One Apple A Day #929 – divided by infinity

Any number divided by infinity is equal to 0.

It doesn’t matter how big the number is.

When divided by infinity, the result is always 0.

Anytime I’m worried that I won’t have enough time to read all the books that I want or to visit all the places I dream about, I remind myself of this simple equation.

The universe is infinite.

So, it is knowledge.

It doesn’t matter how many things I learn; compared to the infinity of knowledge is nothing.
At any point in my life, the places I haven’t seen will always be greater than those I saw.

Reminding me of this simple fact helps me put things in perspective, and it releases stress.

It also reminds me that life is not a to-do list to complete but an adventure to live and savour. It’s not the number of things done that gives meaning to life. It is instead how much of me I put into everything I do.

One Apple A Day #928 – speed

When did speed become so important?

We often talk about going faster as an essential aspect of progress.

Being fast is vital to surviving in a constantly accelerating world.

But, what makes speed so important?

Speed, in the end, is the distance travelled or the number of things done in a unit of time.

If we go faster, we can increase the output in the same amount of time.
We can communicate more, produce more, gain more, see more, reach more places.

But do we get to live more?

It is as if quantity is the only thing that matters.

We see time as a scarce resource, so we must fill it as much as we can to make it worth it.

As if the journey to get somewhere or achieve something is just a price to pay, it is a burden to get rid of as soon as possible. How much enjoyment gets wasted because we are too focused on getting to the end as fast as we can?
Some times, I feel the need to slow down and enjoy the process or the journey.

One Apple A Day #927 – reset

This morning I can’t quiet my mind.
Too many things going on, too many thoughts fighting for my attention.
So, I’ve decided to let the white page do the work.
It is a unique feeling. Typing a word on the keyboard, not knowing what will be the next one. Right now, I still have no idea what this post will be about. I just keep typing, trusting that something will come out.
And to be honest, this morning, it doesn’t matter where I will be at the end, what will be the outcome. Maybe it will be entirely meaningless for you and even for me. What really matters in moments like this is to keep moving forward.
One word at a time.
Isn’t it something that also happens in life?

Some times we are confused or overwhelmed by what’s going on in our life. Our attention is stretched between many things. We keep going through a to-do list so long that we can discern what we want or have to do anymore.
It’s a paralyzing feeling that short-circuits our brain.
Those are the moment when I reset.
I open a new blank page, and I begin to write.
I let the hands do the work.
One word at a time.
It always works.
After a while, my mind regains peace and clarity.
Most of the time, in the end, I know what to do.

One Apple A Day #926 – Divide et impera

Divide et impera.

It is a famous Latin expression affirming that the best expedient for an authority to control and rule people is to divide them, often by provoking rivalries and fomenting discord. But it also applies to military strategy as suggested by Niccolò Machiavelli. By dividing the enemy’s forces, you make them weaker, increasing your chances to win.

This philosophy probably inspired also the divide-and-conquer algorithm used in computer science. The idea is to divide a problem into smaller sub-problems until these become simple enough to be solved directly. Then we do the reverse process with the smaller solutions, combining them to solve the original problem.

You may wonder why I’m using my limited writing time to talk about this.

This morning I was thinking about who I am, as I often do, to be honest. 

In about a month, I will start a new chapter in my professional life. Beginning of this week, I began reflecting on how I want to present myself. I do different things, all interconnected but all with their uniqueness. How can I describe myself in a way that respects this diversity of identities while giving the sense of who I am as a whole human being?

That’s when that Latin expression came up. Maybe it’s a legacy of my programming roots. But I realise how often I instinctively divide a problem into smaller parts, so it feels easier to deal with. However, in doing so, I miss the big picture.

I may need a good coach to help me with this.

One Apple A Day #925 – life as an experiment

What if we approach everything in life as an experiment?

An experiment is a test we do to learn something or to discover if something works or is true. You have an idea or a theory about something, and you check it out by experimenting.
The cool thing about experiments is that they produce a valuable outcome also when they fail because the goals are knowledge and understanding.
You experiment, learn something, and with that new knowledge, you design a new test. And so on.

Sometimes I get stuck before a choice. It happens anytime I see that choice as life-defining. When I think, “this is going to define my life from now on, so I must make the right choice.”
Then, everything becomes heavy and, more often than not, whatever I decide, I’m not fully satisfied. There’s always a part of me thinking, “what if?”
But if I look at things as experiments, then any choice is right because it will help me advance my understanding of myself and the world.
Plus, an experiment is not forever. It lasts until we have learned or discovered what we need. Then we can repeat, adjust, change it or even design a new one.

If you think of a choice you have to make, what would you do if you knew it is an experiment?