Status Symbols Don’t Work “UP”

Status symbols (titles, watches, cars, etc.) work to signal people “below you” in status. To the status-seeking person, these are the talismans of displaying achieved happiness.  But those same status symbols don’t work “up.”  The CEO is still patting the Vice President on the back and telling him, “Good job.” Who does the CEO want … Continue reading Status Symbols Don’t Work “UP”

Podcast Of The Week: Luke Burgis on The Knowledge Project

Luke Burgis was making a lot of money and miserable. We’ve all heard these stories.  “Successful person finds peace after getting rich and then philosophizing to the rest of us to seemingly prove their own happiness to themselves.”  Blech.  But Burgis isn’t doing that. This one hit me. Hard. Burgis isn’t just helping us step … Continue reading Podcast Of The Week: Luke Burgis on The Knowledge Project

Wanting: The Power Of Mimetic Desire In Everyday Life

Rene Girard says most of what we desire is imitated, not intrinsic.  We don’t want the successful career because we intrinsically value success.  We want the things (and life) some more successful, happier, wealthier, cooler, more attractive, better sleeping, rock star of a human has in their successful career.  The brilliance of Girard, and the … Continue reading Wanting: The Power Of Mimetic Desire In Everyday Life

Live As If You Have A Responsibility For What Other People Want

Ever read a book that sort of breaks your brain because it gives you a new model/way to see things? Where you know it somehow fits/overlaps with the current way you see things, but you can’t quite fit it into place? Like it’s a single flower in a field of flowers puzzle and now you’re … Continue reading Live As If You Have A Responsibility For What Other People Want

How To Have Your Cake And Eat It Too (Tao Te Ching Edition)

"Freedom," or chapter 80 in Ursula K. Le Guin’s interpretation of the Tao Te Ching has this footnote (and it’s as good as the chapter): Lao Tzu thinks the materialistic dualist, who tries to ignore the body and live in the head, and the religious dualist, who despises the body and lives for a reward … Continue reading How To Have Your Cake And Eat It Too (Tao Te Ching Edition)

Optimism And Pessimism Are Copouts

Leave it to Wendell Berry to drop a stoic line like this, The programs of optimism and pessimism are copouts because you’re taking the responsibility off of yourself to keep trying.  Leave it Nick Offerman to interpret said Wendell Berry stoic line like this (paraphrased):  You can say, “everything will be great, so let’s watch … Continue reading Optimism And Pessimism Are Copouts

There Are Stones In Your Passway. Get Past Them. 

My guitar teacher when I was 13 or so had a poster of Robert Johnson on the wall of the glorified music store closet he taught lessons out of.  There you’d be, trying your damndest to stumble through Stairway, and Robert Johnson was just posted up, staring you down. At the time, the image burned … Continue reading There Are Stones In Your Passway. Get Past Them. 

Nora Ephron On Owning Your Path, Your Past, And Your Present

Here’s Nora Ephron on owning your path, your past, and your present: My religion is “Get over it.” And I was raised in that religion. That was the religion of my home -- my mother saying, “Everything is copy; everything is material; someday you will think this is funny.” My parents never said, “oh you … Continue reading Nora Ephron On Owning Your Path, Your Past, And Your Present

Entertainers Are Born When They Figure Out How To Protect A Group From Themselves

I know a lot of you reading these emails are entertainers, artists, and performers by profession or at heart. If this is you, go to Audible and get “Will” by Will Smith and Mark Manson. This book shook me in ways I did not see coming. Smith credits becoming an entertainer as a means of … Continue reading Entertainers Are Born When They Figure Out How To Protect A Group From Themselves

Sunday Music: There’ll Be Days Like This

There. Will. Be. Days. Like. This. Whether your mama told you or not. Whatever it’s like. Tell ‘em about it Van Morrison. When it's not always raining there'll be days like thisWhen there's no one complaining there'll be days like thisWhen everything falls into place like the flick of a switchWell my mama told me … Continue reading Sunday Music: There’ll Be Days Like This