ifindkarma. elegance is refusal.

February 12, 2012

The 12 Laws of Karma






  • What you refuse to accept, will continue for you.

  • If what we see is an enemy, or someone with a character trait that we find to be negative…

  • Then we ourselves are not focused on a Higher Level of Existence.








    • If you believe something to be true, then sometime in your life you will be called upon to demonstrate that truth.

    • Here is where we put what we SAY that we have learned into PRACTICE.





    • You get back from something whatever you’ve put into it.

    • The Value of something is a direct result of the energy and intent that is put into it.

    • Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole.

    • Lackluster Contributions have no impact on the Whole, or work to diminish it.

    • Loving Contributions Lift Up and Inspire the Whole.




    January 24, 2012

    Be lucky.

    Robert X. Cringely’s first tip for would-be entrepreneurs is: 

     “Avoid stupid and unlucky people.

    I’m taking his advice because starting a company is hard.

    I want to be luckylike the kitten that adopted me last week.

    For decades my father has told me that

    It’s better to be lucky than to be good.

    I don’t just want to be good; I want to be excellent.

    My dad says that to be excellent I should surround myself with people who have good luck. He tells me that people with good luck are contagious — as are people with bad luck!

    My dad regularly affirms:

    Avoid the unlucky, the unethical, and the unhappy.

    To find people who are ethical, I have a strategy. My startup co-founder has a sixth sense when it comes to sniffing out ethics; Detective Troutgirl is always on the case.

    As for happiness, lessons are repeated until they are learned. There is no way to happiness because happiness is the way; consequently, people reveal true colors in conversation. But what about luck?

    I want to find people who are as attracted to luck as cats are attracted to heat.

    To create luck, I conjure up some scientistic sleuthing.

    If 80% of success is showing up, then

    80-90% of luck is an excellent attitude.

    Those numbers are corroborated scientistically by business shark Daymond John and psychologist Richard Wiseman:

    Daymond John boldly declared on Shark Tank

    Life is like business. It’s 20% what happens to you, and 80% how you respond.

    Richard Wiseman concurs,

    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 those sentiments over and over, and think to myself: Still, there’s that remaining 10-20% that is pure luck, and that’s the part we need EVEN if we work hard and make wise choices and are as patient as a crouching kitten.

    So… How can we MAKE more luck?

    In 2010 I chuckled that with a luck factoryI’d make a fortune.

    Since then, I’ve become aware that there are traits that we can practice to increase our ability to make our own luck.

    On 106miles.net I summarized Bakadesuyo’s article How can you become more lucky? by noting that lucky people practice four traits: openness, intuition, optimism, and resilience.

    Practice every day, as much as possible:

    1. Openness to new experiences. Network. Meet new people. Re-engage with people you know.

    2. Intuition. Listen to yourself. Meditate to clear your mind regularly.

    3. Optimism. The mind is a feedback loop that creates self-fulfilling prophecies, so be positive.

    4. Resilience. Success is moving from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” (Winston Churchill)

    To that I add, don’t try to avoid pain:

    Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you. You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.

    (mis-attributed to Bob Marley; actual author unknown)

    Be open. Be intuitive. Be optimistic. Be resilient. Good luck!

    In the meantime, I’m looking forward to Get Lucky: The Book.

    I’m going to make it a habit to spend time with people who are lucky, and we’ll see what happens when I practice lucky traits.

    I will stay interconnected and get enough sleep.

    Yes, sleep

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Refer to me as @ifindkarma and I’ll be happy. You can also find this work as a chapter in Eric Ries’s and Hunter Walk’s wonderful Uncensored book for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

    Photo credits: All four pictures in this post were taken by me using Instagram on iPhone 4s, and are hosted on Flickr. These pictures feature the cats I humbly serve: Beavis, the 18-year-old silver Tabby; Coco, the 18-month-old Tuxedo kitty; and (unnamed), the 9-month-old lucky black cat who adopted me last week at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley. Not pictured is Lola, the 9-year-old Oklahoma runaway feline who is camera-shy.

    January 1, 2012

    Between being and becoming is an #AttitudeOfGratitude

    In 2011 I resolved to own an attitude of gratitude.

    In 2012 I resolve, again, to adopt an attitude of gratitude.

    But first, let’s review 2011.

    In 2011 I felt a lot of pain. That was hell.

    In 2011 I played outside. That was excellent.

    And, I consumed many bootie mashups.

    In 2011 I continued my obsession with pandas.

    2012 is Year of the Dragon. The Water Dragon.

    That’s right, 2012 will be Panda vs Dragon. 


    Don’t underestimate the things that I will do.

    Forty-Two means living in the exhilarating tension between being and becoming.

    People have asked me where the phrase Between Being and Becoming came from.

    SNL season 15, episode 17, Dana Carvey as George F. Will’s Sports Machine:

    George F. Will: All right, hands on buzzers. [ he hits several buttons on the machine, which spits out a quiz card that George reads ] “The precarious balance between infield and outfield suggests a perfect symmetry. For $50, identify the effect of that symmetry.”

    [ the contestants stare cluelessly, as the buzzer sounds ]

    George F. Will: Sorry. The answer is: “The exhilarating tension between being and becoming.” Being and becoming. Next question…

    That phrase has been spinning infinity in my head since I first heard it.

    I believe that life is a precarious balance, a perfect symmetry.

    We have to be who we are, while becoming who we want to be.

    We don’t just want to be hard-working, awake, and accepting of ourselves.

    We want to be a better version of ourselves. To continually improve.

    In 2012 I resolve to…

    1. Be grateful. Wake up every morning with a deep breath and an #AttitudeOfGratitude.

    2. Be here now. Don’t try to live your life in one day.

    3. Be excellent. Excellence is a habit.

    4. Be lucky. Practice openness, intuition, optimism, and resilience to make luck.

    5. Be bold. Fortune favors the bold. TDs only; play to win.

    6. Be creative. Creativity is just connecting the dots.

    7. Be optimistic. Optimism creates luck.

    8. Be who you are, as hard as you can. It’s not about what happens to you; it’s about how you respond to wha
    t happens to you.

    9. Be punctual. On time is 15 minutes late. Early is on time.

    10. Be healthy. Spirituallyemotionally, physically, just dance.

    11. Be happy. Happiness is the way.

    12. Be kind. Only kindness matters in the end.

    Tom Landry said, “Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”

    That said, these twelve goals are qualitative, not quantitative. Each day as I wake up I can resolve to be grateful, excellent, lucky, bold, optimistic, creative, punctual, healthy, happy, and kind, but I’m not going to count each act of demonstrating that quality. It doesn’t feel right to count random acts of kindness (#raok).

    Instead I’m going to include these values in my thoughts whenever I can.

    Thoughts become words become actions become habits become character.

    And character is destiny.

    I know how this works. The creative process is tough.

    To summarize: Touchdowns only; no Field Goals. Play to win.

    Who’s got it better than us? NOBODY!

    Now excuse me while I pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space…

    December 9, 2011


    Anything that happens, happens.
    Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen.
    Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again.
    It doesn’t necessarily do it in chronological order, though.
           ~ Douglas Adams
    Most people do not comprehend,
    [no matter how] they encounter such things,
    nor do they understand what they learn;
    they believe only themselves.
           ~ Heraclitus

    Every thought is a seed.
    If you plant crab apple, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.
          ~ Bill Meyer

    All the lessons of history in four sentences:
    Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power.
    The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small.
    The bee fertilizes the flower it robs.
    When it is dark enough, you can see stars.

           ~ Charles A. Beard

    In the spirit of Thirty and Thirty-Five comes the following awesome, beautiful, and creative web of thoughts that occupy my brain.

    No matter.

    I’m not patient enough to write poetry or prose, so I’ll just count down after Futurama.

