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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


October 23rd, 2018

Spend enough time on the sea and you’ll see something breach.  A whale or a dolphin or a fish.  Something will eventually split the surface and come into full view for a second or two.


This happens in the same way that everyone gets a good idea.  If we wait long enough, some half-decent idea will come around, even if we don’t have the practice to recognize it and write it down before it disappears into the abyss.  Or if we don’t have the discipline to execute on it and the wherewithal to analyze the result.


Anyone who has been on the sea in any capacity knows that looming wonder of what else is beneath the surface.  Even a child who knows little of the sea can probably guess that there are tons of creatures that never come even close to the surface, let alone breach in a way that we can see them.


Such an image is well suited to the pool of ideas that we as individuals may draw on from within our own selves.  We might treat our creative spirit like whale watching.  We simply just wait for things to come up.  Some days are good days when there’s more than a couple sightings, and other days are terrible when nothing is seen but flat blue ocean for as far as the eye can see.


Still yet others have figured out how to produce content of all manner every day.  Compared to the whale watchers, these people might be akin to deep sea fishermen, who know where to go and what to do to haul up goods of all sorts: the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Like someone who will not surrender the day without creating something novel and potentially useful, the fisherman is more a trade and a practice rather than some kind of divinely inspired activity.  


Just imagine how successful a fisherman would be if he had to wait for something to breach the surface in order to try and catch it.  This would be a nearly impossible task, and surely such a fisherman would quit and go on to do something else.


It sounds ridiculous in analogy but this is exactly what many expect and submit to when it comes to that deep desire to create something, whether it be a novel someone wants to write, a company they want to start or a movie they’d like to make, or any other myriad facets of creativity that we as people might be compelled to do.


An interesting aspect of this analogy with the fisherman is his isolation.  He cannot acquire his catch in the safety of his home, or at the bar with friends or while watching T.V.  The fisherman is out on his own, maybe with a small group of fisherman, on a boat, getting the work done.  We might take a cue from such isolation and cut out all the distractions that keep us from doing more interesting work.  This might require turning off the phone, or even abandoning the computer and taking a couple blank sheets of paper and a pen somewhere quiet.  Perhaps we need our own ‘do not enter’ sign.  Perhaps it can say something else, like,


gone fishing.

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Podcast Ep. 191: Gone Fishing

Tinkered Thinking

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