quantify it, first thing.

James Clear, awesome person and writer on behavioral psychology, habits, and personal improvement, explains how to read more.  no time for the link?  that’s a joke.  you’re supposed to think, of course I do. 

Clear recommends reading 20 pages of a book each morning, in lieu of the ever-nebulous “try to read more.”  personally, i read in the evenings, because i'm busy oil pulling (it's easy and normal now) and writing my morning pages as soon as i wake up, but his point is excellent: invest in yourself before proceeding with the day.  who'd argue with that?  

a few weeks ago, i finished The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.  it’s narrated by Enzo, a wise dog, about his life with his race-car-driving owner, Denny.  incidentally, driving, especially the professional kind, is an excellent metaphor for life.  here are some of Enzo’s reflections on manifesting, ego, and loneliness.     

Photo by  Lloyd Dirks  via  Unsplash .

Photo by Lloyd Dirks via Unsplash.

“In racing, they say that your car goes where your eyes go.  The driver who cannot tear his eyes away from the wall as he spins out of control will meet that wall; the driver who looks down the track as he feels his tires break free will regain control of his vehicle.  Your car goes where your eyes go.  Simply another way of saying that which you manifest is before you.  I know it’s true; racing doesn’t lie.”*

“Did he despair?  Did he silently berate himself for allowing himself to be in that situation?  Or did he finally realize what it is like to be me, to be a dog?  Did he understand...that being alone is not the same as being lonely?  That being alone is a neutral state…that which is around me does not affect my mood; my mood affects that which is around me…could Denny have possibly appreciated the subjective nature of loneliness, which is something that exists only in the mind, not in the world, and, like a virus, is unable to survive without a willing host?”*

“I know this much about racing in the rain.  I know it is about balance.  It is about anticipation and patience…but racing in the rain is also about the mind!  It is about owning one’s own body.  About believing that one’s car is merely an extension of one’s body.  About believing that the track is an extension of the car, and the rain is an extension of the track, and the sky is an extension of the rain.  It is about believing that you are not you; you are everythingAnd everything is you…to be a champion, you must have no ego at all.  You must not exist as a separate entity.  You must give yourself over to the race.”*

*(emphasis mine)