Would you look at that. I managed to crank out a second journal entry in less than a year. With how things were going, I was certain I would only be able to write one per year. It actually took me months to write this single post. I spent maybe 10 minutes every week or so, adding stuff to this post as I go about processing my daily notes. Every little bit adds up. Similar to how reading for only fifteen minutes a day helped me finish books, working on this bit by bit every month, while really slow, was still enough to get another entry done. Anyway, here goes.
“We are always falling in love or quarreling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.”
Here we go again with an example of the same problem — distraction — but just in a different form back then.
There will always be distractions in life, especially when you’re working on something important. The question is, do you let yourself get distracted or do you get your work done?
Today I decided to prune the items on my to-read list. It was getting unwieldy. I hoped to reduce the number of items in there every week. Instead, it kept on growing and growing and growing.
Prior to the purge that happened today, I had over 140 items in that list. I was like, “Enough is enough.” There's no way I could have read through all those links, plus read my books, while I kept adding more items every week or so. I needed a better way to manage the items going into my to-read list. I also needed a better way to determine if an item deserved to stay in my to-read list.
So today, I decided to come up with some criteria to determine when to add items to my to-read list, as well as when to remove items off my to-read list. The criteria are based off this excellent read from Nat Eliason — most of which I've already extracted and listed in here. These then are the questions I came up with, that would serve as filters for my to-read list going forward:
Does this fall into a category I'm interested in?
Does this answer a question that's already been answered?
Does this answer a question I have right now?
Is this going to help with something I'm working on now or in the near future?
Does this help grow my philosophical knowledge or does it entertain me?
The first one is that everything that begins to exist, has a reason for existence. This is also known as the principle of causality.
The second premise is that the universe began to exist.
Therefore, there must be a cause for the universe’s existence.
To say that the first premise is false seems very hard in the world we are living in today. How can something come out of nothing? If that were true, then we should at least notice this occurring around us.
Oooh, a car just showed up on my driveway. I wonder how that happened?
But we don’t, because something does not just come out of nothing. There is always a cause for something that exists. So how then do we explain the universe we live in? Did it come out of nothing or did something or some higher power cause it to exist?
Of course, being a religious person myself, the answer for me would be, that God created the universe we live in and everything in it. But I'm not writing this to force my beliefs on you. I just thought that this was a very compelling argument for the existence of a creator.
Does it unequivocally prove the existence of God? No. But it does make you wonder, right?
Sure, there are newer, faster, more fuel-efficient (not to mention fully electric), more luxurious cars out there. But nothing beats driving a paid-off car.
You think you love your car when it's brand new? You'll love it even more when it's paid off.
Did your car just get dinged? Oh no worries, it's already paid off. 😉
Does this mean that after paying off your car, you won't get tempted into buying a new one? Absolutely not 😄
So then what's the point of this post? Stay with me for a bit.
As a car guy, I struggle with this since I'm always enamored by cool new cars. However, the experience of not having a car payment, will make you think twice about signing up for another car loan. At least, it does for me.
All you need is 15 minutes a day to read a book. I'm speaking from experience. I've finished two books reading just 15 minutes a day, some days even less. Sure, you could spend more time reading. That will allow you to finish more books in a shorter amount of time. But, if you're already struggling to keep the habit of reading, telling yourself you should spend even more time reading won't help at all.
One thing I've learned from the Atomic Habits book, is that we're more likely to keep up with a habit if it is easy and convenient. The less effort it takes, the more likely we can keep up with the habit. If 15 minutes is the most you can spend reading, then by all means take it. You either spend 15 minutes or less reading, or you'll end up not reading at all.
It's that time of the year again. Ash Wednesday is tomorrow, which signifies the start of Lent. And that means it's time to go through another Digital Declutter phase. I would like to invite anyone who reads this to start their own Digital Declutter.
If you don't know what a Digital Declutter is, it is an exercise I read about in Cal Newport's Digital Minimalism book. It's almost like a Digital Detox or a Digital Sabbath. The main differences are that you do it for at least 30 days, and that you are replacing addictive digital activities with analog activities. For instance, instead of browsing social media at night, you read books, or learn a new craft like cooking, or learning to play a musical instrument like the guitar, etc...
I suppose the easiest way to understand it is to look at the Digital Declutter rules I'll be using to guide me this year. I'm using the same rules from last year. The main highlights are that in addition to not using social media at all, there will be no blogging done as well.
Of course you don't have to follow the same rules I made for myself. You can create your own set of rules and do it at your own time. My main motivation for this post was to invite people to give Digital Declutter 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.
Have fun going offline, I know I will. Peace be with you and see y'all online on Easter Sunday.
The more we depend on technology to make decisions for us, the less we actually decide for ourselves. On the surface level this seems good; the less decisions you have to make, the more mental bandwidth you have later on to decide on something else.
The problem is that technology cannot measure everything in the world around us. It cannot measure people's reaction to certain things, it cannot measure feelings or emotions, it cannot measure a person's mood, etc... And so technology cannot reliably predict everything that's going on around you, nor can it reliably predict what's going to happen in the future. Hence, the decisions it makes is based on its own expected reality, not yours.
Focus on consuming information that you know you need right now
Trying to consume everything to learn something, is not the best use of time. It is better to consume information that you know you need right now. Consuming information that you might need in the future, in other words reading just in case you will need it, is a waste of time.
I could have a Porsche or a Ferrari parked in my garage, but even that would pale in comparison to the joy I get from being able to enjoy a quiet breakfast with my son. As I grow older, I'm learning that it's the simple things in life that bring the greatest joy.
It's the end of the year and for some reason I'm itching to start writing journal entries again. I considered just turning this into another Weeknotes post, but I don't think I can keep up with that schedule. So, this will be the start of a new journal entry series.
I say new because I've had a journal entry series before. If you are a returning reader, you've most likely even read them. If you are a new reader, then you missed out on a number of cringe-worthy personal posts. And that's part of the reason that series came to an end. I somehow outgrew that phase and no longer wanted to write about overtly personal stuff.
So, for this new series, one of the things I want to focus on is just sharing what I've learned. Instead of this journal/series being about “What's been going on with my life?”, I want it to be more about “What have I learned today?”
Also, I won't commit to a schedule for posting. It could be once a month, once every 4 months, or even just once a year. Whatever it will turn out to be, I'll write one when I feel like writing. So before that urge to write fades, here goes.