Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Any Solution Other Than Reps

"I don't want that hour back." There's simple way to measure the satisfaction of time spent. When you're done reading a book or listening to a podcast or going to a party, do you wish you had that chunk of time back? If not, what you did was meaningful. For example, suffering through three painful hours of Les Miserables, I wish I had that time back. Going for a walk in the park, listening to my favorite playlist and taking pictures of bizarre found items, I regret nothing. Inspired by Jeff Garlin's delightful interview with Mad Men creator Matthew Winer.

"Any solution other than reps." When I hear the word reps, I think bodybuilding. Muscles. Knocking out sets of curls until you can't lift your arms anymore. But the value of repetition pays off in every part of our lives, not just the gym. Personally, I love practice. I could practice all day. In fact, most days I do. I learned many years ago how meaningful life becomes when you approach everything as practice. Inspired by a fascinating discussion about addiction and recovery with Dr. Drew.

"I've never had a door that wasn't next to someone else's." Beautiful article about neighbors. When I moved to Portland after college, the first person I met was Laszlo, the guy across the hall. He and I became fast friends, made tons of great memories––even helped each other through some storms––and still remain friends to this day. All because our doors were adjacent. Isn't it amazing how proximity affects influence? After meeting Laszlo, and after reading Bowling Alone, I've vowed never to ignore my neighbors again. We don't always have to be best friends, but we do have to acknowledge each other.

"My purpose in writing is to say things, not to sell things." I grew up reading Calvin & Hobbes. Decades later, seeing this transcript from Bill Watterson really hit home with me. I've always been the kind of artist who'd rather be heard than paid, which, as an entrepreneur, was a blessing and a curse. On one hand, there was a certain purity to the work, never having to bow down to some corporate master who's looking over my shoulder with a giant red pen. On the other hand, I was only really making enough money to buy more time so I could do more work. Not exactly a sustainable business model.

"There comes a moment in history when ignorance is no longer a forgivable offense." Powerful passage from Dan Brown's new book. What's crazy is, no matter how devastating ignorance is, sometimes we choose not to know. About important things, too. The problem is, when ideas don't jive with the identity we've created for ourselves, our beliefs become too convenient to be killed. And we end up hurting ourselves, our neighbors and our planet. But don't worry. I'm sure that whole global warming hoax will pass. Climate change is just another fad like slap bracelets and stonewashed jeans.