Like many of you, I’ve found it hard to concentrate this week. This is a challenge because it takes focused effort to create something worth being proud of. Work, relationships, doesn’t matter. Concentrating means giving up on something else. Focusing is about saying no.
It’s hard to say no with the constant cacophony from the media blaring in our heads. Uncertainty is looming, and I would be doing a disservice to you, the reader, to ignore that.
Instead of ignoring it, I choose to acknowledge it, then put it away. Acknowledge that there are external events that are outside of our control. I choose to say no to spending my attention on events that detract from my ability to focus. This has helped me, and maybe it will for you too.
Instead of opining on the state of the nation (there's enough of that going on, thank you very much), I’d like to ask for a recommendation:
I love reading - always have.
I grew up reading fiction like Pendragon and Eragon. Once I discovered the fantasy genre I devoured books as quickly as I could get my hands on them. I still own the entire Dragonlance collection, nearly fifty in total. After I went to college, I discovered Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert. The universes of the Galactic Empire and Dune were enthralling to me. I could imagine myself as Paul Atreides, Muad’Dib, faced with a future of infinite possibility.
Recently, I’ve noticed that I gravitate towards non-fiction. I enjoy reading about the lives of great men and women. I also enjoy trying to apply those lessons to my own path. This sparked an interest in philosophy. Looking at life through the lens of Stoicism or Zen Buddhism provides two dramatically different answers to what is important.
So, now that you know what I’ve read, I’d love to hear from you. What books have shaped your worldview more than any other? What novel, story, or essay do you recommend to everyone you meet?
This week has reminded me that words are powerful. I’d like to put that power towards something productive. I’ll be sharing every recommendation that I receive.