ifindkarma. elegance is refusal.

June 30, 2010

As human beings, our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Oliver Goldsmith said that first, but every moment we get to put that attitude into practice, making it into a habit, by being excellent. As Ralph Marston said… 

Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.

Everything is deeply interconnected. Aristotle (or Will Durant) has been oft-quoted, too…

We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.

Robert F. Kennedy had another variation on this theme, when RFK said,

Only those who dare to fail greatly
can ever achieve greatly.

In other words, a fall is not a fail… It is an opportunity to learn. We can remind ourselves of this by singing (or dancing to!) Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping”, boldly declaring…

I get knocked down, but I get up again,
you’re never gonna keep me down…

“Tubthumping” is much catchier than Dwayne Wade’s “fall seven times, stand up eight” commercial, which repurposes an old martial arts line…

Knocked down seven times, get up eight!


…which simply takes us back to our daily reflection and incantation

Be excellent, for everything is about inclusion.

so get yourself some rituals

…don’t just be a cat in a box like all the other cats…


…and practice inner peace, because in the end, only kindness matters

 Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.

I love LA… We love it!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ifindkarma @ 12:09 am

Last week I road tripped to LA in a rented Corvette.

What might have been a tour of the castles??of??California (Hearst Castle, Magic Castle, Sleeping Beauty, Medieval Times,??Julius Castle,??Castello di Amorosa, etc.) turned into just a traditional heavy metal NoCal-to-SoCal coastal road trip bookended with stops at the alternately exquisite Hearst Castle and Magic Castle (and its accompanying Magic Hotel).

June is a perfect month for driving down the coastline through??Pacific Coast Highway, because the weather is not too hot and there’s plenty of daylight to see scenic oceanic views. June 17, 2010 was like another perfect day; I love LA… WE LOVE IT!!!
Top 10 things I learned road tripping to LA 2010…
2. To get reservations at the Magic Castle, first book a room at the Magic Hotel.
3. Quietly??Eat dinner at Magic Castle early so you can explore and enjoy the shows.
4. After midnight, try nightswimming, walking the stars, and cruising Sunset.
6. Matzoh Ball soup? Many choices:??Greenblatt’s, Jerry’s Famous Deli, Brent’s,??Canter’s, …
7. Good eats? Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles??at 1514 North Gower Street between Sunset and Santa Monica??in Hollywood comes??highly??recommended.
8. When driving the Central Coast, reserve your Hearst Castle tickets at least a day in advance, and leave time for the??Theater, Madonna Inn, and Solvang.
9. Cruising PCH and Mulholland West to Hollywood??and back is WONDERFUL.
10. Do attempt to see how fast your Corvette can go.
Bonus tip: never buy a previously-rented Corvette.
Oh, and as always: Life is short. Enjoy the ride…
…so now all I have to do is finish our last few writeups from our On the 10s road trip in April, and I’ll be up to date and able to??live in the now. Soon…

June 29, 2010

West coast represent, now put your hands up!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — ifindkarma @ 11:26 pm
There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.

Bonus points if we dance to Snoop Dogg and his bird-flipping gummy bear minions (0:22)…

Summertime is everything…

June 28, 2010

We can reflect to a happy moment anytime we want.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — ifindkarma @ 8:59 pm
Just five days ago Team USA??scored a miraculous goal, and it led to ten reflections on happiness.

Then two days ago, Team USA was eliminated by Ghana in the most-watched U.S. soccer game ever.

But the wonderful thing about reflection is that we can look back to a happy moment anytime we want.

Reflecting on Landon Donovan’s winning goal…

June 23, 2010

Eleven Essential Reflections On Happiness…



That may have been the sweetest ending of a World Cup game I have ever watched.

You can watch the highlights on your favorite Interweb site, but they won’t really give you the feeling of 90 minutes of tense, do-or-die buildup , culminating in a super charged score in the final minute that propelled Team USA from elimination into first place in their group!

****** I am “Snoopy Dance happy” !!! ******

But I realize this is a temporary happiness that comes from adrenaline and other juices pumping through my headmeats. Soon that rush will subside, and I will go back to reflecting my baseline happiness.

Simply put, happiness is the way.

And happiness comes from within.

Which brings us back to one of the main characteristics that defines being and becoming and the gap in between them: HAPPINESS.

Note that we are not talking about absence of pain; we’re talking presence of happiness.

