Theme: Peak everything. Stop living in denial and enjoy it.
The best music is yet to come.
Executive summary: I’m not talking about an imminent stock market crash*. This article deals with the constant advances of human culture, arts and science. We are at all time highs, but have really only started.
*or am I? Check the summary
I don’t want to “look good for 45″*
I just want to be healthy
Well that and a few other things:
We have to end apartheid for one. And slow down the nuclear arms race, stop terrorism and world hunger. We have to provide food and shelter for the homeless, and oppose racial discrimination and promote civil rights, while also promoting equal rights for women. We have to encourage a return to traditional moral values. Most importantly, we have to promote general social concern and less materialism in young people.
Joking aside, apart from being healthy; looking healthy as well doesn’t hurt. In addition it can inspire others, which is what most of my current life is about regarding health, wealth, happiness, purpose and productivity, among other things.
*Actually, I’m not 45, I’m just 44 (and a half)
-That’s not me. It’s Christian Bale in American Psycho.
-That’s me (in 1994)
Health and keystone habits
Anyway, over let’s say the last five to seven years, I’ve almost lost all interest in building my body for show, and have become almost completely focused on health and strength instead.
Not only do I feel great, today was probably my best weight lifting session ever and the trajectory I’ve been tracing this summer promises much more to come. I’ll soon write a post on how a few simple keystone habits can transform your life by creating a framework that makes everything else easily click into place.
Other things are awesome too
Never before have humans produced higher quality and value within the realms of, e.g., math, physics, athletes, art and music.
Several factors account for that: There are more of us, a higher proportion exposed (incl. over the Internet) to relevant information and stimulus, we are standing on the shoulders of the giants that came before us (building progress upon progress).
I recently learned that* the second quartile of admitted applicants for Juilliard in the 1980s wouldn’t even have gotten in today, i.e., they would have slipped below the fourth quartile, due to a lack of technical skills (and possibly artistic as well).
*something like that. I think I got it from Freakonomics or TED Radio Hour.
I too like listening to old masterpieces, to look at masterly paintings, statues and buildings. I too sometimes get stuck enjoying the same old songs and artists. However, I make it a point to sometimes deliberately discover new favorites. Just this weekend, e.g., I went to see an opera.
Can’t get no satisfaction?
I actually pity those who cling to the movies, songs and artists of yore (or of their youth); or only deem music and art by long since dead masters worthy of their attention.
They miss out on so much.
I mean, as if Elvis, Beatles or the Stones produced the best pop/rock music of all time. As if Mozart or Bach produced the best classical music ever, or Sergei Rachmaninov was the best piano player ever.
One thing is personal taste and childhood memories, another is actual technical skill. Regarding the latter, there is no contest. Deliberate practice and building on past findings make sure the best today outshine the best of yesterday. You just have to open your mind to it.
Did you know that Hermann Göring, nazi extraordinaire nr 2, reacted as if he discovered evil for the first time, when he learned that his favorite painting (Supper at Emmaus), his treasured and exquisite Vermeer, the painter’s best work of all, was a forgery (Telegraph story here) made by the art broker himself?
That story in itself puts into perspective what we like, enjoy or love. Apparently it wasn’t the painting Göring liked, but its narrative. That’s a story for a different post on feelings, bonding, oxytocin, ownership, the human super ego narrative and much more.
Everything is awesome. So, be awesome. Don’t leave your supposed peak behind you. Summit another one.
Break out of homeostasis. Discover. Listen to new music, enjoy new things. You can be certain you haven’t experienced the best, because the best is constantly being reinvented. Try painting, or (Big Wave) Stand Up Paddleboarding. I made my first two oil paintings over the course of the last two weeks.
The market is crashing. It’s just that it might be upward.
Everybody knows money printing can’t kick start the economy, given the state with too much debt already. It’s been proven now.
The central bankers, however, can’t admit defeat so they’ll just print ever larger amounts and distribute it in new and clever ways. More money and more or less the same assets (probably slightly less due to malinvestment) mean higher asset prices. I’m sticking to gold in that scenario, but stocks could very well work too.
Be positive. Everything is awesome anyway, so any other approach would just be ridiculous