By Larry G. Maguire
Sunday LettersJan 09, 2022
214 Jung on The Human Condition
Jung says the bigger the crowd, the more negligible the individual becomes. This lost individual Jung speaks of is the ego-based individual—the one that sees itself as either an oversized old stuffed shirt full of its own importance or as poor little me overwhelmed by its insignificance. We perhaps can see how a consumerist society such as ours can offer a solution to the problem, albeit not much of a solution. In this way, Jung says that the individual becomes more and more a function of society as an abstract idea where everybody is the subject of autocratic rule.
Conversations About Work
This episode is a merging of two separate conversations about work I had in the summer of 2021. The first is with a friend, Tony, and we were sitting at a bench outside a pub in a rural area of west Donegal drinking pints of porter. The second is a conversation I had with Dr. Jonathan Murphy but no pints on that occasion. I hope you enjoy this member-only episode.
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213 New Capitalism & The Conflict of Interests
This week’s Sunday Letters brings you the final part of the Leadership Series. It’s a shorter piece than previous weeks, and in it, I take a somewhat cynical look at the trend amongst corporates to promote worker wellbeing and environmental initiatives. Are their efforts mere window dressing? I think so because, when it all comes down to it, there is, above all else, the imperative for profit. In this series on leadership, I have examined events from the past, offered expert opinion, and referenced psychological research to demonstrate that in the pursuit of the corporate aim, leaders often take unmitigated risks. Their sense of humanity and concern for others only reaches so far until the wellbeing of the organisation and their own survival takes precedence. It is a phenomenon of the way we live, and it is, unfortunately, alive and well. To overcome it, we’ve got to live by our own personal values, hold to our own individual mind, and always be vigilant. The alternative is to be swept along by a mentality that’s not of our own making.
212 Inauthentic Leadership & The Centrality of The Entrepreneurial Image
Welcome to the penultimate essay in the Sunday Letters Leadership Series. Over the course of the series, I have brought you thoughts on the paradox of success, Machiavellianism, inauthentic leadership, and this week I’m taking a look at the centrality of the entrepreneurial image. These essays previously lived on The Lead, a publication I started on a whim a few months ago that is now moving here, with some edits, to Sunday Letters. I hope you’ll enjoy these essays and the perspectives they represent. They are, in large part, my personal philosophy on how to live and work successfully with others while holding true to values that align with our sense of humanity.
211 A Leadership Lesson From An Older Generation
This week on Sunday Letters, I’m bringing you the fourth in a series of essays on the art of ethical leadership. Over the course of the series, we’ll cover the paradox of success, Machiavellianism, inauthentic leadership, and new Capitalism, amongst other topics, in an effort to show an all too prominent flaw in the human character. These essays previously lived on The Lead, a publication that I started on a whim a few months ago that is now moving here to Sunday Letters. I hope you’ll enjoy these essays and the perspectives they represent. They are, in large part, my personal philosophy on how to live and work successfully with others. I hope you enjoy them.
210 The Leadership Paradox
This week on Sunday Letters, I’m bringing you the second in a series of essays on the art of ethical leadership. Over the course of the series, we’ll cover the paradox of success, Machiavellianism, inauthentic leadership, and new Capitalism, amongst other topics in an effort to show an all too prominent flaw in the human character. These essays previously lived on The Lead, a publication that I started on a whim a few months ago that is now moving here to Sunday Letters. I hope you’ll enjoy these essays and the perspectives they represent. They are, in large part, my personal philosophy on how to live and work successfully with others.
209 The Essence of Leadership
This week in Sunday Letters begins a series on leadership. Over the next six weeks, I’ll be bringing you essays on the paradox of success, Machiavellianism, inauthentic leadership, and new Capitalism amongst other topics. These essays previously lived on a minuscule publication (The Lead) that I started on a whim a few months ago that is moving here to Sunday Letters. I hope you enjoy these essays and the perspectives they represent. After all, they represent in large part my personal philosophy on how to work successfully with others.
Read the full article
208 Moral Responsibility: Could You Have Done Otherwise?
One dominant premise we hold is that we can always choose to do or not to do something. However, as Dennett points out in his 1984 essay “I Could not have Done Otherwise-So What?”, most often, the question of choice and responsibility for our actions comes about when results are unfavourable. We want someone to accept blame for a given outcome. The legal system is founded on the idea that we are responsible for our actions, and when we break the social and legal code, we should pay the price. It assumes that given we are compos mentis, we always have a choice of how to act. However, when the outcome is favourable, Dennett points out that we don’t question so much in the slightest whether or not the individual could have chosen differently. We accept their assertion that “ah, sure it was nothing” and hardly bring into question their disavowment of responsibility. An interesting point on its own, Dennet suggests, is that when others do well by us, we never question their opportunity to have done otherwise and presents an inconsistency in how we apply it.
207 Are We Bound To Self-Destruct?
Taking an ethical position in life and work is essential for us to have some framework for healthy behaviour, which promotes individual and collective well-being, mutual appreciation, and respect. Take, for example, a company board of directors that holds firm to a sterile and materialistic ideal that ends justify means; they will stop at little to achieve the corporate goal, which is to make money. From a superficial and materialistic position, human beings and the environment are simply obstacles to be overcome. And it’s easy to see in our technological age as machines and AI become commonplace, that we have, and still do despite clever marketing initiatives, run riot over the natural world and one another in pursuit of profit or a basic living.
Take the oil sands in Canada, the destruction of the rainforest in South America, damage to the seabed by commercial fishing fleets, or any war throughout human history; they all stand as primary examples of our willingness to put aside moral and ethical principles for the sake of material gain, power and control. And it’s not solely corporations to blame. Ordinary people are also quick to drop their moral principles for the sake of profit or, indeed, a living.
206 Suicide (Declan Was A Friend of Mine)
Declan was a friend of mine. He was a good looking bloke, tall with dark skin and dark hair – the kind that girls noticed. He was loud too, and when he got going, everyone knew he was there. He was the quintessential extrovert. In contrast, I was quiet, reserved, pretty ordinary in the looks department as far as I was concerned, and had little confidence around the opposite sex. I was better one to one than in groups, so I kept mostly to myself in the early weeks at the training centre. I wasn’t a showman like Deco. He oozed confidence and had a laugh that made people turn around. For some, he was too much, but we got on well. We were a good fit. As the memory of him enters my thoughts these days, I think that maybe he wanted to be more like me, and I wanted to be more like him than we both cared to admit. Maybe life experience had made both of us fragile, and we merely developed different means of coping. I think that coping mechanisms constitute a large portion of what we call personality.
We both lived close by, so it was easy for us to become friends. We’d meet on Willow Park Road in the mornings and walk to Cedarwood, through the gate at Popintree Park, diagonally across the soccer pitches and over the railings to the centre. Then home again in the evenings. On Fridays, training courses finished early, so we’d take our merge allowance, buy a few smokes, drifter bars and cans of Coke, and head for the snooker hall in Finglas for a few hours. He was a soccer head, and I played Gaelic Football, so we’d slag each other’s respective games. He’d say Gaelic was a stupid game and had no skill. “Sure, you can kick a ball over the bar from anywhere all day,” he’d say, “there’s no skill in that.” Then laugh his head off at me. No matter what I said, I could never convince him otherwise. I enjoyed those days.
205 Join Me On Discord
[Excerpt] Motivation To Work with Dmitri Belikov
In this short excerpt from a recent conversation with philosophy postgraduate, Dmitri Belikov, we discuss the motivation to work. This excerpt is from the upcoming series on work where I enter a conversation with ordinary people asking them how they feel about their work, and if money were no object, if they didn't need their work to provide them with a living, what would they do with their time?
The series will go out over the summer and will include conversations with people from a diverse range of backgrounds; retired people, a nurse, a student, a barrister, a dentist, a civil servant, and so on. To get all these discussions as they are published, go to sundayletters.larrygmaguire.com and subscribe for free.
204 Time & Space
Time and space are important in creative work or, in fact, any work. Any work worth doing can be a creative outlet, but whatever it is, it needs time and space. We like to admire great works of art, and we believe there is something special about the people who create these things. Something special over and above ourselves. We couldn’t possibly come up with something as unique and beautiful as that. We’re inclined to keep moving, keep making whatever it was they taught us, and keep taking their dollar for our trouble. We’re too busy, you see, being something else to someone else and rarely anything ourselves. We have jobs to do, people to see, deadlines to meet and bills to pay. How can we possibly make the time and space we need to do great work? Being busy is more important, and any time we do make for ourselves, we spend it on frivolous things that lack complexity and stimulation.
On art, David Lynch quotes Bushnell Keeler, artist and father of a friend; “If you want to get one hour of good painting in, you have to have four hours of uninterrupted time.” That’s basically true, Lynch says. “You don’t just start painting. You have to kind of sit for a while and get some kind of mental idea in order to go and make the right moves… Then it’s a matter of studying it and studying it, and studying it; and suddenly, you find you’re leaping up out of your chair and going in and doing the next thing.”
I was glad when I read that because it gave me a licence to take my time. I mean, I knew it already, but a part of me questioned it. The thought comes in; you should be doing something, c’mon, you should use your limited time productively. But when I write, I need hours and hours. I can’t just jump into it and write something I consider good. There has to be a lead-in. Like Lynch says, “if you know you’ve got to be somewhere in half an hour, there’s no way you can achieve that.” There needs to be space for the idea to propagate. That means we’ve got to be on our own without distraction to allow the self to show us something.
203 Fear & Work
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I think the challenge is to be easy about it rather than forceful. I was forceful with my people the whole time. I pushed hard and watched their every move. It’s stifling under that kind of scrutiny. Of course, there have to be standards, and the industry is filled with people with bad habits and poor training who don’t want to improve, to keep higher standards. But that’s the problem when you operate in a game where others decide what your work should look like–you don’t get to be truly creative and so there’s a certain resentment. In a game where the rules are set and people’s creativity is taken from them, they lose their power if indeed they even felt it in the first place. They become disenfranchised and demotivated. There’s no incentive to apply themselves. Ok, there might be a pay packet at the end of the week, but people aren’t motivated by money, not really.
The game is rigged. Humans are robots in the machine of production and consumption. Ever since Frederick Taylor made scientific management a thing, people’s creativity and intuition have been dampened, even removed completely. You could argue that this change came about through industrialisation. Today, instead of being able to think for oneself, to be creative and self-expressive, work has become a measurable and quantifiable exercise where your merit and reward is linked to how many widgets you can make in a minute, an hour, a day, a week. It’s the same in services'; you’ve got to be representative of what the company deems appropriate. Whatever happens, you certainly cannot be yourself.
Read the full article; https://sundayletters.larrygmaguire.com/p/the-gnomic-fear-and-work
202 Is There Anybody Out There?
I started writing things down on paper late at night about fifteen years ago. Sitting on my sofa, half-drunk if I remember correctly, the mot in bed, I wrote my first few words. I was someone else for a period. It’s not who you think I am; it’s someone very different. That’s the thing you see…the one we present is not the same as the one who sits alone on the couch or in the bed at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning contemplating its own existence, trying to figure out where it fits, if indeed it fits at all. This is the nature of our reality that many, I feel, don’t address, can’t address, don’t even see it to address it. Then there are those of us who feel it, the deep dark cavern of confusion and isolation, and ignore it. We keep ourselves busy with things that don’t really matter, convincing ourselves to the contrary for fear of having to face our own unsubstantial reality–knowledge of the one that knows we’re not who we think we are.
I’ve got a little black book with me poems in just like Waters. Maybe I subconsciously selected that colour book because the lyrics meant so much to me as a fifteen-year-old nobody who struggled to fit in. Meant to be, perhaps, his words resonating with my felt experience. Big hands, too, at night, while I drifted in and out of waking consciousness. Hands so big that they were bigger than me. Then there was a beast, a demon with no face and no name, that lurked ominously. There was a small house like the one in Hansel and Gretel. It had a white fence, and there was a girl, and she was in danger. Who was I in all of this? Maybe I was all of it. A psychotherapist and lecturer of mine told me this is always so. It repeated itself for several years, not so much now that I’m older.
But the songs still speak to me, perhaps, even more, today as I come more into the realisation of what I’m not. As I fight to hold onto the idea that I must be something, something to myself and everyone else when in fact, I feel no particular urgency to be anything. Is there anybody out there? I wonder. Who’s asking? Hard to tell.
201 We're Made For More Than Disturbing Dirt
As I consider the variety of work I do on a daily and weekly basis–work for which I receive payment and not, work I do for pure enjoyment, and work I’d rather not do–it strikes me that most of what feels off about it all, comes from having to do it. It is the sensation that someone or something is looking over my shoulder with a critical eye waiting impatiently for me to fulfil some prior commitment or other. And as this sensation of external pressure weighs on my consciousness, I wonder was it always this way. It seems to me, and I’ve written on this many times before, that with the advent of industrialisation came the widespread imperative to work under command. Although, I will accept that work may have always involved a relatively flush party and another willing to work for some of that gold. With that in mind, perhaps regular joe soap workers have never been free to direct their own work.
Being somewhat obsessed with the nature and value of daily work as I am, and why we seem to have such a dichotomous relationship with it, I bought a few books on the history of work. One is The Oxford Book of Work1, an anthology that draws upon a range of views and experiences of work across the centuries from writers, poets, scientists, clergy, journalists, and laypeople. It’s an account of work over the entire spectrum of life from youth through to retirement contrasting, as the author says, the delights of occupation and the harshness of compulsory labour. Some accounts suggest the glory and honour of work. Others, such as Oscar Wilde, suggest work is mentally and morally injurious.
Read the full article
200 A Traumatised Species
I spend a lot of my time observing people. I ask myself, why does this or that person behave as they do? Why do I behave as I do? The reactions are responses to conditions both in and out of our control. In that sense, Skinner was right, but in favour of a reductionist version of reality, he missed the underlying root cause. These conditions could be the most insignificant everyday occurrences, like bumping into someone when you weren’t looking or the choice of whether or not to let someone into your line of traffic. Or they could be catastrophic, like a car accident or the loss of a loved one. In all of these incidents, we show ourselves. And that self we show can be measured and pre-meditated, or it can be unguarded and reactionary. But in all of that, there is the traumatised individual. It is ultimately unavoidable and forms what Jung referred to as the shadow.
Every one of us is traumatised to varying degrees, and it stays with us throughout our lives. We hide it. Some of us hide it very well, and others not so well. Then it explodes in a fit of rage or implodes in a depressive episode and perhaps a suicide attempt. In the homeless drug addict, for example, or the dysfunctional teenager, it may be obvious. It’s easy to see on reality TV; My 600lb Life, Love Island, or any one of the hundreds of reality shows that serve only to commoditise and glorify the most acute manifestations of trauma. We don’t see it in the face of the forty-something mother of three until one afternoon she takes the lives of her three children to save them the pain of her perceived reality. We don’t see it in the everyday actions of the farmer until he kills his lover then burns her on a bonfire of tyres because she was going to leave him. Nor do we see it in the self-employed architect who drops his kids to school every morning, or indeed, in our own compulsive behaviour behind closed doors.
As Freud said, “He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.”
Read the full article
199 Solving The Self-employment Paradox
The guy was an asshole. His only ambition as far as I was concerned was to make me understand the extent of his importance and authority over me. Ever since the day I went against his explicit yet sub-optimal instructions, he was gunning for me. He would show me who was boss, why his shitty ideas were better than mine, and it made my working life miserable.
I put up with the arrangement for about twelve months until I couldn’t take it any more. I handed in my notice, and on my final day on the job, I punched him in the face, pinned him to the ground, and beat the living shit out of him for a good eight minutes… ok, I didn’t. But I wanted to. Such was the extent of the pressure and intimidation I felt from his presence. The horrible, miserable, useless can of piss that he was. He reminds me of Mr Huph in The Invincibles cartoon movie, only his skin was paler, his hair thinner, and his eyes beadier.
That’s the nature of the hierarchical workplace and the power of position to hide personal insecurity and fester narcissistic tendencies. We’re all narcissistic to some extent. We all want to be seen, to be noticed and acknowledged for our work. But sometimes, for some people, that need for external recognition can feel threatening when they’re upstaged. Hierarchically based workplaces tend to allow nasty little bastards like Mr Huph to propagate unchallenged. So we either punch their lights out, or we leave. I left. But maybe Mr Huph did me a favour.
198 The Space To Think
There’s a quote I read recently on the student debt situation in the US attributed to Noam Chomsky that goes like this…
“Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt, they can’t afford the time to think. Tuition fee increases are a “disciplinary technique,” and, by the time students graduate, they are not only loaded with debt, but have also internalized the “disciplinarian culture.” This makes them efficient components of the consumer economy.”
As I sit at my desk this morning feeling the mild yet important sense of urgency to get invoices issued, allocate client payments, and generally get my business affairs in order after a lengthy pause, I realise that this quote applies to us all and in all circumstances. Pressure to fulfil certain obligations focuses the mind, ignoring all other demands for our attention. Where those obligations are financial, and given that money or the lack thereof is often the difference between living and dying, it tends to keep us from matters that are arguably more important to our survival.
The social and cultural imperative to earn and contribute weighs heavy. The idea is so utterly ingrained in our psyche that not to follow the pre-written script for a successful life leads us to believe any alternative to the current system inconceivable. Not to have a degree, for example, is to consign oneself to flipping burgers or sweeping the street and low if that’s the career we want for ourselves or our children. Arguably, an undergraduate degree is not worth the paper it’s written on, given the number of people that hold one. A Masters is hardly even enough to distinguish you from your competition these days.
And perhaps that’s the problem. We’ve entered a game, the only game in town, it seems, that can possibly bring about a life worth living, but it has the opposite effect to the one it promises. It’s almost unquestionable that young people should do anything other than enter college. Machines make furniture and build houses, so manual work is all but gone. And what’s left is so below the required cultural status, it’s not even considered. To do so is to go against the grain and pre-written script of education.
Stephanie Kelton on David McWilliams Podcast
What does it mean to be white, what does it mean to be black, what about all the shades in between, and since when has discrimination be so easy to spot?
Twitter seems to know, so I asked for clarification… I thought the Twitter police would string me up, or worse still, the racism police, but I didn’t get a single response, probably because I’m largely anonymous there.
Social Psychology defines Racism as prejudice and discrimination against people based on their ethnicity or race. Prejudice is an unfavourable attitude toward a particular social group and its members. And Discrimination is the behavioural expression of that prejudice. According to Gordon Allport’s The Nature of Prejudice, prejudiced attitudes and discriminatory behaviour consist of three components;Cognitive - One’s beliefs about a group Affective - strong negative feelings about that group and the qualities it is believed to possess. Conative - Intentions to behave in certain ways towards that group.
Some scholars don’t accept this model. Rupert Brown suggests the following definition;
“…the holding of derogatory attitudes or beliefs, the expression of negative affect, or the display of hostile or discriminatory behaviour towards members of a group.”
I remember when I was a kid in the scouts in the 1980s. We went to an international scouting event in the UK, and my friends and I found ourselves isolated and on the receiving end of a tirade of abuse from an English scout leader. As far as he was concerned, everyone from Ireland at that time was a terrorist. We got an apology, but that didn’t remove the experience of being singled out simply because of where we came from. That was mild compared to what Irish people living in the UK at the time had to endure. The IRA had active units operating in London at the time, and I suppose we could forgive people’s general response. But discrimination against children? Discrimination at all? Maybe not.
196 Trading Images of The Self
We are obsessed with our self-image. Even for most of us who play a very minor role in the grand stage show we call life, there is a desire to be seen in a particular light. Depending on the situation, we may be a leader or follower, the boss or the employee, the parent or the child, the inflictor or the afflicted, the sadist or the masochist. My go-to humanist socialist, Erich Fromm, wrote on this phenomenon extensively1. So too did his predecessor, Sigmund Freud. Both acknowledge the thinness and destructiveness of the surface level self formed through a relationship with its environment.
When we stare into the mirror, we see a reflection. It is a representation of us that serves to reinforce the ideas and concepts we hold of ourselves. We dress up to fulfil that image, and when what we see staring back meets the ideal, we are ready to go out into the world. But weaknesses exist–unacknowledged in large part–and are concealed by a nice haircut, skinny jeans, and new shoes. The image we have borrowed from the world of other people holds a central role in all our affairs and exchanges and protects us from those weaknesses.
Who are we really? We don’t know, but the image will do just fine for now. Kicking the true self further down the road, if indeed it exists, we delay self-realisation and the opportunity to connect with a genuine and authentic version of ourselves. In this sense, the world in all its wonder and depravity is a reflection of all that we perceive ourselves to be. We are a microcosm of the macrocosm.
195 Humanity Is A Lipsticked Pig
I’m in conflict. I’m always in conflict; it’s the nature of my reality. It’s the nature of your reality too. To wear the blue or the red jumper, have chicken, beef, or a bag of lettuce for dinner, addressing your own mortality, or trying to solve The Collatz Conjecture - we live in a state of questioning. Life is an unsolvable puzzle, a paradox. Like an infinite Russian Doll scenario, it seems there’s no answer to be found. For if there were, what would be the point to life?
I buy into the premise held by Eastern philosophy that says for every dark there is a light, up there is a down, yang there is a yin, and so on. Duality seems to be a fundamental property of what we call reality. Right now, however, in the affairs of human beings, there seems to be a decidedly lengthy period of darkness. We could argue that it’s several thousand years old, and only in the recent one hundred years or so it has become more pronounced.
Technological advancement has brought about many improvements to our lives, but is it really all that wonderful? We’ve got iPhones and the internet, MRI machines and the Mars Rover mission. You can turn the heating on from your mobile phone and video chat with loved ones on the other side of the world. It looks and feels great on the surface, but we get the sense that there’s something funny going on. We’re amused and entertained to such an extent that we can’t see we may have been duped. Look a bit closer, and society takes on the attributes of a lipsticked pig.
194 Protecting Your Privacy
Over the past twelve months, I have felt an increasing need to protect my internet activity and private data from misappropriation and misuse. An apparent “compromise” of my password information held by Google pretty much made up my mind. I needed to take greater care of my online information and be less reliant on one provider; Google. Not only that, I needed to keep my info to myself rather than give it away for free. However, my attempts to shield myself may be in vain. Here’s what Cnet said recently on Google’s privacy policies;
For example, Google has admitted to scanning your Gmail messages to compile a list of your purchases in spite of publicly declaring in a 2018 press release, "To be absolutely clear: no one at Google reads your Gmail, except in very specific cases where you ask us to and give consent, or where we need to for security purposes, such as investigating a bug or abuse." Perhaps by "no one" Google meant "no human," but in an age of increasingly powerful AI, such a distinction is moot.
Every email you write, and every email you receive via Google’s email servers tells them something about the way you live and work. Google Drive saves your files in a convenient way allowing collaboration with others across the globe, and it’s all free. Brilliant, right? The Google Maps application tells them where you’re going, where you’ve been, and for how long. The search terms you use when looking for garden hose parts, or cake ingredients, might give you the answer you were looking for, but it also tells them who you are.
193 Knowing The Pattern
The English Grand National was on last Saturday and I usually have a punt on a rank outsider. I’m not otherwise into betting, but the Grand National is a bit of a spectacle so it’s fun to have a stake with the rest of the family. Although my wife holds an entirely counter view, you could take the entire horse racing industry and send it to the moon for all I really care.
Pundits talk about odds, and it’s supposed to be an accurate assessment of the horse’s chance of winning, but it’s really “just” the bookies’ opinion. Sure, there is the matter of recent form, the trainer’s expertise, and the skill of the jockey, but bookies sometimes get it wrong. They just need to get it right more often than not and they win. And bookies always win over the long run, just like the house always wins in Vegas, otherwise, they wouldn’t be there.
So when they talk about odds, what they’re really talking about is the pattern. They are up close to the phenomenon and they are familiar with how the pattern plays out. As such, they know how prominent aspects replicate over time. They can’t know the entire pattern, no more than the rest of us can, but they are so close to it, so attentive to it, that they see more than the rest of us. There are aspects they cannot see, and there are aspects that don’t grab their attention for very long because they don’t replicate as often as others. And it is here that our winning of the bet lies.
192 Finding A New Way To Work
Yesterday I was on to something, but then I lost it. It happens like that; an idea lands, and it writes itself in my head as I brush my teeth or make dinner. If I don’t get it down on paper, I lose it. It disappears back from wherever it appeared like the flame on a dying match. No problem though, there’s always another. That’s what happens when we’ve been doing something for a long time; it produces itself, and we’re merely there to facilitate it. Sunday Letters is on the go since 2015, and before that, I had been using writing as a marketing tool for my work. After over ten years of writing, it has become something more than a means to get what I want. It is a conversation with myself, an attempt to understand what’s going on, to understand myself. I had to learn the hard way how this process works, however. I used to think we could make it happen, you know, success or whatever you want to call it. The material reflection needed to follow. Otherwise, what I was doing wouldn’t work and, therefore, not worth the effort. That’s the measure of it you see. But in that frame of mind, we miss way too much, and we can get lost.
In another location here on Substack, I’ve been writing about leadership as it applies mostly to business, but it’s also applicable to other areas. In particular, I’ve been writing on the essence of the personality type associated with success, with material success. Thus far, I have figured out that if we’re not tuned to the mode of being necessary for success, then we fail. Because, sticking with the business arena for a moment, that world is by its nature highly competitive. That’s the nature of the beast, and if we’re going to enter it, we’ve got to be willing to kill or be killed. In that process, we must take advantage wherever we can get it, and if that means manipulation, deceit, coercion and so on, then so be it. The only thing stopping us is the voice of our own integrity whispering in our ear. But then again, if you listen to that, you’ll likely be eaten.
191 Have We Misunderstood The Metaphor?
I don’t assign myself to any religion. If anything, I am agnostic as far as God goes. I prefer to think for myself thanks very much. I go inside when I have a problem, and lo and behold! I usually find the answers I need, eventually. I don’t seek solace from the discomfort of my life in any other man’s ideology. And it is an ideology of men, not women. Although women in the Church have been equally guilty of vile abuse of their fellow human beings, it has been power-hungry men at its centre. Our will to respect one another, live in harmony and acknowledge a higher order of reality is merely a convenience that allows bullish narcissistic men to take control.
It’s not only religion that has been guilty. Political ideologies have been just as destructive to society. Of course, they all start out with an apparent great idea and the best intentions, but their dogmatic idealism invariably leaves certain people out. Some pretend to be secular and inclusive, but it’s not long before cracks start to appear and the original idea becomes outdone by an individual and collective sense of importance. The institution now becomes the point of focus rather than the premise on which it was founded, and in that mode of mind, abuse of power usually follows.
If worshipping idols, be they virtual or actual, is your bag, then fire away. It’s not my intent to convince you otherwise. I just don’t understand how any human being in their right mind can bow to an organisation that is so obviously rotten to the core as the Catholic Church. I don’t know why any human being in their right mind does not see the deity in themselves, in fact. Unlike Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image, the self-deity I’m speaking of doesn’t have an image. We’ve got to get behind the veil of the self-image if we are to see it. That’s the tricky bit, and what religion does is present another layer, so instead of becoming clearer, things become more clouded.
190 The Degradation of Freedom
This week, I’m examining freedom or the absence thereof. The subject is current and apt, given that protests seem commonplace in every major city of the industrialised world these days. Whether it’s outrage at the unlawful death of black Americans, support for an outgoing narcissistic president, riots against the threat to Hong Kong democracy, or demonstrations against Covid restrictions, populations globally are up in arms over infringements to their civil liberty and sense of freedom.
Regarding Covid, the majority seem accepting, albeit reluctantly, of restrictions to free movement and are toeing the line. But many are not. Much to the consternation of the political classes and the conformist middle ground, there is dissent. What is it about this group of people that takes them to the streets in protest in the middle of a pandemic? Are they prepared to risk their lives for their voice to be heard? Is the pandemic a hoax, or are they simply misinformed? (I’m not going to try to answer that one today). Perhaps they are already marginalised, frustrated and ordinarily at odds with the society in which they live, and now Covid has broken their will to patience.
What about the rest of us occupying the middle ground? Maybe we’ve become too soft, too docile, manipulated by media organisations and political actors and pacified by consumerism so much that we can’t see the prison bars. Maybe our comfort has not yet been disrupted to sufficient extents to take us to the streets. What if you were on the bread line and have been there all your life; would you think differently about what’s going on? What’s true is that if we are unwilling to challenge official lines and accept the actions of those who do as fulfilling an important purpose, then we are at risk of becoming what Erich Fromm called “automatised people.” Maybe we are already.
189 Watching Someone You Love Pass Away
I was at home at about 9 pm when the phone rang. The hospice called earlier, my sister said. They got a cancer care nurse to assist in the final few days. She had arrived at the house, and it was, in fact, only a matter of hours. I had been over earlier that day, and I knew time was short, but I didn’t think it would be as quick. How could I? It was happening for a while, maybe a year or more before she was diagnosed, but something in me didn’t want to acknowledge. I knew, but I didn’t know. In retrospect, the dots became joined, and her behaviour made sense. I had never experienced someone this close to me die before, and now here I was, about to watch her slip away. Joanne overheard my conversation and suggested I get over there without delay. She’s a hospice nurse and all too familiar with how ends play out.
I was filled with questions, and driving in the dark I felt that any effort to find answers was futile. Our instinct, it seems, is to try to save the ones we love. Just sitting by and watching them deteriorate is counter-intuitive. So we search for something, anything, to keep them here. Second opinions, experimental drugs, alternative treatments, prayers, we do whatever we can, no matter how ultimately useless and dire the situation, to save them. But there was something about her illness that made all of that pointless to me, even naive. Instead, it all simply collapsed into fact, like I was watching from the outside. I was in it, suspended in an alternate universe over which I had no control, like watching a car crash in slow motion and my mother in the driving seat. My role, it seemed, was to offer consolation. I had little else.
188 Selling Our Personality
Who are you at work? What persona do you adopt? Is it even fair to assume, or to realise, a separate self to the one that you ordinarily call you? More importantly, perhaps, how does taking on that identity make you feel? It is the you that “feels” to which I refer rather than the name tag and photo on your ID card. Do you know the difference? Often we don’t, and we find ourselves at odds with our daily work. It becomes an exhausting means to an end existence where we run the daily gauntlet of managing our emotions and demands of the job. It takes many of us to the emotional and physical edge.
Youthful, we leave the relative safety of home wide-eyed and full of beans, naive and enthusiastic for our emerging working life. We enter the workplace expecting it to fulfil our material, emotional, psychological needs, and creative needs. Assuming, that is, we’ve followed our curiosity and interest rather than the broadly accepted imperative to make money for money’s sake. Should the latter be the case, we might be happier in our work, knowing that it is a bastard and expecting nothing less than what it has to offer. I’ve met and worked with people that hold this idea. They say, “so what, it’s just a job,” or “nothing personal, it’s only business.” For these actors, the workplace is a volatile, ambiguous, and antagonistic arrangement between parties that are our for gain at the expense of others and indeed themselves. And it takes its toll because, in such arrangements, we are compelled to forgo our sense of humanity.
187 Back From The Dead
I've been considering bringing this bad boy back to life, and while the break has been long, it seems to make sense. I've been writing Sunday Letters since 2015, and while I occasioned to narrate some issues, or at least talk on the particular week's topic, renaming the podcast in line with the newsletter never occurred to me until recently. I launched a new podcast for Sunday Letters but to an empty room and I figured why not just get this show back on track and rename it. So that's what's happening... The Larb is becoming Sunday Letters.
Every Sunday you can get a new edition of Sunday Letters plus an audio version right here. The subject matter will be centred around work, and the happiness and fulfilment we all pursue through it but rarely experience. I think that experience should be different and so each week I write about it. Using the lenses of psychology and philosophy, I examine what work means, why we do it, how we feel about it, and what we'd do if money was not a concern.
Anyway, there's a new episode out on Sunday, and a shorter one on Wednesday. Get on it here.
EP186 The Final Episode 🙁
EP185 A Question of Free Will
Read more here; https://larrygmaguire.com/illusion-of-free-will
Support the podcast here; https://www.patreon.com/join/larrygmaguire?
Myself and the big Russian, Dmitri Belikov hooked up last week for the first of a joint discussion on a chosen topic. This week it was Free Will. Do we have free will or are our lives determined by external forces? Are we in control, are we not? It's difficult to form a consistent and long standing answer because there are valid arguments for both free will and determinism. However, we give it a go.
Later in the week I got some of my own thoughts on free will down. Here's and extract; Everyday events seem to be under my control. For example; I can decide that I want to see a band, meet friends and have a few pints, and in that way broadly determine how my Sunday afternoon will play out. But next week, next month, next year and so on, I cannot dictate. I cannot dictate the day that I die or how that eventuality will play out, although I do accept that I seem to have a certain degree of influence over it. In the space between my birth and death, I can influence my general health by making good food and exercise choices, for example. But that too appears of little consequence given the nature of this lottery we often regard life to be.
There seem to be far too many moving parts, most of which I am not aware, influencing the direction of my actions and life experience. My degree of control seems limited. When I make plans for holidays, socialising, attending classes, training and so on, there seems to be ease, a naturalness. There's no forcing myself to do what I need to do. Other times, for other larger "goals" there seems to be a different feeling. Writing this article, for example, is difficult but there's a feeling that it must be done nonetheless. So I do what I need to do, and although not always as efficiently as I'd like, it still gets done. Am I making that decision to do the work or is it being made for me? I can't tell.
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Why do we work? What is the purpose of work apart from providing us with money to buy stuff we don’t need and pay bills? Is it possible to be happy and fulfilled in our daily work or are we destined to despise, yet endure its demands on our lives? Sure, we need money in our pockets to function within the societal system, but most of us it seems, are dissatisfied and disengaged 1. We have become robots, and work has become transactional – a binary arrangement. I’ll give you hours if you give me money is our modus operandi. There’s little love in it even for those of us who see our work as vocational. But surely a life worth living has to be built on something more substantial than the prospect of a two week holiday in the sun, a smart home control system, or the future freedom gained from paying off a mortgage. There’s got to be something more to life
EP183 Analogical Thinking: A Method For Solving Problems
The ability to solve problems is an essential skill for our survival and growth in the fast-paced, moment to moment shifting of modern society. No matter what the domain of expertise or work, challenges present themselves at an ever-increasing rate. And so it should be, for what is a life worth living if we never have problems to solve? We must accept that challenges are inherent in life, and so we must use our imagination and ingenuity to find solutions. Creativity and high performance require it. Although solving problems is never as simple as following a linear process, using lateral thinking processes for generating solutions is a skill we can cultivate, and in this week’s article, I’m taking a look at a couple of examples of analogical thinking in practice. However, take into account that often switching off entirely from the problem can be the best route to the solution you need.
EP182 The 22 Self Disciplines of Buckminster Fuller
Read the article here; https://larrygmaguire.com/self-disciplines-buckminster-fuller/
Support the show here; https://patreon.com/larrygmaguire/
In 1927, Buckminster Fuller found himself in financial ruin and personal turmoil. His first child had died five years earlier, and his business had recently failed, leaving him broke with family and friends who invested in him, at a loss. He drank heavily, was depressed and contemplated suicide, then something changed. As he considered drowning himself in Lake Michigan, he had an epiphany and began to redesign his life. The 22 self disciplines he subsequently established were to become the foundation of a successful career as an inventor, design architect and philosopher. Despite the absence of any third level degree, he lectured at universities and became a sign
EP181 Narrow And Deep
Read it here; https://larrygmaguire.com/narrow-and-deep/
Support the show; https://patreon.com/larrygmaguire
In today’s article, I want to get into the subject of going narrow and deep versus going broad and shallow. Some advice suggests we should diversify, be skilled in many areas – broad and shallow in other words. Contrary advice says we should focus intently on one area and become expert at that – narrow and deep. After much inner deliberation, and consideration of my views on the merits in the narrow approach, where creative work is concerned, I find there is a balance that must be met.
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EP180 Ray Heffernan Creativity & Success
Watch it here; https://www.patreon.com/posts/larb-live-with-24176541
Every Friday I take The Larb Podcast Live on Patreon with a guest to discuss creativity and work. Friday 25th Jan, my friend, singer-songwriter Ray Heffernan joined me to discuss the idea that to be truly happy and fulfilled in our work, we must change our transactional relationship with it, develop our creative skills and form true meaning from our work rather than treat it simply as a means to an end. We discuss the pursuit of success, trying to find yourself in the applause of others, and how it ultimately destroys the creative spirit.
Join me and guests LIVE every Friday 18:00 GMT for chats on Patreon
EP179 How Success Happens + Sunday Letters New Format
Read me here; https://larrygmaguire.com/sunday-letters-new-format/
Support the show; https://patreon.com/larrygmaguire
Sunday Letters has been on the go about 18 months or so and over the 77 odd issues, the format has been pretty much one dimensional and simple: an article. But now it’s time for change.
When I started writing again I decided to forget about monetising and just write about things that interested me. That’s how it needed to be. I was tired of trying too hard, and in the tune of The Artist’s Manifesto, I began to write without much care for anything other than writing.
And that continues, but there feels as though there must be some kind of evolution in the nature of what I write.
For you folks who have been reading me for this long, you deserve more.
So comes a new format.
EP178 Creativity with Johnny Helleland
Read Larry here; https://larrygmaguire.com
Support the show; https://patreon.com/larrygmaguire
The Larb Podcast and all articles on the blog are accessible for free. It takes a lot of time to produce but do it because I like to. If you'd like to support the show, head over to Patreon.com/larrygmaguire and buy me a pint 🍺.
In this midweek episode, you can check out chats I had last Friday on The Larb Livestream with Johnny Helleland https://www.motion-effect.com . We discussed creativity and work, what it means to fly your own kite. Check it out 👆
EP177 Letting It Happen
Read it here; https://larrygmaguire.com/letting-it-happen/
Support the show; https://patreon.com/larrygmaguire
Today’s Sunday Letters article is an extract from The Artist’s Manifesto chapter three and looks at the contrast between letting it happen versus making it happen. The popular advice and resultant often unchallenged perceptions are that if something is to materialise in our experience then we’ve got to make it happen. It’s as if our precise detailing and planning are paramount and without them, we fail. But this is a false idea. Often, it is our allowing things to happen on their own, our detachment from the result is what brings us to those experiences we crave.
EP176 Too Much Data
Read me here; https://larrygmaguire.com/too-much-data/
Support the show; https://www.patreon.com/larrygmaguire
Is it that there is too much data vying for our attention or is it perhaps that there’s too much of our attention competing for all that data?
It’s an interesting consideration because you see, certain populist commentary can lead us to believe that everything out there is the problem – there are too many advertisers, marketers and media outlets who want to sell us on their idea or product.
And to a certain extent that is true.
Everywhere we look someone is trying to sell us something.
All it takes it seems is a motor company or financial institution to flash a bright shiny idea of a better life for us to get sucked in.
EP175 The Anthesis Of Goal Setting
Read me here: https://larrygmaguire.com
Watch the rerun here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/podcast-live-of-23639595
In this the first live episode of The Larb, I'm discussing the antithesis of goal setting. The overwhelming thrust of success advice being carried on the digital airwaves this time of year leans heavily towards goal setting and New-Year New-You Resolutions. It's where gurus and "influencers" attempt to convince you to take a generally fruitless and self defeating route to a future better version of you, as if one exists. Here I present you with perhaps a not so radical alternative...
EP174 Reading: Preface The Artist's Manifesto
Download the new FREE version of The Artist's Manifesto; https://larrygmaguire.com
Today's episode is the second from final episode of 2018 and I'm reading from the preface to the book due for release in January '19. It was late. Joanne and the kids were asleep. As I sat at the kitchen table, at odds with myself and the work I was in, I began to write the first words of what I would later call The Artist’s Manifesto. I had recently taken a project management role with an engineering firm as a short-term solution to a difficult financial situation. Previous to that, a business I had spent 15 years building had failed. I needed to find my place again. The content I was writing had occupied my mind in fragmented chunks for a long time, and late in the silence, as the clock clunked on the wall, it began to come together.
EP173 Creative Isolation (Oh, and Happy Christmas!)
I've been off the airwaves for about 10 weeks or so - taking a break and considering the direction of the show. So before 2018 expires I wanted to get one more show out and share some stuff happening in 2019. Read the article here; https://larrygmaguire.com/creative-isolation/
EP172 Political Cybernetic Organisms
Support the show here; patreon.com/larrygmaguire
I flicked on Twitter this morning and I watched a short video of a US politician running for election to the House of Representatives being interviewed about a comment she made about something or other. It was controversial and the reporter latched on to it. He pressed her for an answer but she maintained a robotic political response and it made me think. Political responses allow us to align with the bureaucracy of institutional thought, blocking out intuitive ideas and connection to other human beings. It is forebrain linear thinking at its most dangerous, allowing us to justify all kinds of insane behaviour. It's predominant and I think its getting worse. People are worried about AI, and maybe rightly so, but perhaps it's still human beings, incapable of understanding who they are at a deeper level of existence that is the real danger.
EP171 React On Impulse Or Keep Your Mouth Shut?
This week on the show I'd like to tell you a little about a new series I'm starting in January 2019. For the next 8 or 9 weeks, I'll be hooking up with people like you, people engaged in work that engages them and featuring these discussions on the podcast. So if you'd like to get involved just fill out the Google Form at the link above.
Also this week, I'm discussing the rights and wrongs of reacting on impulse. Should you fly off the cuff when someone pisses you off, or should you swallow how you feel and move on?
EP170 What Is An Artist?
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What is an artist? What is art? How is an artist defined and who exactly gets to set the definition? Is everyone an artist like Picasso said or is it that creative genius is reserved for those fortunate enough to be blessed with talent at birth as the ancient Greeks and Romans believed?
Some ideas of what constitutes art, and as a consequence, the artist, are narrow and elitist. Some, such as this manifesto, are open and all-inclusive, suggesting that everyone is an artist albeit perhaps lying in wait.
In this opening chapter, we will explore the possible answers to these questions and the nature of what it means to be an artist. We will look at what recent history says about art and seek to dispel some of the popular conventions we have established relating to art and work.
EP169 The Iron Skillet
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About 4 years ago I bought an iron skillet. It's heavy and solid and it cooks food something great, especially steaks. As I looked at the iron skillet earlier today, it reminded me of something important that I think is usually lost on most of us. I want to share that with you now.
EP168 How To Create Order From Chaos
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In today’s Sunday Letters, I’m taking a look at how we can create order from chaos. I’m staying with The Artist’s Manifesto until publication on October 15th, and This article is part two of chapter eight, titled; The Creative Self. Many of us in western industrialised society do not believe ourselves to be creative. We assign creativity to those we see as having natural talent, assuming that the expression of creative or artistic ability is inherent in some but not in all. We believe that we were not bestowed the gift and therefore shouldn’t waste our time. Besides, in the practical world of things to pursue the creative life is risky and can never pay the bills.
EP167 The Creative Self: Who's Doing The Making?
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Do know who you are? Are you consistent and steady in your daily creative endeavours, confident in the face of the sometimes harsh responses to your work? Or maybe there is silence, nobody pays attention. How does that affect you, the you that you think you are? In this chapter, we will explore the nature of the self from the perspective of creativity. We will look at influences to our self-identity and self-concept and explore why these can sometimes have a negative impact on success in our chosen domain. We will also examine the relationship between that which we conceive ourselves to be and the source of creative inspiration.
EP 166 The Paradox Of Work
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In today’s Sunday Letters article, I’m taking a look at the paradox of work. We need it but we seem to resent it. Given the choice, if the need for money was not the prime mover, we might not even do what we do. We can’t wait to get away from it. We look forward to Fridays and dread Monday mornings. There is the belief in us that somewhere in the future it will get better, we’ll have more money, life will be easier. Meanwhile, we wish our lives away and spend our so-called spare time engaged in frivolous activities that offer no complexity or lasting satisfaction. We are lost in the paradox of work, but perhaps there is an answer…
EP165 The Book Launch Date
After a considerable amount of time chin scratching, I have finally set a date for The Artist’s Manifesto Launch.
My previous date for publication came and went due to other commitments.
The completion of the new studio/office took precedence, and oh I must not forget that little detail of needing to fund that project.
Other commitments came into play there too.
So the Summer was very busy – in a good way.
Now that the Summer is over and kids are back in school I have a private space where I can plan, write, record and so on and the date for publication is set.
EP164 The Artist's Manifesto News
EP163 When Is The Right Time To Quit?
Support the show here; patreon.com/larrygmaguire
Is there such a thing as the right time to quit and how do we tell that time has arrived? Giving up, quitting on something is kind of frowned upon, isn't it?
I mean, there seems to be this popular notion in western industrialised society that to kill something that's not working is a terrible thing.
It seems there's virtue in keeping something alive that's dying.
It might bring you to your knees but by Jasus, you'd better keep trying to make it work as long as there's a breath in your body or else...
Imagine running a business.
You've put your heart and soul into it.
It's a reflection of you.
It IS you!
Something went wrong along the way and the business isn't making money any more.
But you have responsibilities to suppliers, staff, your own family and perhaps investors. To let it die is a fate worse than death.
EP162 Saying Sorry: When Nothing Is Achieved From Apologies
In today’s Sunday Letters I am taking a look at “saying sorry”, and what I see as a retrogression, a perpetuation of victimhood in so many of us. Some of you will steadfastly disagree with the thrust of my argument, highlighting the moral necessity of recognising when we inflict hurt. Others of you I hope will see the validity of it. Whatever your interpretation, it is my firmly held view that to seek or to offer an apology on foot of some perceived wrongdoing is to rob ourselves of something important.
EP161 Artistic Temperament And The Challenge Working With Others
I’m gonna let you in on something… sometimes I don’t work well with other people. Maybe it’s my artistic temperament or maybe I’m just an asshole. I have a tendency at times you see to get under people’s skin, make them uncomfortable, frustrated, upset or even worse, angry.
When I lead a project I have an idea of how the end result and the route to that result should look. In the interim, I can become irritable, blunt and intolerant with others who are not up to speed.
TDL160 Does It Make You Happy?
Does it make you happy? Work I mean. Are you content with your lot?
Our western industrialised culture says that you shouldn’t be. To be content, to be happy where you are equals lack of ambition and stagnation. “Become a better version of you!” The 30-something internet self-development man says. To be ambitious in the modern sense is to believe in a future where life is better somewhere other than here and now. Therefore life is not adequate where we are. For many of us, this idea is the perpetuation of discontent and unhappiness with life. Short-term stimulation and materialistic gain is the measure of success, and you can have it all.
TDL159 Eddie Doherty: Handweaver
This week on Sunday Letters I'm in conversation with Eddie Doherty from Adara, Co. Donegal. Eddie is a handweaver in the town over 60 years and weaves his tweed from the loom in the back of the shop and from another in the back of the family pub. Eddie and I get chatting about his work, about Gaelic Football and where a man might get a good breakfast in the town.
Eddie Doherty Handweaver [Snippet]
TDL158 Success Hacks: The Folly Of Shortcuts
I received an email the other day that promised me “success hacks”, shortcuts, quick fixes to the realisation of my dreams. “Ooh, wonderful!” I said. “Finally, the solution I’ve been looking for. God knows I’ve tried so many. Maybe this one will work”. Or maybe not.
The email was from a website whose material I once found interesting, or perhaps valuable. These days their stuff usually ends up in the spam folder. And because I’m a little wiser now than I was when I signed up originally, their emails generally stay there.
To be honest, I don’t check my spam folders often, and so they are deleted without me even being aware. But this one made it through, into my inbox and under my nose. So I opened it. Here’s what it said; larrygmaguire.com/success-hacks
TDL157 When Creative Ideas Overwhelm
TDL156 Engineering Consent, Paleo Eating + The Studio Project
TDL155 Why You Should Work For Yourself
TDL154 State Of Flow & Expert Performance
Hello and welcome to The Daily Larb, I am Larry G. Maguire Your host here on the show and today being Sunday it means it's Sunday letters. In today's episode, I'm discussing two books, the first one is called Flow, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and is an exploration into what makes us happy. The subtitle of the book is "the classic work on how to achieve happiness", but I believe that was chosen for marketing purposes. The book is more about getting into a creative state where we can produce our best work. That's what the book is about for me. The second book I want to talk to you about today is called The Road to Excellence: The Acquisition of Expert Performance in The Arts and Sciences, Sports, and Games, by Anders Ericsson. It's a very chunky piece of material and incorporates studies by many diff...
Read the article here; larrygmaguire.com/flow-expert-performance/
TDL153 OffTopic: Getting Fit Again
TDL152 The Timeless Creative Mind
In separation from the idea of time, we allow ourselves the mental capacity to make great things without restriction.
This process happens for some creative people entirely automatically, but for many, the space to create away from self imposed demands of contemporary life is difficult to find.
Worldly things such as family responsibilities, financial demands, the day job, TV, peer influence and so on, have the potential to feed the creative muse.
TDL151 Carrauntoohil, Work & Creativity
TDL150 Will We Ever Be Wealthy?
TDL149 Content Marketing For Creatives
TDL148 #AudioMo Day 1 Episode
TDL147 Convenience: A Fool's Gold
TDL146 Fuck: Linguistic Taboo Or Legitimate Expression?
The word "fuck" is emotive. Associations people hold with the word often mean it causes an affront to their morality and ethical ideas around the proper use of language. I heard it said that writers who use fuck in their work have little inherent ability. They use it to make up for their lack of skill. To me, that idea is far too stuffy, conservative and restrictive to artistic expression. I say use fuck where necessary and to those who feel offence, tough fucking shit.
In today's episode of the podcast, I'm taking a look at the word "fuck", briefly its origin, why words are restrictive to our understanding of each other and our environment. I also explore why it is human beings have become so adhered to ideas and words of the few and follow those words blindly.
TDL145 Life Always Finds A Way
This evening as the sun sets casting a milky orange hue over my local park, as I run I think about the finite nature of our existence and if the abortion vote on Friday really matters.
TDL144 More On Deliberate Practice
I've got a little more to add to yesterday's episode on Deliberate Practice. In particular I wanted to take a look at the role of reward and outside influence on our creative endeavors. Anders Ericsson says "we claim that deliberate practice requires effort and is not inherently enjoyable" well I beg to differ. What do you think?
TDL143 The Power of Deliberate Practice
In today's episode, I'm discussing the power of deliberate practice and introduce you to the work of Anders Ericsson, psychologist at Florida State University, on the psychological nature of expertise and human performance. larrygmaguire.com/deliberate-practice/ We creatives already know the benefits of the intense, deliberate practice of our work.
However, there are many distractions vying for our attention with which you and I must contend. Without cultivating the ability to shut those distractions out, our work suffers.
Distraction from the deliberate practice of our work ultimately comes from within.
Often it is the result of the fragmented focus of attention. It can be either conscious distraction such as there’s something else I need to be doing, or subconscious, such as b
TDL142 Why Shortcuts Fail
In today's episode I'm discussing Why Shortcuts Fail. We all take shortcuts. We take them in the naive belief that somehow we will get where we wish to be, or fulfill a desire or relieve our fears of some future event. we pursue shortcuts because this fulfillment we believe will somehow make us whole. We think we are not enough here and now and the quicker we get to that future better version of life, the better. But it never gets here and so we perpetuate our anxiety by the pursuit. So what's the answer? Listen and find out.
TDL141 Is All Marketing Manipulation?
In today's episode of the show, I'm joined by Paul O'Mahony, poet and business storyteller. In essence, Paul is a marketer and so I asked him to enter a discussion with me on the idea that all marketing is manipulation. In many respects, it seems that it is. In some it appears not. Some businesses do seem to go out of their way to convince you and me to buy things we don't need. But in the belief that we do need those things, then we need them and so there is someone there to give it to us. Perhaps it is then, the intent behind the delivery that matters. Listen in to Paul and I as we discuss; Is All Marketing Manipulation.
TDL140 Thoughts On Collaboration
Today on the show I'd like to share some thoughts on collaboration. It can be very tricky working with other people, however, often we find ourselves having to bite our lip and simply get on with it. As a solo artist in whatever medium you happen to operate, there is more of a choice available. There's no doubting the benefit of collaboration, but at the same time, if everyone is not aligned in that collaboration the results can be detrimental. But here's the dichotomy; even in that disaster, there is a benefit. It all depends what we do with it.
TDL139 Embracing Solitude
But we don’t, we run towards it.
I didn’t always call myself a writer. Only in the last 12 months since penning my first serious piece of writing have I begun to do so. That short piece of work I called The Artist’s Manifesto.
I always loved the peace of my own company, so the tag writer felt like a natural fit.
Solitude has subsequently become essential to my sense of wellbeing and my creative process.
If you are a writer, then maybe your’s too I guess.
When I was a kid, I would come home from school and spend hours in my room alone, sitting on the bed smoking cigarettes out the cleverly positioned opening of the single glazed aluminium window, contemplating whatever came to mind.
It was my way of esca
TDL138 The Abortion Question
In today's episode of The Daily Larb, I'm discussing the abortion question with former ecclesiastical conscript turned singer-songwriter, Ray Heffernan. Ray and I discuss the prospects of a yes or no vote in the upcoming Irish referendum on abortion. On the 25th May the Irish people will go to the polls to vote on the replacement of the existing article 40.3.3 which upholds the right to life of the unborn, with the provision in law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy. It's an emotive subject, check out what we concluded...
TDL137 The Writer's Giveaway
…the book that encourages you to make your stuff for the sake of it – without the need for applause.
And as part of the lead-up to the launch, I figured I’d build some additional value for you all.
Whether you’re new to the content here or you’ve been reading for a while, this Giveaway has been built with your creative needs in mind.
You are the writers, authors, bloggers and all-around creative people, visiting your desk every day attempting to make a dent in the world.
And I know how difficult that can be.
The Artist’s Manifesto says; sharing your work with the world is the other side of the creative coin.
It’s of vital importance.
So I reached out to some top marketers and asked them to join me in offering you a seriously heavy duty marketing prize.
Top online businesses have come on
TDL136 Applause & Criticism
TDL135 Choosing First Thought
Welcome to today's episode of The Daily Larb Podcast. Today I want to talk about First Thought and why it is invariably the best choice for us, but we doubt it.
TDL134 Sunday Letters: Poetry
Today on The Daily Larb Podcast, I'd like to share some poetry with you. I have four poems that follow a particular theme. The four poems are; There Is No Time, The Sky Is On Fire, Spontaneous Laughter, The Hello Tree.
TDL133 Lost In Time Consciousness
Today on the show I'm discussing the nature of the human mind and it's adherence to the concept of time. Long story short, there is no time, all there is is Now. An ever lasting moment where there exists constant change. People confuse change for time, but time is an arbitrary concept. It's a tool like a hammer or a measuring tape and when we are done with it we should put it back on the shelf. But instead we believe in it. We believe there's a better version of ourselves in the future, but the future doesn't exist and so we become lost. We are living outside our minds, in the illusion of time and space. Follow me on Twitter @larrygmaguire
In my enthusiasm, I, of course, was incorrect with regard to leap year. We add a day every 4
TDL132 The Meaning Of Life
In today's episode of The Daily Larb Podcast I'm fleshing out further an idea I presented to you a couple weeks ago on Sunday Letters. Read it: medium.com/storymaker/the-merit-in-lack-of-ambition-f21ff0b888e0
Contemporary wisdom, that of gurus and thought leaders of the modern digital age, will suggest to you and me that ambition and personal success are vital ingredients to a life well lived. Writers like Gary Vaynerchuk, Benjamin P. Hardy and so on, and publications such as The Mission, Personal Growth and Thrive Global are prolific in their production of material that feeds the insatiable penurious beast that is their readership. Both parties are, we could say, co-operatives in the pursuit of achievement.
You see, the
TDL131 Time For Self In The Elaborate Game
In today's Sunday Letters I'm discussing the true nature of the self and the Importance of finding time and space to be alone. Read it here: larrygmaguire.com/the-elaborate-game/
The Elaborate Game
There is no me, and there is no you that is fixed and permanent. Whatever we are changes depending on the people we are with, the places we visit and the experiences we have in the elaborate game going on around us.
But many of us don’t see that. Although I might take my existence as fixed – I am Larry Maguire, artist and writer from Dublin Ireland, for example – I also change both physically and psychically even as I sit here doing nothing.
Everything in my environment including people influence that often subtle or occasi
TDL130 The Illusion Of Happiness
To believe you are happy or unhappy, rich or poor, weak or strong is to place yourself outside what you really are. It's all merely an illusion, a game. Now the game can be fun, but when we start to believe in the game we get lost. Articles, books, courses etc. that promise us a better life, a better version of ourselves begin to become attractive. Deeper we go into the mix and greater we feel the swing of the emotional pendulum. It's all bullshit. Get quiet. See what I mean.
TDL129 Sunday Letters: What's The Show About?
I’m really drawn to audio, so this week on Sunday Letters I’d like to offer you a couple reasons why you should get on The Daily Larb Podcast.
Last September I launched the podcast as a weekly show and intended to follow an interview style with an occasional monologue from yours truly. It was structured and methodically put together. But enthusiasm waned as a result of a dodgy audio setup and some friction in me regarding my process. So it eventually came to a halt. However, at the same time, I discovered Anchor.fm so I signed up.
It had a function whereby I could record and publish audio clips within the app but also push out as a podcast to iTunes. So, because that was an easier way of pub
TDL128 Jesus Christ & The Center Of The Storm
TDL127 Ambition, Success & Opinions Of Others
TDL126 In Defence Of The Unambitious
TDL125 The Universe Is Not A Binary System
TDL124 Managing Stress & Anxiety
Also today I'm talking about stress and anxiety. I was certainly anxious about how the lads went about installing our new fire. My wife was too. But these feelings of being out of control, of not being able to make the world cooperate with our ideas of how...
TDL123 What Is Success?
TDL122 Effects of Stress on Creativity
In recent episodes of The Daily Larb Podcast, I’ve been speaking a lot about the importance of creating for the sake of it, for the benefit of one’s self as a priority.
Harry Hoban reminded me of this on a recent episode of The Irish Songwriter’s Podcast hosted by my friend Ray Heffernan.
Harry said that he writes for himself first and has no thought for the listener.
Some of us believe in our naivety, that this approach is damaging to our success. But as The Artist’s Manifesto says, this selfish approach is vital if we are to make something worthwhile.
Worthwhile not only to ourselves but to others too, because when we make something from that pure place, others want to be a part of it – eventually.
True success can’t be based on the feedback from others.
Investing in that applause will invariably take us away from the place we are meant to be.
That outside focus on other people and their response to the stuff w
TDL121 Anything Else Is A Waste Of Time
TDL120 Write For Yourself Or Other People?
Anyway, on today's show, I wanted to talk a little bit about success. I was listening to Ray Hefferenan's Irish Songwriter's Podcast on iTunes. In particular an episode with singer-songwriter Harry Hoban. Harry had a view on success and I thought I'd share it. He claimed he didn't write for the listener, he instead wrote for himself.
TDL119 Does God Exist?
TDL118 How To Build An Audience
TDL117 Maslow: A Focus On Self
TDL116 The Artist's Manifesto Will Be Free
TDL115 What's The Artist's Manifesto About?
TDL114 The Manifesto Launch Team
There is an initial three day period where The Artist's Manifesto will be available FREE on Amazon and it is crucial that we take advantage of this period so that as many artist's and creative people are exposed to the book. By joining the launch team you can help me reach those people. Find out more and get involved here; larrygmaguire.com/join-the-launch-team/
TDL113 When Your Launch Fails
TDL112 Is The Human Race Insane?
TDL111 Are You Doing It For The Money?
Read it here; larrygmaguire.com/for-the-money/
Today the subject of money was on my mind, and I found me asking myself this question; are you doing it for the money?
