Welcome to the second edition of Wednesday Wisdom. Here’s what I’ve been reading, listening to, and watching for the past week.
What I’m Reading
Religion for the Nonreligious, blog post by Tim Urban.
Religion for the Nonreligious was one of the most important reads of the year for me. It’s not often I see something that completely aligns with my views and thoughts on life, but this piece does it perfectly.
Before diving into it, I wanted to explain that this in no way shape or form is only applicable to the non religious. The piece explains how he finds beauty in the world and hope without believing in god. His philosophy can apply to people who believe in god as well, it’s more about living life to the fullest than it is about religion.
He explains how we all understands that we’re all going to die one day, and that our time here is limited. Yet, we don’t live our days out like we know this information. What stands in our way is the day to day “fog”. If you’ve ever had a deep conversation with a friend or late night reflection while staring at the stars then you’ve been in the state of mind where all of your problems fade away and you realize how small you are. He calls this a “whoa” moment. These are the type of moments I have when I listen to ambient music at night or read about physics. In these moments I understand how little someone cutting me off in traffic, or fouling me hard in basketball matter. The problem is the day to day fog prevents me from being in this late night state of mind at all times.
I plan on writing a full piece based on this concept soon but for now check out the article and learn how you can clear the fog and live a full life.
The fog explains all kinds of totally illogical and embarrassingly short-sighted human behavior.
Why else would anyone ever take a grandparent or parent for granted while they’re around, seeing them only occasionally, opening up to them only rarely, and asking them barely any questions—even though after they die, you can only think about how amazing they were and how you can’t believe you didn’t relish the opportunity to enjoy your relationship with them and get to know them better when they were around?
Why else would people brag so much, even though if they could see the big picture, it would be obvious that everyone finds out about the good things in your life eventually either way—and that you always serve yourself way more by being modest?
Why else would someone do the bare minimum at work, cut corners on work projects, and be dishonest about their efforts—when anyone looking at the big picture would know that in a work environment, the truth about someone’s work habits eventually becomes completely apparent to both bosses and colleagues, and you’re never really fooling anyone? Why would someone insist on making sureeveryone knows when they did something valuable for the company—when it should be obvious that acting that way is transparent and makes it seem like you’re working hard just for the credit, while just doing things well and having one of those things happen to be noticed does much more for your long term reputation and level of respect at the company?
If not for thick fog, why would anyone ever pinch pennies over a restaurant bill or keep an unpleasantly-rigid scorecard of who paid for what on a trip, when everyone reading this could right now give each of their friends a quick and accurate 1-10 rating on the cheap-to-generous (or selfish-to-considerate) scale, and the few hundred bucks you save over time by being on the cheap end of the scale is hardly worth it considering how much more likable and respectable it is to be generous?
What other explanation is there for the utterly inexplicable decision by so many famous men in positions of power to bring down the career and marriage they spent their lives building by having an affair?
And why would anyone bend and loosen their integrity for tiny insignificant gains when integrity affects your long-term self-esteem and tiny insignificant gains affect nothing in the long term?
How else could you explain the decision by so many people to let the fear of what others might thinkdictate the way they live, when if they could see clearly they’d realize that A) that’s a terrible reason to do or not do something, and B) no one’s really thinking about you anyway—they’re buried in their own lives.
And then there are all the times when someone’s opaque blinders keep them in the wrong relationship, job, city, apartment, friendship, etc. for years, sometimes decades, only for them to finally make a change and say “I can’t believe I didn’t do this earlier,” or “I can’t believe I couldn’t see how wrong that was for me.” They should absolutely believe it, because that’s the power of the fog.
What I’m Listening To
Mr. Money Mustache is a successful blog about only using money to increase your happiness. We often think of living frugally as this limiting way of life that doesn’t allow us to enjoy life to the fullest. The author of the blog Pete Adeney has a philosophy where he only spends money to increase his happiness. He allows himself to have fun and eat the things he loves, he just doesn’t waste his money on things like cars, or luxurious goods.
Pete went on the Tim Ferriss podcast earlier this year and I just got around to listening to it. It was definitely an eye opener and made me think deeper about the way I spend my money. Are there ways I can spend less money on things that don’t bring me happiness?
This blog is all about making us think deeper about our every day lives, this podcast will help you do that with your money. I recommend anyone who is struggling with money issues to take a listen.
What I’m Watching
Off The Rhekord [Q&A] by DJ Rhetorik.
Finally, I watched the new “Off The Rhekord” vlog from DJ Rhetorik (Logic’s DJ).
Rhetorik is an inspiration of mine as he graduated from Virginia Tech in 2013 and now tours the world with Logic as his DJ. It’s inspiring to see someone graduate from my school just a few years before me killing it with his creative projects instead of taking the traditional route.
His Q&A’s are always my favorite pieces of his content because I’m fascinated by his point of view, he has a different way of looking at the world. I recommend checking out his YouTube channel and get inspired yourself, especially my Virginia Tech friends.
Here’s a sample of one of his sets from Logic’s tour.
Thanks for checking out what I’m interested in this week. If you have any ideas for next weeks Wednesday Wisdom feel free to send ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
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