Yep, it's that time of the year again. Ash Wednesday is tomorrow, which signifies the start of Lent. And that means it's time for me to go through another Digital Declutter exercise.
And honestly, I really need one. I've recently fallen into the trap of reading comments on social media and it has not been good for my mental health. Yes, I know I should be using social media as a tool. But sometimes I cannot resist viewing a specific post and it goes downhill from there. So, yes I need a reset.
The main reason for this post though, apart from telling you that I'll be offline for a bit and not writing blog posts, is to invite anyone who reads this to give the Digital Declutter exercise a try. Take a break from living life online and start your own Digital Declutter.
You can follow this link for an explanation of what a Digital Declutter is, as well as what rules I'll be following for my own Digital Declutter.
Last year, I kinda went through a Digital Declutter without a specific focus in mind. For this year, I'm going to focus on reading more books.
Anyway, I hope you guys decide to give it a try. If you have any questions regarding this, you can find ways to contact me on this page, but sending an email is the best option.
Peace be with you and see y'all online on Easter Sunday.
Last year I was gifted a Kindle. I've never had an eBook reader before. Obviously, I needed something to read on it, otherwise what's the point of having one. And that's when I first encountered this problem. How do I determine which books I should buy as an eBook, as opposed to a printed book?
There's pros and cons to getting either format. But that's not what this post is about. In this post I want to share the criteria I use, to determine whether to buy a printed copy of a book, or the eBook version of it.
That criteria revolves around the contents of the book. The question I ask myself is, “Are the contents of this book subject to change in the future?”
“If you like it, don't seek validation.” — I love that thought. Clearly this applies to not just cars, but to everything in life. If you like something, that should be enough for you. Don't ruin it by seeking validation for what you already like.
Back at the start of the year, I started looking into new cars again. It made me wonder why my dream car from 10 years ago — a 2013 Mazdaspeed3, which is what I'm currently driving and have been driving since 2013 — no longer feels like a dream car now.
I mean, sure, it is 10 years old. Some of the paint is chipping. The seats are no longer brand new. Some of the buttons on the steering wheel have lost their symbols. The headlights are starting to look hazy. Some of the wheels have curb rash. There is a big chip on the hood scoop. There is a gash on the passenger side rear wheel fender from scraping a parking lot column in Galveston. I mean yes, it is old. But isn't this still the same car I dreamed of owning a decade ago?
And now that prompts a different question: Was it the car that I really wanted? Or was I just looking for something new?
Detachment, from worldly possessions and worldly status (fame, honor, recognition) is what ultimately gives you freedom and well-being in this world. That is because desiring for more possessions, more recognition, more fame, only fills you up for a short period of time, before you'll eventually want more.
And to get more, you'll start looking for ways to outdo your previous efforts. This usually means acquiring more possessions (maybe even more expensive possessions), acquiring more recognition, acquiring more fame, etc...
Think of a person who is addicted to likes in social media. A certain post, photo or video can only get you so much likes. So what are you to do next? Post even grander photos and videos of course.
So, as you can see, it is a vicious cycle that will ultimately leave you miserable, because you can never really satisfy your desire for more. Practicing detachment however, gives you permission to appreciate what is in this world, but not have them weigh you down with the desire for more.
While the title itself specifically mentions just the biceps, I think this is a great video overall on how to workout. My key takeaway from this video is how important the rest period is.
The rest period after working out is equally as important as the workout itself. The workout doesn't actually grow your muscles, rather it just provides the stimulus for growth. The growth itself occurs during the rest period. So, if your muscles are not getting enough rest, they will not grow.
^ This kinda reminds me of how important taking a break from reading is as well. If you don't give your mind a break from reading, you don't give your brain time to internalize and learn from all that you've read so far.
Oh and the best exercise to safely train your biceps, is the close grip underhand pulldown.
Sort of continuing on from my previous post about distraction, this one is a great read on a related topic; procrastination. Either one, distraction or procrastination, will stop you from getting things done. Thankfully, this is one of those articles that actually have actionable items at the end.
I would post my notes/takeaways here, but they would all be just word for word copies of what the author has said. James Clear has this talent for elegantly simplifying what he's trying to say. It makes it extremely hard to write down notes without actually copying exactly what he said. So just follow the link. It is well worth your time if you happen to deal with distraction and procrastination.
So, I'm starting to realize that the smartphone in and of itself is not the cause of distraction. Rather, it is just another form of distraction. Distraction has always been with us. It just takes on different forms as human civilization advances.
The problem was/is distraction itself. The solution was/still seems to be the same — to set up an environment that is, as much as possible, devoid of distractions, so that you can do your best work.
I ran into this video earlier and I could not get it off my mind. It's a great video on how our pride, our ego, our need for recognition, leads us away from the simple and quiet life, and into a life of stress and anxiety.
Here are some of my takeaways:
Trying to promote yourself or your work online only leads to more stress.
Chasing after accolades, recognition, views, likes, hearts means you're not free.
Jesus had the simple and quiet life because he was so humble and he had no pride. He rejected popularity.
You don't need to give up on your hobbies/activities to live a simple and quiet life. You just need to stop promoting yourself while engaging in said hobbies/activities.