Enlightened Conflict

I want to save the world

November 13th, 2015


ok to only save one person world


a weheartit contributor






I saw this the image I open with  weheartit as I was searching under ‘self development’ and it made me think one word … “awesome.”



Two words.

fucking awesome arrow


Fucking awesome.




At some point in our lives pretty much all of us have had a little bit of ‘I want to save the world’ in us. Of course, that was before the world & Life beat it out of us and suggested that maybe we aim a little lower.




A lot lower.






The world, and Life, was, and is, wrong. This is one of those things we should never have beaten out of us.



Let me repeat.


NEVER let it get beaten out of you.



Let me tell you why this may be one of the most important things we should pay attention to.


reality problem

There is no lack of problems in today’s world.



There is no lack of people who need saving.



There is no lack of ideas that need saving.



And let’s be clear … you do not need an “everything is fucked and we’re all going to die” attitude to see this.



It just is.



And while when you do ponder this it may appear easier to just say “I need to focus on my own happiness” … well … research has shown over and over again that our true happiness and self worth is attained when we aspire to being dynamic beyond our own purpose <be part of something bigger than just ‘me’>.






Here is a Life truth.



Life can suck if you let it.


And things will always remain sucky if you let it.


You can either do something or not do something. And you can do some important things or you can do unimportant things.


That’s the gig. Simple as that.



But here is what I can tell you for sure.



Doing something … and doing important things … gives meaning & purpose and all that Maslow stuff which makes you feel self-value. In other words … in a world that may suck or at least may appear to suck <and has some obvious sucky things about it> … if you choose to try and save the world in some way … well … you will not suck.





You don’t have to save the world all at once. You can start saving small … a penny at a time. All you gotta do is choose any frickin’ penny you see lying on the ground <that’s a bad metaphor for ‘some issue’ by the way>.



Just pick a problem and start saving the world one penny at a time. Before you know it you will have made a dollar difference … maybe more if you are really lucky.



Education, Jobs, Homelessness. Poverty. Domestic violence. Women’s rights. Mental health. Big Brothers/Sisters.




Supporting ‘doing what is right.’



There are so many to choose from you cannot go wrong in saving the world … you can start saving at any time in fact.



Will you solve it?


Most likely not.



Will you contribute to the solution?





Most importantly … will you make a difference? Yes.



Like small pebbles dropped in a pond the ripple reaches much much farther than you can see from where you stand.



And you know what?moral compass individual save


You will feel better about yourself. Even if you are only one penny richer at the end of the day … well … you are richer.



So maybe … rather than falling in love with yourself or seek to make yourself happy … you might do well to get to work on solving the problems that prevent the world from being truly exceptional.



By the way.



If along the way you are the only person you save … well … you have done good, kid.

the weight of emptiness

November 3rd, 2014

Emptiness infinite



“How can emptiness be so heavy?”


Six Word Story







When I saw this ‘six word story’ I stopped.


It is one of those thoughts so incredibly obvious … yet so insightful … and so simple … you have to think.



How can something not there … emptiness or empty space … carry something tangible?


How can emptiness … nothing … be so much of a something?



question face



“We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.”


Charles Bukowski


Emptiness is a burden.



A heavy burden.


It is a hole filled with the remnants of everything left behind.



Of all things gone but not forgotten.



This could include regrets, memories, past decisions … even people no longer there.


All the things that have touched our lives reside in this emptiness. Their absence may mean that their presence is gone … yet their weight … their gravitas … remains.




“Sometimes you can only feel something by its absence.

By the empty spaces it leaves behind. “

emptiness creative


Gayle Forman



I imagine I could offer up some flippant trite suggestions on how you can put your emptiness on a diet. Thoughts on ‘how to shed the unwanted weight.’



Or maybe suggest we think about all the silly things we do and feel which create the weight in things … that are frankly not really there.



I will not.



“You can decorate absence however you want ― but you’re still going to feel what’s missing.”


Siobhan Vivia




I will not because I tend to believe emptiness will always be heavy.


It will always be heavier than it should as well as heavier than we probably want.