A hundred days ago I created this ifindkarma posterous because bakadesuyo inspired me with his. I love to read what he writes, and in particular I love when he reflects about subjects such as happiness.

If I had to distill all of bakadesuyo’s happiness musings into essential reflections, here are the key takeaways I’ve internalized… so far

10. Happiness is increased by how much you make and lowered by how much you want.
9. Happiness is a feedback loop, not just internally but also through others.
8. So be careful who you choose as spouse, friends, and neighbors.
7. Relative wealth is more important than actual wealth when it comes to how happy you are.
6. Giving makes us happier than receiving. Outcomes trump incomes in making us happy.
5. Happy people tend to love their jobs; jobs do not, by themselves, make people happy.
4. We’re bad at realizing how good we are at adapting to circumstances.
3. When distilled to its essence, happiness is a simple process.
2. To be happy, focus on what you have, and not on what you don’t.
1. There are still many unanswered questions when it comes to happiness.

Which brings me back to me. If I had to distill all of my happiness musings into eleven essential reflections, here are the key takeaways I’ve externalized… so far

11. Read these musings, especially the one you’re reading right now. Reflect! Repeat!!! 🙂
10. There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.
9. People are very bad at predicting what will make them happy.
8. Our attitudes produce our luck.
7. Most success comes from being present.
6. Reflection helps us be here now.
5. There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.
4. There are shortcuts to happiness, and breathing is one of them.
3. Happiness is interconnected to all things.
2. Happiness comes from what we want to include, not from what we want to avoid.
1. When it comes to happiness, lessons are repeated until they are learned.

And if all else fails, take a step back, breathe, think about a kitten wearing a tiny hat eating a tiny ice cream cone, and regroup. For tomorrow is another day, and we cannot waste today’s time cluttering up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles.

Kitten. Tiny hat. Tiny ice cream cone. NOW!!!

Raindrops on roses and tiny hats on kittens aside, I want to take a moment or two to thank Jennifer Aaker and Gretchen Rubin and Tony Hsieh and Niki Leondakis and Caterina Fake for driving me to keep reflecting on happiness as I walk the earth. The tension between being and becoming has become more than an avocation for me… it’s something I’d love to work into my vocation, someday, someway. It is love incarnate.

Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

To empower other people to find their own happiness, to me, is tantamount to enabling the childhood dreams of others.

There is no greater job than enabling the childhood dreams of others.

Read. Reflect. Repeat.

We conclude this tapestry with a trinity of TED talks that reflect on happiness: Tony Robbins on why we do what we do (emotion!) and how we can do it better (focus!); Barry Schwartz on the paradox of choice; and Dan Gilbert on why we are or are not happy:

(Cc: @Bakadesuyo @Aaker @GretchenRubin @Zappos @Niki_Leondakis @Caterina) 🙂 🙂 🙂

After losing to Slovenia 2-2, let’s hope for a #USA win against Algeria… #WorldCup

Filed under: Uncategorized — ifindkarma @ 2:25 pm

FIFA made YouTube take down the controversial "Grand Theft Soccer" videos showing how the referee stole the third USA goal in last week's USA/Slovenia game. With that goal, USA would be poised to win its group; without that goal, USA will have to fight to make it to the next round.

So to summarize: USA beat England 1-1, and then USA lost to Slovenia 2-2, even though technically those were both ties. And USA will plays Algeria 7am PST June 23 for survival — and??WorldCup redemption.

I wish Team USA a little luck in getting better refs this time… because we already know USA has the work ethic and raw skills. 🙂

P.S. — To win, Team USA needs more shots! Shots! Shots! Shots! SHOTS!!! 🙂

Be here now.

Michelle Geromel posted,

“Dear friend,

Not even I know how a dream will come true, until it does.

But if you just keep showing up, they always do.

~The Universe” (source: tut.com)

I told her that being present is challenging because life has so many “be here now” distractions. To which she responded…

Whenever she feels scattered, she looks in the mirror and asks herself where she is.

Sometimes she has to ask herself a few times to bring herself back to the present, but it always works:
  1. Breathe.
  2. Let go.
  3. Reflect.


Reflection always works

Perhaps that’s why reflection creates identity

To be here now, engage your reflection.

Find joy and peace in this very moment.”

Be grateful for every breath.

Life is… delicious ambiguity.