    Don’t you worry about life, the universe, and everything; let me worry about blank

    42. We believe in the interconnectedness of all things.

    41. Everything is about inclusion.

    40. Everything is everythang.

    39. Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.

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

    37. Let it go. This too shall pass.

    36. SIMPLIFY.

    35. Lessons are repeated until they are learned.

    34. The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

    33. Reflect on happiness.

    32. People are very bad at predicting what will make us happy.

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

    30. We are feedback loops. We are the stories we tell ourselves.

    29. Love is when you open your heart to pain.

    28. To get over grief, be there for someone else’s grief.

    27. Kittie heaven is mousie hell.

    26. Bird is the word!

    25. The ride does not require an explanation. Just occupants.

    24. It’s not going to stop till you wise up.

    23. Character is destiny.

    22. Reflection creates identity.

    You can do anything.

    20. We can change the world with a pen and paper. We keep waiting, waiting.

    19. Starting is hard.

    18. We’ll see.

    17. Life is… delicious ambiguity.

    16. Beware drift. Do what you love!

    15. True happiness comes from within.

    14. Get yourself a giant panda! (Super kawaii!)

    13. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.

    12. That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.

    11. It goes to 11. (Be sure to read through to Andy Weir’s story, “The Egg”!)

    10. Life is like business. It’s 20 percent what happens to you, and 80 percent how you respond.

    9. 80 percent of success is showing up.

    8. Our attitudes produce our luck.

    7. Love more, fear less.

    6. Be grateful for every breath.

    5. Be who you are, as hard as you can.

    4. Be here now.

    3. Be excellent.

    2. There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.

    1. Only kindness matters in the end.

    ********* …enlightenment… *********




    Kittie heaven is mousie hell.

    Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — ifindkarma @ 3:26 am
    We’ll see. But before we get to that, let’s reflect on the last year.

    I began this year with an attitude of gratitude.

    I am caught in the tension between being and becoming.

    I am on a path to be excellent, and I never skip a day.

    But I need more luck.

    You can create the conditions to make your own luck by practicing your openness, intuition, optimism, and resilience when things go badly.

    A new year is a new beginning. A time to make new changes, experience new things, forgive those who have done you wrong, and put the past behind you.

    You are the author of your own life, and you can make this next chapter one to remember.

    You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of choice.

    So don’t worry, choose wisely if you want to get to heaven.

    Everybody wants to get to heaven, but nobody wants to die.

    For now, we live. And who’s got it better than us? Nobody.

    Think of heaven and hell like any destination: not as places but as ways of looking at things.

    Is it heaven or hell to spend 22 months making stop motion animation with jellybeans?

    It mostly depends on whether you have choice.

    Without choice, heaven or hell depends on who you are. 

    Kittie heaven is mousie hell, and if you’re a mousie there’s nothing you can do but commit.

    But with choice, heaven or hell depends on attitude.

    As illustrated by the Zen story recently tumbled by Maggie Utgoff, perspective is everything

    Once upon a time, in a temple nestled in the misty end of south hill, lived a pair of monks. One old and one young.

    ‘What are the differences between Heaven and Hell?’ the young monk asked the learned master one day.

    ‘There are no material differences,’ replied the old monk peacefully.

    ‘None at all?’ asked the confused young monk.

    ‘Yes. Both Heaven and Hell look the same. They all have a dining hall with a big hot pot in the center in which some delicious noodles are boiled, giving off an appetizing scent,’ said our old priest. ‘The size of the pan and the number of people sitting around the pot are the same in these two places.’

    ‘But oddly, each diner is given a pair of meter-long chopsticks and must use them to eat the noodles. And to eat the noodles, one must hold the chopsticks properly at their ends, no cheating is allowed,’ the zen master went on to describe to our young monk.

    ‘In the case of Hell, people are always starved because no matter how hard they try, they fail to get the noodles into their mouths,’ said the old priest.

