Brain Food #573

Little and often

Thoughts of the day

Through the endurance of their work, we still have the opportunity to encounter some of mankind’s greatest minds. But there is also a certain form of brilliance to be found in their methods, which lives on through their dedicated documentation of it. Diary-keeping is a frequent approach to observing oneself, and one’s progress through life and the work one chooses to do in it. Luckier are the ones who have a dedicated partner or observer to do this for them.

Leonard Woolf, an accomplished intellectual himself, was a believer in doing little work, but often. In the penultimate volume of his memoirs, Downhill All the Way, he wrote of his and Virginia Woolf’s routine:

“It is surprising how much one can produce in a year, whether of buns or books or pots or pictures, if one works hard and professionally for three and a half hours every day for 330 days.”

As another week starts, these words serve as yet another useful reminder to take it slow. Success is not a firework (whose impact disappears as suddenly as it emerges), it is a consistent, well-measured, and dedicated appointment with ourselves.


Thank you for reading today’s Brain Food. If you were forwarded this email and you'd like to read more, you can sign up and receive it in your inbox Monday to Friday.

And if you love Brain Food and want the world to know about it, feel free to share it with them by using the button below or forwarding them this email.

Share Brain Food

If you have any questions, thoughts, or ideas you'd like to share, just hit reply.

Read longer Brain Food musings on Medium.