I was in the kitchen making a coffee, and the question popped into my head.
My answer was instant, almost like both the question and answer came at the same time. And to be honest, I was a little surprised.
My answer was, no.
Categorical. No ifs or buts about it.
I like money, who doesn’t. I love what I can do with it, the stuff I can buy if I happen to be in the buying mood. Which, I should say I rarely am.
Most of the things I buy are related to my online activities. I buy stuff because I think it might help me make a better thing.
I’ll rarely buy stuff on a whim, solely for the sake of it.
I tend to be measured in my spending of money. Not mean, just selective.
Buying stuff doesn’t float my boat. I don’t need to go shopping t
TDL110 Why The Small Things Count
I'm also taking today about books. I bought a couple new books and I want to tell you about that too.
TDL109 Dealing With Writing Demons
TDL108 A Reading From The Gospel Of The Artist
TDL107 To Serve Yourself Is To Serve The World
TDL106 When Less Is More
TDL105 Happy Monday People
Read it here: writingcooperative.com/the-writers-giveaway-experiment-7ccfa25d9334
Extract: I’ve read a lot about giveaways. I’ve even run one or two in the not so distant past and I figure, based on the info I’ve gathered that it’s one of the best ways to build a following and gain notice for the stuff I write.
I was a little apprehensive about asking for prizes from people I had no prior relationship with other than I was receiving their email newsletters. I thought, right - I’m just going to give this a go. I’ll reach out to a few high profile people in the writing and marketing space and see what happens.
If they say no I’ll just suck it up and move on.
So I asked them.
They said yes.
I emailed them all individually and one after the other they all agreed to get on board. Awesome
TDL104 Challenging Authority: The Creative Imperative
Read it here;https://larrygmaguire.com/challenging-authority/
In this week's Sunday Letters article I'm taking a look at blind obedience to authority with two landmark studies on the phenomena, which are available for download from the article.
Challenging authority at all levels is vital in our building of a healthy society. And for the creative, there is hardly a greater imperative.
In systems of education, national and local government, in work environments, sports clubs and organisations.
Wherever there are those who would assume authority over others there must be those who are willing to challenge them no matter what.
There must be, in the creative, the dissenter, the non-conformist.
Someone who is willing to stand up against authority despite the weight of its opposition and indifference of the masses.
Women and men who are prepared to highlight social injustices through their work, no matter how much negative sentiment they
TDL103 The New Religion & The Righteous Menace
TDL102 The Mere-Exposure Effect: Are You Being Manipulated?
Read it here: larrygmaguire.com/mere-exposure-effect/
The mere exposure effect says I can manipulate you easily.
I want to cleverly influence you towards doing what I want without you so much as suspecting I’m a crafty bastard.
You’re asleep at the wheel you see and ripe for this manipulation. I have an agenda and I intend to act purposefully to get what I want from this transaction.
You’re an employee, a citizen, a student, customer or a supplier and I want to convince you to do what I want.
So I’ll employ a few tricks of mind control to convince you to do this thing I want.
And when we’re done you’ll be happy and I’ll be happy too – K?
Once everyone is happy then it’s all good right?
OK, well you might not be happy but I will have achieved what I want.
Maybe next time you’ll be better at recognising these circumstances and know you’re being manipulated.
Or maybe you won’t.
TDL101 100 Episodes The Larb
Read it here: larrygmaguire.com/100-episodes-the-daily-larb/
Yesterday I celebrated 100 Episodes Of The Daily Larb podcast. Well, celebrated is a bit strong, rather I marked it.
The Daily Larb isn\u2019t a show I did a whole pile of shouting about. In fact, I did very little marketing for the show at all.
As such listenership numbers are low enough in the grander scheme of things.
It was an experiment. One that I started using my iPhone and an iOS app named Anchor.
In the Anchor app, there is a feature where users can stitch their 5-minute, or less, segments of audio into an episode.
If you choose, Anchor can then publish your episodes to iTunes, Google Play, Overcast and various social channels on your behalf.
So I gave it a burst just for the craic, and although those early episodes were probably not the best structurally, I decided to keep it going and see where it went.
So yesterday after a couple months recording audio on the fly, the
TDL100 🍾 Mentorship & Advice
Read it here: larrygmaguire.com/mentorship-and-advice/
This morning I want to share with you some ideas on mentorship and advice.
It appears to me that there is nothing inherently good, bad, right or wrong about advice. It seems to be more about how open we are and how we use it.
There have been times I\u2019ve taken advice, both solicited and unsolicited.
My father told me one day back in 2001 not to go into business for myself, to stay working for other people. He suggested it was safer.
I ignored that advice to my short-term advantage, my medium-term detriment and my long-term advantage.
On reflection, the advice was wrong, then it was right, then it was wrong again.
I received advice from a business advisor just as the worldwide economy was crashing in late 2009, to close my business and start again.
That advice I ignored short-term only later to take the advice. I
TDL099 Is All Advice Valuable?
TDL098 Reversing The Momentum
TDL097 The Artist's Duty
Read it here: larrygmaguire.com/the-artists-duty/ The artist\u2019s duty is often doubted by the artist herself, but can never ultimately be in doubt.
What motivates the creative person is inherently personal, coming from a multitude of real world and psychic experiences. In that, it is as all art should be, boundless.
When we define art we box it in.
The self cannot be boxed in, not ultimately.
That which inspires us may be challenged by others who from their moral high ground would call you obscene. But our art can never truly be challenged.
Others may suggest that what you made is improper and not in keeping with the moral structure of a respectable society.
They may suggest that the words or imagery you use is not acceptable to them or indeed to their children. They suggest that you could have chosen a less abrasive means of expression.
In some cultures, they will kill you for what you made it is so offensive to them.
Above all this outside c
TDL096 Playing The Long Game
I walk in the Phoenix Park near where I live and I see the trees playing the long game.
The grass and the birds and the sky play the long game.
Our dog, Tilly plays the long game. So do the cats she chases that come into our postage stamp sized back garden.
Human beings don\u2019t play the long game. Not many of us do anyway that\u2019s for sure.
At best we might play a medium-term game but most of us play the short game. Instant gratification is what we are after and by God, we\u2019ll get it no matter the sacrifice.
The pursuit of an easier life, of greater convenience, is a major driving force behind human activity but it eventually becomes destructive.
That\u2019s the reality of all good things, they never last.
We seem to want high quality at low cost, to be fit without sweating, to make money without doing the work.
We want to get stuff and experiences as soon as possible.
TDL095 How To Be Productive
Even though the title suggests I\u2019m about to try to save you from the depressive depths of creative misdirection by showing you how to be more productive, I\u2019m actually not.
You see, I realise there are far too much productivity and time management advice material out there to be healthily digestible.
And I certainly do not wish to join the ranks of those writers. When I read that preachy material from twenty-something aspiring life coaches and apprentice personal development gurus I just feel so damn exhausted.
It\u2019s the same material rolled out article after article, written by the merry band of well-meaning, know-it-all, know-fuck-all, I\u2019ve-no-life-experience-but-I-like-to-think-I-have internet writer.
I don\u2019t know who\u2019s worse, the people who write it, those who publish it or the people who read it en masse.
These days I just try and steer clear
TDL094 The Butcher Shop
Read it here: larrygmaguire.com/the-butcher-shop/ I had several sociables last night so I\u2019m not feeling particularly cognitively fluent this morning. However, I nonetheless have a little story for you.
Yesterday I was driving home and I thought, we\u2019ve no meat. I\u2019ll get some chicken and minced beef.
I\u2019m eating paleo these days you see and I need a plentiful supply.
So I took a slight detour to the local shops.
Not a significant detour it must be said, but a detour all the same.
I arrived at the butcher shop but the shutters were down. Strange, I thought. It\u2019s Thursday, these lads are usually open.
No drama, I jumped in the van and took a spin to the butcher shop up the road.
A bit further away but still local.
I like buying locally you see. I don\u2019t like buying supermarket meat because they have a reputation for being sneaky and underhanded in my eyes.
They know all the tricks. Good morning people! \ud83c\udf1e\u
TDL093 How To Boost Creativity
If you are currently feeling an creative downward trend, then I\u2019ve got a couple of books that may help you boost creativity and get yourself back in the groove.
These 10 books that may help you boost creativity have been penned by people from various walks of life.
They include artists, writers, psychologists and business people.
I\u2019ve not read them all but I have many of them on my bookshelf and others in my wish list. Others I\u2019ve consulted in the library at DBS where I study.
Some of the most interesting ones to me have been written by psychologists and academics who have spent many years in research into how creativity works. Daily Article coming up... \u2022 How to boost Creativity part 1 \u2022 How to boost Creativity part 2 \u2022 Thanks for listening. \ud83d\udc4d
TDL092 Inadequacy Of The Words
I was sitting in bed one night, my back against the tall solid wood headboard when suddenly it occurred to me the complete inadequacy of the words I had just spoken.
My wife and I were discussing something trivial, I can\u2019t remember what it was now, it doesn\u2019t really matter anyway.
I was in no doubt that right there, the words we just uttered were pointless, even primitive.
Our means of communication is advanced compared to other animals, but it seemed to me that making noises with my throat and mouth wasn\u2019t very advanced at all.
I blurted it out.
\u201cYou know there really is no need for words, they\u2019re completely inadequate at conveying what it is I want to say. I think there will come a time when we\u2019ll dump language\u201d.
\u201cWhat are you talking about\u201d, she said dismissively. \u201cDon\u2019t be so stupid\u201d.
She offered me a loud tut acco
TDL091 What Should I Charge? 💰
Read it here: larrygmaguire.com/how-much-should-i-charge/
Well now, we\u2019ve really come to the nub of it all, haven\u2019t we\u2026 how much should I charge for this thing I\u2019ve made or this service I provide?
This is a real world, physical reality, get with the program kind of question that pretty much everyone asks at various points in their creative career.
Small business people in all fields ask this question of themselves pretty much on a daily basis so you\u2019re not unique.
