For weeks I’ve been entering, and losing, photography competitions and getting rejected by literary agents (for the book), which is always fun. If I need to submit a thousand, then I’ll submit a thousand. I’m reminded of something from 12 Rules for Life by very funny psychologist Jordan B Peterson: “if you are disciplined, forming strong habits, and privilege the future over the present, you can change the structure of your reality in your favour”. This echoes American-philosopher Will Durant, ‘we are what we repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit’, aligning to 7 Habits . . . by Steve Covey, Marcus Aurelius Meditations, actually everyone ever. So basically, I’m in the habit of losing this year. Yay! Will keep you updated on my failure. The literary agents are going to be like a hydra: for every rejection, I shall write to two more. Talking of rejection, I’m going to sign up to online dating. Fu**’s sake. Might stick to taking photos of snails for Instagram.
I’ve just finished Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles which I covered last time (LINK); and James Smith’s Not a Diet Book, about exercise and, well, dieting, with some self-improvement thrown in. The excellent 12 Rules for Life would be my pick of the bunch, like receiving cathartic well-intentioned advice from an old man about bringing up children, handling relationships and prioritising life’s important aspects (summary link below). Talking of which, I gently picked up the Empty Out the Negative audiobook by Joel Olsteen, which may well be two hours of an American (eeshh!) yelling about God (gahh!) being our saviour. I am an atheist but at least I’m trying to broaden my church. In my head though, every other sentence is a mix between James Bond’s Sargent J.W. Pepper, What are you? Some kinda doomsday mowwsheen, boy? and Arsenio Hall’s Coming to America character Rev Brown, There’s a God, sumaa-where! There’s a God, sumaa-where!
My favourite libation of the last fortnight is rediscovering the excellence of Socrates, the oracle of Delphi attesting that there was no other wiser: Socrates knew that he knew nothing. Towards the end of his trial, he proclaimed that “an unexamined life is not worth living”. He believed the purpose of life was to grow spiritually, and philosophically; arguing that it was important to question and “examine” your values and beliefs in order to determine if they were the correct ones. So, I believe I’m going to fail, and I’m fine with that. Coming back to Jay Shetty’s Think Like a Monk from a few weeks ago, instead of asking around the dinner table ‘how was your day?’ ask, ‘what did you fail at today?’ It means you’re taking risks, pushing boundaries. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some women, photos and literary agents to be rejected by. There’s a God, sumaa-where!
An excellent 12 Rules for Life summary can be found here:
Writing and writing...