Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Confidence





We're all idiots, one way or another. As Socrates said, the only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing. Although this may be true, doubting yourself won't get you far in life. In fact, it might keep you from accomplishing anything at all.

Confidence, though...that will carry you through, even if you're dumber than average.

You have to be cocky enough to be wrong, mess up, make a fool of yourself, then leap up and go at it again. Because everybody who tries anything makes mistakes. The confident ones recover, however, while those of us who can't accept our shortcomings are mumbling and rocking in the corner.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

To Glide Gently Into the Waves

Flying above 30,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, I spied a line of debris, perhaps a mile wide, stretching to the horizon. It was sandwiched between two ocean currents that skewed in different directions.
Below me, multicolored dots and splinters of wood heaved gently in the swell. How big were they? Big enough to see from 30,000 feet.
How far had all that debris travelled? Was it born from a single hurricane, or did it accumulate gradually, one dropped Dasani bottle at a time?
What creatures called that place home and thrived in its shadows? And how many were entombed there, tangled and bloated?
If my plane fell from the sky and I were to glide gently down and splash into the water, could I build a raft from garbage and float safely to shore?
Or would I be smashed in the churning debris and eaten by sharks before I could climb aboard?
These are the things I think about.

Monday, May 12, 2014

When Adversity Threatens to Paralyze Us

“When adversity threatens to paralyze us, we need to reassert control by finding a new direction in which to invest psychic energy, a direction that lies outside the reach of external forces. When every aspiration is frustrated, a person still must seek a meaningful goal around which to organize the self. Then, even though that person is objectively a slave, subjectively he is free.”
-Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, Flow

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Emotional Contagion


Have you ever noticed how on your down days, your really crappy days, things start spinning out of control? The checkout clerk is rude and the other drivers cut you off and your co-worker makes the remark that comes like a guided missile? I've noticed that.

And maybe I'm not very good at hiding my feelings, but also maybe my feelings aren't just about me.

They are about energy. And energy is everything.

No, really. Everything.

If we could see the world through energy goggles, we would see that everything is made of the same tiny stuff, zooming and jiggling. We are not as self-contained as we would like to think.

And when someone is negative we want to punish them because their energy messes with ours.

When we can dredge up some positive energy, it is exactly as contagious, but with the opposite effect. If we all started with just one smile, one phone call, one thank you, just think what we could do.

We could change the world.