Character is destiny. Everything will be okay in the end. So…

Whenever you are knocked down, get up.


We close this note with a score of reflections over the last month, reflected in my statuses on Facebook and Twitter…

Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” ~ Robert Heinlein (via Ashley Merkut)

Stop thinking about life and start living it.” ~ @PauloCoelho (via @IlzeSuna)

Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you. You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for” ~ Bob Marley (via me)

The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook.” (via Teresa Pedraza)

Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.” ~ Walt Whitman (via Altaire Gural)

“Life gives answers in three ways… It says Yes and gives you what you want; it says No and gives you something better; it says Wait and gives you the Best!” (via @IlzeSuna)

“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everyt
hing is ready, we shall never begin.” ~ Ivan Turgenev (
via Persia Pele)

“If everything seems under control — you’re just not going fast enough.” ~ Mario Andretti (via Marianne Borenstein)

“I am a professional guitar player. People pay me to stop.” ~ Bob Cleveland (via me)

“Sue Sylvester has hourly flare-ups of burning, itchy, highly contagious talent…” ~ GLEE (via @AmyKeefe)

Twitter is really going through a detox right now, and it’s trying to get some of the toxins out of its system.” ~ Michael Abbott (via the Merc, still doing better than Yahoo)

“Violence is never the answer, unless the question is, ‘What is never the answer?'” ~ Cleveland Brown (via me)

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” ~ Mother Teresa (via @IlzeSuna)

“It is not difficult to love good people. It is difficult to love people as they are.” ~ Juris Rubenis (via @IlzeSuna)

Death is not sad; the sad thing is that most people don’t really live at all.” ~ Peaceful Warrior (via Amie Valenzuela)

“Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I’ll miss you Until we meet again!” (via @IlzeSuna)

“Even if you work hard and make wise choices, you still need a little luck. Never forget.” (via me)

Worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles.” (via Faith Thomas)

“Find joy and peace in this very moment.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh (via @NikiConnor)

“the yogic breath (in thru the nose, out thru the mouth) in sanskrit is ‘ham sa’ which means ‘that i am‘… beautiful…” (via samantha graham)

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~ Anne Frank (via thedogs.com)

nt master says: If you like everything, then you like nothing. But if you love everything, you have the world.” ~ Kurt Thams

Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” ~ Henry James



June 22, 2010

There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.

I repeat that line often, as it dances through my head.

“There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them,” said legendary writer Vicki Baum.

Dance is your pulse, your heartbeat, your breathing. It’s the rhythm of your life. It’s the expression in time and movement, in happiness, joy, sadness & envy,” adds Jacques D’amboise.

Dancing makes me happy.

And the dance in this video fills me with happiness



BillieTK tweets, “Life might not be the party you expected. But as long as you’re here, you might as well dance.”

Which reminds me of our prophet Gaga, who sings,

Just dance, it’ll be okay…

A song written in 10 minutes by Gaga as “a happy record” …

Ra ra, ra ah ah ah, roma ro ma ma… Gaga, ooh la la…

Happydancesafety dancesnoopy dance!!!

June 18, 2010

Why being a Facebook whale is an EPIC FAIL.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — ifindkarma @ 6:49 pm

I love Facebook, but Facebook does not love me. Why? Because I am a Facebook whale. Allow me to explain…

A whale is someone who’s big.??(In??Ocean’s 13, for example,??the whale owned the air south of Beijing. Social gaming companies love whales.)



On Facebook a whale is someone with 5000 “friends”, more or less. (A “Facebook friend” is a member of one’s “social graph“, and I traced the origin of the use of the word “whale” to refer to a heavy user of a social network back to??Friendster??in 2003-2004. I’m guessing “Facebook whale” came from former Friendster employee Nick Heyman when he moved to Facebook in 2005. By??2007,??Scoble??and??The Guardian??were talking publically about Facebook whales.)


So… why does Facebook want to beach its whales?

In Facebook parlance: it’s complicated.

