The best (imperfect) week ever

In the past week I:

  • Tried to show up virtually to an in-person business meeting
  • Was outrun in my HIIT class when I’m typically the fastest
  • I was completely demolished on the tennis court during an event that I’m typically one of the strongest players
  • Found my car out in the road because I didn’t fully engage my parking brake

In spite of – or perhaps because of – all that imperfection, it was actually a great week.

Why do you eat?

Why do you eat? “Because I’m hungry” is an insufficient response. Think deeper and truly grasp the meaning of hunger.

Why do you eat what you eat? My answer to this question was always: “That’s what I grew up eating.” This response sounds eerily similar to the dangerous phrase: “We’ve always done it this way.”

Ask questions.

Challenge the status quo.

Maybe there’s a better way.

Stop and smell the roses

If a new song catches my attention, I play it on repeat the entire day. I won’t listen to anything else. That musician has my ears for the day and in my mind I dissect what I hear.

If something pleases you, devote time to appreciate and understand it. Immerse yourself in it. Truly know it.

We’re so anxious to get on to the next thing that we cannot develop more than a superficial understanding of the world around us.

Stop. Smell the roses. Dive deeper.

Bringing checkers to a chess match

“You brought checkers to a chess match.”

Me, in a fictitious scenario

This line seems like it would be the perfect nerdy mic drop.

The implication, in my mind, is that the individual on the receiving end thinks so differently from me that they don’t even understand what ‘game’ we’re playing. They’re so lost they can’t keep up.

Of course, my underlying message isn’t as effective as I originally thought because we all truly do think differently. The proper response, however, is to bridge those gaps with clear communication. We must become effective translators instead of criticizing others because of our differences.

Commonality always exists. Find it.

Let’s examine chess and checkers. My thoughts thus far paint a picture of two completely different games, one being superior than the other.

However, they are both two-player games played on the same board. They have the same objective. They both have kings. They both require a strategy.

Neither game is superior. Similarly, your unique thinking style isn’t any better or worse than others. Instead of isolating or demoralizing others on the grounds of alleged inferiority, find the common thread and build on it.

As for my line, it sounds great in a dream – but I hope I never use it.

The red onion resurrection

Ever buy something at the grocery store only to find you already had it in the pantry? I did that with a bag of red onions recently.

I ate them as quickly as I could – onion breath for days – but still, a few started to sprout.

One of the more mature sprouts had started to die, but I decided to plant it as an experiment anyway. To my surprise, the plant actually revived itself. The brown sections that I planned to trim are now lush and green.

Incredible resilience. I was fascinated to watch the resurrection.

Don’t be too quick to write things off.

And for those of you paying attention to the timestamp, it is in fact winter,
which means that yes, there is a huge pot in my kitchen with an onion growing in it…

Spend your time well

I solved a Rubik’s cube for the first time last week. Naturally, I’m telling everyone. Nerd problems!

It took forever. I was putting in the time. Why couldn’t I solve it?

I finally succeeded two weeks after reading Cubed: The Puzzle of Us All.

Cubed is no solution guide. It’s the intriguing life story of the reclusive creator of one of the most ubiquitous puzzles of our time, and his story helped me realize I wasn’t spending my time productively. I was allocating the time, but my mind was elsewhere. I wasn’t successful until I spent dedicated time truly thinking about the problem.

Any task you deem worthwhile requires your time and your full attention.

Your time is finite – use it well.

Save the Everyman!

A few years ago I started a movement. It had one follower.

Intrinsic Tranquility: Your Household Process Management Specialist

I was going to fix everyone’s problems by helping them run their homes well. I was going to Save the Everyman (and woman)!

Aside from my desire to help those that never asked for my help, I was completely obsessed with the name. I thought I was so clever. A complex synonym for inner peace. What brilliance!

No need to ask around if anyone actually wanted this help though, because I had struck “branding gold” with the name. It would sell itself!

Shockingly (not really), the concept never took off, but my efforts were certainly worthwhile despite the lack of success. I took a risk. I failed. I learned.