The Ideaspace

Interviews, essays, and research exploring the frontiers of what's valuable and in our self-interest

The Anytime Weekly Bento

Happy Birthday Bentoism

This week marks the one year birthday of Bentoism. I marked the occasion with a Twitter thread sharing some history behind the idea.

Going back to my Kickstarter days, I've always taken joy in celebrating birthdays for ideas and organizations. They’re wonderful moments to reminisce and retrace your steps.

While doing that this week, I came across the first deck I ever made to explain Bentoism. I put it online and you can click through it here:

The deck includes ideas and language that are now deeply a part of Bentoism, as well as other ideas I’d forgotten about until now. If you like the early versions of things, take a look.

The (Anytime) Weekly Bento

For the past eight months, I’ve hosted the Weekly Bento every Sunday for people to set their priorities and connect with each other. The event remains one of my highlights every week.

As great as the Weekly Bento is, however, a lot of people can’t attend because of timing or other obligations. Today I’m happy to share a new experiment to help this group.

Today I’m uploading the first (Anytime) Weekly Bento: a video that guides you through a 15-minute journaling and meditation exercise to set your week’s priorities. Watch and follow along here:

If you enjoy and find value in this video and process, please let me know. I’m happy to make these a part of what we do each week moving forward if it’s useful.

Bentoism IRL

This past week a Substack newsletter called Stories interviewed an entrepreneur named Gillian Morris about a fascinating experiment she’s launched in co-living. At the end of the interview, Morris credits Bentoism with inspiring her bold change:

Gillian: “I was lucky enough to stumble on a talk [Kickstarter cofounder] Yancey Strickler gave towards the beginning of the pandemic on a new philosophy/life management technique he’s developing, Bentoism. Creating my bento is part of what inspired me to start Supernuclear, and the community has helped me keep building this project.”

Gillian has been a Bento Society member since the beginning. The process she’s undergone is something I’ve seen so many people go through — myself included.

The bento form shows us the bigger picture. The community and weekly gatherings let us experiment with what we learn in a safe space. And eventually we have no choice but to redesign our lives to match what we learn about ourselves.

Gillian’s story — which we’ll learn more about at an upcoming bento — is one example. There are many more. Since sharing last week’s post on “Why I am a Bentoist” by another Bento Society member, I’ve received messages from others sharing why they’re a part of bento. A sampling:

“Last couple of years I've been in different societies. Trying to find a community of people who want to change the world like me. Bento Society is the only one who really pushes me to take actions every week. It's my north star in my weak days. It lifts me up when I'm following down. It inspires me when I want to give up.” — K., Mexico

“Bentoism became a new perspective in my life. Looking at things in future tense not in the present tense. Without me noticing, Bentoism became how I measure what’s important and how I set up goals in all aspects of my life — including my startup, my communities and my family.” — D., New Jersey

“Bento Society is a gathering of minds who have fueled my hope… Bento Society is a place where my thoughts become things.” — A., Texas

How has bento helped you? What do you find yourself coming back for? Please reply to this message with your experience. I’d love to learn more.

Thank you

Thanks to all of you in the Bento Society community for the past year’s experience. I’m deeply grateful for every millisecond of it what we’ve had this past year, and am even more excited about Year Two of the Bento Society.

Peace and love my friends,

The Bento Society

PS: There’s now a Bento Society Twitter account where we’re tweeting/having fun. Follow us here.