Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Go up on the mountain and be on the mountain

What at first sounds like redundancy, an apparent implication, is actually a knowledge of character of men. God, when he said this to Moses, knew that men gets up on the mountain and immediately starts thinking about how he's going to get down from there.

The whole idea of the path (or a trail) being a destination too sounds great to me. I usually have this kind of attitude on my long (or even short) hikes and treks and it is what allows me to enjoy them fully. Whatever the circumstances are - weather is sunny or rainy, trail is hard or easy, backpack is heavy or light and my body is tired or not.

Once I was on a first of two days of nearly 100 kilometers long trek when we had to pass just a little below a top of the hill with a beautiful view. A group of friends going with me decided to continue to our destination of that day which wasn't far from there. Only one friend of mine shared the feeling that we should treat ourselves to getting up on the hill and resting there before we go on. It truly was a peaceful time up there. After a while we felt refreshed (we also did refresh ourselves) and we could run down the hill and to the village for the night as if we hadn't walked 40 kilometers already.

Keeping this kind of mindset in the daily rush is much harder though. We hurry, we're busy, we have deadlines, meetings, schedules, urgent things to do, pick up kids, go to school, do the shopping and so many other responsibilities. And we fail to notice that we probably are on top of the hill or a mountain and we're already rushing down. Stop. Take a long deep breath and enjoy the view. One second is gone. This minute will never happen again. No other day is the same as the one before. The time is running but we can take it. We can grab it and use to take a rest or listen to God who came to meet us on this mountain.

Monday, February 07, 2011

The need for mastering the getting up again

You fall. You fail. And you need to get up and get going again. Otherwise you'll never achieve anything.

We all fall but we also very often manage to get up on our feet again. It takes time. It takes energy. It is a suffering. It is exhausting, tiring, frustrating. It can be deadly too. Some people fall and never get up. They die. Mentally, spiritually or physically. Drugs can do that. Unresolved issues can do that. Relationships that had gone wrong can do that.

Thank God, we are here. It means that we have managed to get up again. Or - at least - we are still surviving. To endure, to succeed, to grow - we need to master the art of getting up again. We will keep falling. We must learn to get up, too. Once we manage to regain the momentum more and more quickly we will overcome whatever was the problem. And we will not fall again.

Other temptation will come, though. Rough times. Bad luck. Anything can happen. We will keep stumbling upon something else. Different obstacle with the same action needed - get up on your feet and try again.

Throughout our life we will be failing and falling. Therefore we need to master the getting up part, too. Only then we will also be growing and learning.

Friday, February 04, 2011

My email zen

I perfectly get what Leo means when he talks about having an empty inbox.

This is how my Gmail inbox looks like:


It's empty!

Here's what I did:

  • I unsubscribed from all of the useless stuff. This includes newsletters that weren't of big value to me and notifications from places like Facebook. 
  • I created filters and rules for numerous things:
    • "Delete" rule for the useless stuff I couldn't get rid of.
    • "Skip the Inbox" for some automatically sent emails I wanted to keep. I can still see them in "All Mail"
    • "Label" rules for most of the things! Some emails go into labels directly skipping inbox. I can find my calendar notifications or emails from my bank in specific labels (called "calendar" and "money")
  • I use archive button. I almost never delete my emails (It's Gmail!) but I am happy to let old messages go into archive. If it was really important, it would come up again.
  • I process my email! It usually just takes a while. If something cannot be process in matter of minutes I probably have to schedule it or create a corresponding TO DO item. Sometimes I can archive the message then.
And therefore: I have an empty inbox!


Good luck to all of you struggling for the same. I can recommend Leo's articles, his book or this article on Unclutterer.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Minimalists vs Christians

Minimalists have very few plans. Christians have none.
Random note I found in my notebook. I don't remember whether it came out of my head.

I love it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Single-task wisely or don't single-task at all

At first I wanted to start with "Please, don't single-task". And maybe continue with "Unless you're Leo Babauta".

Because regular people have to multi-task at some point. Maybe even Leo does. Unless you have lots of time and lots of money you probably need to make use of the fact that you can make some phone calls or think about your day during your daily commute. Or you can reply to emails or read a book while waiting somewhere (at doctor's, at the bus station, etc).

Single-task when you can. When it doesn't hurt but actually improves your productivity, effectivity and/or reduces stress level. Single-task when you're with your wife/husband or kids, single-task when you are at work. Single-task when you're writing an article for your blog or when you're drilling a hole into the wall for picture to be hung. Single-task when you can.

Start your task and finish it. If possible. Don't get too tired. Stop at comfortable level of tiredness. It's not worth it. Your family will appreciate it. Your wallet, body and the actual job you're doing is going to benefit from that.

Single task when you can. Don't force it.

On similar note: Don't push on the minimalism. Don't enforce simplicity. You're not a budhist monk. Don't throw away your shoes if you don't live on the beach. Don't shave your head if you like your hair. Have a life.

On completely unrelated note: I am a Fight Club fan. I know who is Tyler Durden. I enjoyed reading Tyler Durden’s Guide To Personal Finance on Man vs Debt.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Study of the Spiritual Disciple of Simplicity

Simplicity is a natural response to loving God, rooted in purposefulness toward God and the practical day-to-day lived experience of requiring nothing more than we need
Feel free to follow the study on spiritual discipline of simplicity on KrizovatkaOlomouc.cz. All of the materials for reading are available in English (and some of them in Czech).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Don't forget to relax

Don't make the same mistake I am doing over and over. I tend to say to myself that this is a temporary situation (graduation from university, doing reconstructions at home, working full time and attending school) and I actually go like this for months. Without taking a while to calm down and regenerate.

And now I am sleepy, tired, exhausted and easily upset. Blah.

My advice is: Plan your rest time and stick to it! You'll appreciate it so much. Actually, you need it just like I do. Especially during the busy or difficult times.

If you have a couple of minutes or hours, here are some tips on what you can do to relax and regenerate:

  • Take a walk. An unscheduled one.
  • Get some extra sleep. Wherever and whenever. It is good.
  • Get comfy. On your sofa or in an armchair. Include your partner in this.
  • Work out. Go for a run. It makes you focus on more practical things, like breathing.
  • Take off. Get on a train. I love trains and sometimes I just want to get on a train and go somewhere. 
  • Meet your friends. Good friends make us smile and share the laughter, enjoy the silence and share our lives.
  • Pet your dog/cat. I don't know why but it just feels so good.
  • Watch the video below. It's full of life!