I will only suggest that we become better at carrying that weight … that burden.


The emptiness will always remain <albeit we may fill it with some things which decorate the emptiness in things that make it a little less apparent> and we just learn to carry it better.



I apologize if that sounds ‘less than positive’ or not enough of a ‘here is how to shed emptiness’ type advice but, pragmatically, I tend to believe emptiness isn’t something that goes away.





If something has earned emptiness status … in that it was important enough that you felt its absence … I hesitate to believe it will magically waft away like smoke.




Emptiness is simply more substantial than smoke.






emptiness feel feelings

How can emptiness be so heavy?




Because that which makes up emptiness is something.



Typically a bunch of somethings that matter.


This huge and wondrous bewildering brilliant horrible world

September 23rd, 2014

world in your hands



You don’t appreciate the chaos and absurdity of life on this planet.



You don’t understand irony, or ethnicity, or eccentricity, or poetry, or the simple joy of being a regular at the diner on your block.



I love that.


You don’t drink coffee or alcohol. You don’t over eat. You don’t cry when you’re alone. You don’t understand sarcasm. You plod through life in a neat, colorless, caffeine free, dairy free, conflict free way.

I’m bold and angry and tortured and tremendous and I notice when someone has changed their hair part, or when someone is wearing two very distinctly different shades of black or when someone changes the natural temperament of their voice on the phone.

I don’t give out empty praise.

I’m not complacent or well-adjusted.

I can’t spend fifteen minutes breathing and stretching and getting in touch with myself.

I can’t spend three minutes finishing an article.

I check my answering machine nine times every day and I can’t sleep at night because I feel that there is so much to do and fix and change in the world, and I wonder every day if I am making a difference and if I will ever express the greatness within me, or if I will remain forever paralyzed by muddled madness inside my head.



I’ve wept on every birthday I’ve ever had because life is huge and fleeting and I hate certain people and certain shoes and I feel that life is terribly unfair and sometimes beautiful and wonderful and extraordinary but also numbing and horrifying and insurmountable and I hate myself a lot of the time.



The rest of the time I adore myself and I adore my life in this city and in this world we live in.


This huge and wondrous, bewildering, brilliant, horrible world.



hugh adventure to adventure 



Jessica, from Kissing Jessica Stein








I love this monologue pulled from Kissing Jessica Stein.



I love that it sounds like she is a disaster … but it really reflects the complexity of any and all of us.



What do I mean?



I believe that within each of us resides a kaleidoscope of fragmented pieces of different people and feelings and likes & dislikes.



And all of these things swirl around viewing the world from a variety of perspectives.


me hot messme hot mess 2All of which tends to end up muddling things in our heads and make us question whether we are being the best we can be.



And if we question whether we are at our best then we certainly question whether we are making a difference.







There is an inextricable link between those two things.






We don’t make that connection enough.


And maybe that is why the world is so brilliant … and bewildering.



Brilliant in that we can see the change that can, and could, be.


In us and in the world.



hope and agonyThat is called Hope.





Bewildering in that because aligning our ‘best’ to when we can actually make a difference <which is a moment that occurs significantly less often than you would imagine> is sometimes difficult to see and experience.



That creates something called Despair.



And therein lies the huge & wondrous & bewildering & brilliant & horribleness of the world … the constant tug of war between hope & despair.



That may sound extreme … if not poetic and possibly even too philosophical … but if you think about it … our moments in life are far too often simply defined by feelings of hope <for something better> or despair <that the moment wasn’t the best it could, or should, have been … and maybe it never will be>.



I tried to think of an example of the constant tug between the bewildering & brilliance … that almost irreconcilable angst of hope clashing with despair … and then I found this:




do you ever just think about how shitty you are compared to other writers and give up hope?

Step 1.

Go on goodreads


Step 1.

Look up any book you think is worthy of 5 stars, look at the break down of the star rating.

Someone, somewhere thought that book was a 1 star.


Step 2.

Now go to a book you rate as 1 star.

Again go to the break down… I bet someone has rated it 5 star worthy.


Step 3.

hard to planyou are more

Stop being so hard on yourself.

Someone will love what you’ve written.

Yes, it’s important to be proud of what you’re doing, but I guarantee you are being too hard on yourself.








To be clear.




The huge and wondrous and horrible bewildering brilliant thing is not really the world. It is us. It is our heads.




We each hold a desire to be huge & wondrous & as brilliant as we can be.



And in feeling that we naturally get tugged between hope & despair … all the while residing in the infiniteness of a relatively indifferent world chuckling at our attempts.




We long for something big.


That is simply being human.


And yet most of us are taught day after day after day to collect wood and do tasks.



If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.


Antoine de Saint-Exupery




Most of us long for the immensity of the sea.



And by doing so … life can often be bewildering and we can often look like a disaster.


disastersave yourself



And there will never be a lack of people ready to point out that disaster.


Ignore them.



Just appreciate the irony, the absurdity, the chaos, the huge & brilliance & wondrous aspects of the world.



Adore it and embrace it.




You will not only be a little calmer about shit but you most likely will not actually be a disaster.

the most when least expected

July 19th, 2014

expectations reality diagram


“Maybe who we are isn’t so much about what we do, but rather what we’re capable of when we least expect it.”

Jodi Picoult


“After all, our lives are but a sequence of accidents – a clanking chain of chance events. A string of choices, casual or deliberate, which add up to that one big calamity we call life.”

Rohinton Mistry





So I tend to believe we measure ourselves by what we expect of ourselves when … well … we have expectations of ourselves.





expect seldom occursIf this big ‘calamity we call Life’ is simply a sequence of accidents … a chain of chance events … maybe we should be measuring ourselves by what we are capable of when we least expect it.
Most of us are capable of a shitload.


And most of us give ourselves a shitload of criticism for not meeting expectations when we expect to do something. And, yet, most of life is a shitload of unexpected things.


It would be nice if Life acted upon the same principle as the programming technology industry … the principle of least astonishment.


In other words … if some key technology feature has a high astonishment factor <the surprise factor> they immediately conclude it may be necessary to redesign the feature. The design should match the user’s experience, expectations, and mental models <in other words … surprises are bad>.



expect most all



Unfortunately Life doesn’t work that way.


And neither do we.
Life astonishes us on a fairly consistent basis … and we astonish ourselves on a far equal amount of the time.
Least expected typically refers to something that is the least likely <or most unlikely> to happen.



And yet what we do, what we are capable of, in these least expected moments … are actually the least unexpected.



Because least unexpected refers to something that is the least unlikely <or most likely> to happen.


In our heads, and often in our words, unlikely or unexpected get jumbled up with least likely and least expected and in all the jumbledness the result ends up least unexpected.

<don’t worry … my head started getting confused & hurting when I wrote that>


see what we look forJust to be silly … I would suggest that all the misuses are not in the least unexpected.


Just to be not silly … I would suggest that what we are capable of when we least expect it is typically pretty frickin’ amazing.




In the unplanned calamity of Life we make choices … and in a least unexpected way we do pretty fucking well.
Remember this:


“Adventures do occur, but not punctually.”

E.M. Forster


Life is not punctual.


Nor is Life planned ahead of time.


Life is often one big calamity.


The only thing we can expect of Life is the unexpected.



The least unexpected thing?


What we are capable of … and who we are is not just defined but what we do <in general> but rather what we do in the unexpected calamity of Life. The create you are whatchoices we make in the unexpected chain of moments that make up most of Life.



Any idiot can ‘do’ in the expected moments.


The measure of a person is truly found in what you do in the unexpected moments.


the compromising of being as good as you can be

June 25th, 2014

better than yesterday


“I don’t think that people accept the fact that life doesn’t make sense. I think it makes people terribly uncomfortable. “
David Lynch


“Compromising dreams for the stunning reality of life. :(
mnmsnickers <twitter>





I almost called this ‘playing the game.’




I almost called this ‘scaring the world.’



