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.

It’s not coffee

I know a lot of people start off hating the thing, or drinking it with copious amounts of milk and sugar to mask the taste but still get the caffeine. I guess I was fortunate in that regard, since I never particularly disliked drinking coffee black and never really did consume too much sugar and milk. For the longest time, I neither disliked it nor liked it, but I was always attracted by the ritual surrounding the beverage.

Nowadays, though, if you ask me if I “like” coffee, I’d probably answer that I don’t. At least not what is commonly regarded as coffee. You give me something that isn’t a somewhat fresh crop, fresh (and light) roast, fresh ground, fresh everything, and I’ll probably not manage to drink it. Maybe that means I became a snob. I’ll leave that up to you, I guess. But in the process of becoming a snob, I realized that coffee is much more than just coffee.

Stay Dialled

Every specialty cafe worthy of its name will, before opening the doors to the public each morning, pull some espresso shots, look at the flow, change the grind setting slightly, and taste its product throughout.

This process1 is known as “dialling in.” Every time a new coffee comes into the hopper, variables need to be changed before sliding the cappuccino across the counter. The difference between having the espresso base extracted for 32 and 27 seconds2 is the difference between having the guests drink something bitter and dry, or something sweet, balanced and luxurious.

And then, life happens. You open the doors, people come in slowly at first. You blink and find yourself with five orders standing in front of you. Each of them with their special wishes to accommodate. Each of them expecting just as good of an experience as the guests receive when getting into an empty cafe with an energetic barista who just opened the doors. You have 20 drinks to make, and they better be good.

Coffee and the Pursuit of Excellence

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Coffee.

Over the past few months, this word has taken on an increasingly important role in my life. Those who know me know I’ve always drank the “black” liquid in one form or another. It was at the background of some of the most memorable conversations I’ve had throughout my life.

What I Do Here

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It’s been a little over six months since I started this website and I’m proud of how far I’ve come since then. However, recently I’ve been feeling like it’s fallen off track a little and it’s time to review the purpose of the website, making it clear both to me and to my readers why this exists in the first place.
In my relatively short life thus far, I’ve seen too much potential go to waste. I believe every single person has the same “amount of potential,” although it might be allocated in a different way for each individual. My purpose with this website is to, selfishly enough, use mine as fully as I can. If I can inspire others to do the same in the process, all the better.
So the articles, from the opinion pieces with seemingly little practical value to more in depth “how-to” style posts, all have the same purpose of helping me and the readers want more, do more, and live more fully.
Information is easy to come by, in just a few clicks we can open wikipedia and start browsing anything we could think of. Transforming that information into knowledge isn’t very hard, we’ll read it once or twice, dig into the sources a little bit, make a few connections and we’ll understand what it’s all about.
But my goal has always been wisdom, and while knowledge is processing information, “Wisdom is doing.”1
Yes, we’ll learn. Yes, we’ll get theoretical and philosophical, but it’s all with the explicit purpose of applying it to our lives later. We’ll talk about creativity only as long as we set out to base our lives on that. We’ll debate what philosophy means only as long as we apply the philosophical principles to our own lives. We’ll argue about the good and bad in a warrior culture only as long as we’re determined to live based on the good. We’ll discuss education only as long as we set out to change something about it.
I’m sick of seeing wasted potential, I’m sick of seeing misinformation, I’m sick of seeing lives based upon unclear principles, I’m sick of seeing people overworking themselves to death, I’m sick of looking around and seeing people not listen to themselves when their bodies are begging for mercy, I’m sick of a philosophy of life that tells us we should do more and more without sitting down to listen to our thoughts once in a while.
Yes, in this website we’ll strive for more. Yes, in this website we’ll face ourselves at every corner, but behind everything else we must have the knowledge that we won’t be able to reach anything if we don’t respect ourselves. I believe the only way to expect more and strive for more without burning ourselves out is through respect, through self knowledge, through mindfulness. Only by actively listening to ourselves and respecting our bodies, minds and feelings can we grow. And grow we shall.
If there is one thing I’m deathly scared of, that is stagnation, either within me or others around me. There’s nothing that scares more than the thought of waking up a year from now as the same person I’m going to sleep as today. I believe the way not to stagnate is through fairness with ourselves and others. I believe the way not to stagnate is by letting ourselves get uncomfortable. I believe the way not to stagnate is by stopping once in a while and asking ourselves how we’re really feeling.
Those are the principles I base my life on, those are the principles I base the website on.
Let’s use all of our potential, be it physical, mental, or emotional.
Let’s run and jump, let’s move faster and farther. Let’s read and think, let’s discuss and learn. Let’s smile and laugh, let’s live and love our lives.
I hope to see you again soon.

On “The Way of the Warrior”

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Whenever we try out something we never did before, we learn a few things.

Yesterday (as the time of writing) is when I finished the last edit in the final “The Way of the Warrior” article, just two days before my deadline to publish it. Since even before finishing it, I’ve wanted to write an extra piece on the matter. Nothing about the topic itself, but more about the process of researching, writing and editing. I might make this a tradition for whenever I finish a big series, or I might not. Only time will tell.

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