Facebook does not allow its whales to have more than 5000 friends. For years Facebook has said??they want whales to have Facebook pages instead, because Facebook pages make them money. (For what it’s worth, I still think Facebook pages are ridiculous.)
In any given day, a whale will lose several friends due to people quitting Facebook and people “unfriending” them, because Facebook users value “friends” less than a Whopper. Also, Facebook’s databases don’t stay synchronized so as a result if you keep reloading a whale’s page you’ll see different friend counts. This is how whales sometimes slip over 5000 friends occasionally.
Once a whale hits 5000 “friends”, Facebook won’t let the whale add more friends until the whale loses some friends. Nonetheless, it is straightforward for anyone who so desires to become a Facebook whale. The more ambitious among us can do it??in a week.
Facebook hates its whales. I’m not sure why. Possible explanations: whales stress Facebook’s technical architecture, whales detract from Facebook’s belief that you should only friend your friends, and whales cost Facebook a lot of money to serve because their demands are greater.

How do I know Facebook hates its whales? From talking with other whales. Sometimes Facebook randomly??accuses whales of being robots, and sometimes Facebook randomly disables accounts of whales, which is why??the 5000-friend limit causes anxiety??among whales.
Nonetheless, it is likely??the 5000-friend limit has ripple effects.
The benefit of being a Facebook whale is that whales always have someone interesting to talk with on Facebook. Since most of Facebook activity is about commenting on walls, links, and photos, the whales get the most serendipity when it comes to receiving feedback.
The benefit to Facebook from having whales is that most Facebook activity involves a whale initiating, participating in, or spreading conversations on walls, links, and photos.
However, there are many problems that come with being a Facebook whale. From my extensive use of Facebook on Chrome, Safari, IE, and Firefox, and via text messaging, as well as on iPhone, Android, and iPad, over many years, here are the top ten reasons by being a Facebook whale is an EPIC FAIL:
10. Facebook does not stop people from sending me requests to be their friend, even though Facebook prevents me from accepting their request to be a friend.??What. The. Fuck???? In this way, the Facebook service embarrasses me many times a day, every day, because I have no good way to tell people that Facebook won’t let me be a friend. Rule number 1 of a social network: do not embarrass your users regularly. FAIL, Facebook, FAIL.
9. Facebook does not let me “like” Facebook pages anymore because they’ve co-mingled the “social graph” and the “open graph”. So whenever I try to “like” a Facebook page, I get the message that I cannot “like” that thing because I have too many connections. In what social model does the number of “friends” one has limit the number of things one can “like”? Isn’t Facebook incentivized to collect “like” information from me, so they can make money selling me other things I might “like”? In short: Facebook is both hurting themselves because they cannot monetize me as well as they should, and also embarrassing me every day because Facebook forbids me from “liking” the good and good food??and??wonderful art and good food and??good wonderfully artistic food??of my friends! FAIL.
8. Facebook has no migration path from profiles to pages.??How about a button I can press that automatically turns my Facebook profile into a Facebook page so I can take my friends with me? How about giving me all the functionality in my Facebook page that I enjoy in my Facebook profile? And while I’m ranting about this, let me add that it’s embarrassing to tell people they can’t “friend” me, they can only “like” me. FAIL.
7. Facebook inbox rarely loads.??Maybe one in 10 times. I have to look in my gmail for Facebook messages, and usually I need to reply by email or text message, not Facebook. FAIL.
6. Facebook iPhone app rarely loads.??It crashes often, hangs often, and photo uploading fails at least 80% of the time. This is one of the top reasons I ditched my iPhone??for an EVO. FAIL.
5. Facebook invite widget crashes the browser. Which means I can no longer invite people to any Facebook events I set up. I have tested this with Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Firefox — on Windows and Mac, on desktops and laptops and iPads. FAIL.
4. Facebook events page rarely loads and the Facebook requests page rarely loads. As a result, I cannot see events I’m invited to, and I can’t see any requests from friends from applications, and I can’t see the add requests from new people. FAIL.
3. Facebook’s text message interface regularly delivers responses to the wrong thread or wrong person, and sometimes delivers private messages to public places. Once again this embarrasses the living daylights out of me. Imagine my horror when the text message I sent in response to one status “Work that booty, George!!!” went to a friend who is a woman who is devoutly religious! Not to mention I have to explain to her who George is. Or explain to Catherine why a message to Heather ended up as a response to her thread. “Why are you calling me Heather???” I didn’t; I just texted a response, and Facebook delivered it improperly. Let me repeat that in capital letters. FACEBOOK DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO MAKE A MESSAGING SYSTEM THAT DELIVERS THE MESSAGE TO THE PERSON I INTENDED. IN 2010.??This texting snafu yesterday was a personal disaster: Private messages went public, and public messages went to the wrong people. And so yesterday I gave up. I stopped using the text message interface. And I’m really, really embarrassed by the whole situation, thereby violating rule number 1 of a social network. FAIL.
2. It is impossible to keep track of the Facebook conversations I’ve participated in. I comment on a wall post, a link, or a photo, and then I have to pray that “Facebook notifications” tells me when someone has responded to it. Really? REALLY?? No. More often than not, the communication gets dropped in mid-conversation. Or I can sign up to get an email for every response. My “facebook” folder in gmail now has 24,000 unread messages in a year. TWENTY FOUR THOUSAND. Would a conversation console that is not just a lossy notifications panel really be a difficult thing to create, Facebook? FAIL.
1.??Interesting conversations get buried.??If interesting conversations are impossible to keep track of and hard to find, Facebook remains??a superficial annoyance rather than a place for meaningful interactions that deepen the relationships we have with people we care about. And yet, because Facebook likes diluting its streams,??threads always get pushed down to the point where we can’t find them. Try to find a Facebook conversation you had 6 months ago. You can’t. I believe Facebook learned this bad behavior from Twitter, where any??gem??will also get quickly??buried. Searching Facebook for past conversations is like drinking the ipecac martini that is Twitter search. EPIC FAIL.
I point out these ten items not out of hate, but out of love. I love Facebook, and I want to use Facebook more. I wish Facebook would love its whales, instead of making being a Facebook whale equate with EPIC FAIL.
This post was humbly written by a panda and a whaleme.
Will this post make a difference???We’ll see.

