"I never learned anything while I was talking," Larry King tells Lewis Howes in a recent podcast. "If you could put a billboard anywhere in the world, what would it say?" Tim Ferriss asks Cal Fussman. "One word: Listen," the writer replies.
Have a conversation, learn something. We are way more alike than we are different.
I was running south down Drayton Street, along Forsyth Park, on yet another high-heat, high-humidity day in Savannah.
It seems like every time I've looked down at my phone's weather application the past two months, it says something on the order of "92°, feels like 109°."
I'd been frustrated by my inability — really, lack of true desire — to push past two or three miles (I'd been running two or three times a day sometimes to get some time in on the pavement).
That particular day, I had set out to run five miles, and here I was, about 2.25 miles in, drenched, sagging and miserable. Up ahead about a quarter mile — well within my view — was a corner.
I could turn left, and get home in about a mile, or I could turn right and keep going. I could go home, get comfortable and tell myself I was going back out later, or I could push myself through.
Let me note here that in general, five miles is not a stretch for me. I'll run my second half marathon this fall, and I've set a running goal of 1,000 miles this year.
At 10 minutes per mile, a quarter mile is two minutes, 30 seconds. That's not a long time if, say, you're driving to Baltimore. But just sit there and count off two and a half minutes. Go ahead. Bet you last about 15 seconds and say, "OK, I get the point."
Two and a half minutes of norepinephrine nudging me to the left, saying, "hey, three-plus miles on a really hot day isn't all that bad!" And a piece of my brain, feebly frying in the July heat, meekly responding, "no...I'm...running...five...today."
The world feels a little strange this week — I've been immersed in coverage of the Republican National Convention, to the point where it almost seems like everyday life when it's clearly a circus. My work shifts have been strange this week, which means I'm not rested at all; instead I've been trying to regulate my energy with a combination of running and meditation. The air conditioning has been out much of the week, which makes for grumpy Josh on top of the mixed realities.
The time we next speak, it'll be nominating day for Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention, and we'll be just days away from the Democratic National Convention. Do the conventions matter? What's it going to be like in the wake of all the violence the past couple of weeks, particularly in Cleveland — where officers have been involved in a couple of highly-criticized shooting deaths in the past couple of years and with Ohio being an open carry state?
When, in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one person to look around at the landscape of today's world and do his best to keep his head from exploding, maybe it's time to just remember where we came from in the week after Independence Day and read the Declaration of Independence.