If you’re looking for me, I’m on PandaWhale.
I’m stashing many things there.
But that’s not entirely true. I spent July with my family. I went to Mississippi, and my nephew Zachary turned 3. Also, earlier this year my brother and his wife had their second son Nicholas, and later this year my sister and her husband will have their first daughter (and my first niece!), who remains to be named.
Next week my sister has her shower in St. Augustine, Florida, and I cannot make it, so we got her a teddy bear and a baby stroller and a card from Gibson that was so cute I wanted to capture it here…
Life Lessons Your Baby Will Teach You
Joyce and I have reflected a lot in the last fortnight.
Among other things, I recall this line a month ago from yishimcgee:
I feel like I failed… I feel no relief.
I wish I could speed the assuaging of her pain… but I cannot. Relief from the feeling of failure — especially when it accompanies loss of someone or something you love — comes only with the passage of time. That’s been my experience.
So today as Joyce, Kenneth, and I pulled two dozen boxes to the point of physical exhaustion, I found comfort in this passage Joyce sent me from Will Wright in the New York Times:
When I’m managing creative people, the way they relate to failure is very important. Because there are certain types of failure that you really want to celebrate. I personally learned a lot more from my failures than from my successes. And if you look at it that way, then all my failures, you know, in some sense brought me to my larger successes, because I recognized why I failed, and I learned from it. And so, at that point, you can even argue that it’s not a failure. It’s part of your learning process.
And so, even with interns, it’s kind of interesting to see how they relate to failure. Does it motivate them, do they go a different direction, do they give up or do they learn from it and get some insight and add it as part of their tool chest? In some sense it is an award that they’ve earned.
One of the questions I will usually ask somebody when I am interviewing them is, what was your biggest failure? And what did you learn from it and what would you have done differently? Within a team setting, a lot of times we’ll go down paths and we’ll prototype things. And at some point we’ll realize it was a bad branch and we have to back up and go take a different branch. Those forays — as a team, we can celebrate those.
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
I used to sweat every little detail about every little thing. Now I find myself regularly asking, “In five years, will this matter?”
I used to packrat things from every era of my life. Now I’ve started to throw things away. I’m struck by a feeling that until I let go of some things, I have no room to grow. So I look to get rid of anything that isn’t joyful, useful, or beautiful.
I think that’s part of how I’ll get myself back to the right state of mind so I can have the vision to see opportunities again. As Richard the Wise Man once said,
Being in the right place at the right time is actually all about being in the right state of mind.
So yes, unexpected death and feelings of failure happen regularly. They are an inescapable part of this world.
It’s hard to lose people and things. It takes time to internalize what happened and integrate it all as part of ourselves.
I will remember to breathe, and I will remind myself to be patient because healing takes time.
And remember to get outside every day. Because miracles are waiting everywhere.
I’m not as analytical as John Battelle ’09, so my predictions have no justification.
Also, I have a caveat: whereas most peoples’ predictions come out of their brains, mine will come from another body part that shall remain nameless.
So take these predictions without ado and with a pound of salt:
If you’re gonna dream, dream big.
Discover Magazine says,
The panda’s survival proves the existence of God. How is it, they ask, that such a species could have “evolved” to be so poorly suited for survival and could have lasted these “alleged” tens of thousands of years without a little help from a higher power?
So it’s true: Pandas did not evolve… in zoos. They evolved to find their own food and seek out their mates in dense bamboo forests after being raised by their real mothers, not by zookeepers. The panda’s weaknesses in today’s world—from its failure to reproduce in captivity to its yawn-inspiring lifestyle—is a product of its natural history, not a malicious joke of an intelligent designer.
Paul Buchheit: “Reality, page 191… replaces all objects of belief with one single thing: reality itself. We believe only in this universe.“
A panda on the top of a tree at China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda in Wolong. Paleontologists have discovered the skull of the giant panda’s earliest known ancestor, a “pygmy-sized” bear that lived in south China about two million years ago, according to a study released Monday.(AFP/Liu Jin)
If you watch episode #78 (“Soprano Home Movies”) while Tony and Bobby are on the lake they are talking about what happens to people like them, and specifically about what it’s like to get killed. Tony says something along the lines of “you don’t hear the one that gets you,” and Bobby asks
What do you think happens when you die?
to which Tony replies
Nothing, everything just goes black.
Thanks, brian who quotes Reid Hoffman as saying, “An entrepreneur is someone that jumps off a cliff and makes the plane on the way down… They’re also off course 90% of the time they’re in the air.”