Many of us come from a family tradition where people are taught to do inner work. Where the journey into the infinite depths of our own interior is always viewed as a meaningful activity.
As a result, we often take for granted just how much reflection we really do. Not everybody has the time or temperament, and so it’s something worth being grateful for.
But although the mind is a safe haven from the whirling chaos and madness of the rest of the world, certain times are better suited for action than contemplation. And if we spend too much time disappearing inside our own heads, we’ll murder the spirit of right action.
That’s why keeping a victory log is such an essential daily practice. Because each time we make an entry, we’re always surprised and excited at the amount of satisfaction that comes. Each little step forward toward our goal is an inexpensive jolt of bliss, not unlike a hit of dopamine or serotonin.
It’s the hard, exhilarating pleasure of action, and it’s an omnipotent cure for existential crises.
The secret, though, is circling back to reflection after the action is finished. Being willing learn and grow from whatever new truths our actions may reveal to us. That’s what enables our growth to catapult upwards.
Cook’s pioneering research on spiral formations helped people first visualize this concept in the early nineteenth century. The spiral, he postulated, was fundamental to the structure of all living things. And the beauty is that was always growing, yet never covering the same ground, not merely an explanation of the past, but also a prophecy of the future; and while it defined and illuminated what had already happened, it also lead constantly to new discoveries.
And so, it’s a balance.
Action plus contemplation becomes the pathway to personal virtue.
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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