the work that I love most in life is that which requires deep focus: writing at length, working on a tech projects, stuff like that. what I find so rewarding about it is that you can really get into a flow state. but flow is an elusive thing in this age of notifications, text messages, smartwatches, and the like. Vincent Lam turns off his internet when he write, and I understand why. for some reason - I don't know if there's any neurological correlate to this - but I can write all day long and messages on whatsapp or facebook won't meaningfully interrupt my flow. I just quickly check them and move on.
the bigger issue I'm finding isn't a lack of this micro-level focus - I have no problem with that - but the lack of macro level focus in my life.
right now, my life is simply an absolute clusterfuck of busyness. I've got a small business I'm running, a huge research project, my full time job, my existing workout routine, all the regular social commitments of the average twenty-something, and writing on the side. it's too much, and right now, I'm not elite in any of these spheres.
i want to make great art. I want to tell beautiful stories. my second novel is going to take years of work to complete, and I'm already tremendously enjoying it, but I can see that my skill level has plateaued, because I'm just not putting the time in. time is finite, and I find myself making compromises: I want to run a successful business, I want my research to be recognized as important, I want my novel to be well written and to reach millions of readers.
you can't anything you want, but you can't do everything you want.
where is the balance between being well-rounded and between being a jack of all trades, that achieves excellence in no domains? we're not all Elon Musk - we can't spin three separate plates at an elite level at the same time. we're lucky enough to spin one plate at an elite level at one time.
i need to prune the excess branches in my life, to create space for the things that truly matter, and to focus as much of my energies as possible on one or two pursuits: not five, not six, not seven.
i have so much living to do, yet only one life to live.
people I admire
Bret Easton Ellis