    ‘But isn’t it the same happens to the people in Heaven?’ the junior questioned.

    ‘No. They can eat because they each feed the person sitting opposite them at the table. You see, that is the difference between Heaven and Hell,’ explained the old monk.

    The moral of this story is simple: A turn in mind is all the difference between Heaven and Hell lies (???????????????????????????). 

    Be kind to people and people will be kind to you

    The choice is yours, don’t be late.



    December 8, 2011

    Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.

    The Internets say that Bob Marley said that everyone’s gonna hurt you but some people are worth it anyway.

    No matter how much I search, I cannot find the context under which he said it or even if he said it…



    “Truth is” is a lesson that repeats until it is learned.

    I speak “truth is”, and “truth is” speaks to me.

    We are feedback loops.

    We are the stories we tell ourselves.

    Life is full of ups and downs. So get up.

    “Truth is” is interconnected through time…
    1. “Be here now.” This began my wondering if Bob Marley even said it.
    2. I’m willing to believe that 6 million Facebook likes can’t be wrong.
    3. So I Facebook’d it too, looking for answers. None came.
    4. And I did it again.
    5. I tumbled for it. And I asked on Quora.
    6. But still no one on the Internets knows when or why Bob Marley said this.
    7. It reminds me that life is pain, highness; anyone who says differently is selling something.

      Fear of pain causes stress.

      Do not fear pain. Let go of fear.

      Maureen Killoran said, “Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response to what happens, and the response is something we can choose.”

      Maybe I will wait forever and never find out if Bob Marley said it.

      The truth about forever is that it is happening right now.

      Maybe I will get lucky.

      Those who open ourselves to pain often find luck. 

      It’s worth taking some time to learn to attract luck:
      1. Create your luck, says Altucher. Luck only takes 4 steps.
      2. There are 4 principles for making luck, says Bakadesuyo.
      3. Make your own luck, says 106 Miles paraphrasing Bakadesuyo.
      4. Happiness affects luck profoundly, says Tumblr. I repeat it.
      5. Invest in a luck factory and make a fortune, says ifindkarma.
      6. What traits do lucky people share? Optimism.
      7. Attitude affects luck, says Wiseman.
      Memo to self: include luck in my incantations to be great.


      I repeat: Don’t try to avoid pain.

      Instead, find someone or something worth suffering for.

      Open yourself to heaven and earth, then trust your natural responses; and everything will
      fall into place

      Step out of your comfort zone.

      That is where the magic happens…

      Postscript, a few days later. Truth is, Bob Marley probably did not say this.

      Thank you, Spyridon Michalakis, in helping my quest for the truth.

      November 23, 2011

      Love more, fear less.

      “There is no future. There is no past. Do you see? Time is simultaneous, an intricately structured jewel that humans insist on viewing one edge at a time, when the whole design is visible in every facet.”
      ~ Watchmen

      “I will do today what you won’t, so tomorrow I can do what you can’t.”
      ~ Anonymous

      “I do not much care for that man… I must get to know him better.”
      Abraham Lincoln

      “If there is no enemy on the inside, the enemy on the outside can do us no harm.”
      ~ African Proverb

      “Our greatest problems often yield our greatest breakthroughs… fierce frustration is a precondition for a tremendous triumph.”
      ~ @CoryBooker


      Recently I added favorites among Convos containing quotes…

      Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion. ~ Muhammed Ali

      If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. ~ Antoine de Saint Exupéry

      Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want. ~ Randy Pausch

      There are no shortcuts. NONE. ~ Mark Cuban

      Do something so hard you become great in the process. ~ xkcd

      Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction. ~ Albert Einstein

      If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough. ~ Mario Andretti

      As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

      One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things. ~ Henry Miller

      Creativity is just connecting things. ~ Steve Jobs

      During my 18 years I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1700 times and walked maybe 1800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball. ~ Mickey Mantle

      I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that’s why I succeed. ~ Michael Jordan

      I’ve seen each of these quotes many times in my life, but I keep coming back to them.

