Category Archives: Philosophy

On Stopping One Step From The Goal

You don’t need to “power through.” We’re not in college anymore, cramming for the next morning’s exam.

It’s midnight. You’re tired. But you’re close to the finish line. You can feel it. You can wrap the day neatly; you can get the victory just before going to bed. If you push for one more hour…

You can finish reading that book.
You can watch the end credits on that video game.
See the last episode of the season.
Place the finishing touches in that presentation.
Write the final paragraph of that chapter.

But…

You won’t retain as much of the information in the book.
You’ll be too tired appreciate your victory over the game.
You won’t enjoy the last episode as much as if you’d been anticipating it for one extra day.
The presentation will lack polish, and you know it.
Those last words will come from a need for closure, not from the muses.

Let go of the need to finish now. Let go of the need for that final, extra, push. The work, the leisure, the knowledge will be there tomorrow, waiting for you. You can finish today as a slave, or tomorrow as a champion.

It’s the difference between crossing the finish line in exultation or doing so in exhaustion.

Is it beautiful?

It’s funny. I thought that when I got my own house, the coolest thing would be to fill it up with all my treasures. Book. Magazines. Comics. Video games. CDs and DVDs, LPs and assorted knick-knacks. A treasure hoard worthy of a dragon.

As it turns out, now that have a house, I feel like I want to own less stuff. Most of those treasures, they’re just pieces of paper or plastic or wax. The worth was what was inside, either knowledge or entertainment. Experiences, and most of them… They were nice, but not worth repeating. Having so much stuff around… It feels heavy. It weighs one down.

Save them for the memories? I dunno. If you need to have a plastic box on a shelf to remind you of the good times you had with it, were the times THAT good?

The exception is beauty. Some books are beautiful. Some LPs as well. DVDs and games? Rarely so, but it happens. Beauty… It’s worth keeping around. It rouses the soul.

So I ask myself: is it useful? Not useful “someday, maybe” – useful soon. No? In that case, is it beautiful? If neither useful nor beautiful, it’s not worth keeping around.

Hoards are for dragons. And dragons are, more often than not, cruel, vain, malicious creatures. Is it a coincidence?