Ask Vinni

Longer, well researched posts primarily focused on philosophy, psychology and self improvement. Topics I've mulled over for weeks. Irregularly updated.

 

Essays and other writings

Shorter, weekly articles on principles and thoughts that have been in my mind for a couple of days. Contradictory and rough, evolving as I do.

Being Grateful

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I’ve had a few major changes in my life. By that I mean not only that external circumstances changed, but also that (and perhaps even more frequently than the former) something within me changed.

Some of my external changes were moving to different countries, cities, landing jobs and meeting people. As for my internal ones, they’re a little harder to pin down. Maybe because I don’t know myself as well as I would like to, or simply because whatever is internal is often harder to define due to its nature; we can’t see or touch those changes.

The most recent one, however, is quite easy to define: I learned how to be grateful.

Facing Death

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A rich and mighty Persian once walked in his garden with one of his servants. The servant cried that he had just encountered Death, who had threatened him. He begged his master to give him his fastest horse so that he could make haste and flee to Teheran, which he could reach that same evening. The master consented and the servant galloped off on the horse. On returning to his house the master himself met Death, and questioned him, “Why did you terrify and threaten my servant?” “I did not threaten him; I only showed surprise in still finding him here when I planned to meet him tonight in Teheran,” said Death.

Victor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

As I sit down to write this post, Brussels is under a level 4 terror alert—the highest.

Beside me there’s a packed suitcase and in my bag, train tickets. Destination? A small village close to Brussels.

On Creating

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“Nature does not give to those who will not spend; her gifts are loaned to those who will use them.”
—Raymond John Baughan, Undiscovered Country, 1946

I constantly have to create. Not art, I don’t paint, draw or take photos. But I constantly have to create something. Be it new pieces of writing for this website, articles for other websites, intercultural training concepts, or a crocheted glove (yes, I do crochet from time to time). Some might call it an obsession.

I call it “returning favors”.

Work Intentionally

workerOur work is the highest expression of our selves.

When people think of work, they think of what they do on the clock, from 9 to 5.

That’s wrong.

Our work is everything we do. Every strategy we develop, every report we hand in, every conversation we have, every cup of coffee we brew, every weight we lift.

And any and all our work should stand by itself, should paint a picture of who we are. That picture should be accurate, should be true. No matter how seemingly small the work was.

How I keep a commonplace book

commonplace book
This post is a shortened, bare-bones version of a longer post I am writing for Ask Vinni, subscribe to the newsletter if you don’t wanna miss it!

I have, for a long time, heard people singing the praises of commonplace books. Many of the most important and intelligent people in history have kept those and I figured I should as well (Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is one of them). For most of this year (starting around March), I have highlighted passages on my kindle (I do prefer paperbacks but since I still don’t have a very stable place to live, I’ve had to do with e-readers) and written them out on index cards a few days after finishing the book. Lately I’ve tried yet another method and what I will do here is outline both, since I have been using them side by side and I have been extremely happy with my results.

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