      Sometimes it takes me a while to visuali
       what I’m seeing.

      Risk more than others think is safe. 
      Care more than others think is wise. 
      Dream more than others think is practical. 
      Expect more than others think is possible. 
      ~ Claude Bissell via Lili Balfour via John Hagel

      Teach compassion…”If you see someone who is struggling to make friends or being bullied because they don’t have friends or because they are shy or not as good looking or not dressed in the best clothes PLEASE step up. Say hi or at least smile at them in the hallway. You never know what that person might be facing outside of school. Your kindness might just make a BIG difference in someone’s life! Pass this on and share with your kids!”

      “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
      ~ Gandhi

      Love is where compassion prevails and kindness rules.

      “What is hard is being good every day.”
       ~ Willie Mays 


      Sing with Brian Wilson!!!

      Sing with Stephen Hawking!!!

      ‎”If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.”
      ~ Dalai Lama

       “Let your life be a testimony to your truth. Every day be an uncompromisingly true witness to your authentic self. The world needs no more dull carbon copies, folks shrinking from their truth. One stubborn soul, ignited from within, despite the crushing darkness of circumstance, can illuminate the world. We must illuminate the world. We must be brilliant.”
      ~ @CoryBooker (via @LiliBalfour)

      “The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”
      ~ Muhammad Ali 

      ~ Steve Jobs 

      August 12, 2011

      Be who you are, as hard as you can.

      Once upon a time, I said, Be here now.

      And then I restedinterconnected.

      And I said, Be excellent.



      And then I read,

      You is kind, you is smart, you is important.

      Somewhere in there, rakeshlobster tweeted

      Great career advice from @sv_troutgirl to @joshelman:
      Be who you are, as hard as you can.

      So I tweeted

      I believe “Be who you are, as hard as you can” originated from @naval.

      And Rocky thanked Naval and so did Josh

      That was the most meaningful advice I’ve had in a long time.

      So I tweeted

      Be who you are, as hard as you can” is so easy to say and so hard to do. It takes courage.

      And Naval reminded me

      Easiest when you are cast out and have no choice.

      The key word in everything I’ve said till now: COURAGE.

      It takes courage to grow up 
      and become who you really are.
            ~ e.e. cummings

      See, there’s always a tension between being and becoming.

      We’re wetware on all fours, searching profoundly for four11‘s.

      Once you are who you are, as hard as you can, you can focus on learning more and continually improve yourself.

      How can you continually improve yourself?

      Bakadesuyo highlights his most interesting research:

      June 20, 2011

      11 Reasons Why Starting a Company is Hard …

      In books we find we are not alone.
             ~ Carl Sagan

      In stories we find we are not alone.
           ~ Jonathan Nelson


      I’m giving a pariSoma talk to the Hackers and Founders Co-op Startup Class of 2011 tonight. And like Paul Graham, I found it helpful to write down what I’m going to say.

      Like Evan Williams’ startup advice, I want to say something positive and useful.

      My main message is that it’s important to have a network, because you can trade notes with other people who are doing similar things. This is why we started 106 Miles — so that any founder, engineer, or friend who joins us at our meetups will have a network to exchange knowledge and connections, and listen and learn.

      That said, if I could tell entrepreneurs one more thing, I would say:

      Being a first-time entrepreneur is hard.

      Come to think of it, actually…

      It’s hard starting a company even if you’ve done it before.

      I’ve done it three times, and it’s still hard.

      Off the top of my head here are 11 reasons why.

      1. Having a great idea at the right time is hard. Big ideas are hard, and timing of ideas is hard. Being excellent is really hard but truly important, since nobody can steal an idea.

      2. Designing an excellent and simple product is hard. User experience is hard to make excellent, and user interfaces are hard to make simple. Product-market fit is extremely hard.

      3. Developing something people want is hard. Prototyping is hard, and iterating is hard. Minimum viable product definition is hard, and figuring out what people want is hard.

      4. Getting traction is hard. Users are hard to satisfy. Attracting and retaining great users is hard, and attracting great content and quelling bad content is hard. Network effects are hard.

      5. Keeping the damn thing up and running is hard. Technical operations are hard. “The Cloud” means some computer somewhere out there that you don’t control is going to go down at the worst possible moment.

      6. Implementing a scalable business model is hard. Revenues are hard. Not all advice comes in three words. Although there is a lot of three-word startup advice, that matters not. Revenues require continual improvement of sales knowledge and the market, and that takes time, patience, and unbelievable tenaciousness.

      7. Building a great team is hard. Finding a great co-founder is hard, and hiring is hard. Even if you read a lot about hiring, it’s hard. And sweet sassy molassy, managing people is hard. And being tough is very hard.

      8. Raising seed money is hard. Angels are hard to understand. And finding a great fit between investor and entrepreneur is hard, very hard.

      9. Raising venture capital is hard. Venture capitalists are hard to understand. Once upon a time you could
      raise money with just a great idea. Then you needed a great idea and a great team. Then you needed a great idea, great team, and great prototype. Then you needed all those things and great traction. Now you also need a great business model, great revenues, great press, and if it’s not too much trouble, make the world a better place, too.

      10. Turning away all the free advice is hard. People are unpredictable, and making decisions is hard. But it’s better to make any decision than no decision. Furthermore, the right people make all the difference in the world.

      11. Managing your emotions is really fucking hard…      
      Ben Horowitz said it best. Also, not quitting is quite hard.

      If it were easy to start a company, everyone would do it.

      But it’s not easy. And not everyone does it.

      It’s hard. Really, really hard.

      There’s a great analogy here: starting a company is like you’re 106 miles from Chicago, you have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and you’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it!

      Here are 11 things you can learn to navigate those rough waters, ripped lovingly from a long Quora answer I once wrote about mistakes entrepreneurs make. 

      1. Learn the difference between important and urgent.
      2. Learn the difference between working smart and working long.
      3. Learn the difference between an opportunity and a problem.
      4. Learn the difference between lucky and smart.
      5. Learn the difference between focus and activity.
      6. Learn the difference between publicity and reality.
      7. Learn the difference between prepared and over-prepared.
      8. Learn the difference between output and throughput.
      9. Learn the difference between managing up and managing down.
      10. Learn the difference between managing expectations and just riding the roller coaster unmanaged.
      11. Learn the difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

      Remember, you can do it. But it’s hard:

      Keep your eye on the ball,
      Your head above the clouds,
      Your ear to the ground,
      Your shoulder to the wheel,
      Your nose to the grindstone,
      Your finger on the pulse,
      Your feet on the ground, and
      Your head on your shoulders.

      Now… try to get something done. 


      In summary: Activate your network, work smart, work hard, open yourself to opportunities, close off some opportunities, overcommunicate, underspend, hang in there, stop things that aren’t working, collaborate, and listen.


      June 12, 2011

      Be excellent.

      I want to be truly great.

      I want to do something great.

      So the question is, how do we become excellent?


      You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process. ~ xkcd 896


      Interconnectedness takes me from that illustration, to a place that makes me want to watch a Tony Robbins video.

      Tony says being great depends on tiny differences that put a person in a state of certainty, confidence, and flow.


      To be excellent, we train ourselves emotionally. Get rituals.

      Incantations, not affirmations, embody what we want.

      Incantations help us navigate MUSTs vs SHOULDs.


      As we move from within our own minds out to interactions with others, influence is essential.

      Because when two people are having a conversation, the one who is more certain is going to influence the one who is less certain. Always.


      This is why I’ve been thinking a lot about conversations lately.

      And conversations are the foundation of 106 Miles.



