Music Describes Life

Music language is great for describing life. Grace notes, accents, codas, forte, variations on a theme, diminuendo, crescendo.

What elements of life can’t be described by music?


If we were our pets’ pets, I’m sure they would comment on how little we moved. Much can be learned from a dog’s sprints or a cat’s stroll.


Solitude is furiously sought when gone and furiously abandoned when found.

Thus, solitude must be cultivated with intention.

Permission Paradox

Attempt to restrict what you buy and what you eat, and the impulse to over-consume grows stronger.

Give yourself permission to buy any clothes or eat any foods, and your desire to buy and eat decreases.

Deprivation eventually leads to obsession. No diet works over a century.


If you find knowledge work paralyzing, try working near a construction project. Procrastination gets put into perspective when you see a building built in the time it took to do one writing.

Conversations In Cars

Car conversations are the most intimate and comfortable, the perfect balance between presence with another and truth to yourself.


The best spaces are ones you can randomly go to and have a reasonable expectation of seeing someone you know. Cultivate these spaces. They’re the best blend of spontaneity and community.

Get Curious

When you feel down, get curious. Fancy yourself in a PhD program studying Your Lows.

Observe, accept, and research the times that you feel down.

Get curious instead of getting down on yourself.


Walking without purpose or direction makes presence easy. This immersion is part of why we love traveling. But we can experience it every day if we want.

Bright Lines

Bright lines are beautiful because one decision eliminates hundreds of others.

If you’re a vegan, then you don’t have to think about whether to indulge in BBQ ribs or an ice cream sandwich occasionally. You’ve already decided.

Bright lines are hard, and it’s difficult to implement many of them. But find one or two bright lines, and you’ll unlock tremendous mental capacity.