“Scare the world: Be exactly who you say you are and tell the truth.”
The Shock of Honesty


When I think about this I think about hollow spaces and empty people.


dreams holow places empty people







Compromising the wrong way … playing the game as it were … is all about filling a hollow space with empty people <or an empty job or an empty anything>.


Once you know what you are good at … maybe even have a clear sense of what attaining your ‘dream’ would be … you kind of have a tendency to think all you had to do now was sort out the finer details.



Play the game?


The words never enter your heads.


Unfortunately we soon discover that life has other plans for us.


I am fairly sure that most of us do not grow up truly believing they could have it all … all as in a great job, a viable bank balance, a perfect relationship.


But I do believe all of us grow up thinking ‘big things’ for ourselves.



Call them dreams.


Call them simply being better <or going farther> than our parents.


Call it hope for a good Life.


And no matter how we grow up … I tend to believe all of us find the reality is very different than what we imagined or hoped.


Learning to compromise is okay if it brings you back down to earth but not okay if it means compromising how good you can be.


The difficult part comes in trying to play the game.compromise never settle for


What do I mean?




You take a job because you have to.

You take a job because it ‘gets you in.’


You say something like this … ‘doing this isn’t something I would have considered before … but I have to believe that I’m bettering my chances.’


‘Bettering your chances.’


Playing the game.


Managing your hope.


I will say from personal experience that after what seems like a zillion psychological tests in interview processes … and maybe more zillions of seemingly endless resume ‘revisions to customize to specific companies and perceived needs’ … and managing hope after what may seem like an eternity of unsuccessful job submissions.

I personally have figured out all that really matters is the core.


Core as in who you are and telling people what they are gonna get.



But that’s me.

I won’t play the game.




How about there are certain things in the game that I will not play.






compromise what is inside bronteI do know that research shows that compromising early on <maybe when you first hit the job market or maybe simply as you enter adulthood out of teens> hopes are in their most nascent and fragile form and they can easily be trampled upon with devastating consequences to our self-confidence and self-esteem.





It takes on a mutated form in older adulthood.


It doesn’t attack the formative stages … it actually kills healthy esteem and confidence cells.


Maybe worse?



It attacks your belief not in yourself … but in society and the structure you have prospered in up to this point.



My fear in today’s business world is that in seeking employment or even working within an organization we are constantly asking ourselves what we can do without and becoming masters in what I would call ‘psychological constructive compromise.’


Unfortunately it is actually destructive compromise.


It destroys how good you can be.



Maybe better said it destructs real expectations of yourself.


Real expectations … ones colored with some Life experience … which are not sky-high and tainted with any sense of entitlement … are being challenged intellectually, financially or emotionally as now being thought of out of reach.




Out of reach?


Being who you are and being good at what you do?



That is crazy.


And therein lies how ‘playing the game’ is simply a destructive game … and one which I am surprised businesses and other ‘game managers’ allow to be played.


Let me be specific <because this is what got me thinking about this>.


Customizing your resume as you apply for a job.outcome results still fucked

I now … I know … it sounds reasonable from a 40,000 foot perspective.


But <and I will talk about odds later> most times we are customizing in ways that take a square peg of information and place it into a round hole of perceived need.


That’s playing the game.


Mostly because most employers are too lazy to see anything but ‘something that fits the round hole I have.’ And the prospective employee is simply thinking … ‘once I get in I can be the fabulous spectacular square peg that I am.’

Simplistically you are playing the game to get in the game.


This is ludicrous.


It looks ludicrous even as I type it.





We all need to be taught to keep expectations in check.


But in doing so we need to be sure … really sure … that our compromising isn’t simply a dismissal of our dreams to play the game.


A dose of reality can be like a slap in the face … uhm … ok … maybe more like an uppercut to the jaw.

But sometimes you have to learn to take the punches.


And maybe give a couple back.


But you have to make some choices.


Hard choices.



And no matter what anyone tells me … I just cannot see how customizing your resume or ‘saying the right words’ or … well … whatever you are being told to do to get a job or get the girl or get the dream … actually increases the odds.


In fact … I would suggest in the end it decreases the odds of getting what you really want <longer term>.






relevance minorityThe bottom line on anything to do with ‘odds’ is that … the odds suck.

