This “advice to self” list has grown, plateaued, and shrunk through the years and ears, and continues to evolve. I return to it every once in a while to add and pare, and laugh at some of the sillier constraints I’ve set on my happiness and contentment as time rolls. I’ve been pretty good at checking off the boxes of late, with the exception of “Share your art.”
The one that I always consider dropping (or reversing) is about putting faith in ideas before people. IDK, maybe there are exceptions. Brian Eno, for instance, is worthy of my faith. As is Willie Nelson. Upstream, tho, any faith I have in them is not in them, per se, but rather, a faith in music and sound to move and guide people.
I like the idea of heroes, but I’ve met enough of mine to know they can really let you down. Some people very well may be worthy of veneration, but almost all cults form around one or a couple people, and I’m just not into crowds. And anyway, in the end, the greatest heroes help you find faith in yourself.
So I have faith in the idea of Willie Nelson, not in Willie himself. Hopefully he’d be relieved to hear this. Living up to someone else’s idea of you is a tightrope walk, and who am I to add to that pressure.
In that spirit, lmk if anything’s missing here.
◻️ Breathe yourself aware. Aware your mind. Mind your breathing.
◻️ Eat fresh. Avoid fast and processed foods.
◻️ Buy only the best shoes.
◻️ Make every move you make musical.
◻️ Surround yourself only with objects that tell stories.
◻️ Throw out all broken tools.
◻️ Refuse to work in inferior chairs.
◻️ Use washable napkins.
◻️ Carve out even the smallest space for a pantry and cook as often as possible.
◻️ Know the origin of all food/drink/things you consume.
◻️ Keep a current passport.
◻️ Know at least one inspirational story about both your parents and each of your grandparents and great-grandparents. If not possible, that’s okay.
◻️ Know at least one thing about yourself from before your first memory.
◻️ Surprise old friends 1x a month with a “Hello, thinking of you.”
◻️ Be leery of the only empty car on a crowded train.
◻️ Put your faith in ideas, before people.
◻️ Share your art.
◻️ Never count on friends or family to buy or promote your art.
◻️ Never tell others what to think. Show them how to think.
◻️ Never fall in love without space to grow.