Dili’s Log 傾聽你的心 ― dedicated to the people that got me here.

Retro Log

August 31, 1908

Oh, you can’t lose so why not risk it ♫
(look out!)

 

August 29, 1908

“It is the certainty that they possess the truth that makes men cruel.” ― Anatole France

August 27, 1908

“One carries a humble demeanor as his form of pride, another her sense of worth without disingenuous modesty. Who can tell which? Yet, it takes a proud person to tell another.” ― Dili’s Memoirs, Camaraderie

August 21, 1908

Most consider her beautiful but there’s more… The looks of her face are elusive – difficult to grasp entirely. She seems genuinely oblivious to this; every laugh, frown, or whatever form leaves you quizzed. Not the quiz you desire answers to, but one of cherished ignorance and enchantment.

— Dili’s Memoirs, Eternities

August 14, 1908

Deus ex machina
A few years ago, members of the self-declared “Rationalist” community website LessWrong began discussing a thought experiment about an omnipotent, super-intelligent machine – with many of the qualities of a deity and something of the Old Testament God’s vengeful nature.

Article: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190801-tomorrows-gods-what-is-the-future-of-religion

August 14, 1908

#JournalArchives (2/2)
This is a disjointed excerpt from nearly a decade ago when I entered the world of networking and social connections. Many parts still resonate, others brought a tearful laugh.

~Social Situations and Networking~

Rule #1: If you’re made uncomfortable, do not stick around to work it out. Leave. Seek better connections (life is full of exertions, and while some are well worth your effort, remember that many others aren’t – despite their disguise of importance). Beneath appearances, see every gathering as a basic opportunity to meet or reconnect with new and old acquaintances respectfully and professionally (whether around life or work).

Rule #2: See individuals, not crowds. Be warm, thoughtful, and a good listener, but never be a pushover for bad actors or insecure/inexperienced behavior. Politely cut the situation off, and move towards sunnier weather.

Rule #3: With an old disconnected acquaintance, do not fluster or smooth over the past. Simply relate with the new and present where it is meaningful to do so and move along. Stay open to reinterpreting people as best you can, even when tedious to do so.

Rule #4: Be friendly, interested. Listen more and moderate yourself. If a connection isn’t supremely comfortable for you, do not try to force it or make up for the lag. Gracefully close out and move along to better fits.

Rule #5: When listening, try not to interrupt a speaker even when what they are saying is fascinating or familiar. Instead, intrigue yourself at what their angle of that story or experience may be – since everyone is unique and experiences the world differently. Get the whole communication, not only the plot. When necessary, pause and double-take what you’ve heard before replying. Make the other person the celebrity of the conversation with why, how, what, when, where, and, so, etc. and/or by paraphrasing what the person has said to confirm your interpretation. Seek first to understand. Be empathetic. Avoid interrupting out of excitement. Avoid jumping to fill in a pause in another’s speaking – look at them for a cue, or wait a moment to see where they’re going. Let them finish their own ideas even when you’ve already seen where they’re going with it. Avoid making an “autobiography” of their words and sharing to your own personal experiences – that isn’t always the point in their sharing. Wait and listen instead to where they are going with their thought and the kind of response they wish to elicit.

The purpose of networking is to form open-ended relationships, not to meet an agenda. In time, consistency, investment, and goodwill, networking will widen your options when involved in a decision – whether for others or yourself. It takes years to form meaningful friendships. The only agenda to have in a gathering when meeting a new acquaintance, friend, neighbor, family, etc. at home, work, roadside, church, event, anywhere etc. is to have a pleasant exchange, savor that moment, and then move along. Nothing has to come out of the connection. Still, wherever you have an opportunity to make another a little happier, do so readily.

*Avoid irrelevant or poorly organized events, even if free or cheap. If going isn’t an absolute “Yes” for you, then skip the event.
*Pick events that connect you with people sharing similar goals and interests.
– Go alone. It’s easier to meet new people when you cannot fall back to a group or friend.
– Do not assume you’re anonymous. Someone might know or share a mutual friend with you or recognize you somewhere tomorrow.
– One bid at a time.
– One conversation at a time.
– One shared experience at a time
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
*Prioritize in-person/phone meetings and conversations over digital communications. Even when appearing intimate, digital communications are both impersonal and can easily be misread or misunderstood as overly premeditated or carefully constructed – even when it isn’t.

– Do not arouse envy in people.
– Wait to be summoned.
– Do not show any pride.
– Minimize the need for any jealousy toward you.
– When there, do your best to be present.

*In dealing with people, recognize the humbling yet also wonderful truth: most of the time, we are bit players in other people’s dramas. Doing this will get you naturally calmer and put the situation in context. (Credit: Rick Hanson)

*Aim: have a quality present exchange.
*Prioritize mutual care and wellbeing over intimacy.
*Always acknowledge everyone.
*In humor, mind the other’s ego.
*Be ever ready to hop away from an unwelcoming situation when necessary, without second thoughts.
*Avoid monologue or preaching, and any environment/person that predisposes you to do so.

Non-Verbal Cues: Voice tone, Eye Placement, Body Movement, Face Gestures

*Tone down affectionate language.
*Avoid giving compliments where they might be misinterpreted as flattery. I do not flatter.
*Make your intentions explicit in overtures.
*Maintain the appropriate distance for a situation.
*Do not overshare unnecessarily (if you can help it). Mind the icebreaker/prayer request trap in unknown environments: hold up political, local, and other people’s crisis – never your own.
*Make less personal remarks. Be more generally reflective in your input and comments.
*Do not preach: not to intimate or outer circles. People, yourself included, seldom change from hearing a preacher who isn’t affirming their present view. Otherwise, they hang the messenger who reveals something other than what they want. Save yourself, if preaching were an answer, it’d be worthwhile to try, but it isn’t. So don’t – there is simply no point. People, yourself included, change when they are ready to do so, not when you enlighten them.

*Do not beat yourself in front of old acquaintances, or be apologetic for your absence. Seize the moment. Keep it forward.
*Do not pick up the bad relational habits of your network communities even if it seems to work for them. Maintain your own standards and level of appropriateness.
*Do not hasten to wax theological. Assume silence where possible.
*Most things, including meetings you’re attending, benefit from careful planning and focused execution.
*Regardless of what anyone does to you, do not shake your head disapprovingly. Simply move along.
*When intending to respond to a situation, do not declare your recourse – it comes across as threatening the other person which isn’t the point. Simply act, and hold your ground without backtrack or softening – even when you feel bad doing so. People are unpredictable, being unsteady for the sake of kindness will hurt you.
*Do not take the first bait for a fight without showing restraint and self-discipline.

