If You Made It Free, Would Anybody Care?

Free hugs campaign

The allure of making money online is a powerful one. I’ll admit that I got caught in the entire eBay marketing hype a few years back because I wanted to get rich quick. And so naturally I lost some money in the process. I was beckoned by the simple dream, the simple meme: if you build it, they will come.

And so many build, and few show up, much to the dismay of the would-be internet millionaires.

How I Lost My Fingerprints

Stalks of corn - flickr - John Lillis

Discovering I had no fingerprints startled me. I actually felt my head jerk in the same way my body shakes awake when I fall in a dream. I was washing my hands (like usual) and I noticed that my hands and fingers were slipping past each other with zero friction between them. Was it a different type of soap? No, because even when I dried them, I could rub the pads of my fingers together with almost no resistance. All the ridges that you normally can see with your eyes had been smoothed away.

I was confused. How did this happen? Would-be crooks, pay attention! Rick’s secret to fingerprint-free fingers is about to be revealed.

What if It's All Junk?

Stack of papers - flickr - ant.photos

I face this fear almost every time I write. What if it’s all junk? What if nobody likes it? The list goes on.

But why do we not ask the opposite? What if it’s great? What if it really connects with a reader in a big way? What if it permanently shifts their perspective on life forever? And all from a single post, how amazing!

The Pity Party Greatest Hits

A jigsaw puzzle showing tears as puzzle pieces

I threw a huge pity party for myself last week. It was awesome awful. I let these debilitating thoughts play in my head over and over again until I made myself sick and puked. It was like a college party without the fun of the buzz.

Then I changed my attitude and (surprise) everything got better. Instead of worrying about all the todo’s on my plate, I simply sat down and knocked them out (and ahead of schedule). Problem solved.

Stop picking your nose!

A statue of a man picking his nose - flickr - therealbrute

No, this post is not about boogers. It’s about all the little irritations of life that we let slide until the frustration crescendos until we do something impulsive: yell, eat, smoke, drink, yell some more, throw out, curse, bitch, moan, cry, and possibly pick one’s nose.


Holding two Sorry! game cards.

I screamed “DO A GOOGLE SEARCH!” in a german accent while pounding my fist on the table. My wife and our friends Emily and Ben roared with laughter (of course you had to be there). We were playing Mad Gab, but not with any care of who won the game. Our goal was to have a great time with some friends. And by the my wife blurted out “Dead man walking!” in a british accent, we were all in tears from laughing so hard.

Fun was had; Mission accomplished.

Losing Your Way

Colosseum in Rome - Photo by Diliff

Rome wasn’t built in a day. But it also didn’t collapse in a day. It suffered from the what Richard Maybury called ‘The Roman Disease.’ The once powerful nation slowly lost its way through corruption, debt, decadence, and a loss of the very focus and drive that built this once powerful nation.

The same can happen to us (queue scary music).

What Did You Create Today?

Rick Manelius website theme 2011

Life is not meant to be shuffling papers. Yes, we all have chores and responsibilities that need to get done as part of the overhead of daily life, but the remaining hours are ours to create. Perhaps we make progress on an exciting project, or developing a new talent, or simply connecting with friends and loved ones. Projects, hobbies, and memories: these are all our creations.

Now for the hard questions I ask myself almost every night: