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My Codex Vitae: Activities & Their Ends

Last week, I posted my beliefs. The next section of my Codex Vitae catalogues the activities that I’ve found most critical for my fulfillment and self-care.

Activities & Their Ends


Exercise will help me maintain my physical health and support a high quality of life as I age.

Exercise improves my mood. Consistent exercise is critical to keeping sadness, paranoia, and grouchiness at bay.

Exercise supports better mental clarity. I have greater focus, I’m better at problem solving, and I’m better at making creative connections when I exercise. In short, exercise is almost as good as creating time.

I am not necessarily high-activity by inclination, but I need high activity to feel like me.

Higher-intensity exercise is good, but abundant walking (preferably in a natural environment, with a dog) is the ideal baseline exercise.


Maintaining a journal provides me a daily opportunity to shift my perspective and evaluate whether I am living a life guided by reason and justice.

If I write down summaries of what I read and my response to that reading, I will retain what I’ve learned better and think more logically.

I find it easier to work through indecision, paralysis, or frustration by writing than by any other means.


Most of the problems in life are not new. I have access to most of the collected wisdom and ideas of nearly three millennia of written history, which can serve to enrich my life and guide me towards flourishing.

Novels are one of the most effective methods ever invented to challenge perspectives and stretch the mind.

Reading is a skill and a muscle that improves with practice. Difficult reading increases your capacity to read and comprehend at large.


Kindness and empathy require patience. Meditation is the surest way I know to train deliberately for patience.

I am not my thoughts. My thoughts are sensations, like sights and sounds. When I see something or hear something, I don’t immediately identify that sight or sound as “me”. The same should be true of my thoughts.

Who is the “I” that would even identify with thoughts?