*Redefine how you think and look at church involvement and participation. Things have evolved. You have changed. See yourself from that new light. The church today seems to be a social gathering with spiritual context than a command center for doctrine and morality that it used to be. Always listen with a priority on your personal relationship with God than some collective or institutional wisdom you may or may not agree with. The church is also a place to meet similarly minded spiritual people and reconnect with friends.

*Things to check:
– Your repetitions and mannerisms in behavior and speech.
– Not coming across as a probe or psychologist when making a connection, but rather as an interested party.
*Avoid grandiosity.
*Avoid false modesty.
*Speak less. You cannot talk very long without sounding foolish in third-person.
*Avoid autobiography-ing when someone is sharing their story or feeling. Let them finish. See where they are going with the thought, and why they are telling – it may not be the reason you thought.

Be careful how you sweat before other people or the demeanor you carry in front of them. For better or worse, it will be counted or leveraged against you. While you needn’t be cocky, always demonstrate the calm and self-confidence you wish for others to treat you.

― Dili’s Journal Archives, Social and Networking

August 13, 1908

#JournalArchives (1/2)
This is a disjointed excerpt from nearly a decade ago when I entered the world of networking and social connections. Many parts still resonate, others brought a tearful laugh.

The Dating/Relationship Challenge:
– Limited exposures, thereby intensifying any one prospect as a singular opportunity.
-A Vulnerability to slights? Making every communication a demand for acknowledgment or respect even if uninterested.
-Single Most Effective Prospect Killer: Frequent and intense *digital* communication (email and text). Cure: Prioritize phone calls and in-person meetings. What if you lose them before the connection for phone/in-person, there’ll always be another, there has always been.
-What was broken by writing too frequently, cannot be fixed by writing even more – no matter how sensible, rational, and genuine. Writing the message itself is the deficiency, not its content. Defer any reconnection until an in-person encounter if it does happen, otherwise let it go. There will be another.

– One conversation at a time. One shared-connection at a time. One happy experience at a time.
– Learn about the person. Be interested.
– Practice the kinds of conversation and shared experiences you’d like to build on if this person stays in your life long term.
– After 4-5 in-person meetings and reconnection, suggest a breakfast meeting.
– Meet for breakfast
– Talk on phone afterward
Then, another event the week after, another activity the following, more breakfasts and conversations, on and on until organically connected.

Attachment system: is it sensitive or secure?
Does it crave Assurance, and Sense of the other’s Availability to you?
Cure: Wait, keep eyes out for chronic attachment-activation situations or connections from you and steer clear as quickly as possible. An activated attachment system is not love, no matter how passionate. (Credit: Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller)

*When trying to date someone becomes emotionally daunting and difficult, remember there will always be others, no matter the outcome of this engagement. A feeling of attachment is not love, no matter how passionate. Steer clear early.

To not come across as flirting:
– Avoid playful behavior when showing genuine interest. Give presence and warmth instead.
– Hold a calm and firm speaking-voice.
– Minimize coming across as behaving carelessly or indifferent.
– Curb enthusiasm and speaking too much. Ask genuine questions and listen more instead.
– Minimize expressions of love and excitement to avoid being misunderstood for sexual attraction or romance, which is how most people are used to interpreting such gestures.
– Mind the tone and pitch of your voice.
– Mind your eyes: find ways to express warmth and interest without appearing amorous, but genuinely present in your moment with others. Yet, be sure to maintain eye contact so as not to seem rude.
– Do not awkwardly avert eye contact or laugh uncomfortably. Smile firmly instead and gracefully end the interaction.
– Do not assume that an overly friendly and outgoing opposite sex member is trustworthy or single, even if you seemed to have connected emotionally. Mind how you follow up.
-Do not assume a kind opposite sex member is romantically interested in you, even when they’re always excited around you.

*Beware when a woman flirts and makes you feel like the center of the world. Don’t take it too personally, she’s probably on her way to a date or about to introduce you to her partner. The heartwarming talk is an expression of passion, not affection. “She’s rather very good at making you feel like you are the only person in the world.” Yeah, appreciate the attention respectfully, but don’t swallow.

Acknowledge that your decisions and small feats from yesteryears and past weeks are gradually coalescing and emerging your posture and greatness in a certain light. Do not downplay this or pretend to be less than your substance. While yielding no room to ego and arrogance, leverage the maturity and leadership that you’ve gathered over the years in ALL interactions and communication: be civil, respectful, and very aware of your place.

― Dili’s Journal Archives, Social and Networking

August 11, 1908

“Soul” is a term that most of us instinctively know what we mean when we hear and use it, but have trouble talking through exactly what it is. At the bottom of the debate over what exactly a soul is, is a fundamental question about whether human beings are merely physical beings or a mix of physical and… something else.

Article: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180615-can-artificial-intelligence-have-a-soul-and-religion

August 11, 1908

If we made contact with aliens, how would religions react? This is not just an idle fantasy: many scientists would now argue that the detection of extraterrestrial life is more a question of when, not if.

Article: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20161215-if-we-made-contact-with-aliens-how-would-religions-react

July 30, 1908

Ecclesiastes 1 Verse 18. – For in much wisdom is much grief. The more one knows of people’s lives, the deeper insight one obtains of their actions and circumstances, the greater is the cause of grief at the incomplete and unsatisfactory nature of all human affairs. The one who increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow; not in others, but in herself. With added experience and more minute examination, the wise person becomes more conscious of her own ignorance and impotence, of the un-sympathizing and uncontrollable course of nature, of the gigantic evils which he is powerless to remedy; this causes sorrow. The statement is paralleled in Ecclesiastes 21:12, “There is a wisdom which multiplieth bitterness.” ― Pulpit Commentary
*Consequently cowering to a life in ignorance and simpleton isn’t an alternative

July 29, 1908

Aural architecture is about how we listen to buildings, the sound within buildings and how we react to them.

Article: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190729-how-the-sound-in-your-office-affects-your-mood

July 28, 1908

Patience is often thought of in terms of social interactions. But the ability to bide one’s time also plays into national economics.

Article: https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2019/0729/Why-wealth-and-patience-appear-to-go-hand-in-hand

July 25, 1908

A sense of humor that thrives at the expense of another person only highlights and reinforces your own deep-seated insecurities. Conquer yourself. Cultivate an approach to humor that honors the dignity of others: whether an individual, celebrity, or public figure, even those you dislike. You’re only as secure as you deem other people, regardless of how they reckon themselves.

― Dili’s Memoirs, Camaraderie

July 24, 1908

At the end of a long social fast, you eventually wash your face, come out, and have difficulty remembering people you already know – or realizing how much time has passed.

