Day Forty One: Resolution

Daily Journal:

“Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.” – Seneca

There isn’t much to report today. I bought a copy of The Art of Living by Bob Proctor as both Kindle and audiobook and listened to some of that while working today. I’m going on two weeks without a cigarette, reaching the unsexy stage where the lungs begin to  clean themselves of the damage from smoking: The Coughing Up Mucus Stage. Lovely.


In disappointing news, some goals just haven’t been working out lately. I haven’t written anything as a book draft, only went running once this week, and haven’t spend a few minutes each day looking for work. The honest truth is I’m maxed out. I’ve working 10 hours per day, 5 days a week. I’m getting up at 4:30AM. That is giving me enough time to shower, eat breakfast, and write a blog. Then it’s off to work. I go hiking after work on Tuesday nights and Thursdays are group meditations. I have kids during the weekends. No matter what, the blog gets written every day and I go hiking once per week. The rest I’m just going to keep the goals, and do those things when I have free time, and keep trying to make time for them.

Deng Ming-Dao on Resolution:

Today was a good entry for me. I’m being completely honest in this blog, so I’ll come right out and say it. I have a very big issue of holding grudges for a long time. I’m not a resentful person who holds grudges, in general, but there is a certain process that works every time if you want to get me to hold on to resentment that I can neither or control or let go of for about a decade. It works like this:

  1. Do something to me that is malicious, insulting, mistreating me in some way, or taking from me.
  2. Have no remorse about doing it.
  3. Blame me for your doing it.
  4. Expect that the passing of time will make what you did okay. Expect me to “just get over it”.

Intellectually, I know that resentment and ill will, even righteous indignation, are poisons. They hurt me, not the intended target. I get that. I don’t have a problem with comprehending that idea using reason. I have a problem with letting go of negative feelings when things are left unresolved.

Deng Ming-Dao says “We often let thoughts, regrets, and doubts from past activities carry over into the present. This leads us to conflict. Instead of allowing this to happen, we should act without leaving consequences.”

Daily Stoic: Anger is Bad Fuel

Today, quoting Seneca again, who had much to say on the topic of anger, Ryan Holiday states that anger never solves anything. He mentions the successful who say anger is a powerful fuel in their lives. The desire to “prove them wrong” or “shove it in their faces” is shortsighted, Holiday says, because when the initial anger runs out, more must be generated to keep going, until eventually “the only source left is the anger at oneself”.

FYI: I am now several days behind on my blog posts. The next few blog posts will be more brief as I catch up.







Day Thirty Nine: Worry

Daily Journal

My condolences to Aaron “Ump” McCollum and family for the loss of his father, George. I met him on The Earps US tour in November 2007. George showed up for three gigs that

The Earps with Roadie Brad at Bass Pro Shops Museum in Springfield Missouri. November 2007.

trip. Kansas City. Springfield, Missouri. Memphis. He bought us a hotel room in Springfield, which was a nice thing to do since no one showed up and we made $16. The rapper Tec 9 was also staying at the hotel, and it was obvious that his show went a lot better than ours had. The next day, George paid admission for the whole band and “Roadie Brad” to go to the Bass Pro Shops Museum in Springfield.

Today will be a shorter journal entry. I went hiking at Iroquois Park with my Meetup group last night, so I didn’t have time to work further through the Designing Your Life book, but I will get started on Chapter 3 tonight.

Deng Ming-Dao on Worry:

Worry is an addiction
That interferes with compassion.

Today’s entry is almost like taking a subject that Stoics talk about quite often and getting a Taoist opinion, which is more or less in agreement with Epictetus. Like Epictetus, Ming-Dao says, I paraphrase, that there are just too many problems outside of our control, making it impossible to address all of them. He defines worry as “concern gone compulsive”, and given some of his language, like “spiritual degeneracy” and “cancer of the emotions”, he considers worry to be a very negative thing. He say s when you meet a problem, help if it is in your power to do so. “After you have acted, withdraw and be unconcerned about it. Walk on without ever mentioning it to anybody. Then there is no worry, because there has been action.” Being unable to address all concerns and problems there would be to worry about, he advises us to take care of yourself and something good for those you meet.

Daily Stoic

Today is a lesson from Seneca on the subject of anger. I have struggled with this lesson. I have done a lot of screaming at people over the things they have done. I’m not one to cry, but I am a person who gets furious and impatient at times. Using a lesson from Seneca, Ryan Holiday says the next time you catch yourself having a fit, ask yourself “Is this actually making me feel better? Is this actually relieving any of the symptoms I wish were gone?”

Here’s a video from the 6-part series with Alain de Botton called “Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness” about Seneca and anger.

I’m off to work. Enjoy your day. See you tomorrow.