A New Practice

A while back I sat alone in my car for a minute, parked in a spot with just the right light for self-reflection, paused for just long enough to catch a breathe and a thought. I decided then and there to start recording my thoughts out-loud, impromptu, stream-of-consciousness-style, in order to act in a more self-reflective manner.

So I got out the phone, found the recorder app, thought for a second, and, finally, pressed start. The following is a transcript word-for-word of what I said then, a message surrounding the theme of struggle and happiness.


“So this is my first recording. Uhh. I’m exploring what I can do by recording my thoughts, sort of as they come, and then maybe thinking about turning those into writings later on. I wanted to talk about my thoughts on Struggle today. And Happiness.

“Uhh, the other night, at the bar with everyone, for my wife’s birthday, umm, a friend was saying, he was kinda making a joke about, drinking, and like drinking whiskey specifically. He was saying it was kind of funny that we force ourselves to drink something that isn’t good instantly. Or, compared to soda or juice or something, we have to strive to find what is good about it.

“You take a sip, and you think about it for a bit. And you have to kind of process it and FIND something worthwhile. Because it is a little weird, a little gross–maybe it is too smoky, maybe it’s too strong. Something.

“We add ice. We add sugar. We find ways to cope with what is gross, or what is hard or harsh about life. And I was thinking that sort of applies to running, which we are really into.

“I mean, running isn’t nice. It’s hard. It’s harsh. But we find parts of it that are good. We find parts that we like. We struggle to search for some part of it that is worthwhile. So, why do we do all of this? Why do we force ourselves to do things that aren’t…fun instantly, or that aren’t nice and easy? Why do we not like the nice and easy?

“So, these ideas I was trying to figure out, and I feel that they sorta match up with what I’ve been thinking lately about what is life? What is the point of life? What’s our goal? Why is everything? Why is everything? Umm…

“We force ourselves to find good qualities in drinks, in our activities. Does the same thing apply to life in general? Is it all just one big attempt to force, forcefully, sort of find the GOOD, the EASY, and the HAPPY in life?

“I’m going to try to turn this into a blog post. Or maybe I’m just going to use this as a chance to self-reflect, think a little bit. Now that I’m done with my master’s*, I have a little more time. I’m not actively pursuing the next, big challenge. Now I have this time, at the end of the school day–I go to work, I come home–then, what?

“I gotta figure that out. I gotta figure out if I should actively be doing rough, harsh things to find the good in those. Or… Is there more to it than that?

“We’ll see.”

Thoughts on Thoughts

  1. It was annoying to have to transcribe all of that.
  2. Financial Independence is a prime example of how Struggle ultimately builds Happiness, being a rigorous course in discipline and endurance, exemplifying perfectly how rough qualities lead to smooth ones.
  3. When I’m just speaking to myself it is honest and immediate, but it is also very poorly written!
  4. Listening to those thoughts spoken back to me is amazing. I really want to keep doing this.
  5. I wish my WordPress version would allow me to add audio, seeing as how I still have a few more of these recordings I want to share.
  6. Hearing this transcript aloud entirely changes the tone of it. Pacing is everything.
  7. *I really need to write a post about getting my Master’s Degree finished, getting my car loan paid off, getting raises, and my future financial plans.

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