September 05 2017
On thinking, on fasting, on patience
This week I’ve been thinking again about things I’ve read in Timothy Ferries books, and I decided to buy his latest book ‘Tools of the Titans’. For me he walks a fine line between aspirational / annoying / helpful, but it is what it is. One story tipped me over the edge — a conversation relayed about Siddhartha by a number of his guests on the podcast.
Merchant: . . . If you are without possessions, how can you give?
Siddhartha: Everyone gives what he has. The soldier gives strength, the merchant goods, the teacher instruction, the farmer rice, the fisherman fish.
Merchant: Very well, and what can you give? What have you learned that you can give?
Siddhartha: I can think, I can wait, I can fast.
Merchant: Is that all?
Siddhartha: I think that is all.
Merchant: And of what use are they? For example, fasting, what good is that?
Siddhartha: It is of great value, sir. If a man has nothing to eat, fasting is the most intelligent thing he can do. If, for instance, Siddhartha had not learned to fast, he would have had to seek some kind of work today, either with you, or elsewhere, for hunger would have driven him. But, as it is, Siddhartha can wait calmly. He is not impatient, he is not in need, he can ward off hunger for a long time and laugh at it.
I think of Siddhartha’s answers often and in the following terms:
I can think → Having good rules for decision-making, and having good questions you can ask yourself and others.
I can wait → Being able to plan long-term, play the long game, and not misallocate your resources.
I can fast → Being able to withstand difficulties and disaster. Training yourself to be uncommonly resilient and have a high pain tolerance
Strategies for the day?
- Work on rules for good musical decision making
- Be prepared to play the long game
- Withstand the difficulties and disasters when things don’t work straight away