Archive for the 'life advice' Category

Things I read today (“The sky you see now, you have never seen before”)

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The universe is, instant by instant, recreated anew. There is in truth no past, only a memory of the past. Blink your eyes, and the world you see next did not exist when you closed them. Therefore, the only appropriate state of the mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of the heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before. The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it.

— Terry Pratchett

“You will be comforted by just how much anonymous goodness there really is in the world”

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Jon Stewart, though ostensibly a comedian, is, I think, one of the most thoughtful and important voices we have on current politics and the media. He recently spoke about the terrible shooting in Arizona and his words are both moving and wise:

… to see good people like this hurt. It is so grievous and it causes me such sadness. But again, I refuse to give in to that feeling of despair. There is light in this situation. I urge everyone – read up about those that were hurt and or killed. You will be comforted by just how much anonymous goodness there really is in the world.

You read about these people and realize that people you don’t even know, that you have never met, are leading lives of real dignity and goodness, and you hear about crazy, but it’s rarer than you think….

If there is real solace in this, I think it’s that, for all the hyperbole and vitriol that’s become part of our political process, when the reality of that rhetoric, when actions match the disturbing nature of words, we haven’t lost our capacity to be horrified. And please, god, let us hope we never do…

Someone or something will shatter our world again. And wouldn’t it be a shame if we didn’t take this opportunity and the loss of these incredible people and the pain that their loved ones are going through right now, wouldn’t it be a shame if we didn’t take that moment to make sure that the world that we are creating now that will ultimately be shattered again by a moment of lunacy, wouldn’t it be a shame if that world wasn’t better than the one that was previously lost?

The full video is here:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Arizona Shootings Reaction
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

Things I saw today (Bukowski/Waits “the gods wait to delight in you”)

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

“That’s a beauty”
Bukowski read by Tom Waits – fantastic. (via moon river)

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

– The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski

Things I read today (happiness and the people we spend time with)

Monday, September 20th, 2010

This year the keynote speaker at the American Psychological Association convention was Dr. Dan Gilbert of Harvard. His book Stumbling on Happiness is an international bestseller and his talk was about affective forecasting: Do we know what will make us happy?

He pointed out that we are hardwired from birth to be happy when we get salt, fat, sweet things and sex. Beyond that our culture provides us cues about what will make us happy…

It is the goodness of social relationships that truly makes us happy. Good relationships are the foundations for almost every measure of well being. Our immune system, our incidental sense of peace and joy, and our optimism for the future is better when we feel good about our daily social relationships. The better we feel in the social network of others in our life, the happier we are. With poor or nonexistent relationships we cannot flourish…

Choosing who we talk to, spend time with and respond to — and who we don’t — is the stuff of what Moreno called sociometry. He found that people who were able to choose their compatriots did better and survived longer.

Choosing who we want to be with, and talk to, and spend time with sounds like a no-brainer. But the truth is most people simply don’t do it. We feel obligations and play politics, and in doing so lessen the time we spend with people who make us happy…

Some people make us feel good when we are around them. I encourage you to foster, nourish and cultivate these relationships. Spend more time with those who make you feel good, and less with those who don’t. If you are responsible for assigning people, and it is possible to let them choose who to be with or where to go, do it.

So: Can other people make us happy? Yes, they can. But only if they are the right ones.
Proof Positive: Can Other People Make Us Happy? By Daniel Tomasulo

I read this after spending a lovely few days with Coralie and know for sure that this is true.

success

Monday, May 24th, 2010

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to leave the world a better place; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson (via tiny buddha)

words worth considering – this is a success I can value (and I’ve got the laughing down, at least).

Just because it’s awesome (“all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us”)

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

I got the opportunity to use a quote in conversation to a colleague about a difficult work situation which a friend and former colleague once said to me at the right time:

Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.

– Lord of the Rings

David Foster Wallace – experience, consciousness, freedom

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

I was very sad to read of David Foster Wallace’s suicide last week. I’d enjoyed A Supposedly Fun Thing I Will Never Do Again and the more I read about him afterwards, the more I was moved and awed by the intelligence, consideration, sensitivity of his thinking and writing.

A huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded. Here’s one example of the utter wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of: Everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute center of the universe, the realest, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely talk about this sort of natural, basic self-centeredness, because it’s so socially repulsive, but it’s pretty much the same for all of us, deep down. It is our default-setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth. Think about it: There is no experience you’ve had that you were not at the absolute center of. The world as you experience it is right there in front of you, or behind you, to the left or right of you, on your TV, or your monitor, or whatever. Other people’s thoughts and feelings have to be communicated to you somehow, but your own are so immediate, urgent, real — you get the idea. But please don’t worry that I’m getting ready to preach to you about compassion or other-directedness or the so-called “virtues.” This is not a matter of virtue — it’s a matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural, hard-wired default-setting, which is to be deeply and literally self-centered, and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self.

People who can adjust their natural default-setting this way are often described as being “well adjusted,” which I suggest to you is not an accidental term…

But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default-setting, the “rat race” — the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.
David Foster Wallace on Life and Work

Things I read lately (poetry – 
’I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow’)

Saturday, August 30th, 2008


From Poem of the Week

The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?

I hear my being dance from ear to ear.

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?

God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,

And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?

The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do

To you and me, so take the lively air,

And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.

What falls away is always. And is near.

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

I learn by going where I have to go.
-Theodore Roethke

hello kitty stress test

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

My results for the Hello Kitty stress test:

I better enjoy the green and the wood.

Things I saw the other day (Gabe & Max)

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Gabe and Max answer Boing Boing readers questionsHistory: The Gabe and Max Internet Thing (found by dino)

See Max Silvestri’s blog (obviously he’s funny but I like his taste in music too)