I do too. How much should I charge? Coming Up... \u2022 Daily Articles: What Should I Charge For My Work? \u2022 Thanks for listening \ud83e\udd18 \u2022 \u260e\ufe0f Call Ins... \u2022 GoodMorning this afternoon \u2022 Pulling The pin \u2022 Planet call \u2022 Thanks Patrick \ud83e\udd18 \u2022 Your wisdom of the practical man \u2022 Many thanks Paul\ud83d\udc4d \u2022 Ok I'm outta here... \ud83d\udc4b \u2022 Ok I'm outta here... \ud83d\udc4b
TDL090 Exchanging Art For Cash
If you\u2019ve already read The Artist\u2019s Manifesto you\u2019ll know that exchanging art for cash, or anything for that matter, is an important principle of the document.
It\u2019s vital that creative people like you and me rid ourselves of any negative associations around exchanging art for cash because if we don\u2019t we go broke.
Sometimes it\u2019s so subtle that we hardly notice it.
It sits at the back of our minds festering, only pronouncing itself when we encounter things we don\u2019t like.
Maybe the industry that has built up around the arts doesn\u2019t always serve artist\u2019s interests honourably. Or maybe you were burned in the past and you carry that with you.
Maybe a mentor or a parent went their entire lives broke as a pie crust and now having experienced that you hold a similar view to them.
Or perhaps your parents weren\u2019t creative and they constantly told you yo
TDL089 The Practical Man
As a young naive apprentice, I had the benefit in my training of the wisdom of a practical man and master of his craft.
\u201cAssumption is the mother and father of all fuckups young man\u201d, he said once as he stared beyond me dismissively.
What he actually said was; you\u2019re a fool, but that\u2019s ok you\u2019re supposed to be.
It was like he wanted to show me my own stupidity, to be aware of it because without that realisation I couldn\u2019t learn from him.
Or anyone else for that matter. Sunday Letters Coming Up... \u2022 Sunday Letters Pt1: The Wisdom Of The Practical Man \u2022 Sunday Letters Pt2: The Wisdom Of The Practical Man
TDL088 Creatures of Habit
We are creatures of habit, there\u2019s no doubt about it.
I look at myself and my behaviours and I see a very definite and predictable pattern to it all. Big brand marketers see it too and take full advantage.
They know more about me and my cohort than I know myself.
Now that\u2019s kind of alarming because we think we have a choice. We think that we are conscious agents out here in the world making decisions that are of our own mind.
I would tend to agree that these decisions I make are of my own mind. I just don\u2019t have awareness of what has brought me to these decisions.
Most of the time I don\u2019t question them.
Only after the experience do we take a long look at it and try to understand why we got there. This is almost always the case where the experience is negative.
When good shit happens we just shrug our shoulders, smile and call it a fluke not realising perhaps that we made it, just
TDL087 How To Launch A Book
How do I launch this book successfully? I haven\u2019t got a fucking clue how to launch a book, to be honest, I\u2019m just winging it.
I\u2019ll try things that seemed to work for me for other things before like running a giveaway, but apart from that I really don\u2019t know.
I\u2019ll run a few adverts too, see how they perform.
And just so you know, after the fact I\u2019ll probably know more about what doesn\u2019t work than what does.
It\u2019s a process of elimination when it comes to marketing.
Figuring out what works and what doesn\u2019t is part of the game. So if you\u2019re worried about wasting hours and dollars on stuff that doesn\u2019t work, you\u2019re screwed before you start.
You\u2019ll have to do just that.
If there\u2019s one thing we artists should never cease no matter what our fears, it\u2019s getting our stuff out there every way and as often as we can.
Through the process of elimination that is marketing, we eventually stumble on
TDL086 Worth The Sacrifice?
Having a family is a challenge right?
The Joy of being a parent can\u2019t be overstated I feel, but it can be difficult. We leave behind the freedom of the single life to have a family but it\u2019s worth the sacrifice.
I wonder though in that, is it really a sacrifice at all.
If you have no children you probably feel that from that standpoint, leaving the single life behind for kids would be a sacrifice. But to imagine change you don\u2019t want will always feel counter to the current experience.
It\u2019s generally only after the change takes place that we gain the benefit.
We are continually tested by our kids and that\u2019s the way it should be.
You and I can learn so much about ourselves from the interactions with our children if we\u2019re willing to be open to it. That is, if we\u2019re willing, not only to pay lip service to the idea but to actually practice it.
To realise perhaps, that we\u2019re not always right in our imposition of cultur
TDL085 My Greatest Challenge
My biggest challenge right now is I can\u2019t drag myself out of bed early. I have something I want to do and achieve but my fucking brain won\u2019t play ball.
I\u2019m struggling here people\u2026
I\u2019ve had this goal to create the habit of rising early, like 05:00, to have my own quiet space where I can think clearly and write. However, it\u2019s not happening
I\u2019ll achieve it for a short time, perhaps a couple days. Or maybe when I enlist the assistance of an early morning buddy it may last a bit longer.
But I always revert back to my older habits.
Now I\u2019m not stupid, I know why this happens. I study this stuff and wrote a lengthy article on habit just a little while ago. Perhaps I need to work on the application \u
TDL084 Return To Writing Daily
TDL083 Manifesto Giveaway News
TDL082 Sunday Letters 4th Feb
I\u2019ve been working away on a book marketing plan for The Artist\u2019s Manifesto recently. More specifically I\u2019m looking to LinkedIn to market my book. So in today\u2019s episode of The Daily Larb Podcast I want to share with you a little of how my LinkedIn book marketing will work.
Quick note: The Daily Larb is rough and ready podcast show that I record on the fly using my iPhone and an app called Anchor. In this and other episodes I jump in and out of different subjects and tend to get deep.
So if you like my articles and other audio material you\u2019ll like this too. I add lots more than what you hear in each episode on my channel including other people\u2019s stuff,
TDL081 LinkedIn Marketing Plan
TDL080 Short & Sweet Today
TDL079 Crowd Mentality
TDL078 The Flow State & Time
TDL077 The Education Question
TDL076 Sunday Letters 28th Jan
TDL075 Paul O'Mahony Gets Paid
TDL074 Work, Pay & Self Worth
TDL073 Jeremiah Craig on Art
TDL072 This Is What It Is
TDL071 Words, Meaning & Books
TDL070 Sunday Letters 21st Jan
The Sunday Letters newsletter is going just under a year now. In that time some have left and many others have joined the free weekly online publication.
So today I thought it would be a good idea to tell you guys why I\u2019m writing Sunday Letters and in fact why I\u2019m writing in general.
In doing so I\u2019m hopeful I don\u2019t bore the tits off you. Because you see, as with all my writing, there is a danger of that.
There is a danger of that insofar as I may appear to be a little self indulgent.
Or perhaps begin to believe that I somehow have the answers to your worldly problems and all you need to do is simply apply what I tell you.
TDL069 When Parents Die
TDL068 Responsibility & Advice
TDL067 Thoughts On Doing
TDL066 Childcare & Development
TDL065 A Lazy Busy Monday
TDL064 Sunday Letters 14th Jan
It tells the tale of Connor Barry, a 13-year-old boy adrift in this mortal world after the tragic loss of his father. His mother is missing, presumed dead. The adults around Connor believe, because of her apparent mental illness, his mother took his father’s life and then her own.
But Connor doesn’t believe it and is determined to find his mother and prove her innocence. He moves in with his adult sister to her place in the countryside, and here, largely isolated, confused an
TDL061 Sunday Letters 7th Jan
I started working on the Imelda May Portrait a couple months ago and I\u2019ve pretty much not touched it since. My art doesn\u2019t pay the bills yet so I\u2019ve got to move away from it and on to other things that bring in the bacon.
I had intended finishing this over Christmas but I was laid up with the flu so no further progress to report. The final image will be A0 (1189mm x 841mm) which will be a trim down of what you see in these pictures.
Finishing the subject\u2019s left hand will bring the basic structure to a close however I still have a lot of work to do on the detailing of the hair, hands, lips and eyes. The black top she wears needs some detail added also.
The facial skin to
TDL060 The Religion of Atheism
TDL059 Sunday Letters 24th Dec
It\u2019s Sunday morning and it\u2019s Christmas Eve too, so I firstly would like to wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and new year.
I like Christmas. That to me that is good enough a reason to take part, although I think most of us just row in simply because there\u2019s a tradition built up in our culture.
I want to talk about that a little bit today.
I also want to pay tribute to a friend that is no longer here.
Declan has been on my mind recently. He decided to leave here a few years ago although I\u2019m not exactly sure what date that was.
I heard second or third hand through a neighbour that he had taken his own life.
Declan and I met when I was 16 and he was 19 at the F\301S training center in Finglas where we both were first year el
TDL058 Twas Day Before Xmaseve
TDL057 There's Nothing To Say
TDL056 Welcome To My Work
TDL055 The Introvert
TDL054 Are We Due To Expire?
TDL053 Nazis Milgram Obedience
TDL052 Thoughts On Momentum
TDL051 Sunday Letters 17th Dec
Although that wouldn\u2019t be too hard, and by some standards it\u2019s not that impressive.
However, including this one I\u2019ve written over 120 articles or short stories this year alone. That doesn\u2019t account for drafts, unique articles or re-published articles on Medium or elsewhere.
I like 1000 words as a minimum and although the odd article might be less than that, say those accompanying a podcast for example, the majority are roundabout 1500 \u2013 2000 words or more.
That\u2019s about 180,000 words \u2013 a couple of books right there. Something I\u2019m pretty happy about.
In April I started writing every day and I kept that up for about 80 or 90 days, after
TDL050 Dealing With Grief
TDL049 Work +The Panama Papers
TDL048 Sunday Letters 10th Dec
A little while ago I wrote on the parent child relationship in this article about kids and creativity.
I wrote about how we often react predictably and irrationally to our kids\u2019 behaviour without much self control. Even after the fact we tend to rationalise our own behaviour as necessary and proper.
I should say here that we can\u2019t fake self control. Well, maybe we can for a short while but it doesn\u2019t last.
What we really feel and think is projected outwards for anyone with a reasonably well tuned bullshit detector to read.
You\u2019ll see it as a passive aggressive response of the parent to their child, especially in public. There\u2019s an ov