Category Archives: Philosophy

An Interesting Life

20dulle.jpg

This is, as far as I know, an expression used with the intention of cursing someone: “May you lead an interesting life.”

But we no longer see an “interesting life” as a curse; in industrialised countries, we are starving for stimulation. We want to be the target of this curse.

This is what I see: that nobody wants to coexist peacefully; that no one chooses to make a positive – or at least, charitable – interpretation of a word or action when there is scope to take it in the worst possible light.

This imperfect society – which, however, is the closest to perfection we have achieved in the short history of our species – has given us so many stimuli that we have lost our sensitivity. We are desensitised.

And this desensitisation leads us to seek the drunken high of revolution and self-destruction, instead of the peaceful march of reform and evolution.

We are searching for an interesting life.

And we are getting there.

Time (II)

Time is a relative, subjective, and elastic concept.

Some say we should put everything on our calendar, from the time we start work to the time to watch a movie with our significant other.

Some say that, on the other hand, it is essential to set apart generous time blocks with nothing in them; that it is from this nothing that comes inspiration, creativity.

I don’t know which of the two approaches is more correct. I suspect that, as in most things, virtue is found in the middle.

But one thing I notice with me is that the phase of my life in which I objectively was the busiest, was also the phase of life in which I somehow found time to do more things.

Relative. Subjective. Elastic.

Secrets Hidden in Plain Sight

In the lastest episode of one of my favorite podcasts, “The Tim Ferriss Show,” the guest tells us – among many other things – of his childhood as an illusionist. This passage that caught my attention:

(I am quoting from memory; these are not his exact words.)

“I don’t want to explain on the air how these tricks are done. It’s considered bad form in the magician community. These are secrets of the trade. Of course, they are secrets, but they are public – it’s all in books! The thing is, no one reads books. ”

This is true. There are many things that seem (and are!) tricky to do and that’s why most people hesitate to take something up, but in reality, almost everything can be learned from two or three good books.

From making friends to building a house; from investing in the stock market to painting a picture; from repairing a car to digging a pond in the backyard. And yes, learning to do magic tricks of the kind that people pay to go see on a weekend night out.

Of course, success comes through practice, training, trial and error… The ability to endure failure and try again. But the roadmap, the plan to get one there, that is in the books.

Just read them.

Photo Credit: Daniel Mennerich Flickr via Compfight cc