Letters To Seneca – Letter 30

Dear Seneca,

I appreciate you being receptive to all 30 letters within the last 30 days. This has been an eye-opening experience for me, highlighting the importance of daily reflection. Taking the time to articulate at least one interesting idea, experience, or concept to another person via the written word is a lost art that I’ve come to enjoy.

I’m going to miss writing and delivering these letters to you.

Today I want to share some thoughts on internal observation and reflection. Yesterday evening for the first time, I sat down and began to assess my daily routines. Documenting each activity, then asking “Why am I doing this?”, then following the initial why with many specific “why’s”.

This lasted for 60 minutes and I made it through about 15% of my day, but there were subtle and meaningful realizations. This surprised me. In the coming days, I’ll gradually make my way through each activity, assessing the what and why.

This is yet another surprisingly potent practice. With only a few minutes each day, I’m building my muscle of awareness. Observing, understanding, and documenting not just the surface-level content, but the underlying reasoning.

Like any new activity that comes with friction, it’s hard to start, but once you begin you’ll catch traction. My assumption is that the difficulty comes from the uncertainty of where to start and what you’ll find.

Most of us never take the time to go in, we’re focused on the external world. There are many reasons for this, for me, it’s more tangible to focus on external concepts, people, activities, content, etc. Going inside is confusing and it’s a strange place for people like myself that heavily favor intellectual tasks.

But… The more I think about and experience internal activities I’ve come to accept that they’re more valuable than external activities (or as Kapil would say – distractions).