On Living Wisely: Broad City

“Where are you going with your life? What kind of chances will you take?”Alice Smith, Cabaret

What does it mean to live a good life? What about a productive life? How about a happy life? How might I think about these ideas if the answers conflict with one another?Richard J. Light, How to Live Wisely (New York Times)

The Broad vs. Deep Exercise. If you could become extraordinarily good at one thing versus being pretty good at many things, which approach would you choose?

Mastery has never been my thing. I like to find the connections between ideas, disciplines, and activities and follow the thread where ever it may lead picking up the skills necessary to get there along the way.

In role-playing games, I usually select thief or rogue. Quick-witted, agile, clever but not particularly adept at any one thing.

As a child, my father attempted to make me a musician like him. I picked up the piano, the drums, the cello. I didn’t stick with any of them.

In college, I went from political communications to psychology before finally settling on sociology and I think that stuck because it felt like an amalgam of studies I liked. And I still minored in creative writing.

Is my life organized to support my broad interests? Mostly. I live in Los Angeles—a city that has everything if you know where to look. I work on Internet stuffs which allows me to be good at and do a wide variety of things.

But I don’t always take advantage of this. I don’t follow the thread off the computer screen and in to the physical world often enough.

As I age, I need to remind myself to exercise my curiosity like a muscle. Too frequently these days, I let a question go unanswered or trust my assumptions as if I know anything.

You’re a master of nothing, champ. You don’t know shit.

Just enough to get into trouble.

An aside: SnapChat is hard. All 6 of you that consume my snaps know that I’m not producing as much as I suggested I might. I’m working on it. I’m finding it hard to get over myself and just talk to the camera like a video diary or create scenes or not care and post just anything.

I’d love to be just good enough at it to be dangerous.  

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