The Perils of an Easy Existence

photographers-gallery111-1024x682We all wish for a simple, peaceful, calm and enjoyable life, but challenges and problems are inevitable. Awesome advice from Demetrius the cynic on how to rise to life’s daily frustrations and annoyances.

“If you have nothing to stir up and rouse you into action, nothing which will test your resolution by its threats and hostilities; if you recline in unshaken comfort, it is not tranquility; it is merely a flat calm.”

Bear as bravely as possible the things one cannot avoid. Clothe yourself with a hero’s courage. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca . . .Read more stoicism philosophy  – 

Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics)

Training and Tracking the Quality of Your Time

A sudden and shocking moment of realization came upon me the other day as I was listening to one too many self-help podcasts. The moment when a voice inside of head said, Why, Madeline, this is all starting to sound, well, a bit ridiculously redundant. You my dear, are swimming in a deep-blue sea of self-motivation sameness.

It took me less than two minutes to figure out that I needed a mid-course correction.  Just how many hours was I was spending trying to fix what isn’t broken? Pattern interrupt once again. I had to track my trance of non-productive learning. So I downloaded ATracker, by Wonderapps.se (.se is Sweden)

app2

I actually do get more than 1.5 hours of sleep, but this pie chart is for today only. And look at all that commuting/driving time spend today. Ugh.

I am still learning how to work this baby, and I am not sure it is the best time tracker, so if you are using one you love, please send recommendations my way. I am totally open.

Quality over Quantity while Upgrading My Time

The goal in this little self-experiment is to not only figure out how much time I am wasting, but to look at how I can jack up the quality of each minute of my life. I want to upgrade it all, the books I am reading, videos I’m watching and how I am training my body.

trxWhich got me thinking about how much I hate my dirty old gym and how I want to try new methods of training. I am stoked about TRX Suspension Training at Covert Fitness along with two to three days of Spinning instead of just the weekends. I am also going to test out a few Streaming Fitness Videos.

The Daily Burn has a 30-day free trial that I am going to sign up for and Shape Magazine has this link to 13 Killer Streaming Videos I just wish there were more hours in a day. Oh but how little time we have.

Seneca on Time

Who can you show me, who places any value on his time, evaluates the worth of his day, and who understands that he is dying daily?   

Read more stoic philosophy here

On the Shortness of Life (Penguin Great Ideas)

 

 

 

 

 

Astonishing Life Advice

chagallWithout great solitude, no serious work is possible. – Pablo Picasso

Solitude is difficult. You withdraw from the world to get a clearer glimpse of who you are, what you are doing, and where life is taking you. Silence is a great friend of the soul; it unveils the riches of solitude. It is very difficult to reach that quality of inner silence. In today’s world, in modern life there is an immense rush to expression. Sometimes the quality of what is expressed is superficial and immensely repetitive.

Recommended Reading: Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Life will pay you exactly what you ask of it. – Tony Robbins

To have an extraordinary life, you have to have an extraordinary psychology. You have to remain in an extraordinary state, conditioning your mind, your body and your focus on giving and asking for more from life. Set new higher standards for yourself, turn your shoulds into musts.

Recommended Reading
Unlimited Power : The New Science Of Personal Achievement

Forgive them even if they’re not sorry.  – Dale Partridge

So you’ve been betrayed, hurt and you are angry. The best part of forgiveness is that you’re in control. They don’t have to be sorry for you to give up the anger. Letting go, forgiving anyway, will set you free.

Recommended Reading:  People Over Profit: Break the System, Live with Purpose, Be More Successful

Living in the future creates the illusion that we are managing our life. –  Tara Brach

So we “keep busy”. Staying occupied is a socially sanctioned way of remaining distant from our pain. So we scramble to fill ourselves – our time, our body, our mind. We might buy something new or lose ourselves in mindless small talk. Anything to help us bury the feelings of vulnerability and deficiency lurking in our psyche.

Recommended Reading Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha

Let us rise, therefore, to confront the operations of Fortune, and whatever happens, let us have the assurance that it is not so great as rumor advertises it to be. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Nothing in life has meaning, except the meaning you give it.

Recommended Reading Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics)

Image: Grand Bouquet de Renoncules, 1968 by Marc Chagall

on lifelong learning

 

Vintage Learning
Now what is more foolish than refusing to learn, simply because one has not been learning for a long time? You should keep learning as long as you are ignorant – even to the end of your life. As long as you live, keep learning how to live.Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Read more stoic wisdom
Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics)

One of the most amazing things about this fabulous world wide web is the immense access to free educational resources available to everyone.

I have been taking courses on just about every topic that interests me, including the history of the world at Princeton University on  Coursera,  an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.

I’d love to know if you have any favorite courses or MOOC sites. Feel free to share.

 

navigating life

58790_compass-rose_lg

Feeling lost? Remember, each moment is an opportunity to change our course and see the world with a new improved outlook and with more purpose, commitment and intention.

My rule.  If I don’t feel it, I don’t do it.

Ponder this –

If you have nothing to stir you up and rouse you into action, nothing will test your resolution but its threats and hostilities; if you recline in unshaken comfort, it is not tranquillity; it is merely a flat calm.

Begin again, do what moves you.

More insight  By Lucius Annaeus Seneca – Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics) (6/30/69)

 

 

crushing it

canon-my-last-weekend-077There are more things in life that are likely to frighten us than there are to actually crush us. We suffer more in imagination than in reality.

For truth has its own definite boundaries but that which arises from uncertainty is delivered over to guesswork and the irresponsible license of a frightened mind.

fearless mind = free mind.

Studying
Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics)

wanderlusting

jazz for the jetset

The reason which set you wandering is ever at your heels. What pleasure is there in seeing new lands? Or in surveying cities and spots of interest? All your bustle is useless.

Do you ask why such flight does not help you? It is because you flee along with yourself. You must lay aside the burdens of the mind; until you do this, no place will satisfy you.

You need a change of soul rather than climate.

Read Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics)