the life to miss out on. The climb, the meditative trance hiking puts you in, the fresh air, and the reflection at the top make every one worthwhile.
I’m thinking about starting an Instagram but to be honest, why? Why do I feel that I need to explain the coolness of my hikes and show pictures? Perhaps it’s to inspire people to find something they enjoy doing and make it a habit to do it as much as possible? Perhaps it’s to get people to come visit…ay?
Yeah, I’ll go with that. Also, I have no clue how to work insta.
What bugs me
Perhaps the most annoying thing that keeps coming up since we have been in Arizona is the attention EVERYONE (including long time AZ residents) gives the heat. Yes, it’s hot but I feel that this heat is largely exaggerated. Try mid-90s in the Midwest with 60 – 80% humidity.
People act as if the moment you walk out the door your face will melt off. Or that you cannot do anything whatsoever outside. When in reality, it doesn’t get above 105 until about noon. Which means the morning it is not too bad with temperatures in the mid-80s and 90s.
Everyone understands this yet, almost every conversation I have had has involved in some way, how hot it is here. Boring. So boring.
What I’m struggling with
Fear of Missing Out or FOMO. There are so many activities to choose from. This choice overload makes it difficult for me to pick one thing because I reason that it may not be as good as this other thing. It’s almost like everything we pick to do has to be awesome as if we won’t have time to do something else in the future.
Time. For some reason, I feel like I am in a hurry. There’s so much to do.
I also cannot stop thinking about steps to take to advance my career. I think I know what I need to do but lack the understanding of how to go about doing it. Subconsciously, I think I play it off like if I knew I would do it but in reality, I probably use this as an excuse to avoid action.
Why words about some things?
To share with friends. To express the many different subjects this life has to offer and hopefully inspiring others to start exploring with me. Face the tough questions, look within and challenge yourself to think differently about the world. Then, hit me up. Also, i would love to hear what you’re reading.
Plus, I haven’t posted in a while and my ego was telling me I’m interesting.
And that’s how you write 1,300 words about some things.