We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
This week I finished Man’s Search for Meaning. I’m not sure quite what to say about it (am still making sense of it all), except that it was very good for getting some new perspective on issues and anxieties in my life. I especially like the re-framing of the quest for meaning (see above).
Listening to The Rosie Project has made me realise how nice it is to read fiction, and I think fiction audiobooks work well for me. They provide a bit of an escape and I don’t need to take notes/make highlights in the way that I do with non-fiction books. This week I started Helen Garner’s The Spare Room (borrowed from the public library via the BorrowBox app).
This piece on how one mum used advice from Adam Grant’s Originals to start conversations with her kids about values was great. Ella is just getting into Star Wars at the moment, so the dialogue depicted in the comics also made me laugh out loud.
It’s a couple of years old, but I came across Nick Crocker’s list of 30 things he’d learned which resonated strongly with me. Many of these things (particularly 3, 16 and 19) I’ve also found myself thinking about regularly. Others were good reminders/prompts – especially number 5 (‘most people never ask for what they want’).
I enjoyed listening to Cal Newport talk about his book, ‘Deep Work’ on the Accidental Creative podcast. Cal argues that deep work is a skill (not a habit, ie. it needs to be consciously developed) that is becoming more and more rare, but increasingly valuable (“focus is the new IQ”). Lately I’ve been thinking about how I better balance the creative and the administrative parts of my work and how I can make the best impact in my job. ‘Deep Work‘ has been bumped up toward the top of my ‘to read’ list.
Timehop reminded me of this article (and the photo that accompanied the story in the print edition of the SMH) about a group of Israeli women who smuggled some Palestinian women to the beach for the day because they’d never had the opportunity to see the sea. I love so much about this story and what it says about the beauty and power of women supporting other women. The joy and love and support that the photo shows brings a smile to my face and makes me feel a little bit more hopeful about the future of humanity.
A better week in terms of habits, including a week-long streak of going to bed before 10.30pm. I thought I would have amazing energy levels (I don’t) and be super productive (I’m not). I suspect more sleep would help, but 10.30pm really is the latest I should be going to bed to give myself the best chance of getting 6.5 hours of sleep per night. Even though I have lots of things I want to do (both work and personal) after Ella goes to bed each evening, I suspect that I’ll get a similar result by going to bed as I would by pushing on into the late evening (related: I’ve been thinking about Derek Sivers’ bike riding story and how this applies to my current workload/stress levels). And somewhat ironically, I’m writing about the importance of going to bed at 10.30pm at 11.02pm, so I’ll wrap up for the week….