Play creates new neural connections and tests them. It creates an arena for social interaction and learning. It creates a low-risk format for finding and developing innate skills and talents… Learning and memory also seem to be fixed more strongly and last longer when learned in play.
A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.
My favorite passage from What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars was about how the greatest investors (Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch, etc.) all have contradicting advice on how to make money: “If imitating the pros was supposed to make you rich and not imitating them was supposed to make you poor, then each one of these guys should have lost all his money because none of them imitated each other. They all should be flat broke because they very often did things opposite of each other. It finally occurred to me that maybe studying losses was more important than searching for some Holy Grail to making money.” So many of us search for the easy route to making money, then abandon ship when things get too hard. There are countless ways to make a lot of money, only a few ways you can lose it, and no shortcuts to success.
There is a fatality about all physical and intellectual distinction, the sort of fatality that seems to dog through history the faltering steps of kings. It is better not to be so different from one’s fellows. The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play. If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat. They live as we all should live, undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet. They neither bring ruin upon others, nor ever receive it from alien hands.
Lay hold of today’s task, and you will not need to depend so much upon tomorrow’s.
Ugliness was the one reality. The coarse brawl, the loathsome den, the crude violence of disordered life, the very vileness of thief and outcast, were more vivid, in their intense actuality of impression, than all the gracious shapes of Art, the dreamy shadows of Song.
It is said that passion makes one think in a circle.
Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.