Friday, April 18, 2008

Those People

Some people have a complete lack of perspective, and I just can’t understand how. They can be doing something incredibly stupid, annoying everyone, and not have a care in the world. It is one thing to just be an asshole and screw with people for fun, hell, everyone does that. But when you feel a compulsive need to constantly chime in with your input every minute? I just can’t understand why someone would do that.

This guy in one of my classes is blatantly homosexual, and while there is nothing wrong with that, it does happen to bring more attention to him when he talks. In a perfectly quiet class, he will constantly chime in with pointless comments like “Totally”, “He’s sooo right!”, and “Oh my gawd, did you hear that!?!” Constantly. For no reason, in the middle of a lecture, and to no one in particular. People continuously tell him to shut up, but he never abides. What does he get out of acting like that? All he does is create dozens of people who can’t stand him and refuse to work with him. Why?

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Spirit of Competition

During an Arizona Basketball game when I was 12, my brother managed to convince me that sports were stupid. I cannot fathom how he did this, because I am obsessed with sports, namely UA sports. But nevertheless, he persuaded me that sports were all just a waste of time, that they had no real purpose. I'll just chalk that one up to being impressionable. In the end, he ended up just making me see how amazing competition really is.

Whether it is writing, painting, business, education, or even cooking, competition is everywhere, in everything we do. The arena of sports is just the most obvious, and the most clear-cut between success and failure. The mere idea that teams can spend thousands of hours preparing and training, only to have an entire game or season come down to one play or one shot is remarkable, and captivating. One lucky moment can be the difference between euphoric victory and gut-wrenching defeat.

It pervades into every aspect of our lives, and is what drives us. The opportunity to be better. To be the best at something. It is why we go to school for years, why we practice for hours on end, and why so many parents who have never tasted victory try to attain it through their kids. Competition measures not by whether you think you are worthy, or by reputation, but simply merit. And that is why it is beautiful.

"On this path, it is only the first step that counts."
St. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Let's Just Stick To The Outine

I know someone who checks his emails 25 times a day, and spends the rest of his day just surfing the web. 15 years ago this was someone who was deeply involved with WHO, ran for Congress, and had a great reputation in his line of work. Now he just sits and wastes the little time we all have. He constantly states that he desperately wants to go back to Europe and spend several months there, yet continually makes excuses not to. When there are no more excuses, he checks his mail. Or surfs the net. When advised to do read a book; just to do something, anything, he gets bored midway through and goes back to the same old routine.

The draw of comfort, doing something because it's easy, seems to be so strong. It's like a bear trap. Once you fall into it, you have to practically tear yourself apart just to get free from its clutches. Almost everywhere I look, I see so many people that refuse to put in work, just because it is easier to sit on their ass. We only get one shot at life, it's such a waste to be too lazy to do anything with it.

This is not about physical employment, but the act of employing your mind to do something. Instead of finding a way to take that trip you have wanted to take for years, you go check your email. Instead of finally keeping a New Years Resolution to eat right and start exercising, you say "tomorrow", and go watch TV.

I just hope I don't start making the same mistake. If I do, I hope that I have surrounded myself with enough people honest enough to give a swift kick in the ass. Don't think of why you can't, think of how you can. Start the journey.

"What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task."
-Viktor E. Frankl

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Why Wait?

Today I got the opportunity to listen to a conference call with Seth Godin, and he spent close to hour talking about how the business world as we know it is changing. He talked about the rise of permission marketing... how 5,000 people who want to hear your message are more valuable than 5 million who don't. He threw out some things about how it isn't possible to just buy your way into customers lives (See: Gillette) anymore, instead you must earn their attention, whether by finding a niche or by making an incredible product.

A theme that ran through the end of his talk was of waiting. Waiting for school to be over. Waiting till you're not sick. Waiting till you have more time. Finding excuses to give into the resistance you feel and not do what you know you should. This is something we all feel, but like The War of Art says, the more resistance you feel, the more you know that you are heading in the right direction.

It was nothing really new if you've read any his books, but it was a nice change of pace from just reading his books/blog.

I'm going to end each post with a quick quote, just for kicks. Today's comes from Meditations:
"Nothing that can happen is unusual or unnatural, and there's no sense in complaining. Nature does not make us endure the unendurable."