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The Promised Land

By: Michael Blankenship |

“Some quit due to slow progress, never grasping the fact that slow progress … is progress.”

– Jeff Olson

Did you know that a man in England just unearthed a medieval wedding ring from the 14th century that’s in near perfect condition? On the inside of the band is the French inscription, Ieo vos tien foi tenes le moy, which means, I hold your faith, hold mine. How’s that for the ending to a midieval romcom?

This email is made possible by Masterworks, an app that makes investing in artwork (like Picasso and Monet) affordable, easy, and shockingly profitable. If you’re an average joe who loves artwork (and good investments), check it out.

– Mike & Alec

The Promised Land 

Ancient Jewish people were promised Israel, a land “flowing with milk and honey.”

Frodo and Sam hoped to one day return to The Shire where they could continue their peaceful lives.

Odysseus strived to return to his wife, Penelope, after hig long and perilous journey. 

Humans (and our stories) are always striving for something — often times, that “thing” takes the form of a promised land in our mind’s eye, an ethereal place of joy and bliss entirely free of worry or pain.

Maybe your promised land is retirement. 

Or hitting a certain milestone in your career. 

Or moving to a certain city.

Whatever it is, one thing is for certain: the destination you’re seeking isn’t as wondrous and worry-free as you think it is. 

This is why lottery winners wind up miserable, and why many rich people aren’t as happy as they should be, and it’s why the grass is always greener. 

It’s not the destination that provides fulfillment, but seeking itself

In a Quartz article titled, Neuroscience confirms that to be truly happy, you will always need something more, Olivia Goldhill writes, “neuroscience shows that the act of seeking itself, rather than the goals we realize, is key to satisfaction.”

But, of course, seeking requires a destination. 

What do we do about our nasty habit of overhyping the promised land?

Or our negative thoughts when we aren’t able to achieve what we had hoped? 

Or when we fail in pursuit of something we were striving for? 

She explains, “our drive to look ahead needn’t cause a permanent state of dissatisfaction, as seeking is itself a fulfilling activity. Evan Thompson, a philosophy professor at the University of British Columbia, says that the entire field of philosophy can be seen as an expression of this seeking impulse. Rather than coming up with a philosophical answer and then resting, content with the solution, Thompson says many philosophers would say the quest is an end in itself.”

So long as we overhype the destination’s fruits (and thus our own labors or failures), we are bound to suffer as wanderers looking for a place to call home.

But once we realize that this — the striving and suffering, the learning and leaning, the breathing and breaking — is home, then we needn’t be so threatened by the prospect of not reaching our destination or, worse, it turning out to be just as normal (with its troubles and tribulations) as we fear it might be.

The journey is the destination. 

If you’ve left the comfort of home in pursuit of something interesting and exciting, backpack strapped, shouting “I’m going on an adventure!”, then you’ve already made it. 

Keep striving. 

But don’t forget to enjoy doing so. 

Wi-Fi + 7 Minutes + a Pulse = Profit?

Beeeeeep! What’s that sound? It’s your portfolio flatlining from an imploding stock market, crypto meltdown, and the worst inflation since Saturday Night Fever. How can you shock it back to life? (Note: This has nothing to do with bell bottoms.)

Try an asset that the ultra-wealthy have used to boost their gains for centuries: blue-chip art, which has outpaced the S&P by a whopping 164% over the last 25 years. 

But wait, don’t you need to be a Studio 54 VIP to invest in Picassos and Warhols?

Nope, you just need Masterworks – the 575,00+ user investment platform where you can invest in shares of multi-million dollar art. Since launching, they’ve delivered a groovy 29% average net realized return. Results like those will make you want to start singing “Stayin’ Alive.”

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Sorry → Thanks

Find yourself saying “I’m sorry” a lot… when it isn’t really necessary? 

Seth Godin has some practical advice that might help…

If you often find yourself saying “sorry” in a way that doesn’t advance the conversation, it might be interesting to substitute “thank you” instead.

So, “I’m sorry this came out of the kitchen after your other dishes,” becomes, “thank you for waiting so patiently.”

And, “I’m sorry we got disconnected,” becomes, “thank you for calling back.”

It’s a subtle shift, from separation to connection.

See You Later, Procrastigator

Want to do something awesome? 

Maybe start a blog, write a book, build a newsletter (like ours!), create an online business, change careers, learn a new skill…

Even though it might feel like it’s too late, it’s not. 

Take it from James Clear…

Image of The Week

Luo Li Rong’s figurative sculptures evoke movement and intrigue, whether it’s the artist’s feminine, graceful figures or her otherworldly creatures.

This Week’s Riddle

Here’s this week’s riddle — the answer is at the bottom of the email!

What English word retains the same pronunciation, even after you take away four of its five letters?

This Week’s Journaling Prompt

Take some time to think through the following journaling prompt. 

What promised land are you counting on? Why is it important to start enjoying the process of striving… rather than only looking forward to the destination? 

This Week’s Challenge

Start learning a new language. This is something my wife and I are now doing since we’ve moved to Portugal and we’ve both found it to be very fulfilling. There are so many different apps you can use — Rosetta Stone, Drops, and Duolingo are just a few that make it easy and fun.

Riddle Answer: Queue

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