— Dili’s Memoirs

July 13, 1908

Do not underestimate the foibles of human nature or its capacity to act from jealousy.

July 8, 1908

Unlearning the belief that our worth is defined by who we are involved with, how many children we have, and what we do, requires making peace with Being in and of itself. We need to believe that our life has some intrinsic meaning and need not be justified by anyone or anything external. To be at peace with aloneness does not mean having a chip on one’s shoulder, arrogantly convinced that we are all that matters and we can get along in life needing no one else. Rather, it means realizing we cannot get self-worth from something or someone outside ourselves. What we need to be of worth is what we have within.

People with high self-esteem generally are able to come to grips with the fact that each of us is alone. That even between the closest of people, there exist chasms that never will be bridged no matter how intimate they become. They look for Connection to other people or to a larger purpose because it is through Connection that they can express and most fully experience their inherent worth. People with low self-esteem often have a much greater difficulty accepting their aloneness and the often frightening responsibilities it entails. They turn to another person or larger purpose in the hope of finding completion. They will look to anyone or anything, except to themselves.

Learning to like and value ourselves is extremely important but in itself, it’s not enough. We have a responsibility to make our world one that recognizes everyone’s right to self-esteem and gives everyone opportunities to exercise that right. We have a responsibility not to deny others dignity. In the workplace, for example, we can refuse to put down others we work with even when we are pitted against them in competition for promotions, and even when we are encouraged by peer pressure to be gossips and bad-mouthers. In a party were demeaning jokes are told about others less powerful and privileged we can refuse to participate in the laughter. We can refuse to participate in organizations that bar certain groups, we can refuse to participate in the mania for fashion and beauty that foster body loathing and feelings of inferiority in so many people. We have a responsibility not to take advantage of others simply because it is in our power to do so. The manager who secretary has such low self-esteem that she cannot stand up for her rights might not have caused the secretary’s low self-esteem, but the manager has the responsibility not to take advantage of it by treating or paying her poorly with the excuse that she never complains. The person who employs a minority as a housekeeper might not be responsible for the fact that her housekeeper has limited job opportunities but she does have a responsibility not to treat her like an unworthy inferior as a result. A woman who has no physical disabilities has a responsibility not to take advantage of a disabled person’s relative powerlessness by treating her condescendingly. An emotionally secure woman might not be responsible for the unhappy life events that have caused another woman to feel insecure, but she has a responsibility not to take advantage of the other woman’s vulnerability and insecurity by manipulating or using her. Among the most important of our responsibilities are those we have towards younger generations. We have an obligation to leave a world that is hospitable as well as inhabitable, not a cruel and frightening place where winning through intimidation and making yourself number one are the prevailing doctrines and where the response to injustice and suffering is to shrug and look away.

― Linda T. Sanford and Mary Ellen Donovan, Women and Self-esteem

July 3, 1908

Time freezes in my home – a reminder to be in the present and temporarily abandon the here after #DeadBatteriesToo

July 2, 1908

Everyone talks about how you know who your true friends are when you’re desperate and things really bottom out. But I want to send a shout-out to the friends who stick by you when you’re kicking ass. When you’re stuck in the suckhole and people come to your rescue, they get the opportunity to feel helpful, to save the day, to be a hero. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful, essential thing to take care of one another, and I’m hugely grateful to everyone who’s ever helped me when I was in the dumps, but I think more needs to be said about the friends who selflessly cheer you on when you’re totally killing it. Especially if they’re not doing so great themselves. Your success forces them to look at their life and think about what they could do differently, which usually makes people fairly grouchy. Surround yourself with people who have your back and celebrate your successes no matter what.

― Jen Sincero

July 1, 1908

*NOT family-friendly. Explicit Content.

Every day is a miracle ♪
Don’t think you’re invisible
Connect back with the people
And all the people you miss
(Let’s come around) ♫

 

May 28, 1908

When it hurts, cry aloud. Throw a party, invite every unwholesomeness: ice cream, chocolate, lamentations, etc. Share openly. Then, having indulged your humanity enough, pick up and carry on. It is within us to feel the soreness of afflictions, and also within us to survive most of it.

— Dili’s Memoirs

May 27, 1908

It begins with this idea, your company is a product. Yes, the things you make are products or services, but your company is the thing that makes those things. That’s why your company should be your best product. [Happen to also feel this way about love relationships, friendships, and the individual self – every core aspect of our expression can be viewed as a unique product]. And just like product development, progress is achieved through iteration. If you want to make a product better you have to keep tweaking, revising and iterating. The same thing is true with a company [yourself or key relationships]. But when it comes to companies, many stand still. They might change what they make, but how they make it stays the same. They choose a way to work once and stick with it. Whatever workplace fad is hot when they get started becomes ingrained and permanent – policies set in cement. Companies get stuck with themselves. But when you think of the company as a product, you ask different questions:… do people who work here know how to use the company? Is it simple? Complex? Is it obvious how it works? What’s fast about it? What’s slow about it? Are there bugs? What’s broken that we can fix quickly and what’s going to take a long time? A company is like software. It has to be usable. It has to be useful. And it probably also has bugs – places where the company crashes because of bad organizational design or cultural oversights. When you start thinking about your company [self or relationships] as a product, all sorts of new possibility for improvement emerge. When you realize the way you work is malleable, you can start molding something new – something better!

… … …

The business world is obsessed with fighting and winning and dominating and destroying – this is what turns business leaders into tiny napoleons. It’s not enough for them to merely put their dent in the universe, no, they have to fucking own the universe. Companies that live in such a zero-sum world don’t earn market share from a competitor, they conquer the market. They don’t just serve their customers, they capture them – they target customers, employ a salesforce, hire headhunters to find new talent, pick their battles, and make a killing. This language of war writes awful stories. When you think of yourself as a military commander who has to eliminate the enemy, your competition, it’s much easier to justify dirty tricks and anything-goes morals, and the bigger the battle the dirtier it gets. Like they say, all is fair in love and war. Except, this isn’t love, and it isn’t war. It’s business.

… … …

David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried,
It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work

May 10, 1908

Your last words, first words, and middle words need not be said in any order.

— Dili’s Memoirs

May 2, 1908

#JournalArchives
Following the trail of a previous post about households, this excerpt from the same archives describes a quarterly matrimonial team meeting designed as an extended sit-down to reflect on the questions below and stay in touch with our individual changes and evolution through life and its various stages. Asking honestly and probing each other supportively as co-travelers along similar paths, the hope was to reconnect and rediscover our place in the other’s journey, with a continued sense of excitement and genuine interest in each other. To be sure, reading this again in my present mindset – better knowing the growing complexities around modern families today, some parts read like Fantasy to me now. Yet, I stand by the overall spirit of the draft. It has always been my desire to marry a partner; not a trophy, soccer mom, or housekeeper.

