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Stoic Breath: Sunrise Edition w/ Steve Beattie.Every Monday @ 5:45 AM ET. RSVP here. 60 mins.
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July 19, 2020
In Friday’s entry I wrote about developing a bespoke success system to help prioritize my various projects: I disliked that entry and I did not feel a sense of satisfaction after writing it. With the majority of these entries I do feel that sense of satisfaction however.
I have not figured out the why and how of this satisfaction, as if to put it into a formula, but the idea of these journals is that they are meant to have an edification quality, ideally for both you and me. I definitely want these entries to be beautiful and my current idea is to turn these journals into a book and I want that book to be beautiful.
However, this is all an experiment, I really do not know what I am doing here exactly, because I am discovering what I am doing here. It is prudent for me to give allowances for when things do not meet my standard of beauty. I do not want to get too meta at the moment though, which is my weakness. I’d rather discuss the conversation I had with Andrew this morning.
This was our third conversation since we started our philosophical conversations again, and the topic we discussed was this difficulty of prioritizing all my projects, and the “procrastination” that ensues from it, if it can indeed be called that. Conversations with Andrew are usually beautiful, they topically bob and weave, sometimes meeting what seems to be a conversational dead end, only to discover a secret backdoor that leads to surprising insights.
The insight today was about getting philosophical about developing a bespoke schedule. As with most things in his life, Andrew is very thoughtful about this. The idea is to live life as if you were living in a monastery, yet you are the one designing the schedule, which inspires a daily rhythm.
I am reminded of the book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. It is a lovely little book, which looks at the schedule of various artists, and the one thing they all had in common is that they had a consistent schedule, one that they had fidelity to. Before I read this book I had this naive impression that artists had these crazy unscheduled lives, but it makes sense that the great artists are highly scheduled.
They figured out the right rhythm that invites the daemon to come out to dance, and the daemon will not come out to dance if I am staying up late, drinking beer, and mindlessly going on social media. Andrew presented some heuristics he uses when designing his schedule, one is being sensitive to the transition between activities, and especially sensitive to what your body might need. For example, if you were sitting in front of the computer for a stretch of time, what might be needed is something that would help energize the body.
Designing a schedule to engender a daily rhythm is needed for those who do not have the traditional 9 to 5 lifestyle. With that lifestyle your schedule is partly designed for you, so you can outsource some of your design thinking to the structure of your job. When you're on your own however, you have to do it yourself.
I am embarrassed to admit I've only been doing this haphazardly since The Stoa started, and I was relying on pure thumos energy to get shit done. One needs to be thoughtful in designing the day, especially if they want the daemon to come out to dance, and this Stoic desires to dance with the daemon right now.
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