The Kazushi

The Candid Imbalance of Dan Walsh

Category: Philosophy

Slay The Beast of Doubt

Where does doubt come from anyway?

I felt a heavy doubt last week. The efforts with which I was engaged weren’t working out how I envisioned. These might have only been short term hiccups, but I wondered about the future too. If I couldn’t get things to work now, how could I expect to get the larger, more complicated vision to work later? The future became muddled. And the harder it became to envision that success, the more doubt I felt. I wanted to slay this beast – the beast of doubt – and reclaim my clarity. But how? I don’t actually know what doubt is. How can I take up appropriate arms if I don’t know the beast? Is it scaled? Feathered? Does it creep, fly, swim, or run? Do I bait and trap or hunt it down on horseback like a fox?

If I wanted to resolve my doubts, I’d need to first discover the real nature of it.

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Actually Saving Money

The Difference Between Getting Ahead and Not Falling Behind.

I cashed out all my frequent flier miles a few months ago to buy a $700 ticket home to Wisconsin. It was an unexpectedly expensive ticket, and I was proud of myself for having enough points to get it essentially for free (taxes and fees apply). I saved $700 and felt good about myself for doing so.

But something about that $700 nagged at me during the trip. Where did that money go? In my heart I felt like I saved it, but in my head I couldn’t account for the extra $700. It didn’t end up in my savings account, or my investment account. My pockets weren’t lined with crisp new $100 bills! So what gives?

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Travel Siphon: Project Brief

travel_siphon_diagram

Hiring help to make the travel siphon a reality.

This last weekend was the final straw. Angelica and I were traveling again and I tried to brew my coffee using the hotel’s accouterments. It wasn’t the worst coffee, but let’s just say I didn’t enjoy drinking it. And when one is on the road, living out of a suitcase, bleary-eyed from overnight flights, and missing the carefully curated creature comforts of home… a little enjoyable routine goes a long way toward setting the day right. This coffee most definitely did not help set the day right. So, I’m forging ahead with the development of a travel-sized coffee siphon.

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Ideas Are Tangible

Ideas have this pesky reputation for being wispy, intangible things until someone executes on them. They’re not. Ideas take physical form as soon as someone thinks them. Neurons in the human brain connect, synapses form, and a complex network of thought is born. Just by thinking, the human brain is also creating.

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Dangerous Inner Dialogues

chat_bubble_dangerous_inner_dialogue

People aren’t crazy. They just talk to themselves too much. Everyone does it – even you – and you’re making your life harder than it needs to be.

I rerun situations in my head. Sometimes this helps me pick apart a problem and come to a better understanding. Maybe I see a solution I would have otherwise missed. This is great. It’s my go to method for solving difficult personal problems. But replaying situations on a constant loop can also lead to a dark place. Miseries become compounded, negativity starts to reverb, and reality fades into the distance. I have made some of the worst times in my life even worse by running a shitty inner dialogue on repeat in my head. I’ve also turned minor problems into full-blown conflicts by bouncing them around in the echo chamber of my mind. I don’t think I’m the only one. In fact, I think most of us do this, we just don’t realize it.

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Projects or Progress?

multiple_man

Breathing life into effort.

Actors have a cool gig. Aside from all the fame and stuff, they also get to work on projects. Each movie, play, or TV show is an opportunity to be another person, maybe in another time. Some actors get to be characters that live on in our imaginations. How cool is it that Christian Bale is Batman? Not many people get to be Batman. Regardless of any other roles he chooses to take, his Batman will persist. Actors finish a movie and the character they played lives on – outside of them. The effort they put into each role is encapsulated, either on film or in memories, and continues to do work even as the actor moves on to another project. It’s almost like they duplicated themselves.

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How Does Shame Proliferate?

We discussed Daring Greatly on Saturday at the T&D Book Club.  An interesting question came up: If shame is so damaging, then how can it be so common?

We came up with three potential answers: it is effective in the short term, it is a legacy from before we became human, and it is very subtle.

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Money Well Spent

money-well-spent

I tore up a brand new $100 bill last week.

At the time, I didn’t really know why I did it, but I knew it had to be done. The idea came from a combination of influences. The book I was reading last week included many discussions of personal values and worth. I had an ATM fiasco while trying to make a cash deposit and almost lost $1,100. I had recently determined that $100 was an emotionally impactful amount of money to gain or lose. And that scene from The Dark Knight where Joker burns a mountain of money was playing in my head. These all coalesced into one thought: “What if I tore up a $100 bill?”

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Everyone Gets Fired

When I was a bright-eyed graphic design student, I had the privilege to study under a professor named Chris Corwin. Most people mistook his South Carolinian twang and blunt, no bullshit attitude for him being an asshole. He wasn’t.

He often called out students for bad design-thought, and he wasn’t really worried whether or not this would offend anyone. This often made him the bearer of bad news, and caused many a student to undertake yet another sleepless night as they struggled to rework their project the night before the final critique.

He was like a forge. Everyone who was exposed to him became harder, stronger, a better designer – even if the experience wasn’t pleasant. We listened, because even if his words hurt, they came with good intentions. Read the rest of this entry »

Master of Death

Samurai Statue, Imperial Palace by Diana Schnuth

Excerpted from Hagakure:

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami was a great swodsman and teacher in the art to the Shogun of the time, Tokugawa Iyemitsu. One of the personal guards of the Shogun one day came to Tajima-no-kami wishing to be trained in fencing. The master said, “As I observe, you seem to be a master of fencing yourself; pray tell me to what school you belong, before we enter into the relationship of teacher and pupil.”

The guardsman said, “I am ashamed to confess that I have never learned the art.” Read the rest of this entry »