Lessons From “The Manuscript …”

These are lessons learned from Paulo Coelho’sManuscript Found In Accra“:

  • Discipline is important, but it needs to leave doors and windows open to intuition and the unexpected.
  • The simplest things in life are the most extraordinary. Let them reveal themselves.
  • People who seek only success rarely find it, because success is not an end, but a consequence.
  • Real success means enriching your life, not cramming your coffers with gold.
  • Do not try to make the road shorter but travel it in such a way that eery action leaves the land more fertile and the landscape more beautiful.
  • Respect the time between sowing and harvesting.
  • Let us be aware of the forces that move us.
  • Be a master of your tongue. Not a slave to your words.
  • Scatter your seed wherever you go because we can never know which seeds will grow and flourish.
  • “We do not agree about dates or the best way to worship God, but in every other respect, we live together in peace.”
  • “What is knowledge? It isn’t the absolute truth about life and death, but the thing that helps us to live and confront the challenges of day-to-day life.”
  • Only he who gives up is defeated. Everyone else is victorious.
  • The defeated are those who never fail because they will never succeed.
  • “And blessed be those who say: ‘I’m not brave enough.’ Because they know that it is not someone else’s fault.”
  • “Ask the river: ‘Do you feel useful, given that all you do is keep flowing in the same direction?’ And the river will answer: ‘I’m not trying to be useful; I’m trying to be a river.'”
  • Walk neither faster nor slower than your own soul, because it is your soul that will teach you the usefulness of each step you take.
  • Small things are responsible for great changes.
  • “‘Difficulty’ is the name of an ancient tool that was created purely to help us define who we are.”

Judgement: This is a great book, similar to “The Prophet” by Khalil Gibran. It will take you a day or two to read. Let me know which lesson above applies most to your life right now! 

6 Lessons Learned from Cal Newport’s “Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You”

  1. The advice “follow your passion” is both wrong and potentially dangerous.
  2. Focus on what value you can bring the world (craftsman mindset) instead of what value the world can bring you (passion mindset).
  3. Working right is more important than finding the right work.
  4. Don’t obsess over discovering your true calling. Instead, master rare and valuable skills. Once you build up the career capital that these skills generate, invest it wisely. Use it to acquire control over what you do and how you do it, and to identify and act on a life changing mission.
  5. A mission is a unifying goal for your career. Good missions are most often found at the cutting edge of your field.
  6. Ask: “Are people willing to pay for this?” If yes, continue. If no, move on. (Doesn’t apply for hobbies).

Like Any Other

February 6th arrived
like any other day.

A knock at the door,
the sun was rising.

“Should I take off my shoes?”

That answer’s in
another place and time.

February 6th arrived
like any winter day.

Cold and unforgiving.

“I’ll put some coffee on.”

“That would be nice.”

I’m at the cabinet
looking for a cup
too focused to hear
the footsteps approaching.

February 6th arrived
with a blade as old as anything,
drew it from her belt,
and ran it cleanly through my side.

WiggleWop Went Wobbling

WiggleWop went wobbling down WaddleBerry Way
Wishing that the WiddleNips would come again someday
The WozzleTops and Wubietubes were dancing in the wind
And WiggleWop was wondering if he still had a friend

His WattleZogs were whimpering, Miles to go he had
The WaggleZip stood splintering, The sky was very mad
The WizzleWop was waving, The WuzzleDoos did play
While WiggleWop went wobbling down WaddleBerry Way

A Strange Eruption

A strange eruption
Born from where
No one knows
And no one goes

Bright and boiling
Hot as light
Never ending
Deep as night

Ever changing
Still the same
Known by few
Never named

A strange eruption
Shook the sky
And buried me
The me that died

The me that’s here
Alive and well
And writing you
Is like a swell

Or, more specific,
To be true
Is like an ocean
Deep and blue

Life is Full of These

driplets, droplets, drooplets
flippity floppity flooplets
hippity hoppity hooplets
life is full of these

uppers, downers, side-to-siders
curveballs, change-ups, fastballs, sliders
urban owls and rural risers
life is full of these

hard times earned and time well spent
dirt cheap pay and sky high rent
things that don’t make sense or cents
life is full of these

Carpenters

My Mother told me Christ was a carpenter.
I too, She said, would become a carpenter of sorts.
Instead of splintered hands wearing thick callouses,
My palms bear ink stains that won’t wash out.

My Mother told me that Christ was a carpenter.
She said My Father was a carpenter as well.
Instead of mallets and beams, He works with hopes and dreams,
Building His Children up one drop of sweat at a time.

My Mother told Me that Christ was a carpenter.
Curious, I asked what that made Her.
She replied, “The Architect and The Structure.
The Creator and Masterpiece.”

We come from a long line of carpenters,
And We are bound to shape this Earth
Until We walk into the shady grove across the River.