stoic

Reflections

Some thoughts on quality


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“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.”

Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

First, some thoughts on quality.

Today, Sunday, I feel compelled to talk about so many things with you, but first as I just said, I need to talk about quality, because it is that single attribute what defines this whole process, called life.

A concept seems easy to understand in our heads don’t you think?

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We, after all, comprehend phenomena in the realm of our unique consciousness but when it comes to set a concept into words and we try to illustrate the pictures from our heads, into others, that right there, becomes the tricky part.

What is the solution for that difficultness?

Quality.

Quality is the aim to do something  the right way.

Quality is admirable because it is self-explanatory, everyone can feel it or understand it even metaphysically.  Sometimes we don’t know how to explain the why a work is a work of quality but we just know deep inside.

To do anything with quality is to do it right and we all know what that right is, we feel it.

When we make the decision to act with quality there is no confusion, there is no hesitancy, the choice to do it right has already been made and so no explanation for action is needed, there is just right action.

When we act with quality, the feeling of how we are using our time can get counter-intuitive. We tend to make the supposition that time is scarce, so we better hurry, thus sacrificing quality.

Quality needs time and patience, as long as attention. What’s counterintuitive is that acting in a hurry and without care, is actually slowing us down.

By not taking the decision to act with quality and being half-there half in other place, slows us down because by doing something good we only have to do it once, but do something bad and you’ll stumble into the same problem again and again.

Let your work, work on you.51a7fb95d69a284ee9eeb72a27644eb7--photography-art-night-photography

This is a rather profound recommendation.

Let your work, work on you. Everything you do or make, is an opportunity to be better, inside and outside.

It’s just as true that everything that is done badly or half-heartedly will work as well in the inside and the outside and not precisely in a good way.

Everything we do matters. Matters because it betters or worses not just ourselves, but the whole existence. Everything is connected. When we act with quality, we give quality to existence.

When we are washing dishes to give an example, there are two ways of doing it, correctly, or incorrectly. If you don’t put your full attention and care to the task at hand, you will not treat it fairly and will not let it work on you. If you don’t do it correctly the inner work (lesson) that the action can teach you will be wasted.

Everytime we are doing something we have an opportunity to practice patience and presence, to practice diligence, to practice everything.

Practice is all there is, there is never going to be a moment in which the work is done. We can only strive to become better and better at what we do and as quality is prefered in our lives than mediocrity practice is the only way through which great and better quality can be achieved and everytime we discard an activity and don’t put our effort in it, we are wasting our lives in mediocrity.

Living is an activity and better said an art, it is something that Seneca said, takes our whole lives to learn.

We can practice right now, this is why quality is so important, in everything we make, everything we do, everything we are needs to be constantly perfected and in doing so we are living as best and qualitatively as we can.

Hurry up and live.

Seneca

chess-1Quality is admirable and speaks for itself, I don’t have to tell you how to live your life best, that is something only you know, but bear in mind the concept of quality, because you know what a life of quality is. Apply it, apply it to everything and quality will start surrounding your life.

Life is fractal every small deed is part of the bigger deed. The details make the whole. Take care of the details, they are not time wasters, they are time savers, know this and quality will be effortless and more importantly, you’ll make your life and others, lives of quality.

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Short mornings, Stoic advice

Groundless fears


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Good morning.

As dear Monday begins, many people dread it. It catches many people off-guard, it is the beginning of the week and people feel overwhelmed by how much is there to do or getting up early for work.

It also takes a away the eased and calmed Sunday vibe, we all know that vibe of relaxation of Sunday. The town just feels different, whereas in Monday, cortisol strikes everybody and stress just fills the air again with claxons and hurried people.

It feels like the beginning of a battle, the everlasting battle of capitalism. Production begins and so all people must MOVE.

What is it that move people?

I believe it is inner tension, and don’t get me wrong, tension is good. You need something to make you move and you should move but I think we are overreacting to everything that happens.

“we suffer more often

in imagination than in reality” Seneca

Not having enough with everything we have to do, we go to our heads and start thinking about what can or cannot happen, we start to be fueled by fear. You can see this in the people and all the “fuck yous” being yelled in traffic.

“We are in the habit of exaggerating, or imagining, or anticipating, sorrow.” Seneca

This reminded me about Tony Robbins, in his book “Awaken the giant within”. He says that one time he got the opportunity to drive a Nascar car. Driving one of these cars is not joke, they run seriously fast so he asked for any advice on how to do it. The expert pilot told him that he must, at all times, concentrate on the road, never at the walls. Your eyes and your focus is very important to define where your whole body will go and therefore the car as well.

This sounds terribly familiar. Where are we going to and where is our focus? Groundless fears are walls, focus to much in them and they will happen. Focus on where you want to go and opportunity better.

“We shall consider later whether these evils derive their power from their own strength, or from our own weakness.”

“Am I tormented without sufficient reason, am I morose, and do I convert what is not an evil into what is an evil ? “

“Things which cause our fear; we do not examine into them ; we blench and retreat just like soldiers who are forced to abandon their camp because of a dust-cloud raised by stampeding cattle, or are thrown into a panic by the spreading of some unauthentic- ated rumour.” Seneca

Life itself is uncertainty, nothing is sure. There is never an ending to this cause this is the1483006388_trumphighway34_ae17c05105f6356b2aaba67df923e818 concept of infinite. The fight/dance however you want to call it is never over. We do make it harder than it is by focusing on groundless fears. Better to grip from the things that we can control and use truth to suppress the fears. Also, there is no other place other than the present moment to suppress that fear. We have to act now and be comfortable in uncertainty. 

Focus on the road.

Thanks for reading, have a great week.