What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.
You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
You may ask yourself, “Well, how did I get here?”
–Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime
Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death so live, live, LIVE!
Day 9: A Life Lived With Purpose
A charmed life is a life that is grabbed by the horns and lived — a life with direction, a life with purpose. A charmed life is not spent on the sidelines, accepting whatever is happening simply because it is happening.
For most of us, life lends itself easily to patterns and routine. Our days can end up looking much the same: wake up, go to work, come home, sleep, rinse and repeat. We can spend years passively joining the morning rush hour, then the lunch crush, then the evening rush hour. Isn’t it interesting how this natural inclination towards monotony can simultaneously leave you feeling comforted yet not very fulfilled? Today, I want you to start living your most passionate life. I want you to upset some of those apple carts.
While there are many routines you can’t — nor shouldn’t — break (e.g., going to work, paying your taxes, visiting the dentist twice yearly), I want you to turn your attention to your practically imperceptible acceptance of conditions or situations that are less than satisfying. And then think about why you accept them. Perhaps you think it might be too difficult to get what it is that you actually want. Perhaps you don’t think you deserve it. Perhaps you think things might eventually get better because you are patiently waiting for your boss to promote you or for your husband to realize he could be treating you better. And it’s true, it could get better. But I wouldn’t bet on it just happening.
Today is about figuring out what you want and how you are going to get it. It is about refusing to let life pass you by. It is about refusing to wake up in that beautiful house, with that beautiful wife, wondering “Well, how did I get here?” It is about making decisions about how to make things better, putting them into action, and fighting to see them through — no matter how big or small. It can be about improving your relationship with your girlfriend or agitating for political change.
Historically, I haven’t always been great at this, which is why I think I decided to talk about it today. I know what it feels like to be frustrated, to feel like you are a victim of circumstance, to feel like there isn’t really anything you can do to make things more satisfying, to feel like it would be too hard to take control of the situation. But I also know how rewarding it feels to take charge and move forward on a path of my own choosing. To lead a purposeful life is to lead a more satisfying, exciting and aware existence. It’s on the top of my to-do list and I hope you will join me.
You watch the breeze jiggle the web that’s been strung in the frame of the kitchen window.
I boil water for coffee without looking in the mouth of the carafe. Thermal conduction will be my patricide. Parasiticide.
Check basil leaves daily for mites.
The spider has orange peel legs and miniscule eyes.
We run out of milk halfway through the recipe. Most countries buy milk by the liter.
Religion calls a state generous in milk and honey the Promised Land.
Cows are clean creatures.
There are no poems about mites. Or silkworms.
Silk is more luxurious than honey anyway, I say.
The spider is holding on.
After a couple days of new invites to Google+ being denied, it seems the gates have opened. Today I finally started my Google+ account and haven’t done even a bit of exploration yet. Instead, I’ve been thinking about Google. And about not being evil. But mostly about Google. I do hate that Google+ isn’t compliant with my browser of choice, Camino (it looks lovely, plays nice with my MacBook and doesn’t force me to update every time I open a window). Ultimately I followed the rabbit hole to Chrome’s YouTube channel, where I found commercials such as this and this, that made me cry. Damn you, Google.
The air has stopped sliding.
It is a breeze that is more like a wind.
It crumples the bay and stuffs it in a stone pocket.
The bay agitatedly tries to smooth itself out.
If it were tissue paper it would need damp and an iron.
It is a good deal more than damp.
What a lot of water.
- James Schuyler, The Edge in the Morning (The Cenotaph)