Here’s a thought that may be easier to implement now more than ever, given our new ways of life these days: Toil in Isolation!
I can’t stress enough about the human need to practice something hard and lonely. There’s a deep satisfaction in doing something that you know many others are just not willing to do. The common sense extension to this work is that it will give you a sense of toughness and centeredness that few will possess and also prepare you for the battle of life. This will be the core that will drive you every day.
Toiling in isolation at something hard and lonely — what does that mean? It is studying late and maybe pulling an all-nighter in the dead of winter, while the world sleeps. Or it could mean waking up at the crack of dawn to run a slow, long distance. It is carpentry, writing a book (my choice!), gardening, composing music, painting…anything you are doing by yourself and yourself alone.
Just like ‘overnight’ athletic sensations took decades to shape, work hard and alone on becoming a life athlete to endure and overcome whatever life throws at you.
“Be a loner. That gives you time to wonder, to search for the truth. Have holy curiosity. Make your life worth living.”