I’ve gone through a few experiences lately that have made me ask the basic question: “who are you?”
That got me thinking about the three sentences that are my namesake:
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
What an asymmetrical burden! To act justly, yet love mercy. It seems like a contradiction. A paradox. Can anyone do this? Has anyone?
Little things like this can ground you. Put things into perspective.
I noticed today for the first time that my minor scars are hanging around a lot longer than they used to. 10 years ago, there was still a good chance that it would only take a month or two and then a flesh wound would melt back into my skin and disappear forever. Not any more.
A reminder that I am getting older. And closer to death. A topic we hide and ignore and feel insulted to be reminded about. But there is something freeing about confronting mortality. It allows us to strip away our pretensions and just be.
My life for April 2012:
- training for a Tough Mudder at the end of April
- putting a pond in at bottom of property
- intramural soccer at Sewanee
- strongly considering the purchase of about 285 acres of land as a long term timber investment
- taxes (grrrrr)
- spring trip to Rosemary Beach
- E’s bday
- aiming to hit 300 leads this month and 900 by August:)
- most beautiful thing i’ve ever made should launch on the net
“When the lady at Costco gives you a free sample of its new ham pudding and you don’t like it, you spit it into a napkin and keep shopping. You don’t declare a holy war on ham.”
So, after taking the last few days to think things over, here’s what I’m going to do.
This blog is going to remain, but nothing will be posted here that might offend delicate sensibilities, and all old content that could offend (and subsequently cause disruption to my personal life) will be removed.
Sometimes you have to make smart compromises in life. And this is one of them. What I’m losing is the ability to speak to my audience with an integrity backed up by my real name. What I’m gaining is some critical space from people who didn’t care for what I was writing yet who continued to read it anyway and then subsequently felt compelled to impose their vision of reality on the world with the threat of real world social consequences for me and my family.
Here I will only post very light things… music, quotes, humor etc. as a scrapbook of my life… something I can look back on in 20 years with fondness and embarrassment (there’s no avoiding it!)
What will be missing from this blog are reflections on the complexities of relationships and the human mating ritual. And 95% of my health related content. In other words, the stuff that was really popular with my readership.
As I’ve noted in several places, I’ve created a new blog where I can continue to address these issues with more privacy. I spent the last two days developing some new articles for it and the new blog has 4 up already. I’m excited. I’m convinced that by creating a more focused blog I have the potential for a wider audience. If you would like to become a reader of the new blog, email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to privacy concerns, I’ve had to shut down my eponymous blog.
The good news is that 1) you can still check out my homepage for information outlining my basic views on life and 2) I have decided to start a new pseudonymous blog where I will write on the themes of physical health, mental health, relationships and general human purpose. If you enjoyed what I was writing before and would like to follow my new blog, please email me and I’ll send you the link. Unfortunately, I cannot post the link on this page due to privacy concerns.
I’m working on 2 fairly substantial pieces for this blog but they are taking longer than I expected. Now is a great time to email me with a question about health, life, relationships, etc.. Anonymity will be preserved. For example, here’s one I got the other day:
You talk a lot about being the best you can be, just because, not to impress women. At the same time you’re always talking about what attracts women. Seems like you’re contradicting yourself.
Yeah, you should make no compromises. You should genuinely always be aiming to be the best person you can be (this of course depends on having a goal, a “mental role model” of what the best you will look like). Being the “best you” you can be does not mean “be lazy” – it means “keep improving yourself”. One elegant thing about this universe is that when you work on improving yourself, it pays natural dividends. It’s easier to display social value. What I describe on this blog is this natural lock and key dynamic. When you work on the shape of the key, it does a much better job of unlocking the lock. In other words, when you aim to be the best human being you can be for its own sake (unlocking the door), you discover that there’s a whole lot more on the other side of the door than you expected. So build skill because of the skill. Not the women. But in the back of your mind, you can rest assured that the confidence and social proof that come with the right sort of skill have some very rewarding side effects. The first skill I’d start with, as the base of being a better person, is getting fit. Because your body affects your mind. And that’s who you are.
I have quite a few regular readers and I need your help. Particularly, I want to know what you like best about this blog and what you’d like me to focus on going forward. You can use the Contact page to send me an email.
Going forward, I would like to make an effort at least 2-3x a week to write content that my readers are genuinely interested in. To be blunt, this blog was started as a way to motivate myself to document my ever changing thoughts on life. So it has always been solipsistic in nature. But I understand that a great deal of what I’ve written has gained a readership.
I consider myself an amateur philosopher (I am ABD from a Ph.D. program in philosophy and have taught over 20 university level philosophy courses, but alas, I am not a professional). The topics that I feel competent to at least voice an opinion on are: health, education, fatherhood, human existence / good living, male-female relations, psychology and well, I’ve also got this taste for a certain quality of music that I won’t attempt to label but is best represented by the band Typhoon. A style that builds up from sparse/melancholy to full, orchestral joy.
So here’s where you come in. Let me know what you enjoy most about my blog by sending me an email. If I get enough feedback and a consensus develops, that will help shape my focus. Otherwise you’ll continue to get the infrequent, chaotic kaleidoscope of content that currently makes up this blog… as that’s how I roll. I’m a big ball of organized chaos.
Discovered this quote from Ira Glass here.
It’s so true. Long term vision and hard, persistent work are the keys to accomplishing anything worthwhile in life. Obviously you have to use the time wisely as well, learn from your mistakes, adapt, etc. Making the same mistake over and over isn’t going to get you anywhere, whether it’s 10,000 hours or 1,000,000. But going through the natural process of trying, failing, adapting, etc. will get you there… and I would suggest that things speed up a bit if you have a good mentor who can show you good form and give you insight into how to best use those 10,000 hours.
Here’s the 10,000 Hour Rule according to the referenced website:
“To master any non-trivial field requires 10000 hours of dedicated practice and study.”
Notice “non-trivial” – if you want to be great at anything worthwhile and rare, you’ve got to keep pushing through those plateaus, keep practicing. Be consistent. Especially in the middle. Everyone’s excited to start something new at the beginning. The people who actually become experts are the ones who push through the thousands of hours of plateaus.
There are no shortcuts.
What does this law mean? It means that fantasy you have, about picking up a guitar and finding that you have a deep, innate talent for playing and that you’re the next Hendrix? It’s just a fantasy. Better get practicing, pal. You got 10 long years of work ahead of you. Free lunch? No such thing.
I love where I live. Because of things like this.
It’s hard to put into words until you’ve experienced it, but there is something wonderful about buying things from people you know.
I have a group of friends that I eat dinner with every Wednesday (we do a rotating potluck). And one of my friends buys unroasted coffee beans sourced directly from Guatemala and Ethiopia, and then roasts the beans less than 24 hours before I pick up my coffee for the week.
The freshest, best tasting coffee you could hope for.