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Purpose

On Leonard Cohen

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"So come, my friends, be not afraid.
We are so lightly here.
It is in love that we are made;
In love we disappear."

Happy posthumous birthday, Lenny.

You tried, in your way, to be free. Thank you. Now go join that great gig in the sky. So I wrote a year ago, when Lenny left us. However, the legend lives on - listen for example to How the Light Gets In.

'We Love Leonard Cohen' celebrated his 81st Birthday, and then, for his 82nd and final birthday, Leonard gave us a present. "You Want It Darker" is the title track to last album, his 14th studio album in his 49-year recording career. (See also Leonard Cohen Makes it Darker.)

"Leonard Cohen offers the possibility of living with grace, dignity, and integrity, without submitting to illusions, without succumbing to indifference, and without indulging in denial of our own failures and flaws, in a world that is too often corrupt and malevolent" - Allan Showalter

On Henry David Thoreau
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Halcyon In Kal… 26 July 2017

In the 1840s Henry David Thoreau swapped his busy schedule in Concord, Massachusetts, for a wooden hut he built himself near Walden Pond. We had the privilege to visit Walden, five years ago, in July 2012; it exceeded expectations in its tranquility and beauty - and the swim in the pond itself was unforgettable.

See also:

On Being Halcyon In Kal… 6 September 2016

For my late Uncle Denis, who passed away 10 years ago, for his loved ones, and for yours. Now, while we still have the time - i.e. now - we just have to "Be, as a page that aches for a word, which speaks on a theme that is timeless".

On Careers Halcyon In Kal… 2 June 2016

Imagine a job "big enough for the spirit".

Roman Krznaric gave a talk on his book, How to Find Fulfilling Work, as part of the launch of The School of Life’s practical philosophy book series. Krznaric offered five essential ideas for career change, drawing on career advice from Leonardo da Vinci, Aristotle and a woman who gave herself the unusual 30th birthday present of trying out 30 different jobs in one year.

On Balance

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The idea that life should be one third learn, one third earn, one third return is attractive, even if not necessarily complete (where is the time for playing, for reflecting, for relaxing etc?), and provides a neat encapsulation of Charles Handy's advice that we should carefully "chunk" our time in order to lead a "portfolio life". 

Others are trying to scale this idea to the societal level, advocating living in intentional communities.

On Purpose

"A wise lady once told me that when you find your ideal job, you will do it for less than they pay you and when you find your calling you will do it for free. This is my ideal job. I hope you find yours." - Martin Tichenor, Volunteer Director for a medium security prison in Missouri

Finding and fulfiling what you consider to be your purpose must rank among the greatest of all assets.

On a "Good Life"

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction.