Technology means I’ve never felt more connected; it also means I’ve never felt more disconnected and alone. Connection enabled by technology is junk connectivity, and in the way junk food provides no nourishment, technology provides no fulfilling, deep human connection that we all need to thrive.
“The only true voyage would be not to travel through a hundred different lands with the same pair of eyes, but to see the same land through a hundred different pairs of eyes”
~ Marcel Proust
I like my morning ritual where most days I go for a walk or jog through the forest right by our house before logging on to work at home. I stick to the same path mostly (I vary it slightly depending on my cravings for exercise and/or nature), but the benefit of this is I get to see the same landscape over and over again, through the days and seasons. Some days I notice things I’ve never noticed before even thought I’ve been there hundreds of times before. And some days some amazing things happen, like when I see baby koalas, kangaroos and when like this morning a thick fog covers the entire forest.
Always do your best: your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.
The fourth of the four agreements #
“a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention”
~ Herbert A Simon #
“Proficiency and the results of proficiency come only to those who have learned the paradoxical art of doing and not doing, of combining relaxation with activity, of letting go as a person in order to that the immanent and transcendent Unknown Quantity make take hold.”
~ Aldous Huxley
Via The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman – highly recommended
Rise early morning on Saturday – feeling over work – feeling like a nature fix and some headspace – drive 60 mins from home before the motorway to the Gold Coast gets busy – park the car and head up Mount Bally via Little Mount Bally. Familiar scenery but haven’t been here before. Razorback Ridges are a reminder of how close death is. Eat an early packed lunch full of love at the summit with stunning 360 degree views. Not another soul in sight. The winter sun humbly recharges and reinvigorates. Head down to the car feeling refreshed. Love time in nature. Head home for some family time; a better person.
Today I walked my longest ever single day walk – 37km from Ballina to Byron Bay on the beautiful north coast of New South Wales, Australia.
I did this walk in 2016 but in reverse and a slightly shorter 35km version of it.
Even though I walked fast, finishing in less than five and a half hours, I still managed to take in the impressive scenery – I love this bit of coastline – nothing comes close.
“Strategic incompetence is the art of avoiding undesirable tasks by pretending to be unable to do them, and though the phrase was apparently only recently coined in a Wall Street Journal article, the concept is surely as old as humanity. “
Oliver Burkeman #
“The ambiguity effect is a cognitive bias where decision making is affected by a lack of information, or “ambiguity”. The effect implies that people tend to select options for which the probability of a favorable outcome is known, over an option for which the probability of a favorable outcome is unknown. The effect was first described by Daniel Ellsberg in 1961.”
Some personal examples.
I will often choose a familiar restaurant, even when revisiting a foreign city, where the probably of a favourable outcome, a good meal, is higher. Or I will spend hours researching and reading reviews of restaurants increasing the likelihood of a nice meal. This means I may miss some of the great restaurants as I don’t consider any unknown options, or I choose something within known parameters.
On hiking to a mountain peak, on return I will typically follow the path I followed on the way up, or a path I have taken before. I don’t see this as a negative per se, as I believe it reduces the chances of getting lost or walking off a cliff.
How does the ambiguity effect affect your life?
“Don’t have too much contempt for the corrupted familiar.”
From a School of Life prompt card. I think about this often, it applies to almost all areas of my life.
There’s an old apocryphal story from 16th-century where a young man climbs a large mountain to speak to the sage at the top. Supposedly this sage knew, like, everything and stuff. And this young man was anxious to understand the secrets of the world.
Upon arriving at the top of the mountain, the sage greeted the young man and invited him to ask him anything (note: this was way before Reddit threads). The young man then asked him his question, “Great sage, we stand upon the world, but what does the world stand upon?”
The sage immediately replied, “The world rests upon the back of a number of great elephants.”
The young man thought for a moment, and then asked, “Yes, but what do the elephants stand upon?”
The sage replied again, without hesitation, “The elephants rest upon the back of a great turtle.”
The young man, still not satisfied, asked, “Yes, but what does the great turtle rest upon?”
The sage replied, “It rests upon an even greater turtle.”
The young man, growing frustrated, began to ask, “But what does–”
“No, no,” the sage interrupted, “stop there–it’s turtles all the way down.”
via Mark Manson
“The trouble isn’t simply that we subjugate our non-work lives to work, but that we subjugate the present to the future – which, as you might have noticed, never arrives. In seeking to spend life as productively as we can, we bring upon ourselves the ultimate ironic punishment: we miss it.”
Oliver Burkeman – New Philosopher #20
“Fiction is one of the few experiences where loneliness can be both confronted and relieved. Drugs, movies where stuff blows up, loud parties — all these chase away loneliness by making me forget my name’s Dave and I live in a one-by-one box of bone no other party can penetrate or know. Fiction, poetry, music, really deep serious sex, and, in various ways, religion — these are the places (for me) where loneliness is countenanced, stared down, transfigured, treated.”
David Foster Wallace on Loneliness: I often like being alone – but I don’t like being lonely
In the outskirts of Ballandean, a small town about 3 hours south west of Brisbane, Australia, lies a paddock. The thing that differentiates this paddock from every other paddock in the area is its unlikely contents: a 30 x 30 metre square and 18 metre high pyramid built with 9000 tonnes of rock. There’s no sign (except ‘no trespassing’), no explanation, and nothing surrounds it. It’s unlikely and unexpected.
To share something is to risk losing it.
The truth is, if we hoard and hide what we love, we can still lose it, only then we’re alone in the loss.
“One of the biggest lessons is given a challenging situation — kids who want pizza — we all tend to default to what we should do instead of asking what we could do. My colleagues and I did an experiment in which I gave participants difficult ethical challenges where there seemed to be no good choice. I then asked participants either “What should you do?” or “What could you do?” We found that the “could” group were able to generate more creative solutions. Approaching problems with a “should” mindset gets us stuck on the trade-off the choice entails and narrows our thinking on one answer, the one that seems most obvious. But when we think in terms of “could,” we stay open-minded and the trade-offs involved inspire us to come up with creative solutions.”
Cognitive behaviour therapy has taught me to avoid using and thinking of the word should as it discourages flexible thinking. Could thinking is a nice replacement.
We recently visited Sydney and about half-way between our accommodation and the nearby playground was a waterless water feature the boys couldn’t resist running through every time. I loved all the lines.
The first thing to comes to mind when I think of prolific is the collection of barrel cacti at The Huntington Gardens in Los Angeles. My happy place 😊
So sad to hear the news that Avicii is no longer with us. One of my favourite electronic dance music artists – we’ve spent much time dancing to his songs in our lounge rooms over the years. Rest In Peace 💙