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.
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).
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:
At room temperature, the average speed of a water molecule is approximately 1400 miles per hour. And yet, the ocean appears largely motionless.
After an earthquake, the average speed of a tidal wave is typically 500 miles per hour. And yet, it can take out nearly anything in its path.
So what’s more powerful: the speed of an individual component OR the speed by which the components move together?
You caught me. You were telling me something extremely important and I was already thinking of my response, or thinking of work, or day dreaming. I kept eye contact, I nodded when appropriate, and even reacted in every way you’d expect of someone truly listening. But I wasn’t listening. And I apologize for being rude.
The goal of a slide puzzle is easy: simply rearrange the tiles into the proper order. Actually doing this is a bit more difficult because there is only a single space to move a tile into at a given time. To make matters worse, a lot of coordination is required. Sometimes you have to move a tile further away before you can move it into it’s intended spot. And finally, you’re probably not going to predict the shortest path to complete the task, and you may end up swirling over and over again.
People laugh when I tell them I need to ‘go into bunker mode.’ But as Steven Pressfield describes in the War of Art and Do the Work, there is a real battle going on. We have all hopes, dreams, and goals we wish to achieve, but our own internal resistances fight against us every step of the way and try to derail us. We may blame external circumstances, luck, fate, etc. But the true enemy, Steven declares, is resistance.
Allegedly, my mom had to pull the remaining bits of cake out of my hair, nose, and ears. I couldn’t help it! It was my first birthday and I was so excited that I simply rammed the cake into my face. I didn’t care what others thought. In my younger years, I was too busy being happy for no reason (just look at my smile!)
I’ve never been a foodie. When I was a teenager, the most experimentation I did in the kitchen was figuring out the exact amount of time it took to make the perfect hot pocket (the answer is 2 minutes and 35 seconds). I sometimes at a box of cereal a day, sometimes as a dinner meal. And I loved Chef Boyaree, that wonderfully tasting but oddly orange pasta in a can. It was a staple in my diet until the end of my undergraduate college years, when a compassionate friend refused to let me eat that brand anymore out of principle (she was Italian).