How to change the world with a pen and paper. Thank you @omar_ahmad!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ifindkarma @ 12:25 am
TED talk by Omar Ahmad is bodacious. And excellent.

June 16, 2010

The emotions of England v USA #WorldCup are best represented by… Legos!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — ifindkarma @ 9:12 pm
You know what the world needs now? More World Cup!!

And more badass World Cup moves!!!

Meanwhile, this??brilliantly??captures the emotions of Saturday’s game.

June 14, 2010

I should invest in a luck factory. I’d make a fortune!

I got a decent amount of replies for the tweet??…

Even if you work hard and make wise choices, you still need a little luck. Never forget that.

…but unfortunately then I tweeted about Google which got retweeted and commented on many times, and all of the replies I got on Twitter got lost in a cacophony of random chirping.

My lovely little stream of replies and was flooded with a barrage of randomness, and now whatever conversations I might have had on Twitter about the role of luck are gone.

I could look for those replies, but searching Twitter is like drinking an ipecac martini.

At least Facebook keeps the thread intact

Even if you have a little luck, you still need to work hard and make wise choices. Never forget that.

…but Facebook keeps diluting the stream so that thread keeps getting pushed down. Which is bad luck for me if I want to find that conversation six months from now.

Hey Facebook, I don’t piss in your swimming pool so stop crapping in my stream!

Is it bad luck that Twitter and Facebook make it so that we never step in the same stream twice, making it futile to see where we used to be? No, that’s by design. My bad luck in losing a potentially great conversation about luck was intentionally caused by the way Twitter and Facebook design streams. Or, put another way:
Some things attributed to bad luck are actually the consequence of design.

…which makes me wonder how many things I call bad luck are actually caused by someone else intentionally. Sometimes I feel like bad luck is the only luck I have. Maybe it’s my perception that’s off. Maybe it’s my attitude that needs adjusting.
Yeah, I think that luck would make me happy, but would happiness bring me luck?
Which brings us to the role of attitude in luck.
If 80% of success is showing up, then how much of luck is a decent attitude?
In all likelihood, a lot.
Richard Wiseman says,
Only about 10% of life is purely random. The remaining 90% is defined by the way we think. Our attitudes produce our luck.

I read that and think to myself: Still, there’s that remaining 10%, and that’s the part we need EVEN if we work hard and make wise choices.
Business idea: figure out how to manufacture luck, and make a fortune. Which is where we started:
I should invest in a luck factory. I’d make a fortune!
In the meantime, I’m going to make it a habit to hang out with people who are lucky. My father used to tell me that people with good luck are contagious — as are people with bad luck! He would affirm daily:
Avoid the unlucky, the unethical, and the unhappy.

So make it a habit to spend time with lucky people… and affirm!!!
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