Breakfast Notes #76 (Waiting, Blessings, Hunger)
Good morning my curious friends,
Here is the 76th serving of the Breakfast Notes.
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” — Henry David Thoreau
I have been pondering the question: "Have I started living the life I really wanted?"
Insightful Links Of The Week
- Don't Wait. Waiting until later can lead to missed opportunities and regret. Ryan Holiday painfully recounts the story of postponing an email response to his good friend, Seth Roberts. He assumed the email (which contained Seth's blog) was good as usual and 'could wait until Monday.' Unfortunately, Roberts died the next day, and Holiday never had a chance to acknowledge the work of a man who greatly impacted his life. We always think we have tomorrow, but the truth is no one knows how much time they have left. Mother's Day is this Sunday. You don't need to wait to express your love to your mother.
- Count Your Blessings. Telling people to exercise gratitude can be seen as trite because popular culture often presents it as a quick fix or an oversimplified solution to complex problems. Sometimes, it is reduced to a half-cooked 'productivity-boosting' practice. This meditation by Brian Hollar on the things he is grateful for is equal parts sincere and insightful. (In the days of Linkedin cringe, it comes across as surprisingly heartwarming.) Just look at how he expresses gratitude for his profession.
- Dumbbells? The article explores the origin of the term "dumbbell". It started with Halteres in ancient Greece, where athletes and soldiers trained with an iron doughnut to strengthen their bodies. Fast forward to 1711, the British poet and essayist Joseph Addison wrote about his physical training regiment in The Spectator, introducing swathes of quirky theories about how this 'dumbbell' emerged. It's just another reminder some things have the weirdest (or humblest) origins.
- Staying Hungry. Arnold was a ruthless copycat. Here is his confession: "When I was 15, I idolized Reg Park. I saw him in our little theater playing Hercules in a movie, and then I read a magazine article about how he grew up in a little working-class town, like me, trained his ass off, became Mr. Universe, and eventually got into Hercules movies. That was my blueprint, and it brought me to the Graz Weightlifting Club, where my coaches mentored me." His hunger, curiosity and desire to follow his idol's footsteps led him to multiple bodybuilding championships (and becoming friends with his idol). What I adore about Arnold is that he has lived three lives and yet, he remains insatiably curious. It’s fascinating, and a lot of the things that people just take for granted are worth learning about. He advises us, "It makes life more interesting the more you make an effort to understand everyone."
Visualization Of The Week
This iconic work resembles the mass-produced, printed advertisements of the 1950s and serves as a perfect example of how Warhol transformed everyday objects into high art.
He aimed to subvert norms around art and, in doing so, question the role of art (and consumerism) in our daily lives.
Campbell is not just a staple of the middle-income American household; it is now a subject of Warhol's paintings.
But what started as the questioning of what art represents has now become a symbol of 'hype' culture today.
If Hypebeast had a grudging grandfather, it would be Andy Warhol.
Thank you for reading, and may the sun shine upon your face,