The Horse and the Rider

“Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called ‘ego’.”

~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The unrestrained ego is the biggest obstacle to achievement and peace of mind, the two things people most want in life. Not only is the unrestrained ego bigger than most obstacles one encounters in life, the unrestrained ego often creates obstacles that would not exist if one had control over it.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

~ Mark Twain

On February 3rd I was on board the TTC subway, taking the train from York Mills, where I was visiting a good friend of mine from college, to the Union station where I was planning to take a bus back to my hometown. We had stayed up late that night, and I languidly pulled out the book I had brought with me. As I sat on the train for the short ride, a man in a wheelchair, a beggar, made his way from the back of the train to the front, a cup in hand. As he made his way from my 9 clock to my 12, I paused to acknowledge the man, then returned to my book. I had money, and I should have given it to him.

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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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Law 25: Re-create Yourself

“I had rather be first in a village than second in Rome.”

~ Julius Caesar

The properties you are born with are not necessarily who you are, outside of the characteristics inherited through your parents, friends, and experiences in life that have shaped your personality. One should see themselves as an artist, a clay that can be continually molded to their liking.

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The Gift of Giving

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”

~ Booker T. Washington

To be quite honest, sharing was never an easy endeavour for me. Since I was a young lad, I hated it when people borrowed my things and broke them or failed to return them. I like to think I take good care of my belongings, and it annoys me when people fail to do the same. This is something I have definitely worked on in the last few years, and today, as I was shopping downtown, I realized I have made the 180 degree turn I so desired.

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Bophelo: 150mg PO pd

“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.”

~ Robert H. Schuller

It can be difficult to turn over the pages of life, especially those that are happy and contented. Unfortunately, time waits for no man, and if you let it, the world can and will move on without you. Despite the writer’s block that comes with authoring a new chapter of life, each one plants a hope for the next. Whether things are (or aren’t) going well for you does not guarantee tomorrow will be the same; in fact it guarantees the exact opposite.

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Luck of the Draw

“Coincidence is logical.”

~ Johan Cruyff

Today is August 8th – not particularly special for any specific reason, but every day has potential to be special in the eyes of someone. August 8th (or July 26th on the Julian Calendar; if anyone is struggling to think of a gift to get me for my birthday, get me a 2017/18 Julian Calendar) is the 220th day of the year, and is more likely to fall on a Monday, Wednesday or Saturday than any other day of the week (coincidentally, today is a Tuesday). It is the birthday of Louis Van Gaal and Roger Federer, and the commencement day of the “Hundred Days Offensive”, a series of Allied offensives on the Western Front leading to the end of WW1.

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