Paring Down Your Life

Our lives are overfull. There’s not a single one of us who is free of that trap, in my experience. We say yes to invitations and commitments, we answer as many emails and messages as we can, we join courses and groups, buy books and take on new hobbies, get involved in new relationships and buy more stuff.

A Case Against Optimizing Your Life

Many people I know are on a quest to optimize their lives — some of my favorite people in the world will spend days trying to perfect a productivity system, get things automated, or find the perfect software for anything they’re doing. They are on a continual search for the perfect diet, the perfect work routine, the perfect travel setup. Optimizing can take quite a bit of time and energy. What would happen if we let go of optimizing?

For the Love of Reason

Far be it from me to divide humankind in two, but were I so inclined, I’d divide it into those who love reason and those who are indifferent if not outright hostile to it. Members of the first group adore the reasoning process and their own reasoning faculties. The others find the process burdensome and discomforting, something that threatens long-held beliefs and intuitions.

Life’s Conflicts Are the Plot Points of Your Life’s Story

For some time now I’ve been fascinated by the idea of the monomyth popularized by thinkers like Joseph Campbell, C.S. Lewis, and (more recently) Jordan Peterson. One way of understanding a piece of what they have said is that all humans indeed occupy a story framework. We’re all taking Campbell’s “hero’s journey” and passing through its phases, which may look different for each of us.