Time Capsule #77
On discipline, enjoyment & missing the mark.
Welcome to the Time Capsule — a weekly newsletter that serves as both my public journal and personal scrapbook. I write about the things on my mind and close to my heart in hopes that those who read it find value and enjoyment in it, and perhaps some solace too.
💭 Quote(s) of the Week
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
Above all, do not lose your desire to walk: every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. But by sitting still, & the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill. Thus, if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
Something I have been wrestling with for years, but more so recently, is staying true to one’s philosophy towards life. I have come to realize that even the most conventionally successful adults often know little more about how to design one’s life than a child does. In the Bible, there’s a verse saying that the only way to enter heaven is to be willing to receive it like a child does — that is, with humility and purity and complete surrender. That verse has made me think about my own values and convictions, and whether they are serving me anymore.
The more I interact with the world the more I see that there is no right or wrong way to think about or live life. What seems unimportant to one can be the center of another’s universe. You may find that what seems an irrefutable truth today does not serve you in a year, and may even be repulsive.
There are tough decisions to be made in life, and with such decisions, leaning solely on your own values and convictions is to play god, to pretend like your limited experience is sufficient to guide you in the right direction. I’m convinced now — perhaps wrongly so — that having a guiding framework outside yourself that can help you contextualize your actions and aim in the right direction is a valuable and necessary tool for navigating life in a way that produces the highest net benefit for the most people. Wherever you get that framework is up to you — for me, it is in religion — but I think it too important to neglect, and notice that it is often those who try to grab the proverbial wheel with two hands and steer themselves to the heavens who end up in the ditch of depression and despair.
There will be situations in life where you feel lost at sea. When your judgement seems to betray you. Having someone or something to lean on in such moments makes things a little bit easier.
📸 Photo of the Week
📖 Book of the Week — Utopia by Thomas More
a little, true book, not less beneficial than enjoyable, about how things should be in a state and about the new island Utopia
Written by Sir Thomas More (Saint Thomas More in the Catholic tradition), Utopia is the story of a perfect world. He was the first to use the word ‘utopia’ to describe such a place, and in this work, he details the cultural, religious and social conditions of the community that exists in such a place.
In More’s Utopia, everyone is happy, everything is done for the greater good of the collective, money is not a concern, and everyone has a personal garden. Sounds like my type of place.
💡 Food for Thought
Your heart and your stomach will tell you when you are up to no good.
🔭 Sunday Best
Data is Killing Our Intuition — by Ruben Ugarte
Next time you hear someone talk about being data-driven, think about the potential downsides that they may run into. Our love of data begins with hope, grows with confirmation bias, and dies when faced with uncertainty.
My default is no longer to look at the data. I know too well how easy it can be to manipulate numbers or ask the wrong question. I wanted to develop my intuition and judgment, which means walking on a different path.
Choose Enjoyment over Pleasure — by Arthur C. Brooks
Enjoyment and pleasure are terms often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Pleasure happens to you; enjoyment is something that you create through your own effort. Pleasure is the lightheadedness you get from a bit of grain alcohol; enjoyment is the satisfaction of a good wine, properly understood. Pleasure is addictive and animal; enjoyment is elective and human.
Nobody Knows That — by Kat Edmonson. She’s got one of those unique voices like Louis Armstrong or Amy Winehouse.