~Matrimonial Team Meeting~

Environment: Face-to-face, not casual or remote. Quiet surroundings with minimal distraction and no technological device or people around.

Frequency: Quarterly or every six months. The more frequent the meetings, the less likely any session will go on too long as much less is neglected.

Prompts~

Frogs and Laundry List
– Are we happy?
– Is there something we’ve been communicating to each other that the other doesn’t seem to have apprehended? If Yes, what is the best way to enable this understanding and acknowledgment?
– What am I doing well in our relationship?
– Where can I improve in our relationship?
– Have we both been good listeners of one another this past three months?
– What task should we prioritize this next quarter toward our broader goal as a couple?
– What do we need to stop putting off?
– Are we currently doing any shared activity? If not, why?
– Are we trying new things and environments? What were some of the most fun and exotic? How can we venture again at such experiences?
– How can we complement our engagements to remain connected and centered on our broader goals in life and as a couple?
– Is our present course of approach working? If not, what might we change to make it work… or abandon for another strategy?
– When was the last time we read a book together that is entirely about relationships or marriage? (Aim: At least 1-2 every year which we then discuss together as an exercise aimed at providing us with thoughts and scenarios on new ways to think about ourselves and synergy. This is not about agreeing or taking advice from a bunch of authors that know nothing of our chemistry but instead a process of engaging our own minds toward understanding and, hopefully, some tangible results.)
– Is there an area of persistent unproductive criticism this past quarter? What is it? How do I come across? How do my words or actions make you feel? How might I have better handled it? Is this a trend with me? If so, how can I end the negative pattern?
– Has there been an area of persistent and unhealthy defensiveness in words or behavior this past period? What happened? Was that how I meant to come across? How can it be better handled in the future? Is this a pattern? If so, what might help end the negative trend?
– Is there any sign of contempt in our relationship? Was there any incident that made either of us feel belittled by the other? What happened? Was that how I meant to come across? How can it be better handled in the future? Is this a pattern? If so, how might we work together to eliminate the destructive attitude?
– Is anyone of us feeling stonewalled? Is this deliberate? Was that how I meant to come across? How can it be avoided in the future? Is this a pattern? What’s causing it?
– How did I support/encourage/love you this past period in a way that made you feel cared for and connected with me?

Lifestyle and Intimacy
– How is our sex life?
– Are we doing our best to stay playful and free-spirited with each other?
– What thoughtful things from the past quarter did we like the most that the other did?
– Are we staying creative with each other? If not, how can we engage more adventure?
– Are we learning new ways to appreciate one another?
– Has any part of our relationship become monotonous? Should this area be reimagined? If No, why? If Yes, where do we start?
– When was the last time we surprised each other?
– Did we have enough physical touch last quarter?
– Did we say/declare our love for each other enough without sounding dull and routine?
– Did we share a good amount of quality time together this quarter? If not, why?
– Have we been kind and encouraging to each other without withholding sincere feedback?
– Have we been mindful to affectionate gestures from each other?
– Did we show empathy this quarter?
– Do we still believe in each other’s pursuits and engagements? Sincere feedback.
– When was the last time we gifted each other with something the other really liked?
– Are we neglecting any form of service we expect from each other?
– Individual reflection: How can we blow each other’s mind with something super special at least once every year – not on their birthdays or holidays? Be creative. Be elaborate.
– When/Where was the last time we tried something weird for sex? How can we sexplore more?
– When was the last time we read a book together that is entirely about sex and romance? (Aim: At least 1-2 every year which we then discuss together as an exercise aimed at providing us with thoughts and scenarios on new ways to think about ourselves and synergy. This is not about agreeing or taking advice from a bunch of authors that know nothing of our chemistry but instead a process of engaging our own minds toward understanding and, hopefully, some tangible results.)

Household
– What area of our house operations can we make more efficient?
– What do we need to stop putting off?

Children
*Elaborate this section as we start having and better understanding each individual child and our rearing goal.
– What are our most fundamental rearing rules?
– Discuss each individual child. What are their needs? What/how should we prioritize?
– Discuss our place as parents: Age 1-12: Nurturer / Provider, Age 12-24: Mentor / Coach, Age 24+: Adviser
– Are we happy with the kids?
– Is there something we’ve been communicating to them they do not seem to have apprehended? If Yes, what is the best way to enable this understanding and acknowledgment? Conversely, what are they trying to tell us that we don’t seem to apprehend? How can we engage the matter better to see where they’re coming from?
– What are we doing well as parents? What seems to have the desired effect on the children?
– Where should we improve our commitment, communication, or patience?
– Have we both been good listeners to the kids this quarter?
– Are we getting more involved in their lives than is necessary for their own good and mistakes?
– Are we encouraging a healthy bond among our children?
– Are we creating activities that teach them to trust and count on each other without us?
– What task should we prioritize this next quarter toward our broader rearing goal as parents?
– What do we need to stop putting off?
– Are we currently doing any shared activity with them? If not, why? How much of this shared time is didactic or just connecting?
– How can we complement our engagements with the children to remain connected and centered on our broader goals in life, as a couple, and parents?
– Is our present course of parenting working? If not, what might we change to make it work… or abandon for another strategy?
– When was the last time we read a book together that is entirely about child rearing or parenting? (Aim: At least 1-2 every year which we then discuss together as an exercise aimed at providing us with thoughts and scenarios on new ways to think about roles and synergy with the children. This is not about agreeing or taking advice from random authors but rather a process of engaging our own minds toward understanding and effectiveness.)
– Is there an area of persistent unproductive criticism towards any child this past quarter? What is it? How am I or are we coming across? How do our words or actions make them feel? How might I or we handle it better? Is this a trend with any of us? If so, how can I/we end the negative pattern?
– Has there been an area of persistent and unhealthy intrusion into the children’s personal life and development? What happened? Is that how I/we meant to come across? How can it be better handled? Is this a pattern? If so, what might help end the negative trend?

Family Business
– How are we doing on our goals? Are we making progress?
– What do we have to do to be on track?
– Are we engaging all necessary opportunities given to us?
– What can we improve to help our building process?
– Who do we need to contact or reach out to that we haven’t or have been putting off?
– Do we have work-life harmony? If not, what in the business is least damaging to forfeit and restore harmony? It *must* be forfeited.

Relationships
– Are we building new relationships?
– Are we fostering old ones?
– Are we engaged with our community without overextending the reach we can afford?
– Are we finding meaning in these circles? If not, why? Can we make a change?
– Are we contributing happiness to the lives of others?
– Are we handling any public or closer-circle criticism and unkind remarks well? If not, how can we do better?
Are we living the lifestyle we chose?

― Dili’s Journal Archives, Household

April 26, 1908

Be proud, sometimes, of the things you don’t know.

April 25, 1908

♪ Is you is or is you ain’t my baby?
I’m gonna walk up to the gate, see if I can get it straight ♪
 

April 24, 1908

#JournalArchives
The video above got me thinking about this draft from some time ago during a courtship I thought might lead to marriage. Looking back since then, some things have changed and many have not…

~Household Financial Plan~

100% Income Allocation

– 10% of income or a tithe on Charity
○ Funds: held in ‘Charity’ Account: a maximum interest but solvent account. Brokerage, Credit Union, or similar – limited access.

– 20% of income on Household Expenses and Personal Monthly stipends up to a ceiling. When less than 20% becomes adequate to cover expenses and stipends as a result of growth, transfer the excess to Storehouse account.
○ Funds: held in ‘Household’ spending account: a checking account. Readily solvent. Popular Bank, easy access.

– 15% of income on ‘Storehouse’ Account
○ Funds: held in ‘Storehouse’ Account. Pays out to either Emergency or Investments account based on descriptions below…
○ Allot 100% of this category toward Emergency funds until 6-12 months full living expense cap is reached. Hold emergency funds in an ‘Emergency Reserve’ savings account. Credit Union or similar, limited access, but readily solvent. After Emergency goal is reached, then…
○ 60% [of this category’s future allotments] on financial investments. Long term marketable securities in stocks and promising young companies as early investors. Avoid liquidation. Explore new verticals and industries. Brokerage or Investor friendly account – limited access.
○ Remaining 40% [of this category’s future allotments] as secondary savings towards family business ventures, property, seed money for projects and philanthropy interests, family trips, etc. Until opportunity comes, hold funds in low-risk short turn-around securities so they’re readily available for deployment when called.

– 10% of income on discretionary money
○ Funds: paid out into our separate private accounts for personal interests, goodwill gifts, recreation, loan repayments, personal gifts, muses, indulgences, etc.

– 45% of income on tax reserve. After tax season, return excess to ‘Storehouse’ account, or emergency funds if below 6-12 months target.
○ Funds: held in a ‘Tax’ Account. Maximum interest account. Liquidated during tax season. Brokerage, Credit Union, or similar – limited access before tax season.

Emergency Funds Detail:
– Household target: at least a total of 6 months family expenses, at best a total of 12 months family expenses.
– Funds: held in an ‘Emergency Reserve’ savings account. Maximum interest yields, but readily available. Credit Union or similar.
– Until desirable income level is reached, 15% of total liquid earnings will go towards emergency funds, and then gradually branch into subsequent areas of the financial plan as each milestone is reached.

Chart of Accounts for Holdings:
– Charity (Brokerage, Credit Union, or Similar)
– Tax (Brokerage, Credit Union, or Similar)
– Private accounts – at individual discretion
– Household-Stipend (Checking)
– Storehouse (Savings), which pays out to:
○ Emergency Reserves (Savings)
○ Long-term Investments (Investor Checking and Brokerage Account)
○ Seed and Expeditions (Brokerage)

Endnote:
– Hence, an expense rate of 2050/month, for example, means that our next income milestone is 10250/month. Denoting an accounts income per month as follows:
○ Charity at 10% – $1025/month
○ Household-Stipend at 20% – $2050/month
○ Storehouse (Reserve, then Investments) at 15% – $1538/month
○ Uncle Sam (tax reserves) – $4612/month
○ Discretionary at 10% – $1025/month
$615/month to Betsy at 6% and $410/month to Dili at 4% (momentary 2% difference towards Betsy’s student loan repayment)
– In the event of a special project like furnishing our home or completing some necessary *one-time* project, we can figure the best place to temporarily divert funds from toward the one-time critical project’s completion.
– Prenup? Yes. Hope we never use it but will do one.
– Living Trust? Yes. All key arrangements.

Financial Plan in Summary:
Income – (Reserves + Charity/Tithe) = Expenses + Fun/Discretionary

― Dili’s Journal, Household

April 6, 1908

When you have to prove or make a show of vanity to be accepted or respected by a group or club, quit the gathering – you do not need them, no matter their superficial claims to ideal or relevance. Prioritize circles where novelty, misfits, and even the least of humankind inspires curiosity and engagement, rather than insecurity and rivalry.

― Dili’s Memoirs, Camaraderie

April 4, 1908

“It seems wrong to call it “business.” It seems wrong to throw all those hectic days and sleepless nights, all those magnificent triumphs and desperate struggles, under that bland, generic banner: business. What we were doing felt like so much more. Each new day brought fifty new problems, fifty tough decisions that needed to be made, right now, and we were always acutely aware that one rash move, one wrong decision could be the end. The margin for error was forever getting narrower, while the stakes were forever creeping higher, and none of us wavered in the belief that “stakes” didn’t mean “money.” For some, I realize, business is the all-out pursuit of profits, period, full stop, but for us, business was no more about making money than being human is about making blood. Yes, the human body needs blood. It needs to manufacture red and white cells and platelets and redistribute them evenly, smoothly, to all the right places on time, or else. But that day-to-day business of the human body isn’t our mission as human beings. It’s a basic process that enables our higher aims, and life always strives to transcend the basic processes of living — and at some point in the late 1970s, I did, too. I redefined winning – expanded it beyond my original definition of not losing, of merely staying alive. That was no longer enough to sustain me, or my company. We wanted, as all great businesses do, to create, to contribute, and we dared to say so aloud. When you make something, when you improve something, when you deliver something, when you add some new thing or service to the lives of strangers, making them happier, or healthier, or safer, or better, and when you do it all crisply and efficiently, smartly, the way everything should be done but so seldom is… you’re participating more fully in the whole grand human drama. More than simply alive, you’re helping others to live more fully, and if that’s business, all right, call me a businessman.
“Maybe it will grow on me.

… … …

“It would be nice to help them avoid the typical discouragements. I’d tell them to hit pause, think long and hard about how they want to spend their time, and with whom they want to spend it for the next forty years. I’d tell men and women in their mid-twenties not to settle for a job or a profession or even a career. Seek a calling. Even if you don’t know what that means, seek it. If you’re following your calling, the fatigue will be easier to bear, the disappointments will be fuel, the highs will be like nothing you’ve ever felt. I’d like to warn the best of them, the iconoclasts, the innovators, the rebels, that they will always have a bull’s- eye on their backs. The better they get, the bigger the bull’s-eye. It’s not one man’s opinion; it’s a law of nature.

