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What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#43)

Learned last week: Tidy up when in doubt, rules of the studio, the trichotomy of control, and more.

When in doubt, tidy up. I did a lot of tidying this week as I find myself with some extra time off. The doldrums of the typical afternoon require that I do something with my hands to get unstuck and moving stuff around is a great antidote. Just remember, we don’t have to keep our spaces neat and tidy, just keep them ready for when we want to work (or play). That often means leaving things out, at the ready.


New music to work (and dance) to: From KEXPs excellent Midnight In a Perfect World series lands this crazy mix by Hot Chip: KEXP Presents Midnight In a Perfect World with Hot Chip


Rules of the studio from Austin Kleon and Kanye West: This inspired me to try doing some “studio time” at home, earmarking an hour (or however long it would last) for creating art with the kids. I want to expand it to include collage and sculpture, but for this first one we just had pens and pencils. Here are a couple of the outputs:


A book from Hemingway that was release posthumously: Islands in the Stream. I am in little bit of a reading rut and have been reading a lot of nonfiction on developing (good) habits and philosophies of life. This seems like a good antidote.

The first of Hemingway’s posthumously published novels (1970), Islands in the Stream was found by Hemingway’s widow after his death. Beautifully descriptive, he weaves together many of his signature narratives – love, loss, longing, adventure, and war. In three stories, Hemingway takes us through decades of the life of artist Thomas Hudson, in a semi-autobiographical depiction that begins with the joys of fatherhood and fishing before moving to suspenseful Nazi submarine hunting. This book has something for everyone, and is a worthwhile read for those only familiar with Hemingway’s more popular and earlier works.

From FS.blog’s Brain Food #333

What Works and What Doesn’t by Steven Pressfield:

The only thing that allows me to sit quietly in the evening is the completion of a worthy day’s work. What work? The labor of entering my imagination and trying to come back out with something that is worthy both of my own time and effort and of the time and effort of my brothers and sisters to read it or watch it or listen to it.


Favorite book excerpt:

A practicing Stoic will keep the trichotomy of control firmly in mind as he goes about his daily affairs. He will perform a kind of triage in which he sorts the elements of his life into three categories: those over which he has complete control, those over which he has no control at all, and those over which he has some but not complete control. The things in the second category-those over which he has no control at all-he will set aside as not worth worrying about. In doing this, he will spare himself a great deal of needless anxiety. He will instead concern himself with things over which he has complete control and things over which he has some but not complete control. And when he concerns himself with things in this last category, he will be careful to set internal rather than external goals for himself and will thereby avoid a considerable amount of frustration and disappointment.

A Guide to the Good Life, William B Irvine

By Nick

I'm a father, husband, son. I love reading, drawing, writing, being active, having a beer or a glass of wine with my wife, and am curious about everything.

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