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The Tinkered Mind
A meditation app is forthcoming. Stay Tuned.
January 14th, 2021
Having a daily practice that compounds output is an experience replete with lessons to learn. It’s often how books are written, how bodies are sculpted and how mastery is formed. None of these things can be done any a single heroic effort. ( Granted, perhaps a book can be written in all one go, but this is exceptionally rare - so rare in fact, that it’s negligible. Most books take a tremendous amount of time consistently spread out in smaller units.)
The tremendous result that can occur from a compounding daily practice often feels quite disconnected from the actual activity. Writing a fat book doesn’t seem like it would feel like a 40 minute session of writing, but that’s exactly what it is when repeated enough times.
One insidious lesson to learn from the daily practice is encapsulated in the stress of falling behind. Tinkered Thinking is behind - quite behind on writing and posting. Now regardless of the cause, be it a worthy one like a high velocity project dropping out of the sky, or simply laziness (in the case of Tinkered Thinking it’s luckily the former) the mounting anxiety of a good practice falling behind is something to be thankful for. In some sense it’s a horror of something good slipping away. And the more it’s allowed to slip away, the more it seems like it’ll require that mythical and impossible heroic feat of catching up all in one swoop.
For small things, like a blog and a podcast that’s not out of the range of possibility. The technical record for Tinkered Thinking in terms of number of episodes produced in a single day is somewhere around ten (in harried anticipation of a planned vacation), but that sort of record is not one worth trying to break. It defeats the virtue of a daily practice to catch up or get ahead. The point is to live one great day, everyday and the daily practice is what contributes to that day being great. Otherwise we are talking about unsatisfactory obligation.
We cannot catch up on days lost to a lack of being seized. Though we can catch up on the quota of a daily practice, the time and those days are forever lost. Falling behind isn’t really something that can actually be caught up - it’s not falling behind at all, it’s missing out entirely. Facing that bitter pill can help ensure that when tomorrow comes, it doesn’t just slide by.