understanding life (from jamie’s perspective)


“So much working, reading, thinking, living to do. A lifetime is not long enough.”

Sylvia Plath


So. I don’t read a lot of other people’s blogs anymore. I have always been an avid reader of things, The Economist, The Guardian, sports and books, but I didn’t read blogs until I began my own 11+ years ago. When I began I wanted to see what I liked – tone, topics, themes. Along the way I found several who were just, well, damn good writers who always wrote about interesting things. 

One was a fantastic little writer named Jamie Varon.  She was a 20something with a great perspective on life. She moved to Paris to pursue .. well .. I am not sure she was sure what she was pursuing so I cannot tell you exactly what she went there to pursue.

Regardless. She figured out one of the great lessons in life: if you move toward something you are more likely to get closer to it (regardless of what “it” is).

As for her writing she always seemed to capture the inexactness of life.

Life is often discovered in the gaps – those spaces that are in between what you have and what you will have and the discovery found in the unknown of where you are and where you will be.

Back in 2011 she wrote a “mini-manifesto’ <a nice list of how to live life>. To her dismay I added my own thoughts. What I will suggest is that the thoughts are timelessly good.


This is what I’ve come to understand about life:

1. The best way to feel like a fool is to make a plan. To be even more foolish is to believe said plan will actually go according to – well – plan.

Perfect #1 because every one typically starts their life list with “develop a plan” or “figure out what your goal is.” All I know is that if you follow some plan you developed before you know ‘what is what’ I can almost guarantee you will miss out on some really important stuff while you follow ‘the plan.’

2. The key to happiness isn’t more money, more love, or more smiling (though these things don’t hurt). The true key is flexibility, the ability to adapt and acclimate to change, to disappointment, to your plans being shoved into the fire to burn as kindle. The better you are at adapting, the more likely you’ll be happy, to enjoy what’s in front of you and not live within the regret of what could have been.

While there are several outstanding points in this one the main one is “adapt.” I have written so much on this topic, but I doubt I have ever managed to communicate the idea as succinctly as she has. “The better you are at adapting, the more likely you’ll be happy.”

3. Before making any big decisions, ask yourself one question, “Will I regret doing or not doing this thing in one month?”

4. One month is about the amount of time it takes for the dust to settle or for the excitement to wear off.

Don’t make a plan. Be flexible and adapt. Oh. But avoid random chaos by judging actions within a realistic based horizon.  A 5 year assessment? Bullshit.  One month. Keeps your eye on the prize. This is OODA life loop thinking in practice <business should do this too>.

5. Love makes absolutely no sense. Rationalizing it will only kill it. Hate is not the opposite of love; logic is.

“Hate is not the opposite of love; logic is.”  Kahlil Gabran is somewhere out there wishing he had said this.  As well as any person who loves smart insightful quotes. Aw.  Fuck ‘em. I wish I had said this.

6. There’s always enough time for the things that truly matter. If the time isn’t there, the thing doesn’t matter.

This is an insightful life/business/personal/professional thought. People will find that they will debate this thought, but they can only do so with nuances and caveats and excuses. Time has the ability to expand for those things that truly matter. Time is funny that way.  In fact Time is like #2. It is flexible and it adapts to meaningful change.  And it does this despite whatever plans you have made for Time.

7. The hard part isn’t getting what you want; it’s deciding what you want in the first place.


8. A contented life can feel boring and a chaotic life can feel exciting. Both feelings are untrue.

You cannot judge life in terms of chaos or boredom.  They just don’t measure the true capacity of what you are experiencing well enough. Suffice it to say, when things are great its easy to mistake it as nothing special and when things seem bad it is easy to think its Armageddon. Life resides inbetween.

9. Love can come unexpectedly, sure, but let’s not kid ourselves: we are/were all looking for it.


10. Listen freely to everyone’s advice, but trust only your intuition.

Ask questions, listen, think. But, in the end, you will only be judged by the reflection in the mirror and not by any of the people who shared the advice.

11. Break all the rules. Do what feels right, even if it’s stupid or crazy or ridiculous. Forget everything people tell you that you can’t do.

Suffice it to say I agree 100%. No ifs, ands or buts. Well.  Let me say I agree if you truly want to accomplish anything. For if you simply follow the rules the only thing you will accomplish (other than never breaking the rules) is mediocrity. That is not to say you shouldn’t pay attention to rules because, for the most part, rules have been established for a reason. Once you know the reason you will better understand the reason why the rule should, or can, be broken.



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Written by Bruce