Archive for March, 2006

There is no talent

22:19 23 Mar 2006. Updated: 00:13 08 Jan 2007

I came up with this the other day. I don’t agree with it 100%, but I like the sound of it:

There is no talent. There is only struggle and focus.

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‘Will any man despise me?’

19:03 17 Mar 2006. Updated: 09:40 17 Jun 2006

I read this in _Status Anxiety_ a while back and thought it worth noting:

>Will any man despise me? Let him see to it. But I will see to it that I may not be found doing or saying anything that deserves to be despised.
—Marcus Aurelius, _Meditations_

Seems somewhat pedestrian right now, but the simplicity and starkness appealed at the time, and the sentiment itself clearly makes a lot of sense.

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Consciousness Versus Entropy

12:12 11 Mar 2006. Updated: 17:51 13 Nov 2010

I’m reading The Evolving Self, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, at the moment, and it’s definitely helping my mental state. Flow did that also—both are excellent for reminding me not merely that great achievements are possible but that the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment are based on organizing the self, and that such organization is clearly within the grasp of just about everyone. This particular passage stood out to me today:

The normal condition of the mind is chaos. Only when involved in a goal-directed activity does it acquire order and positive moods. It is not surprising that one of the worst forms of punishment is to place a person in solitary confinement, where only those survive who can discipline their attention without depending on external props. The rest of us need either an involving activity or a ready-made package of stimuli, such as as book or a TV program, to keep the mind from unraveling.

—190. Mihalyi Czikszentmihalyi. The Evolving Self. New York: HarperPerennial, 1994. ISBN: 9780060921927.


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