Do Things Simply

“The height of cultivation runs to simplicity. Halfway cultivation runs to ornamentation” — Bruce Lee.

As different as they have been, in all the things I have practiced I have noticed one constant. There is always the desire, early on — and perhaps for a long time to come — to be as showy and ornate as possible.

In writing, the temptation is always to use obscure words when common ones will do. Sometimes, this is because the writer wants to align himself to some intellectual movement. He adopts the language of Hegel, Marx, Existentialism, some art movement, or some occult society, etc. Continue reading “Do Things Simply”

Daily Meditation: Turning Effort Into Excellence

Daily meditations for the higher man.“Without effort, your talent is nothing more than your unmet potential. Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done, but didn’t” — Angela Duckworth, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.

As Duckworth points out in her new book Grit, the West puts what it calls “natural talent” on a pedestal, most obviously in TV shows as “America’s Got Talent.”

As a three-time published author (whose latest book has been singled out for a lot of praise), and as an artist whose work has been shown in galleries and a couple of small museums in the USA and Britain, I think I understand something about achievement. Continue reading “Daily Meditation: Turning Effort Into Excellence”

Daily Meditation: Mockery Versus Self-Mastery

Daily meditations for the higher man.The miserable man and evil minded
makes of all things mockery,
and knows not that which he best should know,
that he is not free from faults.

So reads the Hávamál (The Words of Odin the High One) from the Poetic Edda. But what does it mean?

To face life with purposefulness and seriousness is difficult, and takes resolve. Criticism and mockery often stops people from pursuing whatever interests them, whether that is learning an art, writing, a martial art, a new vocation, or something else. The fact of the matter is that we cannot be a master at the beginning, and the time to begin will never be right. A person of seriousness and purpose should acknowledge this up front, so that he or she will be easily able to dismiss the critical and the negative. Continue reading “Daily Meditation: Mockery Versus Self-Mastery”