And they suck playing the game or not playing the game.



Bottom line.


The odds suck.




Life is playing its game <even if a business or other people are trying to ‘game the system’> and you have to figure out which player you are truly playing against.


I am not suggesting you should avoid considering anyone who is actually in the game.


Just who is more important than another.




Because you need to ask what is at stake in the real game’.


Because the one and only answer is … you.


Or what some people call ‘the authentic you.’



“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen. “
Brené Brown




The authentic you.

I just call it ‘me.’


No fancying up with adjectives.


You sometimes have to draw a line with regard to ‘me.’


And yes … this line drawing comes with consequences.

But all line drawing does.


You just have to identify what is non negotiable.


What are you not willing to compromise on?


Find the pieces of your life vision … your character … that you want beyond all certainty.


These are non-negotiable features you are not prepared to give up for anything.


And while I am certainly a dreamer type … or maybe it is that I love hope … I will admit that this exercise can incorporate some foundational basic life aspects. Things beyond ‘being passionate with what I do’ <which I actually believe is useless tripe> like being a loving mother or father … or traveling regularly or checking something off on your adventurous things to do on your list of things to do.





That said.


Compromising in this type of thinking invariably comes down to what you don’t mind forsaking in return for having something else.


And, in general, we suck at this type of assessment.


We are typically to hopeful or ‘positive thinking’ in our assessment.

“If I take this job I can show them I actually deserve this other thing.’






It typically doesn’t work that way.


The whole idea of negotiating or compromising on a dream or ‘how good you think you can be’ is a challenging reality.



And it is even more challenging when you incorporate the concept that I strongly dislike … the term ‘be realistic.’


I am not overly materialistic so I can focus on other things <and everyone needs to think about that aspect>.


I have at least a thread of altruism so I am okay with pursuing some self desires <and everyone needs to think about that aspect>.





It kind of seems to me when thinking about playing the game … why should I compromise being the best I can be when some people don’t even sem to be trying to be the best they can be <for themselves or for others>?
To be clear on being as good as you can be.


It is not simply waking up every day, stretching, looking at yourself in the mirror <possibly with fist raised in the air> saying something like “I know I want to achieve adventure and fulfillment in everyday life.”


My own vision for life is fairly clear.


And I admit that it has changed and evolved over time.


And I imagine that is quite similar to most people.


I also admit that it seems to get clearer every day as I figure out what’s important to me.


I know that I challenge myself to be even better.

Every day as a matter of fact.





That’s because being better or the best you can be is a work-in-progress thing.
As for compromising or ‘playing the game’?


I know the type of organizations and people I want to be a part of and to surround myself with.
I will not apologize for how I choose to survive.



“You never need to apologize for how you chose to survive.”
Clementine von Radics






And by survive … I don’t mean putting food on the table … I mean character.
A lot of people will argue with me on this topic.

They will suggest <with some truth by the way> I am not being realistic.
And you know what?


They may be right.
But it is the line I have drawn for myself.



I don’t want to hollow myself out in some empty job. And that is what empty jobs do … hollow the guts out of you. Strangle your soul and character bit by bit.
I would rather starve my body than starve my character.



I would rather … scare the world … and be exactly who you say you are and tell the truth.”



The stunning realities of Life force everyone to do several things.fire and life


Everyone needs to learn the line they will draw.


Everyone needs to recognize where compromise is done and ‘me’ is defined.

slowing the onslaught of compromise

February 13th, 2014


 “To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. Either you be or you don’t be.” – Golda Meircompromise give away





It is a tricky thing.


Tricky concept. Tricky discussion.


Type ‘art of compromise’ into google search and you get about 37,800,000 results <in .31 seconds>.

Sometimes it seems like we are faced with compromise choices about 37,800,000 times every 31 days.


We face compromise every day if not every minute.


We face it in the meaningless minutiae … ‘I will slow down to let that asshole pass me’ … to the important … ‘I believe this is the right thing to do, but …’

If you spend a minute thinking about it … well … we face compromise after compromise after … whew … compromise.




