famous thinkers’ daily rituals: an inspiration

Posted on March 31st, 2010

I am pretty much obsessed with how other people run their lives. Since I was a kid I’ve asked others what time they wake up, how they organise their mornings, what little things do they stick to to get through their day. Because I think these kind of details give an insight into their success, and the vulnerability of their character. And vulnerability is often the portal to connection. I find. 60206_6_468

Me, I start my day at 6.30 and exercise for 40 minutes, generally at the beach because the ocean wakes me up and sets the mood for my day (my Qi Gong teacher said 15 minutes in the ocean is enough to ground you for the day). I don’t phaff around the house. It’s clothes on and out, down the hill, on my bike. Then I meditate for 20 minutes, generally at the beach.

My ritual works to this point. Then it’s chaos for the rest of the day. But so long as this start-t0-the-day is in place, most things flow OK from there.

This rundown of famous thinkers’ daily rituals from onlinecollege is inspiring right now. I’m really scatty with my rituals and it’s making me scatty all over.

I like how neurotic some of the rituals are (having to eat an apple under the Arc de Triomphe every morning). And how stringent most are in adhering to them.

Interesting observation: many  famous thinkers go to bed by 9.30 every night.

  • Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway described his writing ritual as starting just as the sun began rising, then working straight through until whatever he had to say was said. He likens completing his morning of writing to making love to someone you love–being both empty and fulfilled at the same time. Upon completing that morning’s work, he would wait until the next morning to begin again, going over his ideas in his head and holding on to the anticipation of starting again the next day.
  • Fred Rogers. (from the long-lasting PBS children’s show). Each day he would wake at 5:30 and begin his day with reading, writing, study, and prayer. He would take a swim most days of his life, take a late-afternoon nap, and go to bed at 9:30 each night. Perhaps the most idiosyncratic of his rituals was that he kept his weight at 143 pounds his entire adult life. He saw his weight one day and realized it aligned with the number of letters in “I love you” and vowed to maintain that weight, which he did. Read more

blue moon tonight! whoa.

Posted on March 30th, 2010

Here’s something to “Did you know…” your colleagues with this afternoon: Tonight it’s a rare Blue Moon. Rare? How so? yo0o7049 As Adelaide blogger and healer Rebecca Dettman at psyched in stilettos helpfully writes:

One Blue Moon, every once in a while (every 2.5 years to be exact), is rare enough. But how about two in the same year — within three months of each other?! March 30 sees the second Blue Moon for 2010…
The term ‘Blue Moon’ is at least 400 years old. The definition of a ‘Blue Moon’ is two full moons falling within a calendar month…

So what? Well, Rebecca adds:

It’s a time of new beginnings, and of getting things right that you messed up or missed the first time through. Some groups use it as a period of initiation and re-dedication, so if there’s something new you need to start, now’s a good opportunity to do so. Read more

sunday life: in which I hire a virtual assistant

Posted on March 28th, 2010

This week I hire a Virtual Assistant in India (and, no, the picture below has nothing to do with Virtual Assistants, or India, but is an image of what I’d like to have more time for once I’ve successfully delegated stuff I hate doing ). sartorialist-paris-lunch

I tell you, VAs are the PTs of the new millennium. Ten years ago we took to delegating our weight loss to personal trainers. Soon enough they became part of the fabric of life, popping up at clients’ dinner parties and dating their friends. Now it’s all about delegating our administrative clutter to a remote assistant. Or so I’m learning.

Every productivity guru and self-help blog I encounter advocates hiring one of these faceless helpers to coordinate travel itineraries, answer emails and organise the kids’ swimming lessons…all from a cubicle in Bangalore.

Admittedly I don’t know anyone in Australia who uses a VA. I think it’s because we feel quite puncy offloading our detritus to others. I mean, who admits to having a pool cleaner?

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