A sample email from our collection:

For you Henry, September will demand a sharp mind. Many important life decisions are on the horizon. They will allow you to multiply the blessings you have already received.

After a brief resting period, going back to the hustle may have been more difficult than expected. This is why:

“No sooner had he retired, that his mind galloped off like a runaway horse. His head filled with nonsense, just as a fallow field fills with weeds. He described his thoughts as resembling the patterns that dance across the ceiling when sunlight reflects off the surface of a water bowl. Just as the tiger stripes of light lurch about, so an unoccupied mind gyrates unpredictably and brings forth mad, directionless whimsies. It generates millions of useless fantasies and delusions.” -Sarah Bakewell, A Life of Montaigne

Even after periods of intense productivity, focus, and direction, I’ve found myself pulled away by the temptations of meaningless thoughts.

That time I couldn’t shake off criticisms of how “out of line” someone was in an argument.

Or the time I found myself thinking hard about the lives and situations of the characters in a TV show.

There was a day my mind went off in circles thinking about the types of shopping I could do.

Then there was a juicy political discussion on Facebook – controlling my thoughts for hours at a time.

These thoughts are nothing but “junk food”, or useless calories that provide no nutrition with dangerous habit-forming powers.

They are indeed weeds, with the power to distract us from creating, thinking, and developing our talents.

The future we want to build will grow out of our thoughts. The quality of our ideas depends on the information we use to feed our minds.

It turns out the biology behind these “whimsies” is as tied to the dopamine pathways of the brain as every other addiction (including booze, cigarettes, and cocaine). This article goes deep into the science behind idle brains.

Henry, you are in a period of intense opportunity demanding quick decision making. It’s a good idea to keep all of this in mind as the fall commences.

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