Where do we draw the line?

In fact … do we draw the line often enough?


And where the heck do we draw the line so that our lives are not completely defined by compromise? <which would mean you stand for nothing>



“To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul – would you understand why that’s much harder?”  – Ayn Rand



It is a Life truth that not everything that matters can be counted and unfortunately many of the most important things rarely are.


This is troubling because in the world of exhaustive compromise … we need to be able to not only count … but count on … the most important things.


compromise mediocracyI say that because Compromise is sly.


In a ‘group think’ consensus environment where, compromise takes a death grip on decision making, everyone is at risk of being led into that empty abyss of unthinking acquiescence and an inevitable downward spiral of individual and collective compromise dragged down by a lack of independent thought <which inevitably leads to a gray personality and a semi-blurry moral compass>.


To me … Compromise is the enemy of individuality.


I said it.

And a bunch of people are not gonna like me for typing that.


But Compromise seems to be all about compromising principles and diminishing individual responsibility in the mistaken belief that the short-term advantage of a larger group harmony inevitably leads to a long-term satisfaction of a ‘greater good.’



If you ever wanted a definition of ‘middle of the road’ living <personally or in business> there it is.


More importantly <to individuality> it appears that invariably the consequences are some form of damaged personal integrity <if not some bad decisions>.


In my eyes we are far too often advised to “choose your battles.”compromise never settle for

Unfortunately that suggests we should know which issues are worth fighting for and which aren’t really important.

The logic is that you should save your strength for the things that really matter.


That also assumes that EVERYONE recognizes the things that really matter.


Because if they don’t then you end up simply being stuck in a consensus driven group environment where compromise dictates just one more short term decision. And, let’s face it, not everyone is good at recognizing the things that really matter. In fact … most of us suck at it.



I understand that not all conflicts have clear winners.

In some instances there may be reasonable but contradictory claims.

You can go ahead and fight it out … but no one person will really ‘win.’


I also understand In some situations we must be able to compromise.



Where do we draw the line?

Because we are not drawing any lines.


Compromise is far too often simply a different version of hell.


“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters



Compromise is sly.


If you need to compromise the one ‘truth’ I believe you must never ‘lose’ with regard to the discussion … is you must never lose sight of ‘yourself’.


You have core needs and beliefs. Do not relinquish anything that you feel is absolutely essential  <understanding that you must be willing to accept something ‘unessential’ to you … that will inevitably influence how you feel and ‘how you look’ – in the mirror and to others>.


Compromise never feels perfect … because more often than not … it isn’t. In fact … in more cases than not it is distinctly imperfect of not wrong.


Decide where you are willing to bend.

Be willing to give up something in order to gain something significant.compromise balancing act


In the end.

Compromise seems to be about bargaining with life.

And maybe we should spend a second thinking about what we are bargaining with.



Compromise is but the sacrifice of one right or good in the hope of retaining another – too often ending in the loss of both.” – Tryon Edwards



And speaking of losing ‘both’ … I have a couple of words I want to use … Integrity and Self. They are inextricably linked … and cannot be de-linked under the guise of compromise.


Look. What is ‘right’ is often not only a moving target but also can be found in degrees within a variety of solutions and answers.

What is not a moving target is one’s integrity and sense of Self.



This can end up being a little tricky … because you yesterday … is not you today … and certainly not the you tomorrow.


Self, in and by itself, is a constant work in progress <oops part 2: this sounds like one of those trite philosophical thoughts for which I apologize>.


And your judgment is influenced by personal beliefs <what principles you embrace> and what you know as of the moment.


In all situations requiring careful judgment … especially compromise moments … we are influenced by our own biased personal beliefs. And that is where Integrity places you firmly in the path of Compromise. Firm ground on which to stand and say ‘stop … you do not pass this place until we have talked.’


“Don’t compromise yourself; you’re all you’ve got.” – Janis Joplin


Or … as Golda Meir states … ‘either you be or you don’t be.’


Compromise is crafty because it tries to confuse you between ‘you be’ and ‘we be’ in terms of priorities.



