I saw a quote by poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore. He said, “It is very simple to be happy, but it is very difficult to be simple.”
I had to read it twice. A simple meal. A simple conversation. A simple walk by the water. A simple nod of understanding.
But why must we make everything so difficult, complicated, and worry-ridden? Continue reading
Tim Ferriss was chatting with Tim Urban, writer of Wait, But Why. When explaining how we got here and what will happen next, Tim Urban said if we think of history as a 700-page book, “So, 140,000 years, every page in this book that you’re holding is 200 years in human history. So, Page 1 through 650 of that book, hunter gathers. If you’re an alien reading this book to understand what happened on this planet, you are bored. This is really boring. Page 650, 10,000 years ago, you have the agriculture revolution. Wait. So, suddenly, people are coming together and forming cities. They’re starting to actually form larger civilizations. They have a collective intelligence that’s starting to form. They can compare notes. They can kind of create the knowledge tower that is bigger than any one of them. Continue reading
I’m reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. He writes, “For instance, we often talk about everything we have to do in a given day. You have to wake up early for work. You have to make another sales call for your business. You have to cook dinner for your family. Now, imagine changing just one word: You don’t ‘have’ to. You ‘get’ to.”
A small but very powerful tweak. Continue reading
I was listening to Sharon Salzberg, best-selling author and world-renowned Buddhist meditation teacher, on The Tim Ferriss Show. She said something profound. She said, “Do the good that’s in front of you, even if it feels very small.”
Sometimes life can feel overwhelming. Out of control. We have so many balls up in the air that our arms can’t possibly keep juggling. But we are in such a frenzy that we keep going until something drops. The ball or us. Continue reading
I was listening to Arianna Huffington chat with Tim Ferriss on his podcast. As a 14-year-old growing up in Greece, she saw a picture of Cambridge University in a magazine and told her parents she wanted to go there. Everyone said that would never happen because she didn’t speak English and they couldn’t afford it. Except her mother. She said, “I’m sure we can make that happen.” So, Arianna started learning English, took the entrance exams, applied for and received a scholarship, and attended Cambridge. It changed the trajectory of her life. Beyond inspiring. Continue reading
Fresh school years starting. A Canadian federal election in the next few weeks. Continuing to navigate a global pandemic. All the things.
In this space, there are discussions happening about what to do next, what steps to take, what is best for the individual, the family, and the community. Continue reading
In David Whyte’s book Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words, he describes the word ‘close’ in part, “Close is what we almost always are: close to happiness, close to another, close to leaving, close to tears, close to God, close to losing faith, close to being done, close to saying something or close to success, and even, with the greatest sense of satisfaction, close to giving the whole thing up. Our human essence lies not in arrival, but in being almost there: we are creatures who are on the way, our journey a series of impending anticipated arrivals. We live by unconsciously measuring the inverse distances of our proximity: an intimacy calibrated by the vulnerability we feel in giving up our sense of separation.” Continue reading
Adam Grant’s book Think Again reminded me of Anais Nin’s quote, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” And therefore, we can see them differently if we choose.
Some of the tips he offers for putting a new lens on our views include valuing curiosity, looking for information that goes against what you believe, focusing more on improving yourself and less on proving yourself, looking for people who will challenge you with feedback to help you grow, using questions rather than statements when listening to others, talking to kids at dinner about different topics and what they think about them, considering better practices rather than best practices to always raise the bar, and not asking kids what they want to be when they grow up. Continue reading
Poet David Whyte has a book called Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words. It really is breathtaking, and he reads some of his word-poems in Sam Harris’ Waking Up meditation app too.
Part of his description of the word beginning is, “Beginning is difficult, and our insulating rituals and the virtuoso subtleties of our methods of delay are always a fine, ever-present measure of our reluctance in taking the first close-in, courageous step to reclaiming the happiness of actually having started. Perhaps, because taking a new step always begins from the central, foundational core of the body, a body we have neglected, beginning well means seating ourselves in the body again, catching up with ourselves and the person we have become since we last tried to begin. The radical physical embodiment leads to an equally radical internal simplification, where, suddenly, very large parts of us, parts of us we have kept gainfully employed for years, parts of us still rehearsing the old complicated story, are suddenly out of a job. There occurs, in effect, a form of internal corporate downsizing, where the parts of us too afraid to participate or having nothing now to offer, are let go, with all of the accompanying death-like trauma, and where the very last fight occurs, a rear-guard disbelief that this new, less complicated self, and this very simple step, is all that is needed for the new possibilities ahead. It is always hard to believe that the courageous step is so close to us, that it is closer than we ever could imagine, that in fact we already know what it is, and that the step is simpler, more radical than we had thought: just picking up the pen or the wood chisel, just picking up the instrument or the phone, which is why we so often prefer the story to be more elaborate, our identities to be safely clouded by fear, why we want the horizon to remain always in the distance, the promise never fully and simply made, the essay longer than it needs to be and the answer safely in the realm of impossibility.” Continue reading
Psychotherapist Esther Perel has a wonderful podcast called Where Should We Begin that allows listeners to hear anonymous counselling sessions. In one episode she mentioned was that there are two groups of people. Those who believe there is always someone to help them and those who believe, in the end, you are always alone. There are lessons in both mindsets. One can teach how to be strong and independent and the other can teach how to lean in and embrace support. We can all learn from each other. Continue reading