Search your heart. What are you serious about? How far will you go?
While I was writing this, I rewatched a video by jazz pianist Kenny Werner, and I was really struck by his ability to be so gentle and ruthless at the same time, in a way that's loving and no-bullshit, and also economical. I'm trying to strike my version of that balance, but I think I still need more practice. I think I'll always think that. And I think that's probably for the best.
This essay is a gut-punch for the quasi-ambitious.
(That part of me says you're an asshole, by the way. :D)
Great composition, great real life compass pointers. Nice work.
"We crush the caterpillars and complain there are so few butterflies."
You have a hell of a way with words, my friend. Really enjoyed this piece.
Have been recently moved by reading Piet Mondrian : life and work by Michel Seuphor (who knew him personally in his later years)
Now there is an example of someone who was incredibly serious about his art and moved at a slow pace most people would and did find maddening. And yet everyone knows the grid compositions he produced in his 60s. I always thought of him as a consummate artist and the biography confirmed it in many ways, and it resonates with this essay a great deal.
I don't know how to pursue my goals at this point, but I do keep trying.
CS Lewis had a similar saying, that modern people often doubt themselves too little and doubt what they do too much. And I’ve had that in my mind for a long time and yet have, looking back, mostly failed to be serious.
This went deep. Thank you.
Great post. I think even being aware of this makes a big difference. Some people take being serious as just like "trying really hard" or something, and do this very earnestly. But you can "try really hard" in a completely unproductive and unsustainable way that realistically will never achieve your goals. Systematically examining what it would take to succeed and what might cause you to fail is a much better lens.
So good. Reminds me of One Punch Man
"I'm a hero for fun" + *serious mode activated*
Love a good Feynman anecdote - and that’s a banger.
Good piece, I like the wording. "Being serious" feels like the missing piece from my planning
I was talking about the future and thinking long term with a friend a couple days ago and I think this concept would've been really useful to have in mind then. I was trying to ask him if he was serious about something, what was he serious about, I was trying to probe at that. And I was also trying to convey what I'm serious about. I think I failed at both though. I'll have to bring this concept back for round two of the conversation.
Common Visa W
Great post 🔥
Do you believe generalists can be serious? Where is their place in this ideal serious world?
So how to find seriousness? I see a lot of people who are committed, but all they're committed to is some ideology, or to themselves, or to aesthetics. And I can't return their apparent sincerity; too much of a skeptic. How does one find people who can touch rock without getting rigid?
My friend sent this to me and wow it really helped me distill my thoughts on romance and life in general (https://maleharemsonly.substack.com/p/on-being-perfect?sd=pf)
Thanks so much - this was awesome