Friday is New Year's Day. A time of resolutions, of personal goals solemnly set.
Some are general: be a better person. Some are very specific: lose 15 pounds.
Less clear is how to go about trying to reach those goals: how to eat less. How to be that better person.
I'm going to suggest something out of left field: consider James Boswell.
Famed as the 18th century biographer of British man of letters Samuel Johnson. But a fascinating figure in his own right, an ordinary man with a genius for hanging out with the most brilliant minds of his era. As a teenager he knocked on rationalist David Hume's door, barging in to talk philosophy. Later he argued about God with Voltaire and invited himself to be the house guest of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, hospitality he rewarded by eventually seducing Rousseau's wife.
I'm not suggesting you spend 2016 cuckolding the great philosophers of our day — our era doesn't really have prominent philosophers. But Boswell's energetic efforts to give his life meaning can be emulated, and they start with one practice that anybody can do, right now, with no special equipment or training: keep a journal.
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