Month: January 2018

What If You Wasted Your Entire Life?

Leo Tolstoy and the Meaning of Life Book Review: The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Leo Tolstoy Like many entitled young men in the nineteenth century, Tolstoy spent his days dutifully attending to his responsibilities as a young noble while slipping through dark streets at night to enjoy the soft pleasures of the whore house. In later years, though he was never able to fully wrestle away from his sex drive,  he mostly gave up both whores and politics when he found religion.  Found True Religion is more accurate. He was Russian Orthodox his entire life until renouncing orthodoxy for...

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The Genius Next Door

The Genius Next Door Wayne Dyer, whom I disagreed with on almost everything important, talked about engaging with even the boring and boorish people around you. He found that when he took a real interest in people that they would unfold to him as fascinating and interesting. There’s no magic here and no special tools are needed. People just like to be heard. To feel a little bit special. To get a word in edgewise. This has always been interesting to me. I thought about this today when I was talking with someone about getting their car worked on....

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Deep Work

Maybe this will become a long post one day but these are just some thoughts off the top of my head. I don’t mean to offend. I’ve been listening to a couple of ladies with what looks like a successful and growing on-line business. They serve women probably about 35ish, probably with kids who haven’t quite reached their dreams. The ladies do personal coaching for six-weeks in trade for a thousand dollars. They talk quite a bit about deep work. The conversation goes like this: “So, you got up this morning and yelled at your husband. Then you yelled at your eleven-year-old who wants Fruit Loops and you’ve already poured the Honey Nut Cheerios. Goddammit! Where’s the creamer??” They go on: “Girlfriend? We’ve got work to do. We’ve got to go deep and find out where that comes from. There’s DEEP WORK to do ladies! Why do you wake up like that? What happened? What scarred you? What switch was flipped when you were five that still lingers in your psyche? Come on over to our FB group and get on board. Meet other ladies asking the same questions. We’ve got answers. Get ready for the diamond-studded you to come out after we go deep!” A couple of things come to mind. The first is…good gawd. Get on with your life. How about this? Apologize to your husband and...

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Do Wasteful Thoughts Keep You Suspended In Mid-air?

Wile E. Coyote and Wasteful Thoughts I’ve started reading Sean Carroll’s so-far-fantastic-book The Big Picture. It’s tagged as an exploration of the origins of life, the origins of meaning, and the origins of the universe. What could be more fun? My Kindle lists it at 840 pages but so far each one is worth reading so I expect it will jog all kinds of thoughts and questions that I will translate into posts. The book opens with Wile E. Coyote defying gravity after running headlong over a steep cliff. You know the scene. He’s still running. His legs churn...

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Are You Exercising and Not Losing Weight Or Inches?

Are You Exercising And Not Losing Weight? Or Inches? It’s January and if you are exercising or counting calories, you know that you need to burn about 3,500 calories to lose a pound of fat. So you eat a little less (say 200 calories a day) and work out for forty minutes after work (and burn 300 calories) and, after a week, have lost a pound. In a month you weigh four pounds less, and in a year you’ve dropped fifty pounds! Wow! Except that you don’t. The math never quite works out. Tucked into the footnotes of Yoni...

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When you squeeze an orange what comes out?

I’ve been thinking lately about my late pal Wayne Dyer. We disagreed about almost everything that is important but I have never read anything he wrote or heard anything he said when I didn’t come away a little wiser. It’s a testament to his ability to touch people and to communicate timeless principles. One thing he talked about that has always stuck with me was squeezing an orange. In his typical childlike way he asked that you imagine him holding up an orange. “What happens when I squeeze it?” It’s an easy question but you’re thinking hard about a trick answer. He laughs and says “Orange juice comes out! Why?” You contort again, looking for the trick. He answers his own question: “Because orange juice is inside!” He smiles and thinks this is hilarious. Then he hones in on the point. Don’t imagine that you are different, he explains. When you get squeezed – when work is hard or when Uncle Joe tells you how pretty you used to be as a child or when you are heart-broken – things come out. They come out because they are what’s inside. Then, since he hardly ever answered his own questions, he asks again: so what comes out of you when you’re squeezed? Sometimes I get squeezed. I get home late and the dog just peed on the floor. What comes...

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Food Babe and Coconut Water? How To Sort Out Health Advice

Food Babe and Coconut Water? What Gives? Food Babe and coconut water? Bulletproof coffee? Chelation in Mexico? How in the world can you sort out what makes sense when it comes to healthy living? Here are some guidelines. Here’s an actual conversation I overheard in our company break room: You have got to try this stuff. It’s completely awesome. And scientific too! I spent like a week on the internet doing research. I’d never even heard of ketones before and now I’m drinkin’ this stuff. I’m losing weight like crazy and I feel like I’m eighteen! It’s not cheap...

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Are There Benefits from Drinking Charcoal? Yes. If You Drink Nuclear Fuel

Are There Benefits From Drinking Charcoal? I was wrong. I guessed that fermented mango rind would be the next pseudo-science superfood. It’s just a matter of putting three words together and making something up. That’s basically the same formula supplement sales companies use. But an email from Dave Asprey of Bulletproof caught me off guard. The Next Big Thing is charcoal. And not just the briquettes you buy at Ace Hardware for a few bucks a bag. Nutrition grade activated coconut charcoal. It’s got to be good, right? It’s made from coconut! Since getting the email from Bulletproof urging...

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Do You Need a Billboard for People to Know What You Stand For?

A while ago, on another blog, I wrote about a woman vying for attention on the show The Bachelor. She was from small-town Missouri and showed a video clip of her hometown and family. She ended with an emphatic note: she knew who she was, she liked where she lived, and, for her, life was all about faith, family, and football. It reads like a hackneyed Southern cliche but I was impressed. For all the journaling and meditation and introspection people do, how many are able to stare you down and smack the table and say “This is who I am!” Not many. We are far too kind and unsure of ourselves. It’s easier to buy a tee-shirt that says “I’m fierce!” than to actually be fierce. I went out to dinner with a friend recently who had the same attitude. We were talking about work and family and about a particular thing he needed to do. I said, “Ouch. That’s gonna draw out a little conflict.” As West Coast Den, I tend to shy away from conflict. Not this guy. He laughed out load and said, “I’m a public works contractor. Conflict is what I do.” Then he laughed again. It was meaningless to him. And fun and funny. Could you sum up who you are and what you stand for? In just a few words? With a...

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