83 Thoughts For Life, Existential Dilemmas, Observations And More


The following 83 thoughts little lightning bolts that smacked my brain over the last few months. There are rules for living, half-baked understandings of existential dilemmas, observations of bikinis, and other things my brain thought was interesting enough to write down.

I try to put down thoughts when they pop up into my brain. It’s less about remembering them and more showing respect to the Idea God. I want ideas to keep popping up and so I want Him to feel appreciated and whatever else.

1. Right action doesn’t stop to judge the fullness or emptiness of a cup – it is either drinking from it or filling it up.

2. The mistake of the quasi-mystic: to believe that seeing something from a new perspective takes any importance away from the other, more common, perspective.

3. Embracing impermanence (and easing up our grasp on our Self) is easy to do when seen a a certain grouping of chemicals passing through.

4. Those who physically neglect themselves to make a statement are much worse than those who care for themselves to make a statement. They’re playing the game out of spite.

5. Creating a narrative (“cause”) for a pain is rarely accurate; and even less often helpful.

6. The meditative mind can appreciate the sounds of the world. The reactive mind needs a song, now.

7. [In reaction to Jason Silva.] Technos forget that we don’t need technology to shock us into awe. Look at a leaf, a piece of mold, a cloud. Humans have always had the same capacity for awe. We’ve just reached it differently.

8. Have faith in honest creation to make sense later.

9. Phases of an epiphany: Nobody knows–> Epiphany! –> Others have known this –> No epiphanies are original –> No epiphany lasts –> Facts depend on posture.

10. Nobody knows what’s going on. This doesn’t mean I’m the only one who can figure it out, it means I should have fun without trying to figure it out.

11. A rejection of the warrior ethos is aiming at comfort/weakness. Rejecting adventure and honest rites of passage.

12. The repression of clean art – we fear the ludicrous, what we can’t discuss, what doesn’t fit our morality – is forced by a clean government and weak rules.

13. If you accept the repressed idea as acceptable and possible then the thing often loses its taboo and desirability.

14. Meditation restores the mystery to our world more solidly than psychedelics because it is created from a process in this world. It’s subtlety and nuance make it more real.

15.  [Via negativa] We are most grateful to experienced people who tell us what NOT to do (what they wish they did is a foolish regret and not as trustworthy).

16. The only history lesson you’ll ever need: you are the pinnacle of all human effort, you are the result living in a sea of the same result of universal evolution that has lasted billions of years. You know nothing because you are everything.

17. Ignoring alternate solutions: we believe that the book that helped us is the book to help everyone. Same with religion. We ignore that everyone else has the same exclusive way of thinking about their own solutions for life.

18. You only play selected strings on a harp and reject the rest – but you must have played them at some point to know they’re there. You don’t avoid them out of fear but out of knowing they aren’t what you want to hear. (Positivity vs realism vs bullshit positivity or fearful positivity.)

19. We get lost when valuing the abstraction of the stars over seeing them, or when we believe they are superior to us.

20. The highest compliment: ”Did you come up with that?”

21. It’s good to forfeit ideals (at least externally… and not all) when entering a new situation. Learn what’s going on, work within it, and define your rules after you’ve gained an understanding.

22. Intelligent ignorance: we can only know things by not knowing things (or know what is by knowing what is not).

23. It takes no bravery – only reactivity – to revolt outwardly, inwardly is the trick.

24. Pain makes things more interesting (and may point to a solution).

25. Reactionary Realist: The lazy mind that screams about reality as the total minus positivity. The cynic who forgets that change is the only constant.

26. A small, temporary introduction of vanity as driver can be useful.

27. There is no “most valuable” career or work to do. (Beyond the one right in front of you.)

28. When I graduated high school my great grandpa gave me the advice, “Don’t change.” I wonder if he meant to set me up for failure.

29. The best life isn’t the most pleasant, happy, or comfortable.

30. Stupid abstraction: “Successful people do ____.” These never work. A quick look around and you see that every person comes at their own success in different ways.

31. Belated epiphanies: we’ve already heard all the wisdom we ever will, from here on out we’re going to get it in more forms and clever ways until it hits us again, the “AHA!”, then, “didn’t I know this already?”

32. Nobody will pay you to read – they will pay you for what you’ve read.

33. Only try to write well while editing.

34. Action changes the circumstances you make decisions from.

35. Wisdom is learning enough to feel stupid/ashamed/scared, then learning enough to get to the other side. Naïveté is not even knowing enough to feel stupid. Wisdom is therefore educated/experienced naïveté.

