The Wander Notebook

A personal journey of lifelong learning, sharing resources, creating things, and trying to be better.

Someone writing their bucket list in their journal.

24: Be Noteworthy

“These actions are not essentially difficult; it is we ourselves that are soft and flabby.” — Seneca

The Human Distillery

When you take a step back, the greatest of people in history are a distillery. The most talented and hard-working of people often produce only a handful (or even just one piece) of great work or events that are noteworthy. The rare and devoted few actually go through a great person’s minutiae — hundreds of thousands of small pieces that were completed daily to work towards that great work.

There is a deep conviction required for this. To spend hours per day working towards something bigger, something that might instead fail quietly. As well as the remarkable forethought to understand what needs to be worked on, and in what order.

Though, perhaps there isn’t such planning. Rather, these great works instead are conjured up organically by a repeating persistence and habitual work. Regardless, the conviction is still there.

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6 Ways to Achieve New Things

Getting back on your horse, no matter how many times you’ve fallen off.

Project Journal Bar

In my last post, I talked about the struggles and failures I’ve faced the past few years. I’ve been thinking about how to tackle my short-comings and problems to solve a single, relatively-simple issue that’s plagued me nearly my entire life: consistency in my work ethic.

There needs to be more hand-holding involved — change does not come quickly nor simply. So I’ve devised an entirely new project for myself: Journal Bar. This is a new blog that I’ve made where I’m going to be posting about the progress I’ve been making weekly. The (very simple) ingenious part is that I’m tracking the posts I write.

So, this is a sort of meta-accountability experiment. Having a goal that’s in charge of making sure I keep on-track with all of my other goals. The idea behind this is so simple that I’m kicking myself for not thinking about it sooner.

This idea and the progress I’ve made is very new, but I feel as though I’m going slowly enough to ensure that I don’t fizzle out quickly and lose interest or energy for it. In addition to keeping track of my progress, I’ve also elected to use the blog as a space to write rough ideas that I’ll want to implement into articles later.

Going through the whole Beeminder process again opened my eyes to a few things that I believe will be helpful regarding perseverance with long-term results:

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Was I doing it all wrong?

Goal Failure

A post-capitalist critique on boiling frogs, minimum-happiness, harmful-easy things, and lists.

Beeminder 2.0

Over two years ago, I wrote The Tao of Bees, where I dutifully explained the differences between commonly-used to-do lists and the more long-term, uncommonly-used system thinking as a method to maintain and accomplish your goals. In my second article, The Sting of Work, I delved deeper into the ideas behind setting better goals and maintaining them.

What has happened in the time since then? There is a rich irony in this — A schadenfreude that can be had over the fact I failed to eat my own dog food.

This can be chalked up to a multitude of reasonings: No longer finding interest in Beeminder, having a change of direction in my life, hitting a deep episode of depressive thinking, general sheer laziness and hypocrisy, et cetera, et cetera.

After reviewing both my minor successes and major failures over an extended period of time, there are more mature conclusions on the idea of system thinking as a way of living that I can share. This is in sharp contrast to the more idealistic and frankly naïve explanations I had a few years ago.

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Festival Fireworks Crowd

How to Start off 2020 on the Right Foot!

6 Weird Ideas Which Could Actually Change Things

“It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.”

Chinese Proverb

SUMMARY:

  1. Take Stock of What You Have — Be Grateful & Grow
  2. Start From Zero — Radically Eliminate the Non-Essential, Shake the Dust
  3. There’s Beauty in Consistency — Don’t Restart! —Balance Happiness & Dedication
  4. Understand the Psychology of Reactance — Mindset is Everything
  5. Community Is Everything — There Is So Much Good in Others, So Find It (Storytelling Is the Only Thing We Have)
  6. Build Your Identity on All of the Above — a Confession

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23: Dying Without Seeing You Again

Living on fire without putting yourself out — and cherishing the heat.

“May you live in interesting times.”

English translation of a purported traditional Chinese curse.
A message is written in graffiti on the campus of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong
A message is written in graffiti on the campus of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, China November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

My good friends! I would like to say hello, once again. For the past three years, I have written a birthday post. A sort of thematic idea that is supposed to encapsulate the idea I would like to live out this year. Small self-experiments just for fun. My fourth one, however, it is very late. My twenty-third birthday was almost a year ago now, with my next birthday now creeping in.

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