Tag Archive | Beauty

Two Fundamental Principles of Learning

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

What are the two principles?

I call them Beautiful Mindset and Beautiful State.

Beautiful Mindset

Beautiful Mindset is about how you think. Learning is profoundly influenced by your mindset.

I’m thinking of two mindsets in particular:

Growth Mindset (Carol Dweck) 

Has to do with belief:
– the belief that you can learn 
– the belief that, with persistence and consistency, you can learn anything you set your mind to

Learning Mindset 

Has to do with how you approach learning.  The optimal way to approach learning is playfully, by connecting with your inner child. We might call it the Playful Mindset.

Beautiful State

Beautiful State is about how you feel. Learning is profoundly influenced by your mental/emotional state. 

A beautiful state is one in which you’re relaxed and experiencing one or more of the (what I call) transcendental feelings: Joy, Curiosity, Wonder, Love, Gratitude, Playfulness, having Fun.

When you’re in a beautiful state, you’re most open-minded and receptive to learning. 

To optimize learning, you need to optimize both your mindset and your state.

Reminds me of Piotr Wozniak’s Fundamental Law of Learning:

Good learning is fundamentally pleasurable. Without pleasure, there is no good learning.

You can think of pleasure as feedback. It’s the sign that you’re doing it right.


On Meaning

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

What’s the difference between you at your highest and you at your lowest?

“Connection with Meaning.

To navigate life, we build a Map of Meaning for ourselves to give us a sense of purpose and direction. In the absence of a Map, we drift through life, from distraction to distraction, in an effort to temporarily extinguish the gnawing emptiness within.

Without a Map, the challenge is forgetting.
With a Map, the challenge is remembering.

We can’t help temporarily forgetting what’s essential. Balance is a perpetual homecoming – endlessly losing ourselves and finding our way back to Meaning.

By Meaning are you referring to God?

For some, it is God. For others, something else. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it opens your heart to the Beauty of existence.

The Quality Game

Always do your best. (Miguel Ruiz)

Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. (Henry Ward Beecher)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is the Quality Game?”

“It’s a spiritual game, with a double meaning:

the game of playing every game well (Wisdom, Character, Moral Excellence)

the game of doing everything well (Mastery, Technical Excellence)

I like to think of them in aesthetic terms:

Play beautiful.
Do everything beautifully.

Natural Pauses

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Appreciate natural pauses.”

What are natural pauses?

Pausing is an essential (and subtle) life skill. By pausing, you’re creating space for awareness and connecting with yourself, for love and play and gratitude and beauty, for reflection and accessing your resources. You can think of it as a micro-meditation.

Think of an impulse, for instance. Much of the time, they are invisible. An impulse arises and we immediately act on it. Sometimes it works for us, other times against us. Pausing after the impulse arises creates a space between stimulus and response to ask yourself:

Do I want to act on this impulse?

Every impulse is an opportunity to practice the skill of pausing.

Natural pauses are pauses that arise naturally when engaged in an activity or when transitioning between activities.

Let’s say you’re browsing the Internet and a page takes too long to load. By default, we tend to think of it as an annoyance. Instead, learn to see and appreciate the opportunity, and make the most of it.

Breathe, connect with yourself, smile, and, for a moment, contemplate all the gifts and miracles that you’re taking for granted: technological wonders like the Internet and your computer and language, the biological wonders that are your BodyMind and all life forms, the beautiful interconnectedness of the world, the cosmic ocean and the universe of the very small, etc. Take a moment to find your way back to wonder.

By creating pauses and taking advantage of natural pauses, you’re creating space to take in the beauty of the world.

The Art of Perception 12

Any particular way of looking at things is only one among many other possible ways. (Edward de Bono)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“We have the tendency to stick with the first interpretation that comes to mind. We often forget – some can’t even envision – that things can be interpreted in multiple ways.

The interpretation triggers emotion, which leads to further interpretation, which maintains and often amplifies the emotion.

Interpretation => Emotion => Interpretation => Emotion

The initial interpretation acts as an anchor on which we base all subsequent interpretations.”

“What is the initial interpretation based upon?”

“Past experiences, sometimes from the very distant past.

Your past subtly influences your future. Unless you break out of such patterns, your past is your future.”

“What’s the practice?”

Remember always that objective reality is neutral. We project our subjective reality on it through our interpretations. 

Always question your first interpretation. 

Generate multiple alternative interpretations, and select the most beautiful one.

On Language and Beauty

The creation of language was the first singularity for humans. It changed everything. Life after language was unimaginable to those on the far side before it. (Kevin Kelly)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Language is one of the most powerful and beautiful technologies we possess. Language is our interface with reality and with one another. Language is a reality-shaping tool; it shapes both our inner and outer reality. Language unlocks a universe of possibility.

Language is a miracle. And, as with most miracles, we take it for granted.”

“Reminds me of a quote by G. K. Chesterton:

The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.

“We usually think of wonder in relation to the vast and the grand. Those are the obvious wonders. But most wonders are hiding in plain sight, patiently waiting for us to grow wiser.

Language is a beautiful game with three components:


We can think of the first one as the substance, and of the last two as the form.

Meaning is the heart of the game, and a universe in itself. Meaning is the fundamental playground of the Thinker.”

“Does this mean meaning is the most important?”

“There’s a beauty of meaning, a beauty of style, and a beauty of structure.

Structure is the rules of the game: syntax, grammar, and punctuation. Language is a modular game – a bit like Lego. Its elements can be combined in some ways but not others. Knowing the rules gives insight into the inner workings of the game, which can make you a better player.

Style is the beautiful expression of meaning, governed by its own set of rules: simplicity, clarity, brevity, expressiveness, resonance, rhythm, and maybe others I have yet to discover. Knowing these rules can also make you a better player.

A beautiful idea is beautiful regardless of style or structure. Structure and style make the idea communicable and impactful. How you express an idea matters. A beautiful idea expressed beautifully is more likely to have an impact on the world.

Ultimately, the game of language is a multiplayer game.”

Beautify 3

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I beautify any moment?”

Make it meaningful.

See/Feel/Listen (Awareness)
Live/Practice your Values
Take nothing for granted

Move beautiful 2

Any action can be practiced as an art, as a craft, or as drudgery. (Stephen Nachmanovitch, Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How much did you move today?”

“That’s just one variable.

How well did you move?
How present were you in your movement?
How varied did you move?
How fun/joyful was your movement?”

Live beautiful 2

When people say: “You do so many things. You’re a musician, you’re a painter, you’re a composer, you’re a cinematographer, you’re the editor.” I go, “No, I only do one thing. I live a creative life. When you put creativity in everything, everything becomes available to you. (Robert Rodriguez)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What does live beautiful mean to you?”

“As you know, my Ikigai, my life’s purpose expressed in one word is Beautify [<link; short read]. What this means is that I see life through the lens [<link; short read] of Beauty.”

“Is that why you call yourself a Life-Artist?”


The name of my life philosophy is Playful Living, which flows from my Ikigai.
The core of my philosophy is my central value, the twin value of Loving Play [<link; short read].
The essence of my philosophy is beautifully expressed in Robert Rodriguez’s quote.

Live a creative life. (Creative Living)
– Make your life a work of art.
– Make today a work of art. (Carpe Diem)
– Live each day like it’s your last. (Marcus Aurelius)
– Make this moment of work of art.

Expanded, it means many other things:

Live an extraordinary life.
Become extraordinary.
– Be brilliant every single day.
– Live heroically and serve profoundly. (Brian Johnson)

Live life as deeply as you possibly can, and as beautifully as you possibly can. (Josh Waitzkin)

Live in a beautiful state and find beauty in whatever life brings you. (Tony Robbins)

Live fully in each moment. (Thich Nhat hanh)

Live simply.

Live boldly.
– Live fearlessly.

Live to learn. (Seth Godin)

Live at the stretch zone. (Josh Waitzkin)
– Live on the other side of pain. (Josh Waitzkin)

Live an authentic life.
– Live your truth and share it. (Kamal Ravikant)
– Live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you. (Bronnie Ware)

Live life on your own terms. (Darius Foroux)
– Earn with your mind, not your time. (Naval Ravikant)

Among other things.”

Move beautiful

Seek perfection in your locomotion and training to achieve an exceptional quality and standard in your movements, regardless of what they are. (Chris Rowat)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What does move beautiful mean to you?”

“Move meaningfully.
Make movement meaningful.
Make movement identity. (Mover)

Move lovingly. (Loving Care, Embodiment)
Connect with yourself through your movement. (Centering)
Move serenely. (Peace)
Move joyfully.

Move gratefully. (Loving Gratitude)
Celebrate your beautiful body with every movement. (BodyMind)

Move playfully. (Loving Play, Fun, Movement Puzzles)
Move creatively. (Improv)
Make stuff up.

Move more. (Quantity, Movement Snacks)
Move continuously. (Perpetual Motion Machine)
Think while moving.

Move better. (Quality)
Move mindfully. (Loving Presence)
Move gracefully.
Move purposefully.
Every movement a meditation.

Move in all ways. (Variety)
Move holistically.
Move your whole body, not just parts of it.
Move all joints through their full range of motion.

Move opportunistically.
Move anywhere.
Adapt to your environment.

Move comfortably. (Relaxation, Stretching)
Move uncomfortably. (Challenge, Learning)

Move funny.
Move seriously.

Move with others. (Collective Play, Loving Connection)

Move on music.
Move on your inner music.

Among other things.”