Friday, July 12, 2013

Thank You For Matching My Crazy

"We carry our love of competition right through to the hospital and into the cemetery." I've never been a competitive person. It's simply not in my blood. I don't play to win, I play to keep the game going. Despite dirty looks from people who hate to lose. But I'm not against competition as a whole. I think it's human and healthy and necessary for the advancement of our society. Hell, without competition, we'd still be using car phones. The problem is when our appetite to achieve victory diminishes our ability to enjoy playing. There has to be a balance. Inspired by an article debunking the value of life expectancy.

"Every occurrence, including the affairs of human beings, is due to the laws of nature." I made the decision to retire almost exactly ten years after I started my company.  Literally, the same week in May, a decade later. That's interesting, I thought. I wonder if there's any significance to such fortuitous timing? So I went for a long walk in the park. That usually uproots a few good solutions. It forces me to think about how nature would solve this problem. And after a few hours, something occurred to me. The number ten is by far the most significant labeling system nature has. It's the mathematical base for everything. The major organizing principle of the universe. That's why decades are such important life markers. There truly is something special about what transpires during a ten year period. No wonder the lifecycle of my business ended on that very week. Anyway, that's how I choose to interpret my experience. And I find that figuring out life through the filter of nature is a hell of a way to go. Inspired by the smartest man alive.

"Thank you for matching my crazy."
 I appreciated this acknowledgment in Attempting Normal. Isn't that what we all want in a partner? Someone who understands that we all have our own shades of crazy, and the best gift we can give each other is the willingness to match colors? That's love. I'm reminded of my second date with my fiance. The whole time, I kept saying to myself, "Wow. This girl can actually keep up with me." That never happened before. I wasn't used to being with someone who matched me. What a relief. What a pleasure. What an exhale.

"Apple’s mission is to teach their customers to have better taste." The best stores are temples to belief systems. They’re places where we practice our religion. Since I was a kid, I've wanted to open my own used book store. Not because I would make a ton of money, but because it would memorialize things that matter to me. Reading. Learning. Language. Curiosity. Contribution. Community. Hospitality. Humanity. Work. Forget about selling books. The real reason behind the store is to create a primary container of meaning. An excuse to hang with people who share the same worldview. Inspired by this interview with Seth Godin.