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.

Same Words, Different Dictionaries

Black's Law and Urban Dictionaries

Based on a true relationship story.

Honey, you should check out this great book I just read.
Honey, you should watch out this funny video on the internet.
Honey, you should try this new item on the dinner menu. It's fabulous!

Question: Are these "shoulds" commands or suggestions?
Answer: It depends on your dictionary.

It's a funny story, but it carries an important message for every relationship.

Damned if I Niche, Concierge if I don't

Concierge at a Hotel

We all love an expert. When I broke my foot, was I going to go to someone who 'kinda' knew how to repair feet? When I was picking a school, did I want a school that 'sortof' focused on engineering? When I wanted to solve the scientific problem of how carbon nanotubes stuck together by quantum electrodyamic forces caused by differences in their optical properties, did I search and scour the globe for the first wikipedia article author that 'kinda' new what a van der Waals force was?

No. No. And 100% without a doubt NO!

The Four Agreements - Video Book Review

The Four Agreements - Video Book Review

It sounds so simple: be impeccable with your word, don't take things personally, don't make assumptions, and always do your best. But we've been programmed by our parents, society, schools, media, and ourselves to do anything but! Still, there is no need to judge and beat ourselves up over it. But with awareness comes the choice. Do we continue to let these agreements stay in our psyche and harm us like a malicious computer virus? Or do we take a stand and make new agreements.