… … …

Phil Knight, Shoe Dog

April 3, 1908

Meal or snack? It’s complicated #Kettle

March 30, 1908

Peach Chocolate Peanut Butter Icecream ~ it’s all about the balance.

March 26, 1908

Friendship is a meaningful pursuit. Do not put off.

― Dili’s Memoirs, Camaraderie

March 22, 1908

♪ I hear the rain
And it sings to me
The ballad of your name ♪

 

March 16, 1908

♪ That’s the beautiful thing about princes and queens
And you being so young and naive…
…I hear what you’re saying
And wish I didn’t know better ♪

 

March 12, 1908

Oh Red
Oh Red
Thou art stew with beef
Harken to me
Thy deliciousness sets my tongue on fire
How did civilizations thrive without thee
How doth two countries remain at peace without thy juicy chew

You are red, tasty, and spicy
No fat out of place, no crisp undone
Hath thou a trace of Green?
Nay, oh Nay

And while my heart yearns to continue thy sumptuous praise
My head is beginning to worry for me…
Thus, my love, my little red riding stew,
I must stop

Adieu my heart
Adieu from my plate …

March 11, 1908

Do not numb yourself to other people’s inadequacies and insecurities even when you want to see them from the best light. You’ll get blindsided to key hints about who they really are and what your approach to them should be. This can cause a friendly disaster and a non-signature situation. See people, not from what you wish they are, but for who/what they really are: good, bad, insecure, ugly – gather all the information you can. Then discern wisely what to do with what you know.

― Dili’s Memoirs, Camaraderie

March 1, 1908

Hopeful Remains of the Day:
– Build and run a successful company.
– Raise a child or children, adopt or sponsor one special needs child.
– Write a scientific paper explaining how Time is a biological phenomenon, not a physical one.
– Create a minority exposition organization that combs through history for ignored, forgotten, and altered narratives about inventions, feats, and discoveries by gender and cultural minorities. Work with institutional officials and curators to include these accounts in textbooks and popular storytelling.
– Publish a book or two, including a memoir.
– Do a duet with Amy Lee or some favorite artists.
– Write a personal letter to every friend, dead or alive, telling them what their friendship meant and how it shaped my life’s journey. Mail if living or deliver to their grave if passed.
– Celebrate Golden Anniversary [50-years] with my spouse.
– On death, be cremated. Ashes to the wind.

— Dili’s Memoirs, Pursuits

Feature Song:

February 23, 1908

*Not sure about ‘The Protagonist’, probably more the Antihero

For many years, my Dad had a distrust for cameras, which he claimed steals the soul. Not sure how he figured that, but my own similar skepticism is with personality and IQ tests, all of which I think just about the same as I do astrology. Finally did take a personality assessment, for work. Apparently, part of team building best practices involves taking these tests to anticipate interactions and synergy. Anyway, based on the result and what I think about myself, I’d say they’re just about as right as astrology. The introversion bit did catch me off guard though, even after a retest. I must be really squeezing every drop of that 24% considering the amount of solitude I indulge. On probing, however, I learned something: “Sociability is often confused with Extraversion, just like shyness is confused with Introversion. While Extraverted individuals naturally find it easier to talk to other people (they gain energy when they do this), there are many shy or solitary people among them. Conversely, Introverted types lose energy when they communicate with others, but you would be able to find many eloquent individuals in that group. In fact, certain Introverted types (e.g. Advocate or Mediator) are often more sociable than most Extraverted types.” (Source: https://www.16personalities.com/articles/is-it-possible-to-change-your-personality-type). Apparently, I had it backward — as I probably do many other things, oh well.

More about ENFJ-A Behavior @ https://www.16personalities.com/enfj-personality

February 18, 1908

Before calling a therapist, try sleep.
It usually starts with a tangy feeling of doubt and gradually grows into an overwhelming feeling of your own inadequacy. “Everything I’m doing is wrong”, “I feel terrible”, “I feel stuck”. “Why am I the way I am?”, “If only I could be a little more this way or that”, “If only I could be more like this or that person”, “If only I were born differently”. *Rising angst and panic*. I should see a therapist.
Then, I eat, set a timer for 12hrs, and go to sleep. Inevitably wake up in the middle of my timer, drink some water or snack, and return to sleep. Eventually, I awake and while freshening up find myself wondering what was so troubling the day before? It doesn’t look so intimidating or abnormal anymore, in fact, it’s sometimes flat out insignificant – gosh, why was I so worried?
Exhaustion. It’s called exhaustion. You don’t often see it in the mirror, but while you may physically feel like your usual self, your mental and emotional mind is sometimes tapped out.
Try Sleep. Long sleep.

― Dili’s Memoirs

February 16, 1908


Corny Cookie

February 15, 1908

Only the weak-minded adore the vanity of power. The strong-minded respect and steward its use.

— Dili’s Memoirs, Camaraderie

February 15, 1908

Your identity should always lie in who you are, not in what you do. Your person should always produce your deeds, not your deeds the person. No matter your virtue and morality, do not esteem yourself above the disagreeable or mediocre. Growth brings maturity, not superiority. The intrinsic value of one is not reduced by the quality of another’s choices. Circumstances can skew perceptions, but remain respectful of all living beings despite the sum of their appearance and behavior.

— Dili’s Memoirs, Camaraderie

February 15, 1908

Understate your success, exaggerate your failures. Quell envy, wait to be summoned. Be wary of public celebrity. Enjoy the triumphs of others like your own. Minimize any need for jealousy, but when inevitable, rise to the challenge. Be You, unassumingly.
— Dili’s Memoirs, Accomplishments

February 11, 1908

disproportionate show of might seldom win support

February 7, 1908

7 of my least favorite topics in conversation:

i) Food and Nutrition: which grain or meat is best, what kind of utensil carries chemicals or not, lectures about greens and eternal life, or how necessities like ice-cream and brownies aren’t good for one. Truth is, I’m neither for food nor nutrition. I eat healthily and try to do so consciously, but if it were possible to simply draw one’s stomach open, stuff it with food, and close it shut again without having to go through all that motion of chewing and swallowing, I’d probably sign up! Eating is purely for fuel in my corner of the world, and premium fuel is always preferred. All the same, I enjoy the savory art every now and then.

