You didn't get to where you are by yourself. The good things in your life, the bad things in your life, they all led you to today, and you had help the whole way.
If you're reading this, you're on the right side of the pavement. On top of the grass. Not among the dead. There's a thing to be grateful for. Also, you have Internet access, or a friend good enough to print this out for you. And you can read (or you have a screen reader, which means you can hear).
You're doing OK for yourself. That's all I'm saying. You may have some unhappy stuff going on in your life but hey, it's all a matter of perspective.
For as much as you say thank you to the universe, how often do you say thank you in real life? I've been fortunate enough to say thank you plenty, and to have people say thank you, even unexpectedly.
Here's a public thank you fest that happened recently; I'm going to assume it's among strangers, though I suppose I don't have any reason to believe Kotler and Sukel don't know each other:
If you want to really learn stuff, synthesize multiple angles. Example: Read @steven_kotler's Rise of Superman + @kaytsukel's Art of Risk
I turn 40 on Sunday (that's tomorrow, if you're keeping track).
I knew I wasn't going to do a "40 things I've learned in 40 years" post. That seems awfully arrogant. I started on a "40 things I've learned in my 40th year" post, figuring I'd point out that there's so much to learn. That still felt a little too BuzzFeedy.
Not that I have anything against BuzzFeed. Y'all seem like a great group of folks. And I know you have a serious news division, too, but too little, too late, I'm afraid. Just I can't even take your serious news seriously because you're making most of your money from listicles. Which are not as good as popsicles. Except the ones with pictures of dogs. And sometimes cats. Maybe if we're talking green popsicles.
I seem to have gone somewhere different. Sigh.
Anyway, I'm 40. I have nothing figured out. I have some advice if you want it. I have some insight if you want it. Mostly that's just from living through some stuff. Don't eat a pile of refried beans before you get on a fast-moving carnival ride. If you're going to be home later than you thought, call your mother or your wife or whomever needs to know. Use the Oxford comma sparingly, if at all.
These tips probably aren't going to change your life. Like I said, I don't have anything figured out. I've learned some stuff. I've learned a lot of it in just the past year. I'm pretty sure I'm always going to be learning stuff.
I can tell you, though, that I'm grateful to have made it this far, for the life I have and the people I get to share it with.
And thank you for being here. I appreciate it. Have a great week.
Normally, I'm not big on the Facebook birthday wall thing. I don't usually write on others' walls for their birthdays, and usually at the end of mine I just post a "thanks for all the well-wishes."
This year, I decided to say thank you to everyone who posted on my wall. Sixty-eight people wrote "happy birthday" on my wall, and I wrote some variation on "thank you" 68 times.
I don't know if Facebook makes that post public, but if they do, here it is.
Last time I took a typing test, I came in at 90 words per minute. "Thank you" 68 times is 136 words. You know how long 136 words takes to type at 90 words per minute? Under two minutes. It didn't take any time, and "thank you" means a lot.
Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your families, or your work, or your volunteering, but always remember to say thank you 🙂
Everlast is a musician and rapper; if you're my age, you know him from House of Pain. Need a reminder? Have an earworm. He's been dead on the operating table twice. He has an artificial heart valve. He has a daughter with cystic fibrosis. He recently watched his mother slide downhill with Alzheimer's and then pass away.
Fame doesn't make you immune to the problems of the rest of us, is what I'm saying.
The followng video appears during the podcast. It's a better 2-minute clip to start things. The full podcast is at the bottom of the post.
There's some drunk babble. It kind of runs off the rails at the end. But there's a lot in here. You don't need to listen, but if these snippets move you, maybe at least hit play on that video at the bottom and give them a play.
