been torturing myself lately for no good reason and had to remind myself I’m living my dream. very tricky and funny business, managing a psyche
the self-torture is in relation to the book which I have inflated out of all proportion into some sort of cosmic struggle of good vs evil when it’s really just a bunch of gibberish in a google docs
was gonna write a blogpost but maybe I’ll just tweet it since I’m here. around 2015 or so when I was working in software marketing I got obsessed with the idea of writing a comprehensive guide to X that would be the best guide to X ever written. This was something I really wanted
I tortured myself over this, like I really suffered. Like I’d agonize over it day and night, with standards higher than any of my colleagues could even really make sense of. It affected my sleep and it affected my marriage. It was my Moby Dick of sorts I guess. At the time
In retrospect it didn’t really fucking matter. No one cares. Even I don’t care any more. I painfully shipped some version of it that I was dissatisfied with, it achieved mediocre results relative to other things I’d done for far less effort with much more fun
when I look back on my accomplishments at work, it’s not even in the top 5-10 things. I helped to hire some great talent. A couple of blogposts I wrote from a place of curiosity brought in tremendous # of leads. But this Grand Work that I obsessed about and bled for? Eh. crickets
so... the book that I’m agonising over... is clearly another one of this

I have once again spent years contorting myself, wrenching my guts, twisting my shoulders and neck in pursuit of some sort of phantom ideal that has very little relationship with reality
I suppose if there’s something interesting to salvage from the wreck here, it’s my relationship with grandiosity. I like to think that I am indifferent to prestige, and I do think that’s broadly true, but I do get swept up in this Magnum Opus, “build a Wonder” type thinking
And the reality is I think that I’m not ready, and I have to face the truth of this. Magnum Opus type works take decades and you can’t force them to happen. You can only pursue what you think is genuinely fascinating. It is hilarious and sad that I let myself be led astray...
... by my own ass
I will still be finishing the book soon-ish but I am making more of an effort to consciously frame it as “this is not a grand work this is just a bunch of notes stapled together, fuck it”

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More from @visakanv

3 May
delightful, wholesome energy from two sweethearts
I am going to find 1000 Ms G's, 1000 tasshins, introduce them to each other, and their podcasts and videos shall transform the culture
ooh G connected some great dots here

- 3. gratitude feels physically amazing in the body
- 2. you can't be grateful for something you don't notice
- 1. how you direct your attention in the world affects what you notice

1 → 2 → 3: directing your attention leads to embodied joy
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2 May
I have to be careful not to meditate too much because when I do I feel like I could fuck the sun
I use cigarettes and sleep deprivation to maintain a homeostasis within normal human range

if I start sleeping right, exercising and doing breathwork I start to transcend the mortal coil and that’s just really awkward and unpleasant for everyone around me
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2 May
watching the first ep of The Way of the Househusband
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2 May
depends on what you mean by backup plan

I had no other jobs lined up, but I know what I would do for money if I had increasing levels of desperation. When I was a teenager my worst-case plan was to work in hotels, play in bar bands, hustle for students to tutor...
as an adult I have a place of my own that I have to pay mortgage for; if I were desperate I would rent out a couple of the rooms and I would hustle for marketing consulting clients. And I could probably get a job by tweeting “anybody wanna hire me” - took years to build audience
there’s always a move. if you deleted my Twitter account I could create a new one and @ a few friends and get back to 50-60% of the most critical part of my network in a couple of days. If you took my phone I’d go to the library for internet
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1 May
a weird parallel that I can’t tell if it’s related: history & music

when I was a kid I liked learning history, tho mostly in random pockets - anecdotes about Greece, Egypt, Rome, the crusades... as a teenager I read some stuff about the Russian Revolution, US Civil War, etc...
but these “random acts of history” never really cohered into any kind of cohesive whole. The centuries all blurred together, I couldn’t tell the Ottomans from the Persians, etc. And in my 20s I was mostly busy being a working adult and didn’t have time for history (or music)
At some point in my mid-20s, my wife and I watched all of Crash Course World History on youtube, which was a nice sort of big picture overview (I highly recommend it), but ofc we promptly forgot most of everything. Would be like trying to recite Game Of Thrones S2-6 from memory
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30 Apr
one of the most interesting anecdotes I remember reading years ago was from a lady who said something like, I paraphrase, "the moment I got diagnosed with terminal cancer, all my stress and anxiety melted away. it suddenly became clear to me that I did not have to give a fuck."
it's such a juicy anecdote. it's so delicious. a common assumption is that suddenly having a timer appear over your head is supposed to be terrifying. but for this lady it was like, "oh, so that's how much time I have left. well that makes things quite a bit clearer, then."
I keep an eye out for similar anecdotes & I found them in several unlikely places. Gotta be careful not to over-romanticize this, but there is something to the idea that high stakes can have a sort of "cleansing" effect. They clarify what's important
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