ii) Gym: I have precisely zero interest looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger, or in any form of bodybuilding and exercise. When I feel like exercising, I take a walk. It clears both my head and body. Apart from those transparent windows of Fitness centers that appear to display an army of women and men marching with resolve to nowhere in particular, I have no idea what goes on inside a gym. This ignorance is deliberate and any enlightenment is not welcome, so except the topic is of personal relevance to you, I’d rather not converse exercise routines. While my complicated love-hate relationship with food is certainly a bonus here, I stay fit mainly to maintain agility. It’s verily not a lifestyle interest. When I see people running at 5am in the morning, I still quietly wonder what’s wrong with them? Insomnia?

iii) Body function and how diseases work: Again, my head is buried in the sand. Respectfully leave it there, please. Except when trying to understand what’s happening to a loved one, discussing minutiae around health, medicine, or what happens to one’s artery after dipping a french fry into a milkshake is something I’d rather not know in biological detail. Just slap my hand and say, “Bad!” I’ll get the point.

iv) Cars: Buddy, that was meh in high school. Now, it’s jarring. I like nice cars and meticulous designs. Except talking purely from an aesthetic value or how you personally appreciate a car, all that under-the-hood talk about speed and horsepower flusters me. I didn’t grow up with horses and cannot measure their oomph. Even if I did, I’d care more about how the horse smells – if it needs a bath, if it can get me to where I am going, and be safe outside. That’s usually enough.

v) Sports: I don’t watch or have any interest in sports so this topic makes me insecure – sorry! However, if you can carry your own and talk most of the time, I’m often content to listen. Feel free to even patronize me, I wouldn’t notice.

vi) Material possessions: If of personal relevance to you, I’m interested in you and therefore in the artifact that makes you gleeful. But don’t count on a return story from me. I seldom form attachments with things I own regardless of their backstory or what it took to acquire. Still, I steward things responsibly and only pass on to new owners that can use or value them. Except at original value, I seldom resell.

vii) ‘What would you like to eat?’ : Somehow, this innocuous question is like asking ‘what is the meaning of existence?’. Not my mom, during childhood, or me, in adulthood, has figured out why this question at any time unnerves and turns me into an ambivalent mess. This is unresolved childhood stuff! Was super picky as a child and much hasn’t changed into adulthood so maybe this question rouses the same feeling of helplessness felt as a child asked a question he genuinely wasn’t sure how to answer. Whichever the case, do yourself a favor, when deciding what restaurant to go, size of a sandwich to get, or even flavor of coffee to have, don’t ask my input or what I want – I genuinely have no clue, and simply having to make the choice petrifies me – it really is that bad. Just do you: figure what you like and eventually, I’ll figure something too, or not – it’s complicated.

What I prefer? People’s stories, their honest-to-goodness interests even if mention above, their misadventures, opinions, knowledge about a place or meaningful events or history, what they enjoy doing or would rather be if up to wishes. Basically, an authentic conversation without fillers for the sake of talking.

February 4, 1908

Patience is tough.

January 20, 1908

Great ideals should, on their own, survive their champion and tests of time. Rushing to implement an ideal even when it blindly rolls over the liberties of others corrupts the ideal and effects outcomes sometimes more monstrous than the present norm. There is a process to every long-lasting change in the universe. Respect that process, no matter the nobility of your cause – even if it means success long after your own lifetime. The ideal is what matters, not vanity.

— Dili’s Memoirs, Bringing Hope

December 30, 1907

Books can be personal and mean different things to us depending on when we read them. Of the few books I read this year, these below brought the most paradigm shift to me. They weren’t necessarily my favorite reads of the year, but the most eye-opening:

– Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, Women and Self Esteem by Linda Tschirhart Sanford and Mary Ellen Donovan: Since first perusing the latter 5 years ago, I am still fascinated every time I take a refresher at the feminine view of the world. My interest in the subject expressed at https://dilicfrancis.com/entry/gender-appreciation/ has not changed. However, in my read this time I was more taken by the friendly misinterpretations of male behavior and chivalry by women – sometimes to painful extents that couldn’t contrast the original intention more. This isn’t a female or male problem alone. It is a most welcomed evolution in our understanding and rearing of both sexes. I openly declared myself a feminist 5yrs ago when I first got into this research. Today, I am no longer a feminist. My present views on the subject are best summarized by this Ted talk.

– Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow: this biography had a revolutionary impact on how it reshaped my views on ambition and aggression. I do not consider myself an aggressive person, but when it is necessary to protect others or myself, I can be pretty ruthless and thoughtless. Had always felt it right to defend one’s honor and not give a predatory wimp a free lunch. This book shifted my perspective considerably on what I thought was noble. Hamilton’s reasonings were very similar to my own underlying thoughts and it was interesting to see how they played out in his lifetime. There is, of course, much more to the book but this aspect of Hamilton’s life was most instructive to me. While the book didn’t provide ideas towards a better handle of such matters, out of its scope, having a clearer articulation of the problem was half the solution. It has enabled me to ask better questions in my continued study on how to have a voice and stand up to thugs without becoming one. Sometimes, it takes courage to let it go.

– Animal Farm by George Orwell: heard about this book all through childhood but somehow never had the opportunity to read it. Finally did so this year and while it wasn’t much of a paradigm shift, I thought it was very elegant in expressing a reality that often takes unnecessary complexity. Kissinger’s book entitled, World Order, is a great accompaniment for adult perspective – particularly the chapters about technology.

– Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller: I despise unrequited love, even in literature, or interest as an afterthought where one is basically settling on another as a resignation on not getting their actual target. Marriage is a long term venture and how it starts, especially regarding initial mutual interest, is pretty important to me. So my liaison with early romantic interests tends to be pragmatic. I avoid uncertainty and often try to get clarity as soon as possible so I know whether or not an effort is worthwhile. Also assumed this as what everybody generally wanted too and got confused when straightforwardness would cost me the connection. This book opened my eyes to an alternate universe. I saw attachments through a variety of people and backgrounds. It enlightened me to why people respond differently and how the process of romantic attachments are varied and messy – so I’m not special. Good to know. Worst yet, as I learned, is that there never is quite that certainty in a connection. Relationships are a lifelong excruciating and meaningful venture. As something of a binary person, this is bad news, but at least I know what I’m dealing with now. So, when thinking about a life partner, seek not someone that makes you happy but someone that *you’re happy* to make happy for a looong time.

December 28, 1907

Priority values in concentric succession:
– who I am as a human person.
– who I am as a mate, father, lover, friend, employer, neighbor in that order.
– stewardship of life with purpose and commitment to long-term goals.

— Dili’s Memoirs, How Will I Measure My Life?

December 27, 1907

If you like credit, leadership is the wrong role. Look elsewhere.

