Cross posting my Goodreads: How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

Here’s the link, and I provide it so that you can friend me if you also use Goodreads.

I won’t do this often either, but my modes of putting info on the internet are a bit fragmented: when I read a book, I post about it in Goodreads, but when I get to thinking, I blog. When I read a book and it gets me thinking, that’s a pickle.

So I read this book (free pdf/kindlebook/etc! time management book from 1910 England!) and here’s what it got me thinking:

This guy is quite a baller. “What I suggest is that at six o’clock you look facts in the face and admit that you are not tired (because you are not, you know)…” “‘I hate all the arts!’ you say. My dear sir, I respect you more and more.” and a lot more badass quotes that I forgot to write down.

But also, he’s an example that proves that this “lifestyle design” or even “time management” stuff wasn’t born yesterday. He’s writing this for the common middle-class you or me, who wishes to “accomplish something outside [his] formal programme.” He points out how, in 1910, a bunch of people went to work, came home, and twiddled away their time, while growing upset that they’re wasting their lives.

His solution, part 1, is to set aside 90 minutes 3x/week and dedicate them to learning in depth about something. Literature if you like (poetry, not novels); other arts if you don’t; or just a sense of in-depth knowledge and wonder in all things. The whole thing smacks of being very English: “Just Try Harder!” But at the same time, there are a lot of Buddhist undertones:
“You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.”
“When you leave your house, concentrate your mind on a subject (no matter what, to begin with). You will not have gone ten yards before your mind has skipped away under your very eyes and is larking round the corner with another subject. Bring it back by the scruff of the neck. Ere you have reached the station you will have brought it back about forty times. Do not despair. Continue.”
“The most important of all perceptions is the continual perception of cause and effect- in other words, the perception of the continuous development of the universe”
“Let the pace of the first lap be even absurdly slow, but let it be as regular as possible.”

It’s a spot of enlightened jelly wrapped in a doughnut of stiff-upper-lip. Well, better than most Englishness, which doesn’t even have the jelly.


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