• Be open to learning something new
• Culture is like an operating system; we gain perspective by loading new operating systems (visiting different cultures)
• Half-truths are turning people against each other
• Americans right now are part of the biggest reality TV show ever
• If you want to be a leader, you must let go of ego
• Sometimes you have to call out the bullshit
• It's easy to pick a team and then fight for it. It's more difficult — but more important — to find common ground
• Think for yourself
• Take a step back
• Be compassionate. Sometimes people need to feel whatever it is they're feeling
• There are injustices in the world
• Anger doesn't serve you
• Sometimes there's a glitch in the matrix and you just have to deal with it
• Your life is normal
• Some people fight battles you'll never see
• "Compassion is the thief of joy" —Theodore Roosevelt
• Get joy out of what you do
• Show gratitude to those who helped you become who you are
• Invite inspiration in
• We need community
• Be happy when others are successful
• Find people to push you to be better
• Respect those who paved the path for you to be able to do what you do
• Don't become old and bitter
• Let people enjoy what they enjoy
• Let art evolve
• The way we've always done things is not a good reason to keep doing them that way
• Whatever you do, do it your way
• Get out of your own way
• Manage your attention the way you have to manage oxygen on a spaceship
• If it's not relevant to your life, it's taking up too much room
• Don't focus on things that rob you of energy and time
For the record, there has never been a Thanksgiving dinner plate at my house that was this neat and organized. If you're the kind of person who makes a neat, organized plate at dinner, you should maybe decline an invitation to Thanksgiving with my family. Not because we're not lovely people, but because your need for organization will be flailed and you'll probably starve.
Really short episode from the parking lot of the Creators' Foundry today, just to say thanks, remind you to shop local and to not just feel gratitude, but show it as well.
Hey, if you're celebrating today, happy Christmas.
I'm not celebrating. As a Jew, I've been not celebrating Christmas for 38 years now.
It's not that I hate Christmas (though, I'll be honest, a bunch of the stuff that it'd be nice to have in the house is waiting until next week because I do hate the mess retail outlets are for the couple of weeks leading up to Christmas), it's that Christmas isn't an everybody thing.
It's not a war against Christmas, any more than your insistence on wishing me a merry Christmas is a war on me more here). I intend to have a very nice December 25, actually. It involved waking up early, having some coffee and some eggs, kissing my wife as she headed off to work, getting this blog post up and then getting to work myself.
I suspect it will be a fairly quiet day at work, beginning with photos from Mass at the Vatican, then parades, then a Knicks game, and about half time in the Cavs game I'll be done and heading off in search of some Chinese food.
Maybe this is a time to talk about the war on Christmas. You know, because a movement toward political correctness is a direct exclusion of Christians. No, it's not, really. It's meant to be inclusive of everyone. I suppose a proper greeting might be, "Merry Christmas, happy Chanukah, happy Kwanzaa, happy New Year and enjoy whatever else you might celebrate this season." It's a little cumbersome, though. I don't see it catching on.
You may have seen this one floating around Facebook:
I don't care. I'm probably not going to wish you a merry Christmas unless I know you celebrate it. Otherwise, just deal with my, "have a great day," because that flow chart includes tolerance — gratitude, even — for that, too.
I believe those folks who can live a moral life without a God figure looking over them. Me, I'm a primitive monkey. I need to believe there's something bigger than me out there. Not to fear, not to blame, but just to say, hey, thanks, I'm doing all right down here, and I'll get better.
On the one side of it, there's Kevin Smith's film "Dogma." The assertion is that God gets a little miffed that everyone's just out there speculating and killing each other. Enter Sam Harris, who basically says, "Not all religions are equal, and some of y'all really need to cut the shit." Those are my words, by the way, not his. Go read him and listen to his stuff. He's a really smart dude, don't let my watering his ideas down steer you away.
I think we're getting into rambling territory here, so I'll leave you with some Nat King Cole and a fire to warm your day. Happy Christmas, if you're celebrating.
As I noted last week, we're in the deep South. Charleston, South Carolina, right now, to be exact, where we're staying with my parents while we apartment hunt a couple of hours away in Savannah, Georgia.
I can't really list everything or everyone I'm thankful for. That seems too obvious a Thanksgiving post, anyway.
Though one thing for sure I'm grateful for is the ability to do this once in a while:
I know not everybody can relax and take some downtime. And even though I'm working today, I'm doing so barefoot, seated in a chair with ample coffee, clean water, and a family creating tumult while making a large meal that we'll probably eat for three days. Maybe five. We're used to doing this for 22 people, but there are only five of us.
That seems like a lot to be thankful for.
I guess what I'd really like to do is say, hey, look around you. I don't care how badly you think you have it, if you have a way to be reading some guy's post on the Internet, how lucky are you? Find some gratitude.