Half-hearted, Half-bridges

A bridge with a gap in it.

Imagine I'm a NJ resident trying to commute to work in the morning. How useful is it to try and drive over a bridge that is half constructed?

Imagine I'm a baker trying to create a successful business. How many sales will I make if the pastries are half-cooked?

Imagine I'm trying land a job against a large pool of applicants with impressive resumes. How competitive would I be if I finished only half my college courses necessary for the degree that is required for the position?

Assuming Enthusiasm

Coach Brooks, showing his enthusiasm during an MIT track meet.

YOUR ACCOUNT HAS BEEN SUSPENDED. These letters, about an inch in height and brick red in color, caused a client of mine to go into a mild panic attack. How much business would they lose if they lost their email marketing service? The results could be devastating for a small company with clients spread across the US and Europe. But mailchimp takes spam seriously, and will flag an account regardless of whether the action was an innocent mistake or not because they have to in order to ensure the highest level of email deliverability—a critical component to their business. Still, the swiftness and severity of Mailchimp's response can catch anyone off guard, particularly when the sender assumes that everyone on the list is eagerly awaiting their newsletter. Instead, a significant number of people receiving the email flag it as spam.

The Four Agreements - Day 84

Relapse: Making a lasting change is not an easy task. When I started this journey almost 3 months ago, I planned on using a combination of daily exposure to the materials, daily exercises, and journalling to give myself the best chance at success. While I can certainly commend my progress, I can't help but feel like I've had a relapse.

The problem when things start going well is that I get overconfident in my ability to no longer do the very things that brought me there. The hope was that the emotional and mental high's would carry enough momentum to keep me going through the occasional low. But sometimes life can throw a lot at you at once, and kill the momentum (or send you flying back in reverse).

Lawns, Laws, and Deserts

Grass and Desert Juxtaposition

Scenario 1: A homeowner in an gated community in Arizona forgets to turn their sprinklers on before going on vacation for a week. They return to a scorched lawn and a home owners association (HOA) fine for $50 tacked to their front door. The offense: not keeping their lawn beautifully green.

Scenario 2: A member of a african village in or around the Sahara desert gets the novel idea to plant some beautiful bushes outside of their sleeping quarters. He returns one day to angry villagers cursing his name and threatening to uproot his bushes. The offense: wasting precious water on a non-essential decoration.

Make It a Gold Start Day!

A Gold Start, Gold Star Day

In elementary school, nothing was better than a gold star for a job well done. Yes, a colorful A+ was nice. Yes, a 100 with a little exclamation point and a smiley face was cool. But nothing beat stickers, which were only doled out by the really cool teachers. And if that sticker was a gold star, it was the equivalent to ice cream after a little league win (i.e. pretty freaging awesome!)

I returned back to my love for gold stars in college when I was an RA. When someone did something really well, I would tell them they should get a gold star. They would just sort of laugh at first, until I actually took out my pack of them and put it on their hand or forehead. It's funny how something so simple could bring out a smile in people, even if they thought I lost my mind. It's as if it returned them back to their childhood when people made it a point to recognize and appreciate their accomplishments.

Create Once, Play Everywhere

simple remote control

It's the year 2015 and you just recorded a home video that you want to share with your friends, family, and all your social media friends. Great! Now to guarantee playback on all devices, you'll _only_ have to create approximately 30 versions of this file: TV, iphone, ipod, ipad, android tablet, youtube, Vimeo, Boxee, streaming server, safari, firefox, internet explorer, opera, chrome, and the 10-15 new devices that have been created in the last 4 years.

Ugh. Just thinking of the number of steps, number of formats, and number of places to upload makes my head hurt.

Take a Break, Before the Break Takes You (Exhibit A: X-Ray)

X-ray of a foot injury

Scene: 12 workaholic jurors in a stuffy courthouse. The defendant, having not fully learned his lesson, sits on the stand anxiously checking his iphone for facebook status updates every time the prosecutor pauses for dramatic effect. The questioning continues...

Prosecutor: Your honor, I present to the court Exhibit A. Here we find the defendant's foot with 6 screws holding together what used to be a complex series of ligaments called the Lisfranc complex. Well my fellow citizens, this complex is no more. In his reckless abandonment and neglect for his personal health, the defendant took it upon himself to push his body beyond his threshold by competing in an sporting activity that he didn't adequately prepare for. The result: a completely ruptured joint that could have permanently disabled this young gentleman for the rest of his adult life. Yes, the marvels of modern medicine was able to bring his foot up to an operational level. Yes he can walk and yes he can run, but he can no longer play. And the off-the-shelf hardware, which you and I can purchase at home depot for 10 cents a screw, may have to stay in his foot permanently.

Sharing on Facebook: How to Improve Your Results by Customizing the Image, Title, and Summary Text

Holding a red leaf at The Monroe Institute

My wife recently made the best ice cream known to man: bay leaf ice cream. Yes, I originally made that same puzzled face and cringed of the idea of adding herbs to my dessert. Honestly, I was shocked at how good it was, so we clearly had to tell the world of our new found discovery.

Do You Ride the Rote Rut?

Tractor ruts in the mud

Are you as split focused as I am? Here's a pattern I've noticed: When I'm in the shower, I'm thinking about breakfast. When I'm eating breakfast, I'm thinking about my work day. When I'm at work, I'm thinking about everything else. Always there physically, never fully there mentally. This is a very tiring cycle because the amount of potential distractions in life are endless (Cable alone can give us 300+ channels worth 24 hours a day).

In the ideal scenario, one is 100% engaged in a single activity to the exclusion of all else. I love this state of being, when I can achieve it. I can be efficient as well as happy because there is no longer a major drain on both my body and my psyche. It's the flow state, the zone, or (in Happy Gilmore's lingo) your happy place.