“We must be ignorant of what we are looking for, or we would not go looking for it.”Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception (Amazon)
Goal setting is like game setting. You start at level 1 and graduate into unforeseen directions.
If you’re lucky, you’ll ping-pong forward, making leaps and bounds.
But more often than not, declaring your ambitions acts as a compass, guiding you with mere suggestions on how to proceed.
Stubborn, you move on to ride the waves of uncertainty.
Fear is good quality control. And experience puts bones in the goose.
The same way an athlete strengthens their body through bicep curls or a monk jogs the brain through meditation, one can practice grit.
The intelligent machine evolves to beat a chess master after learning from its own failed iterations. Wrongs accumulate until they drive the resilient foot-dragging laggard into right.
Anticipation, fear of the future — what turns the foot-dragging laggard into a resilient hammer is the extra push. And then move into the direction that feels right.
Effort investigates the self and paves the road of life with a bunch of guesses. Fortunately, those assumptions appear to get more accurate with time.
3, 2, 1. Action!
There’s a reason why we always feel like a failure: We’re better off than ever.
With the Internet at our fingertips, it feels like we can all get ahead but mostly all we do is fritter time away in the cesspool of news. Even when we make something, it adds to the millions of other pieces of content everyone produces every day.
But there’s a difference between the artist and the creator. The former tries to find themselves in their work. The latter wants to find themselves through the acquisition of likes.
Remove the social currency and influencers are purposeless in the change they seek to make. A lack of clout fails to ignite their raison d’être. But a goal, a mission, drives the purposeful anticipation of a true creator.
The world keeps on spinning to the drumbeat of the maker, even if the well of confidence runs dry. Feeling needed is not the point for expression is the true release.
The only way to get ahead is to feel vulnerable.
Everything is a work in progress. From your health to relationships, to making art, the finish line remains elusive because we’re always preserving the status quo or making things better. Even democracy is a work in progress.
En Media Res — That’s Latin for being in the middle of the action. If inertia is the enemy of action, then we can’t afford to sit the good life out.
What’s your modus operandi? What’re your criteria for a successful future? Is there an ethos you’re trying to build for yourself over the next few years?
To stay on track, you need to set goals. Not the ones that invoke jealousy, make you unhappy, enforce you to keep up with others. Chase goals that inspire a way of life, benefit those around you, help develop a sense of purpose, and inspire you to say hell yes despite the burn!
Live by choice, not by chance. Taking control allows one to stay connected to the big picture view. Hold on to your ideas and ideals on how the experience should be and never be afraid to see it through.
There’s a compelling story everywhere you go. But some places (e.g. New York) are more content rich than others.
All you need to do is walk a few blocks and observe with the cerebration of your senses.
The graffiti scrawled on the outside of million dollar apartments, the street smoke billowing out from the sewers, the smell of hot dogs and nuts from the street vendors, the sound of delivery trucks running through potholes, and the scratch you get from someone’s suitcase as they rush by you.
Everything is attractive, a potential a souvenir of the present moment.
New York manufactures an excess of content and inspiration, much like the Internet. Such hyperactivity is overwhelming and hard to parse — some thrive on The City’s ubiquitous stimulus, others feel compelled to escape to Florida to refuel.
External provocation is integral to any environment. After all, that’s why we travel — to be astounded by newness.
If boredom is your enemy, seeking interesting places with variable rewards may be your calling. But that last thing you want is to get abused by the infinite. It’s better to scroll with intention to coalesce out of the void of 24/7 distraction.
The basis for life is all interpretation, an internal chatter that either zaps positive momentum or dwells on negativity and drains the well.
For starters, your attitude should weave together what optimizes you rather than what conflicts with the experience of inner freedom. For example, instead of looking at your day job as a means of necessary survival, try to find how it bends toward your expectations.
You should never feel like you have to do anything. Rather, you should feel lucky enough that you get to do it.
Even more, have something to look forward to even if it’s an exaggerated goal. Moon shots will push you to find the right focus.
The law of magnetism attaches near and far more often than you think.
gif via @abjahanbin