The Art of Journaling

“Journaling is paying attention to the inside for the purpose of living well from the inside out.”

~ Lee Wise

I have tried journaling on and off for the past few years, however only recently have I found a system that works for me and have been consistent with it for long enough to start reaping its benefits. Since I have committed myself seriously to journaling daily I have found it extremely helpful in decompressing the mind, providing perspective on obstacles and emotions, and useful in tracking progress towards goals.

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The Art of Slowing Down

“Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans.”
~ John Lennon

It seems to me that our modern culture values quantity over quality. We are over-concerned with how much we can get done or obtain in the shortest space of time; there is a latent joy in slowing down, being present and appreciating each passing moment.

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On Musical Literacy

“Art and life are not two separate things.”

~ Felix Mendelssohn

In hindsight, one of my biggest regrets is not having taken my piano lessons more seriously as a child. Music plays an integral role in the development of the human identity, and the musicians of the past only become more relevant and phenomenal with time. A great musician, like a great painter or novelist, transcends technical proficiency. He brings to his work his upbringing, his faults and his strengths, enabling him to produce a unique work of art through which to tell his story. And just like a good painting or a good book, a good musical composition can have a unique effect on its listener.

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Taking the Plunge

“They lead, each Brother plummeting from the tower and landing safely below in a bale of hay. They are like eagles. Truly free. I do not hesitate. The fall feels like a flight. Exhilarating!”

~ Perotto Calderon

Stepping back from social media is no easy endeavour — to maintain social dexterity, particularly in youth (I reckon it is not as important in later years), it requires a recalibration of one’s social behaviour.  One must acknowledge that liberation from the gravity of social media comes at the cost of a heightened responsibility to reach out to those who matter most. The beauty is that it is your choice who matters.

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Schrödinger’s Cat

“I went to bed with a calm and happy spirit. Great Lord, help me walk in Thy paths: (1) to flee anger by gentleness and deliberation; (2) to flee lust by self-restraint and loathing; (3) to escape from the turmoil of the world without cutting myself off from (a) the duties of my political work, (b) the cares of my household, (c) relations with my friends, and (d) the management of my finances.”

~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

~ Matthew 6:34

Do you ever think about how little time we have left, how everything, everyone, in our life could be gone tomorrow? I wonder if it’s healthy to think about the finitude of life with such pessimism. There is surely a way to see the beauty in such finitude, to see the beauty in the limited time we all have on this planet. It can be intimidating to look forward to the future, given the hardships and pain one has endured to reach the present, with optimism. In an instant, we could be facing someone or something that we had never imagined would come so soon.

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On Reading

“Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company, and reflection must finish him.”

~ John Locke

2018 was a year of significant tribulation and reconstruction for me, however (I think) I have emerged on the other side a more complete and purposeful individual. One can draw from strength they never knew they possessed in their lowest moments, and I found this to be particularly true this year. A place of unfathomable strength and wisdom is books, and I have turned to them for answers on many occasions.

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The Quintessential Man

“The individual has always had to struggle from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

~ Rudyard Kipling

When one is young, creative abilities are at an all time high. It is in our youth where our greatest ideas and motivations plant their roots. It should therefore be the ultimate goal of human nature to fertilize this; to not let it wither away with time. Societal structure promotes obedience, and in doing so promotes the death of creativity.

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The Friendship Paradigm

“I’m tryna learn something new, surround myself with people that inspire me. Or at least inquire similar desires to do what it T-A-K-E-S to reach the T-O-P.”

~ Kendrick Lamar

Friendship is something that has been and always will be very important in my life. For myself, friends are a sort of de-stressing mechanism: a way to relax, unwind, share a laugh, or just ramble about the latest City victory (c’mon CITY). Because of this, I find that I must choose my friends quite carefully. It is important to me to surround myself with people who not only consider me friends, but understand the uniqueness of my own (and everyone’s for that matter) being.

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“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?

— But it’s nicer here….

So you were born to feel ‘nice’? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?

— But we have to sleep sometime….

Agreed. But nature set a limit on that — as it did on eating and drinking. And you’re over the limit. You’ve had more than enough of that. But not of working. There you’re still below your quota.

You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your own nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for the dance, the miser for money or the social climber for status? When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts.

Is helping others less valuable to you? Not worth your effort?”

~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 5:1

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