36. Never trust somebody who enthusiastically approaches you with an “opportunity”.

37. Any ideal can be glorified. Alexander the Great and Genghis Kahn were glorified murderers. The Nazi ideal of Aryans and the Third Reich. The miracles of Jesus. The meditations of Buddha. We create the narratives we need.

38. Worshipping of the spiritual or psychedelic mind abandons the beauty of the pragmatic mind – the one that keeps us the alive. (The “why” is allowed by the “how”.)

39. Heuristic: The things you most want to do quickly are the things that are better enjoyed slowly (driving, eating, sex, breathing living).

40. It’s selfishly self-destructive to present yourself as a slob. (If you haven’t overcome your ability to ignore first impressions why would you put the burden on others?)

41. Nietzsche may have gone mad by touching Truth. (His ego needed to make conscious what could not be.)

42. Sometimes it’s better to go out of your mind than remain in it.

43. Action/experience shows us the folly of our own false morality – simultaneously simplifying the universe and confusing/complexifying the logic-mind.

44. If bashfulness is holding you back, it’s better to be bashful all the way than to take on the secondary shame of rejecting it.

45. It is better to handle yourself well and enjoy life in poverty or sadness than it is to pretend you must escape. We most respect the person who works with his lot in life.

46. There are some things we have to repeat for years in slightly different ways until we find the perfect expression. Some things we are destined to repeat forever.

47. Staying scared is one path to definite growth. (Assuming one is scared enough of paralysis.)

48. It’s easier to accept your natural inclinations in life when you realize that passion and indifference, insecurity and confidence, strength and weakness, and any other paid all offer their benefits and detractors.

49. We choose the game to play (and therefore no justification to hate it).

50. In order to love humanity, you have to love bikinis.

51. Those who learn from history should take advantage of it (not overcome it).

52. You get paid for instances of genius that you spend the rest of your time leveraging.

53. Always ask “What am I trying to convince myself of?”

54. The solution isn’t what fixes most problems.

55. The less of your life is justified the better off you are.

56. Plenty of relaxed 80-somethings have eaten processed food their whole life and will outlive the neurotic gluten-free vegan.

57. Questioning without rejecting is as important as hearing without accepting. 

58. Before reading about fitness do push-ups or quests until fail. Before reading to find a solution to a problem, write down 10 possible solutions first.

59. Honesty is first admitting your faults. Then admitting they aren’t so bad. (Or admitting you’re awesome then admitting you’re not that awesome.)

60. An appearance of a reward can be just as powerful as an actual reward.

61. When reading: stop as soon as you get bored and move to the next book.

62. Perfecting your productivity is useless if you don’t know what you want to produce.

63. It’s better to play the game knowing you are alive than to beat it by knowing you will die.

64. There are few things sadder than a person from a big city reluctantly living in a small town.

65. The worst bosses are the ones afraid of being unnecessary.

66. People who travel often have a naive love for the people in any area that they are in. They mistake their own freedom and excitement for the goodness of the people.

67. Harsh realities of doing anything you love: your family won’t care (or buy or read or watch or use), you have no idea what you’re doing, and failure is certain.

68. Intellectuals use big words because they’re afraid to actually give their ideas away. (And bad writers use them to pretend they have something worth giving away.)

69. You don’t need to think you can – you just need to try.

70. Structured procrastination: do the useless items on the list first.

71. A book of a great entrepreneur is more instructive than a business manual.

72. Don’t worry about predicting the limits of what is realistic – reality does that for you. We always underestimate reality.

73. “Nobody will blame you” is a sure sign you’re being a bitch.

74. Most modern exhaustion is best dealt with by expelling energy.

75. It’s better to watch the people who are really good than to take lessons.

76. Many obsess on spirituality/God after a time obsessing on money – they think they need to earn God.

77. Michael Jackson has said he was profoundly lonely all the time.

78. Any person who talks about travel too much doesn’t do it well.

79. Only listen to those with skin in the game (and then take into account how their commitments have shaped their ideas).

80. When I consider if I’m happy, I don’t really know. I know when I’m unhappy.

81. Some things conflated with being an entrepreneur: posting about tech on social media, going to conferences, talking about entrepreneurship, watching TED talks, wearing suits, wearing hoodies…

82. An employer I met throws away resumes that are too good – they’re too book smart and won’t learn anything.

83. On Drama: trust in Life to give you all the obstacles you need. Get on your own team.

featured image – Flickr / rignamw