December 26, 1907

The Old Guardian: God, Force, Universe, or Whatever the heck we worship and adore up there started us all out with a quiver full of arrows. At twilight, I’d like to look back at life and say, ‘See, Old Friend, we took every shot: every single one of them – the good, the naïve, the bold, the stupid – every one, even when it got us in trouble. Every shot was taken, none was wasted.’

— Dili’s Memoirs, Closure

December 21, 1907

Charity begins in you, then home, and the world. Genuine care is not made from ambition but from love. If we all give our hearts first to those around us before grand designs, the world will probably not need those grandeurs which are likely to emerge anyway within more collaborative conditions. Remember, “it is easier to be clever than kind”. Aim not to be the next genius, single best, protégé, or super-affluent. Foster, instead, environments where ingenuity grows and thrives organically from even the most indifferent; a self-sustaining atmosphere that is independent of you and your time. The gains of the world in civilization and technology has now to be met by gains of the heart and principle. The engagement of empathy and selflessness are in shorter supply than the heat of ambition and missionary journeys. Prioritize wisely. The march into the better future should abide a present well lived and worthwhile to your heart, not only your head.

— Dili’s Memoirs, Legacy Notes

December 19, 1907

#StartupLife

 

December 17, 1907

“You should seriously consider a different career”, “You’re in delusion”, “Maybe this isn’t for you”, “Why not go back to where you came from?”, “Why not go back to a previous role or comfort zone?”, “I’m just trying to suggest some reason, maybe you should quit?”, “How long will you go at this? Life is too short”. If you have heard or given these kinds of advice, you might like this Ted talk.

 

December 11, 1907

There’s no point laughing at another’s downfall, not even that of an enemy. Only cowards revel in another’s disgrace. No person who’s tasted mastery finds a fall amusing – not even in their foe.

— Dili’s Memoirs

December 9, 1907

Balance is better than passion.

December 7, 1907

You don’t find deep and meaningful friends or love. You never will. You work hard every single day to stay in love and friendship. It’s a journey, not a destination. It’s easy to see or want a destination you’re away from – anyone can see the summit of a mountain from its foot or miles away, but actual mountain climbers do not see a summit when their hands and faces are pressed to the mountainsides. All they see is the Process, the compromises, the small victories. Even on the summit, you don’t see a destination, you see a new ground for another beginning.

― Dili’s Memoirs, Camaraderie

December 7, 1907

You don’t understand African parents

March 16, 1907

Article: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/happy_life_different_from_meaningful_life

Impression:
‣ Happiness, it appears, comes from serving one’s individual needs and wants – even if this personal necessity is met momentarily by helping others or doing good. Meaning appears to come from existential dedication to the service of other people or a greater good, even when this commitment is at the expense of one’s own benefit and wellbeing.
‣ Happiness considers the present moment and whether it gratifies our feelings. Meaning considers a broader period and how it satisfies our sense of being.
‣ Both happiness and meaning are healthy pursuits… I don’t think it need be a case for extremes: happiness without meaning is vanity, and meaning without happiness is agony.
‣ Happiness brings ease and pleasure. Meaning brings accretion and contentment.
‣ Happiness is fleeting: doses eventually wear off, leaving one to regularly pursue the next source or some elusive ultimate joy. Meaning, on the other hand, is persistent and lingers much longer – bringing with it, however, a full weight of both misery and bliss.
‣ The world is not a place for Meaning alone or a place for Happiness alone no more than it is a world of just science or art alone. Neither is innately better simply for its own sake. Both realities must interact and continually find an equilibrium in their ever-shifting relevance to life.

March 19, 1906

Excerpts from 2016:
‣ Discipline ― commit to what it takes when you feel like it and when you don’t feel like it. Also, remember that discipline without a well-defined mission is meaningless – a wildfire, instead of a deliberate furnace.
‣ Fearlessness ― look beyond the noise and theatrics. Usually, what intimidates us seem to only require we call their bluff. Focus instead on the underlying character of the opposition and the state of your own mindset in the situation.
‣ Mind Your Business, and Heart ― know your own journey. Understand who/what environment will help or hinder you. Stay flexible with the course of Process, Time, and inevitable detours. Be mindful, however, of your methods: the engagement and competitiveness of real life tend to distort our perspective distinguishing Purpose from Winning-At-All-Cost. Sacrificing your values, even for victory, undermines the broader mission and, more importantly, your principle. Do not compromise the essence of your quest in trying to realize it – some failures cannot be undone in one lifetime and are best avoided altogether.
‣ Expect Adversity as the Norm, not the Exception ― Great feats rarely develop in straight lines. Everything that can happen or go wrong will. Someone won’t live up to their end, an unexpected twist will mar your credibility, you will underestimate or overestimate a situation, your typically mild-mannered dog will chew the paperwork. Still, people aren’t undone by these vagaries except by how they handle them. Planning has its place. Focusing squarely on the present moment during execution and harnessing every setback into a new means toward the broader goal is the ideal. Do not think in zero-sum, and when you fall suffer gracefully. *Living daringly will not leave you unscathed. There will be many scars, and some may never heal.
‣ Abide Scorners Gladly ― bring yourself to a supreme acceptance of embarrassment as part of normal development. Since most people fear humiliation often more than death, this will give you a significant leg up. [Be the fool. Let them their laugh. Only the opinion of those who have surpassed your journey matters.]
‣ Give And Ask Generously ― do not mistake vulnerableness for weakness, judge wisely. When within your power and wisdom, give without keeping scores or calling favors later. Do not presume or patronize so the remembrance of your kindness inspires gratitude and not resentment. Likewise, when in need ask readily of any who may help. Allow ego no place in your sense of balance.
‣ Endure the Loss of Friends ― changing priorities also come at the expense of friendships, and it is a difficult wound when people whose vouch you value mock your choices. Go out of your way to salvage as many as you can and recognize there will be many inescapable losses. Perhaps restoration may happen over time, or maybe not. Either way, the closure of one relation need not disconnect mutual friends or family. Silo losses where possible, and stay proactive in other relationships. Remember a good friend well, in spite of the circumstances that diverged your paths.
‣ The World is No Paradise ― The world is a messy place. Cool, detached, and rational when dealing with people does not always guarantee the same nobility in them to you. Without the aptitude to engage conflict when necessary, rather than shy in every instance, we cannot deal with danger. Keep your ideal in check, but sustain hope and warmth for humanity in spite of her flaws.

― Dili’s Memoirs

December 1, 1904

In the end, I wish to define myself by who I am, not by what I do/did. It matters more to me how I remember living than whether or not some other person, present or future, remembers me. In earnest, couldn’t care less about being remembered. Lead your own life, then maybe we can chat about times over vodka in the afterlife.

— Dili’s Memoirs, Legacy Notes

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