I just wanted to say: have the courage to earnestly encounter the world. Be as sincere as you can when you can regarding your own life.
Of course, I think it’s important to blend in some irony, joking, or edginess. It’s slightly awkward for me to have social interactions with people who are 100% earnest 100% of the time.
But I used to wear irony or cynicism like a protective shield. If I didn’t take myself or my pursuits in earnest, then I could never be hurt. Because it didn’t really matter. What I found was that by never being hurt, by never allowing the full weight of failing or mistaking to settle on me, I never grew.
So when I suggest that we earnestly encounter the world, I mean to participate in your life with a heartfelt sincerity. Engage with your feelings and your relationships and anything you care deeply about, the possible vulnerabilities of the consequences be damned.
Verbalize to yourself what you want and what’s happening to you in a way that doesn’t sidestep or dull what you really feel or believe.
Be hopeful. Imagine that what you want is coming to you.
Believe that you have much to learn, but also take heart in the present moment, in your current endeavor. Try to be good at what it is you’re doing. Try to find joy in it. Try to be who you are where you are to the best of your ability.
The gratification is in the trying because no success or failure is final. What endures is the trying.
These are my practices of earnestness lately.