In my mind there is far too much compromising while getting nothing in return <we are stuck in the middle>.

In my mind there is far too much compromising for short term gain <and short term decision making>.

In my mind there is far too much compromising at the expense of compromise never-a-dayfostering individual thought <and individuality>.


Maybe it’s time you put a line in the sand.


Stop the onslaught of compromise.


now or never

February 28th, 2012

“Sometimes there is no next time, no time-outs, no second chances; sometimes it’s now or never.”



Alan Bennett




Life is tricky.



While there often seems to be unending line of second chances standing outside your door sometimes … well … you look outside one morning and they have all gone to have a scone at starbucks.


And you are alone.



And you can’t play the ‘next time’ card or ask the next second chance to come on in. Or say … uhm … can you wait a minute? <until one of the second chances comes back from the bathroom>



now right-here-right-now1

Its now or never.



And this gets even trickier.


Because while I suggested a line of second chances typically hangs out outside your door … they don’t really stand around. You just kind of envision, and hope, they are hanging around.


What that means is this is a judgment call on your part.





If it helps … the odds are with you.


Life DOES give you a shitload of second chances and timeouts and next times. Probably more than you could ever use in a lifetime as a matter of fact.


But that’s not the point.


This is about the moment when the odds say … oops … none of them available.


Now or never.



Life walks right on up to you and says … ‘what’s your call?’


And this is actually the judgment call.


Life doesn’t say (in an aside whisper) … “Hey, just so you know, this is one of those no time out, no second chance, no next time moments.”


(sorry about that)



You just gotta know.


I guess the point of this is to remind everyone that while Life is extremely generous in giving time outs and second chances … there are going to be now or never moments.


And you have to be prepared for them.


And do your best to recognize them.


And make a call.





And, I imagine, it is also important to recognize afterwards, if you fucked up and didn’t see it, that it was a ‘now or never’ moment.


And that is important because … well … you cannot undo or go back or ask for a second chance.


Because, well, it was a now or never moment.


And you are done with it.


It is gone.


Move on.

now is our time

Don’t beat yourself up (wasted energy).


Don’t try and fix it.


Live & learn.



It sucks but, trust me, more often than not … you will get another ‘now or never’ opportunity again one day <whether you want it or not>


And … at that moment … remember …  “sometimes there is no next time.”

Because it pays to recognize one of these moments when they arise.

would you want to know how long you’re likely to live

May 23rd, 2011

Question of the day.



Would you want to know how long you’re likely to live <assuming you don’t get pushed off a cliff by your spouse)>?




“I don’t know why he saved my life. Maybe in those last moments he loved life more than he ever had before.


Not just his life – anybody’s life; my life.


All he’d wanted were the same answers the rest of us want.

Where did I come from? Where am I going? How long have I got?”



Deckard in Blade Runner






Knowing how long you would live.  Now there is an interesting question.  I bring it up because some scientists/doctors/smart-people-I-don’t-know-what-they-do have developed a blood test that could predict how long you will live (it’s called a “Telomere test” to all you biology freaks).



Do I truly believe the test is accurate? Nope.


Do I believe the test is infallible? Nope.


Do I believe the test can directionally tell you how long you could live? <assuming you do not get pushed off a cliff or stand in front of moving buses>







I think the real question is … do I believe people want to know?



Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm …. that one is tougher.


Here is what I do know.


I would.


I would take it in a second. I would have taken it when I was 21 <so I don’t think my point of view has varied over time>.


Would most other people? <here is the answer below>



The Guardian ran a poll on their website. I believe they had several thousand respondents:



50 something change nothingWould you take a test that tells you how long you’re likely to live?

A blood test that can show how fast you’re ageing and estimates how long you have left to live will go on sale later this year. Will you be taking it?


50.9%   Yes

49.1%   No






Basically the world is split on this. 50% would and 50% wouldn’t.


Was I surprised? Gosh.  I don’t know. I didn’t know what to expect.
But suffice it to say that there are plans in Britain to offer an over-the-counter blood-test kit that would allow you to learn your biological age (and, from there, to estimate how much longer you might live).





