I think Rhianna said it best when she said, ‘work, work, work!’ Little did I know what a scholarly sage this scorching songstress turned out to be, with a week dominated by my day job. How awful! But to quote James Allen, ‘tempest-tossed souls, wherever you may be, under whatever conditions you may live, know this: In the ocean of life the isles of blessedness are smiling and the sunny shore of your ideal awaits your coming. Keep your hands firmly upon the helm of thought’. A sunny shore you say? I’m coming, wait for meeeeee!!
Amongst the work is the preparation for the reward: another jaunt overseas to two new countries, Norway and Japan, and with the bonus of spending time with my family on a foreign holiday. A good deal of me is looking forward to travelling through a smorgasbord of Scandinavian delights: it’s enthralling fjords; vast open landscape filled with fresh air and greenery; mesmeric railways journeys; a culture advanced by technology and forward-thinking. On the other hand, I’ll be with my family. I love them dearly, but after two or three days they’ll absolutely get on my tits. As all families should, I suppose.
As for Japan, I’ve only heard wonderful things. I have read and consumed a travel book to brace myself, and then promptly forgot every single word of it, which is a shame. I would love to consume knowledge on the flight over, but since I fully intend to be drug addled out of my mind for the entire journey, it makes reading difficult. Or doing anything quite difficult. Working is right out! I’ve actually just googled Rhianna’s ode to the joy of work, and found that there are actually other lyrics than the three words I know. And it’s apparently a love-song. Who knew?!
Travelling apps: Maps.me for free downloaded maps of countries (great off-line); GPSMyCity for self-guided walking tours (keeps crashing); relevant DJI Apps for my drone; Framelapse for time-lapse work; and of course a few books should I find myself in a tight spot. Recently downloaded: Marcus Aurelias’ Meditations; and Regrets of the Dying by Bonnie Ware, a palliative nurse. Really hoping some of those regrets don’t include a tour of whaling countries and family holidays.
Image reference: https://worthyblog.com/work-harder-on-yourself-rather-than-on-your-work/
We’ve been asking the wrong question. All this time, we’ve been asking the wrong damn question. How about that? To quote my new found literary friend and logotherapy pioneer Viktor Frankl “long ago we passed the stage of asking what was the meaning of life, a naive query which understands life as the attaining of some aim through the active creation of something of value.” And no, this doesn’t mean attainment of Chanel and Louis Vuitton logos, much to my girlfriend’s chagrin. We’re talking about logos as in meaning. Everyone has always wanted to know the meaning of life without realising they didn’t actually want to know that at all. The real question is what is the meaning of your life?
Everyone is constantly looking for their ultimate why, which can take a lifetime. Yours. The answer is one that you already possess, which is whatever makes you curious, passionate, excited, love and feel loved. How do you know what excites you now will excite you tomorrow? You don’t, that’s the point. It’s the search. Stop looking for the meaning of life, look for the meaning of now, in this period of your life. To paraphrase John F Kennedy, ask not what life can do for you, but what you can do for life.
'Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and fulfil the tasks it constantly sets for each individual'. For Viktor and his compatriots in the concentration camps, life had one thing to offer them at that point in time: suffering. Viktor understood that eventually it would pass, but his why endured – to postulate his theory on logotherapy. Those that endure great suffering, they survive because of a why, a why that is as individualistic as a snowflake. Find your why in this period of your life. To quote Nietzsche, ‘he who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.’ Logotherapy’s categorical imperative is to ‘live as if you were living already for second time, and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now’. The benefit of hindsight. Tim Ferriss, Adrianna Huffington, Viktor and others all extoll the same mindset: picture your deathbed or the writing of your own eulogy. What do you want it to say?
Americans have a firm belief that anyone can be President of the United State of America - I mean fu**, look at the current guy . . . if he can, right? It’s a wonderful ideology, yet if you reviewed the last six Presidents, you’re trawling back to Ronald Reagan in 1981. Australia, well, we do things differently down here. Not only do we believe that everyone should have a shot at the title, but we’re doggedly trawling the population for a leader - in May we shall have another election, and are in course to appoint our seventh Prime Minister in nine years. Seventh!!!
Australia is laughably easy to govern. We’re a passenger country, sitting on the banana boat enjoying the ride and hoping not to be thrown about wildly whilst the crazy bastards driving swish left and right arguing the course. Is that a ramp ahead? Smile like you’re enjoying yourself . . . and brace! But still, we’re just happy to be invited. We have some introspection for burgeoning racism, immigration and climate change, but nothing unsolvable.
After reading Scott Pape’s Barefoot Investor and Tony Robbin’s The Money Game, I took the plunge to invest in some ETF’s and Index Trackers. The idea is that you continually input into trackers over time off-setting the occasional blips. Yup, that’s right, sell all your shares, because me investing is a sure-fire way of the entire market collapsing. You think I jest? I bought my first shares in July and August 2008. That . . . that didn’t go well for me or anyone else on Planet Earth. For reference, the shares for you to get out of whilst you still can are the Vanguard US Total Market Shares Index ETF, the Vanguard MSCI World ex-Australia and the Argo LIC that invest in Australia’s top 100 companies. The last is a little bit of a gamble but we’ll see!
After finishing Adrianna Huffington’s Thrive, I’m currently re-reading the excellent I, Partridge and the stark Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, a psychologist and Holocaust survivor. Sweet Jesus, man’s inhumanity to man is astonishing. Will leave you with this from Adrianna, one of the many excellent and inspiring excerpts from an absolute litany of wonderful quotations.
There’s nothing like getting rejected from a free MBA course, losing out on a housing bargain and being told you have terminal insomnia to really set the week on fire. My MBA rejection, they said kindly, was due to over-qualification, recommending the $10k USD Executive MBA instead. However, for two thousand dollars less you can go to an accredited university. Still, the Smartl.ly MBA remains one of my better learning experiences – well paced, well written, light-hearted and they even squeeze in some Dad jokes. Anyone can apply for the Free MBA though (closing May 10th), so go for it! And if you get in, let me know how you went!
I’ve watched a few wonderful videos this week, one of which is the constantly nervous Elon Musk introducing Tesla’s robotaxi fleet. The talk presumably took place in secluded convent, as the crowd uttered not a single ‘that is freaking amazing!’. Or the audience were bound and gagged. For Elon Musk’s apparent craziness illustrated by the media, the guy remains a virtuoso and incredible visionary. Turning your own Tesla into a robotic taxi money-making machine whilst you sleep, super crazy good! Says the man who doesn’t own a car. . .
For inspiring stories, you’d be hard pressed to Kekenya’s Dream, an inspirational and quite simply delightful TED talk on a Masai’s girl educational odyssey. If you believe in education, empowering women and making a difference, you can donate for this great cause on her website here.
And lastly, to complete my educational week, terminal insomnia. Not as bad as it sounds! Simply that the last few hours of my sleep are disturbed. Getting to sleep? No problem. Staying asleep? Different battle. If you suffer from insomnia and looking for some remedies, my doctor recommended this site. In addition to these tips, I’ve started a little drumming in my sleep thanks to the madness of this man. Despite my doctor (and girlfriend) remaining unconvinced – and hovering a finger over the speed-dial for the lunatic asylum – I can see sense in it. And since it costs nothing, am giving it a crack!
Writing and writing...