ΠΑΝΤΑ ΡΕΙ (Panta rhei). If everything flows, life is about surfing without catastrophic accidents.
We are fundamentally harnessers, not creators.
Creation is a godly power. To make any wish and to see it come true.
Harnessing requires hard work. The best is the one that wastes the least.
In the game of waste not, perfection is found by subtraction.
Michelangelo, the Renaissance sculptor famously quoted:
In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.
…So what’s the point of all this?!?
As we approach the new year, it is customary to make wishes and resolutions.
Not that we necessarily want to “play god”, but there is something of the delusional in this attitude, for we often resolve to do a number of “new things” with little thought for the fact that, if we have never done them until now, perhaps there is a good reason. Most, unsurprisingly, will remain unachieved.
Without wanting to spoil all your wishes, here is an alternative: make a list of all the things you find yourself doing regularly which, in hindsight, you wish you did not do.
And then resolve not to do them anymore.
You will be surprised as to how easy it is to achieve this. Less is more. Have a great holiday and a GLORIOUS new year!
Give credit where credit is due: this is my own framing of a concept, via negativa, explored in great depth by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. In his Antifragile, he dedicates a chapter to this topic. He has also blogged about the fragility of traditional new year’s resolutions.