Gotta run

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.

Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.

An empty page

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted.”
– Jack Kerouac

Life is painted on empty canvas by our own hands. The image or words you leave behind are all that matter, in the end.

Meditation on failure

It doesn’t matter that we fail from time to time. In fact, we should know failure. That failure creates an opportunity to learn like no other.

If all we had known was success then we aren’t pushing ourselves. We’re doing a disservice to the world that can influence, and a disservice to our own well-being.

Certainly, I have failed. Made decisions that ran counter to my own best interests. I’ve lied, cheated, and stole. I’ve broken laws and misused trusts that were placed in me. For the pain and suffering I’ve caused I am deeply sorry. I hope that in my failure I’ve learned enough to make amends.

And still, it is my desire to do better, to be better. There aren’t many opportunities in life that don’t require the rocking of the boat from time to time. Safe sailing yields no new treasures.

So fail, then. Live openly, live truthfully, and live bravely. You’ll get knocked on your ass from time to time. But all you can do is get up, dust yourself off, and try again.

Letting go of disappointment

Sometimes it won’t go the way you intend it. Sometimes you’ll make a mistake (or three). You’ll miss a deadline, you’re overestimate or under-deliver. There are a thousand-and-one ways to screw up. And at some point you’ll make that misstep.

But, it’s okay. It happens. More often than not it’s a revoverable misstep, and if it isn’t – it’s not the end of the world. No one has screwed up so badly that the world ceased to exist, because we are still here.

So let it go. Move on. It’s okay. There’s always tomorrow.

What we don’t understand

In the early stages of a panic fear takes over. A fear from not knowing much, of anything, for sure. The more information we have regarding a thing, the less fearful we become.

It comes from being huddled together in the dark, not seeing what happens just beyond the tree line. Once fire illuminated the shadows we were able to conquer those fears.

But as we are the ancestors of those early fire-starters, so too are our fears ancestors of those early shadows. It is important to light the night, and shine upon the unknown, to diminish our fears.

Impostor Syndrome

You want to know something? I don’t know what I’m doing.

Just about every day I ask myself twenty, thirty, fifty times, “What do I want to do? Where do I want to go?”

Sometimes that means what will I write. Other times, it’s where I want to live. Or work. Or play. And I can never answer in the long term.

There are times I feel guilty writing this blog because someone could read it. And, feeling the effects of impostor syndrome, I feel that the reader could have spent time reading something more valuable.

Yes, I try to provide value here. Tips I’ve found helpful, or stories I wanted to share. Places and things that were meaningful to me, or insights I’ve come across. But at the end of the day, it’s just me and my computer. or my notebook, and I don’t have a clue.

Thing is, no one does. Some people make more money or lead what we would call interesting lives. But they are just as lost as the rest of us, searching for answers in their own way.

I write here to practice writing. I write here to be present with something. I write here because it forces me to pay attention to the world so that I have something to write about.

But the hardest things to write are those things hit close to home. Admitting that I don’t know what I’m doing. Saying to myself, and whoever’s reading this, that it’s okay. It’s okay to not know. We’re not meant to know all the answers. It’s the journey that’s important, not the destination.

Making history

History is not made by those trying to make history. Rather, it is crafted by those trying to improve a problem.

The Wright Brothers saw the flying contraptions of the 19th Century and wondered, “What if they could be controlled while in the air?”

Thus, beginning with the Wright Glider in 1902, airplane controls saw the ability to manipulate roll, pitch, and yaw. They weren’t trying to become historical aviators. They wanted to fix a problem they identified in aviation, and they did.

First steps

The first step, my son, which one makes in the world, is the one on which depends the rest of our days. – Voltaire

There are many first steps we take. Every day is a first step, if we let it be. Don’t hold yourself back. Don’t be the only block to your success, your future, or your happiness.

The rest of your days depend upon that first step.