Can’t Wake Up

Can’t Wake Up

20 May, 2019

4 minute read

No seriously..

It can be hard to wake up if you anticipate your day filled with the same old routines. It’s a problem as old as time and it all comes down to perspective. A different perspective is what led the ancient Roman poet Horace to write in response, “carpe diem” or “seize the day”. The ancient Stoics cultivated a philosophy around building perspective to seize the day and in doing so, attain virtue or excellence of character. Stoicism was and is a means of combatting the “same old same old” as well as the new and extravagant by treating external things indifferently. Now I know I know, Stoic indifference sounds counterproductive to “seizing the day”. It might even sound nihilistic until you really understand it, but unfortunately this post isn’t about explaining Stoicism. For that I would recommend books like A Guide to the Good Life: the Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine and How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson.

The problem with waking up expecting the same old monotonous routines and by not being motivated to seize the day, is that you end up wasting most of the time allotted to you. The Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger writes in On the Shortness of Life:

“It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it. Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest of things, if the whole of it is well invested. But when it is squandered in luxury and carelessness, when it is devoted to no good end, forced at last by the ultimate necessity we perceive that it has passed away before we were aware that it was passing. So it is–the life we receive is not short, but we make it so, nor do we have any lack of it, but are wasteful of it.”

If there’s one thing Horace, Seneca, and more recent absurdist philosophers Albert Camus and Søren Kierkegaard have in common, it’s this very problem. Absurdism as a philosophy is the belief that a search for meaning in life is inherently in conflict with the actual lack of objective meaning found, but that one should both accept this and simultaneously rebel against it by embracing what life has to offer ( To paraphrase Henry Rollins,

“Living is the most punk rock thing I’ve ever done.”

If your perspective is unwilling to change, then your ultimate goal should be to accept the routine and rebel against it. Find new ways to start doing and learning the things you want to. In Mastery by Robert Greene, he discusses how Albert Einstein went from being fresh out of school at 21 to taking a job at a patent office where the hours were long, tasks were mundane, and his pay wasn’t that great. He soon ended up viewing his time looking over patent application after patent application as a way of sharpening his ability to reason through problems. Not too long after accepting his situation and embracing it, he would be done with a day’s work in 2-3 hours and that left him the rest of the day to work on physics problems that interested him. 5 years after graduating bottom of his class from Zurich Polytechnic, he published his first theory of relativity. Most of the work for that theory had been done in his free time at the patent office.

What am I working on?

This past week I worked more with Symfony on a simple blog project to get myself back up to speed on topics like Doctrine entities and repositories for my internship. I also created a new page on this site which you can check out here for what will be my reading notes from books I’ve recently read. I added a ‘forgot password’ feature to PlayRight using AWS Amplify. I tried getting PlayRight set up with the Spotify API but found that to be more complicated than expected 🙃 but I’ll get there! Tomorrow I start my internship for the summer and I’m excited to get back in the swing of things and learning as much as I can 🚀

Quote I’m digging…

“Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.” ~ Albert Camus, Notebooks 1935-1942

What am I listening to?

“Growin’ Down” by Illiterate Light

“Sensitivity” by Worn-Tin

“A Trick of the Light” by Villagers

“A Trick of the Light” (Acoustic) by Villagers