I am addicted to the Notes app on my iPhone. For years I’ve been jotting down random thoughts all day, every day, intending to come back to them and flesh them out as posts, songs, businesses, novels…something. But any time I tried to go back and use an old idea, it inspired me with ten brand new ideas, and I got so busy writing those down that I never got around to expanding the ancient dustpile of an idea that I set out to work on in the first place.
Today it occurred to me that I’m never going to go back and flesh out my notes. For me the fun of life is in the creation of a thought, the improvisation of a song, a brand new experience you know you’ll never repeat. The truth is that these little notes I take are complete.
So I decided to try this experiment. I am going to start posting some of my day-to-day notes, exactly as they are. It’s no use going back and trying to select my best notes from the past, for the same reason I described above. Instead, following are some of my favorite notes from today. I hope they are valuable to you. They certainly help me, and they’re a lot of fun to write. Every journal I’ve ever kept has looked like this.
I’m very curious if this is something you enjoy reading. What do you think? Do you like these scattered thoughts? Do they fill you with unimaginable rage? Would you prefer if I kept posting them raw, curated them more, posted them as tweets, or just forgot the whole thing and went back to internet silence? Let me know in the comments!
Without further ado…today’s notes!
3 days a week, do nothing unhealthy. Batch all unhealthiness to the other 4 days. So if you’re bad for 4 days straight, tough luck! You have to behave now, for the rest of the week. The count resets every Wednesday night at midnight.
Look for the contradiction in everything. Most people look for the truth. Contradiction is superior because it implies both knowing the truth and knowing how different truths clash with each other. In general, humans are afraid of contradiction. We try to find the right answer to everything, often at the expense of genuine understanding. Perhaps this is why most people just float.
The key to happiness: If you see someone seriously wearing real cowboy boots with a home-cut tank top, basketball shorts, and a baseball cap, compliment him without irony on his wonderful boots. Approach all of life in this way.
It’s amazing that evolution twisted tiny molecules of DNA into so many shapes and functions through eons of random, almost negligible mutations. Everything you see is is a natural process. We’re so fortunate to be able to experience it.
The fun of life is in observing things. Luckily, that’s also the value humans have to offer the universe: a chance to observe itself.
No one will buy you furniture anymore. You’re on your own. You’re going to have to go out there and find it yourself. Comb through craigslist, sift through the thrift shops, and emerge with your throne. Buy it cheap. Bring your tools, you may have to break it down before you load it in the car. Be brave: This is what adulthood looks like.
You’re never more aware of your breath than when you’re smoking a cigarette. That lovely little grey-tinted, raggedy breath between draws makes it all worthwhile. Just reading that sentence made the smokers want a cigarette. That’s how good it is. There’s a reason the French call orgasm “The Little Death.”
How to manage stay-at-home jobs that are taking up ALL of your time: Stop running from social norms and make yourself work 9-5 (or any other set period of time). No checking work email outside of that time period. Within that time period, respond within 30 minutes to all emails. Must have zero inbox at the end of the day, and zero inbox 30 minutes after the workday starts.
I trust the person who hides his house behind vines and tall, flowering plants, not the person who lays it all bare over an empty green lawn, as if to yell “I have nothing to hide!” I wonder, is this misguided?
Heat begets slowness, cold begets shivers.
Heat begets faithful comfort, cold begets optimistic focus.
Heat begets sweating, cold begets frugality.
Sleep begets sleep, working your ass off begets working your ass off.
Try to see the sunset every evening. Alone is even better. But see it with the love of your life as often as you have one.