So how many of you remember when I wrote that post a couple of months back about one of my personal goals for the year? Nope, not the one about my movie watching goals (The Watch List), and also not the one about my music reacquiring goals (The Back Catalogue). Want a hint?
It has something to do with reading. Reading via that dying form of book learning.
It’s a tough one to accomplish for sure, in a world where working 40+ hours a week is the norm, exercise, food, and sleep are required, and social relationships must exist in order to be a contributing member of society proper, where does an artist fit in time for absorbing artistic endeavours in tactile paper and ink objects AND find time to produce his own work? Well, obvs you have to have a schedule and a game plan.
Which is what I came up with. I wonder if you know what I’m eluding to just yet.
I’ll share a snippet from the post I have in mind to give you a reference point –
Buying a new album and film every week is a start, and participating in social media to build an empire is a good for discipline, but I’ve always found that reading is the best way to spark ideas. Which is why I’ve decided to start The Reading List. It’s ambitious for sure, but it’s the only way I know how to flesh out a process, by dreaming big and digging in.
My goal for the rest of the year, and then for the rest of my life as I know it, is to read one book a month in a packet of categories. I’m going to start slow though.
I will read one book a month from the 5 groupings below, slowly expanding the number of books read so that I reach the point of 5 books a month. A book for each group:
- LIFE – Biographies/Art/Music
- LOVE – Classic Fiction/Non-Fiction/Graphic Novels
- LEARN – Business/Leadership/Self-Help
- LABEL – Philosophy/Sociology/Psychology
- LEET -The Internet
If I can get to the point where I read a book from each topic a month, I’ll be flying pretty high. You see, dear readers, if I can embrace the 5 L’s of LANGUAGE (my own idea), then I can contribute proper to your own education and personal growth in the age of the Internet – Hence the LEET grouping.
The great thing about having a reading list is that it continuously reminds me that I should be consuming books, not because they make me smarter, but because I should be participating in culture and sharing what I learn back with you, my dear sweet readers.
The Truth About Neil Strauss
This month I decided to reach out into the LEARN section of my 5 L’s of Language and look at a book by one Neil Strauss. The book I decided to read is called The Truth, An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships. If you have been around for the past ten years, you’ll probably recognize his breakout bestseller The Game: Penetrating The Secret Society of Pickup Artists.
Now before I receive a bunch of boo/hiss comments, because as much as I don’t want to get into apologetics for pick-up artists, I’d rather do that defending thing and say that Neil Strauss is something of a pioneer in my opinion, then have you shut er down “just because”.
Bold talk timotheories, but go on.
He saw how social cues and dating etiquette was evolving in the early 2000s and because he had never had a serious relationship, he was sick of living in a victim mentality, and he went out and learned some skills to better himself and gain confidence.
We’d all be incredibly naive if we didn’t think that sex, attraction, dating and relationships didn’t have something to do with skillfulness and ability. Just like literally everything else in life.
So many of us expect romance and love to just happen for us, but we have to gain emotional intelligence and sexual prowess if we want to find that person (or persons) that compliment us appropriately and with who we also compliment.
The Truth is a book about Strauss’ realization that while he had learned how to seduce women and how to better understand what women wanted from a sexual partner, what he didn’t learn was that in order to have romance, and then healthy commitment, we have to understand our upbringing and the challenges we carried with us into adulthood. Otherwise we have half the necessary skill-set to be a functioning sexual being. Yes, the book explores themes that demonstrate how some people can live a single life, others can get polyamorous, and most of us go monogamous, but it’s our individual responsibility to figure out for ourselves what defines our intimate nature and then mature into a healthy adult.
This book taught me, that no matter what kind of sexual identity I take on, my personal happiness is still my responsibility. Whatever physical or mental imperfections I am faced with, I choose to be defined by them OR to work with and through them, especially at a pace that is manageable.
And that’s a heavy topic for an artist to tackle, whether you’re a writer like Strauss, a musician, an actor or a visual artist.
I highly recommend this one. Give it a shot, you’ll likely learn something about yourself.