6.18.2011

Making My Reality Ideal

I'm reading a new book, entitled Breakfast with Socrates, by Robert Rowland Smith, and it's becoming a quick favorite of mine. It's all about taking a philosophical approach to the ordinary (and often mundane) tasks in everyday life. Smith pulls from famous past philosophers to break down why we do what we do, and how everything, even the most boring of things, have meaning.

I'll be sure to do a full review when I'm finished, but I just had to share a couple quotes that struck me.

In the chapter on "Traveling to Work," Smith paraphrases Nietzsche's teachings that we create a fantasy world to escape to when we can't handle our reality, but that we need to wean ourselves off of that fantasy. He says, "...ditching the fantasy of another world means you're more likely to invest in this one: you will live for the moment rather than speculating on a heaven to save you from yourself."

This is SO me, it's not even funny.

It's no secret that I have a slight addiction to traveling. *Ahem* But why do I have that addiction to traveling? I think about it all too often, and have many times referred to it as my saving grace when a work day is bad.

And it's no wonder that I adore traveling. Because every time I do travel, I am completely in the moment, taking in every tree, building and person around me. Cups of coffee seem more interesting when ordered in a French cafe. Grass is somehow more mesmerizing when lying in a Irish meadow.

The question is, are they more interesting? Or am I just more aware?

I suppose the answer is a mix of both.

That's not to say that I completely dream the day away when I am in San Diego. I'm still that girl that notices the colors in the sky before anyone else, or stares at the ocean in disbelief and revelry. I don't have to be in a far away place to appreciate my surroundings. However, when I travel, I am freed of daily distractions and am able to focus more on the moment.

The lesson in this is quite clear to me: While it's still acceptable to daydream about sightseeing in Florence, I should remind myself to also remain present in this moment, on this continent. As Smith states, "Make your ideal a reality, or slightly preferable, your reality ideal."

I think I can try for that.

11 comments:

  1. I can definitely be guilty of that. Even though I try and maintain my wonder in my own town as much as possible, it's pretty easy to get sucked into the irritations of waiting in line at the bank, or your coffee not being quite right, and so forth. I guess we can all try a bit more to enjoy our reality!

    P.S. Super-sweet comment. Thank you!

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  2. I'm gonna hang onto that last quote: "Make your ideal a reality, or slightly preferable, your reality ideal."

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  3. this was interesting to read, i def have a grass is greener type complex, which might not be the same BUT...it def ties in to it!!

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  4. this sounds like a super interesting read. i might just add this to my summer reading list. thanks for sharing.

    alex
    http://curiousmang.blogspot.com/2011/06/mission-statement-hope-youre-hungry.html

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  5. This sounds like an amazing read, I'll have to check it out! Some great advice there :)

    Have you read 'The Consolations of Philosophy'? It sounds kind of like this, I loved it :)

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  6. I agree! well said! I'm a newbie here (following).

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  7. if I can find this here...it sounds like something I would enjoy reading. I like the concept, bc Lord knows how much I daydream about other things than the present haha. let me know how you like it when you finish it!

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  8. i have been trying to find myself 'traveling' in my every day life. i guess i mean, when i get a cup of coffee some place, i want to find meaning and adventure in it. i want to experience the little moments that i normally miss. so even sitting in a hot tub in coronado can take on a whole new meaning and experience.

    that said, i still love traveling traveling :)

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  9. This book sounds really intriguing. I'm adding it to my list fo'sho'.

    I think it will help me keep with my resolution to "live in the present" ~ which has proven more difficult than I anticipated!!

    A Foreign Land

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  10. Make your reality ideal...

    Much easier said than done, but definitely food for thought.

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