I have read before about Stoicism and from the author but somehow I needed a refresh and this book helped me.
The books is a kind of a how-to for Stoicism in XXI century. It is divided in three parts:
Perception: See the world how it is, imperfect. Focus in the present, dont obsess in the future. Don’t make it personal.
Action: Get your discipline, practice persistence, iterate, repeat. Failure is part of the game.
Will: build you core values, they are inside you, they support you, that’s what you can control. Anticipate (think negatively), Amor fati (love everything that happens), mortatility.
While I was reading the book, I was thinking about my current problems / issues at work and personal life. I felt a bit weird because depending on how I interpreted some points in the book, I thought I was doing the wrong thing regarding changing jobs. But then I realised, this was just a battle, another stage in the path, another boulder in the way. Sometimes you can climb the boulder, after a lot of hard work. But sometimes, you fail, miserably. So learn from it and move on. And actually that happened yesterday climbing, I managed a hard route after several weeks working on it (and I was shocked that It wasn’t that difficult) but then I failed in another one that I was always scared to try (because it was beyond my level a.k.a comfort-zone…) I made some good progress, but not enough to complete and it was going to removed too.
So at the end, it is seeing the world as it is, imperfect. Not taking it too seriously, that was my mistake at work (again).
So let’s see how it goes the next chapter. But I see clearly that I should try to review this book or similar a bit more often to refresh myself and keep up to date my internal citadel.
I have never been very keen of Sci-Fi novels but I can read nearly anything. Some months ago, one big boss mentioned that one of the things he did during one of the lockdowns was to re-read Dune. So I added it to my list and finished it last week.
I was hooked. Thinking that I struggled with NLP, this was a blessing.
I felt it was a mix of ecology, religion, politics and a bit of love. This book was released in 1965 but it feels timeless.
But now, like with Foundation, I want to keep going with the next books.
I have a good friend that is vegan and some time ago bought a book to find some recipes so I had some to cook when arranging a meal at home.
So last week, I had a broccoli in the fridge and I wanted to do some nice with it. So checking the book I found a vegan version of “Mac & Cheese”. I didnt follow the recipe to the dot as I used real butter for the white cream.
1 head of broccoli, cutting the florets
1 onion, chopped
Good splash of olive oil
300g mushrooms, chopped
350g macaroni (or any small pasta)
1 tsp mustard (optional)
5-6 tbsp of nutritional yeast (or just Parmesan cheese)
5tbsp soy sauce
20ml honey (or maple syrup or similar)
20ml apple cider vinegar
20ml olive oil
Preheat oven at 180C. Prepare two baking trays. Prepare a large saucepan with boiling water. Lasagne dish
Put the broccoli florets and chopped onion in a baking tray, drizzle some olive oil. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Put the tray in the top shelf of the oven
Mix all ingredients of the marinade, add the mushroom chunks to the marinade. Be sure all it is coated. Spread the mushrooms over the second baking tray. Put the tray below the broccoli tray in the oven.
Check all veggies are brown/golden after 15 minutes.
While veggies are roasting, put the pasta into the boiling (and salted) water. Cook as per instructions (until al dente). Then drain and put in the lasagne dish
Prepare the white sauce. In the saucepan, melt the butter, then add the flour. Now at low heat, combine with a wooden spoon until you have a paste. Then start adding the milk bit a bit keeping a creamy sauce. Add the garlic powder, mustar, salt, pepper, yeast (or cheese). Taste it.
In the lasagne dish, add the veggies, mix well. Add the white sauce, mix well.
Add the breadcrumbs, a bit of salt/pepper and put back in the over at high temperature until golden the breadcrumbs.
After some time, managed to finish NLP. This is Neuro-Linguistic-Programming. First time I read about it was in The Game as a technique for picking girls. From that book, I learned only one thing, you have to go for it, everything else, it is just glittering, it doesnt matter it is about a girl, a job, whatever. And just several weeks ago, in a email from Edmond Lau, he mentioned he was learning about it. I have read Edmond’s book and it was good and most of his emails are interesting. But I dont think I am putting his advice into practice. Anyway, I was curious about NLP, and bought a book that had some positive references.
The first part made reference about our cognitive process: the part we are not conscious, the amigdala, the flee-or-fight response. Concepts similar to “Think Slow, Think Fast“. A lot of concept relay in “anchoring” positive experiences and increase them. I struggled with that part.
As well, there is another part about social interaction. That is more about body language and how to communicate and understand the position of the other person. These concepts are useful for negotiations. The Disney example is quite good. It seems Disney followed the below process, taking the role of each character one at each time, to define his new ventures.
The dreamer: The one for whom all things are possible
The realistic: The one who sort things out
The critic: The one who picks up the pieces that don’t fit.
One thing I found interesting was about the SEAL training. Dr Eric Potterat introduced some modifications in the training to increase the graduation rate. It seems it worked. His technique was:
Focus on RIGHT NOW: Something I am trying to do. Create small steps, complete, next.
Imagine how good it will feel: This is something difficult to digest as it sound too “positive” but yes, I am think it could work. Based on the above, create mini-victories with each step.
Breathe Deeply: Totally agree with this since I read the book from Win Hoff.
Cheer yourself: I take this one too. I used to be too negative, but if you are honest with yourself, this is actually positive.
In general, it took me a bit to finish it but I think I learned a couple of things.