Moving along the same lines as Joel Miller -- this one got me, "I don’t love that guy, but he’s still around, making mischief. And I’m trying to figure out what to do with him". My mischief and your mischief, your guy and my gal may not be the same, although in ways they are. I absolutely connect on the fact that she still lingers - no matter how much humbleness has been birthed from my brokenness. This is good, Jeff. I'm learning lot's here!

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So good, Jeff. That thing about children, and what Linda said. So many layers. Jesus knows.

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It can be hard to prioritise writing without putting something else or someone else on the back burner. I have certainly done that. Sometimes I am proud of my achievement and sometimes I can see the cost. I suspect that this is one of life's eternal conundrums!

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May 19Liked by Jeff Goins

"The Pursuit of Happiness..." In other words wealth, property, the true dealings of the Constitution, and momentary bliss. A roller coaster ride creates that ephemeral state that produces the endorphins that crave more. A drug. Religion? Bread as Hemingway mused? Money? Sex? Power?

Anything can be when abused and twisted from its natural state in our minds and desires for More.

I am obviously not a writer, but a painter. I am music based as I was to paint the late Barbara Morrisons Jazz and Blues Museum she was collecting grant money for as a teacher at UCLA.

I have had many ideas to start such a thing, primarily and the incredible so called Watts Towers. Nuestro Pueblo.

But also as Matisse and Romare Bearden did to create books, poets and painters especially are bonded. Sadly writers and musicians are often as programmed by the visual as the general public, being great at one art form does not guarantee understanding another. Art is divided between the didactic and evocative. Gauguin saw this and his own writings are a mess of brilliance and a seeming primitive as one must tear away societies veneer of accumulated diversions to get to the foundations of life and being Human.

Sorry, as I said, not a writer.

If anyone interested, hit me up.


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Two humble thoughts. First, I believe virtue should be our aim, not happiness. When we do what’s right, it sometimes requires sacrifice and pain. We may not feel happy, but doing the right thing lets us sleep at night. A reassuring contentment fills our soul. Second, a degree of balance is key. Make too little money and you can’t feed the kids. Make too much, and you’re likely gone all the time, consumed with making more. Lifestyle choices and how one manages money play a part, as well as earning enough to cover the basics of food, housing, healthcare, transportation, and some recreation.

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Have you read “Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life” by Luke Burgis? We so easily model our desires on what others assure us will bring us happiness and/or “success” without realizing that our desires are not our own. You’ve touched on a deep truth in looking at children lost in the now. I often ponder the many layers of meaning behind Jesus’ words: “you must become as children...”

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Thoughtful piece, Jeff. Thanks! I think it was Mark Twain who said, "I reckon most people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be." I'll share another quote I have posted in my studio - "I've finally built the life I don't need a vacation from."

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Very true, honest assessment.

“This is the part of me who jockeys for position, who works his clever observations into dinner conversation in hopes of being recognize. The ego that hides behind the kind and thoughtful gestures to others but is still cleverly calculating how it all comes back around to him. I don’t love that guy, but he’s still around, making mischief. And I’m trying to figure out what to do with him.”

I love this. We all have this but not everyone writes it. Kudos for that. You’re right: The people who change the world are the weirdos/freaks/highly driven ambitious folks. I think of Steve Jobs. The important artists and writers, too, are in this category. Very few succeed who are followers.

I try to write as honestly as I can on my stack as well.

Michael Mohr

‘Sincere American Writing’


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“I am happiest when I am not thinking about the nature of happiness.”

The thing is different than the thing about the thing.

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