This test measures the length of your telomeres, which are like caps at the end of each of your chromosomes. Every time a cell divides, its telomeres are shortened. The more dividing that’s gone on, the more your body has aged.

Therefore short telomeres suggest advanced age (that’s the everyday person’s definition of how this hifalutin test works).



The thought that this telomeres blood test might serve as a potential measure of life expectancy takes on a new perspective when the test kit moves out of a scientific lab and into your own home.


I guess the main question for anyone considering such a test has to be, of course, whether you really want to know how much time you still have left.



It is an interesting question.  And kind of a dilemma <because what do you do when you do know?>.



I scanned a bunch of articles and of course everyone started the whole domino affect discussion <who do you tell, what do you do, what about insurance companies, all that crap>.


Who cares?


Really the only question resides within you.

And me.





I would want to know.





“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”


Chuck Palahniuk

world you live in 100percent


I would then know how long I had left to create something that could last forever.


And maybe the knowledge would give me the strength to make whatever changes I would need to make to create something that may ‘live forever.’


Because it would really suck to run out of time before that happened.

to do or not to do

August 26th, 2010

“most agencies are in the same boat — from big ones to two man shops. They’re in it for the money and they’re scared. Scared the client’s going to walk. And because they are afraid they compromise their principles. They are so scared of losing the business they give the customer what they think they want rather than what they know he needs. And sometimes it works — for a while. But in the end it always backfires. You lose the business anyway and you wake up one day to find you’re a prostitute. So, in the end, stick to your principles. ‘to thine ownself be true.’ 0ver 200 years old but still good advice.” – Stephen Hawley Martin (founder of The Martin Agency)



There is some delightfully uncomfortable candor from a business person.


Anyone in the service industry will read this and understand exactly what Mr. Martin is saying.


When in service business you are always trapped by “doing whatever it takes to make the customer happy” (which seems to be an insane mantra seeping through business these days) versus “what is going to make me happy” (as a business, business person, business owner).


Truth? This is not an easy answer.


I am not suggesting ignoring customers (although I do believe the tired “customer is king/queen” mantra is going a little bit too far) but at some point you draw a line.

You need to draw a line or you will go nuts.


Or just become a prostitute.



Sometimes lines can fence you in but sometimes lines can neaten life.

Someone who draws a great line yet is focused on the customer?


Ritz Carlton.

“Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentleman.” You see that everywhere in the back rooms and over back-to-front entryways at Ritz Carltons. It is their culture and their attitude and their mantra.



What is the line? The moment a Ritz guest no longer acts like a ‘ladies or gentleman.’ That is their line.



I imagine drawing a line is about making boundaries.

And it is probably one of the hardest things in the world to do. With anything I may add.

In business?


I have been in those meetings.

Especially now with the internet where one ‘declined’ customer (they don’t even have to be mistreated in any way) can reach out and impact hundreds because they weren’t allowed to join the club.Those discussion are painful and often driven by knee jerk reactions <to a minority of one>.


I understand that this is about growing your business <or maybe … stopping it from declining>.

Whew. Of course in a recession passing on a dollar in hand is tough (heck. even in good times it is) but do you really want them as a customer?.



Think about government. Regardless of whether it is government policy on dealing with terrorists or rules of warfare.

What is acceptable and what isn’t? Tough tough questions.


Personal time off in a business. Your kids and their activities. Job searches and type of job you want. Time commitments. Personal behavior.



Where do you draw the line?


I know I struggle with people who want it all spelled out upfront (or maybe people who live only by ‘rules’). Mostly because you invest a lot of energy and time thinking about every possibility (which could be time doing more productive things) and then lo and behold something you couldn’t have foreseen pops up. And you start discussing ‘exceptions’ (which really aren’t exceptions other than the fact someone demanded you draw a line … or a boundary).


And then there is where does it fall on the line you have drawn.

Some things are black and white but they seem to be far and few between.


The one thing that remains black & white?

Being true to thineself.


Draw the line somewhere where you can sleep well at night.

That’s the line.

Enlightened Conflict