If you have ever sat in front of a blank page and not known where to start, this book can help. Likewise with canvas, work project, road anything that takes creative energy. What to write about or what to do can be daunting if you have a proclivity to want to do something significant. Robert Pirzig is in flow here, bouncing between his alter ego Phaedrus the philosopher and his present day adventure with his young son to retrace his perilous inner journey and discover anew a way to live without delusion but with the transcendant in everyday life.
What I get reminded of in this book is that it does not matter what we do so long as we do something with the touch of an artist. This inner journey we are all on can feel like a balancing act between doing what feels good and what objectively makes more money or produces more. Either one without the other can lead to a dead end. If we are only looking to sate our desires we are a slave to our sensations and flit from opposite poles by changes in the smallest things that could effect our blood chemistry or state of mind. If we are machines making bland objects or dealing with people in our daily lives without regard for beauty and art in our simple actions we are missing the human experience and taken to the end game, ruination by making everything we do about getting benefit out of something without enjoying it for its own sake. The savior which according to Pirsig is the basis of quality and art that can be the embrace of both what we feel in our mind and marrying this subjective reality into an objective reality. When it comes to taking care of our health, if we rely on our fitbit to tell us when to exercise, we are neglecting our feelings and becoming too mired in objective number crunching. If we only give into how we feel in the moment it is easy to eat fast food or things that give us a quick energy boost, and then we can resent objective data from the pounds on the scale increasing or the alarm clock that wakes us up after a night of indulging our sensations. Both can be experienced as part of the making of the art of our health.
Pirsig says to start with awareness of what the element of the task at hand is and keep chipping away on a project with appreciation for the steps along the way, not to be conquered but each as its own work of art. Say with building a website or fixing a bicycle if we are already focused on the 10 steps ahead or to how we want it to function at the end the step that is right in front of us will be too annoying to deal with.
Elliot Hulse has a post that says do this workout for one year
He taps into the problem with having too many options that it hamstrings us from getting even basic things accomplished. In taking care of our health we need to find the beauty and art and strive for quality in the basic steps.