      106 Miles recently had a conversation of greatness, which inspired me to find 11 great quotes…

      11) “Greatness doesn’t take two months, or even a year. It takes years of focused practice to achieve even an ounce of it.” ~ Trizle

      10) “Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.” ~ Albert Einstein

      9) “On the road to great achievement, the late bloomer will resemble a failure.” ~ Malcolm Gladwell

      8) “Success is moving from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill

      7) “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” ~ Will Durant, not Aristotle

      6) “Excellence is not a skill; it is an attitude.” ~ Ralph Marston

      5) “You do not possess a natural gift for a certain job, because targeted natural gifts don’t exist. (Sorry, Warren Buffett.) You are not a born CEO or investor or chess grandmaster. You will achieve greatness only through an enormous amount of hard work over many years. And not just any hard work, but work of a particular type that’s demanding and painful.” ~ Geoffrey Colvin

      4) “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      3) “Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” ~ Swami Sivananda

      2) “It’s not what you take but what you leave behind that defines greatness.” ~ Edward Gardner

      1) “It’s not where you take things from; it’s where you take them to.” ~ Jim Jarmusch

      Now, I am incanting to take excellence to me.




      I want PandaWhale to be excellent.

      I want 106 Miles to be excellent.

      I want my favorite pizza place to be excellent, too. (This will take time. Right now, people hate us on Yelp.)


      And in my state of incantation, I include greatness.

      As if I’m climbing the Ron Swanson pyramid of greatness.


      Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.

      Don’t just be excellent. Be excellent to each other.

      Be excellent. Go beyond a limit.

      This takes my mind to an epic night. A really epic night.


      After a party like that, it’s difficult to focus.

      I want to hear Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory“!!!

      Sing it, Gaga!!!

      I’m on the edge… of glory…
      And I’m hanging on a moment of truth… 

      And I’m dancing like no one’s watching!!!

      Did YouTube invent Lady Gaga or vice versa?

      No worries. Hakuna matata!! Or is that…

      Hasa diga eebowai!!


      Where was I?

      Oh, right, dividing my attention.

      Unlike attention, happiness is something that multiplies when it is divided. (Thank you, @aaker @padmasree @paulocoehlo!)


      Now, where does motivation come from again?

      Tony Robbins says understanding motivation is the key to happiness.


      Daniel Pink says we are happiest and most motivated in our work when we have the opportunity for mastery.

      Now, I’ve been told it takes 10,000 hours to master something.

      That said, being good at something makes us like it more.

      And there is much power in perseverance aka “grit”.

      Thinking about all of this puts my mind into a state of flow.



      Which brings us back to where we started: xkcd 896.

      Repeat after me: Do something so hard that you become great in the process.


      April 11, 2011

      You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.

      Ashley tweeted, “We make friends by wasting time with them.

      So I tweeted it too. Which made me want to dance.

      “What does it feel like when you’re dancing?”

      “Sorta feels good. Sorta stiff and that, but once I get going… then I, like, forget everything. And… sorta disappear. Like I feel a change in my whole body. And I’ve got this fire in my body. I’m just there.”

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

      Which brings us to Oprah.

      Oprah opined, “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.

      Which surfaced my love for The Little Prince, Chapter 21

      It was then that the fox appeared.

      “Good morning,” said the fox.

      “Good morning,” the little prince responded politely, although when he turned around he saw nothing.

      “I am right here,” the voice said, “under the apple tree.”




      “Who are you?” asked the little prince, and added, “You are very pretty to look at.”

      “I am a fox,” the fox said.

      “Come and play with me,” proposed the little prince. “I am so unhappy.”

      “I cannot play with you,” the fox said. “I am not tamed.”

      “Ah! Please excuse me,” said the little prince.

      But, after some thought, he added:

      “What does that mean–‘tame’?”

      “You do not live here,” said the fox. “What is it that you are looking for?”

      “I am looking for men,” said the little prince. “What does that mean–‘tame’?”

      “Men,” said the fox. “They have guns, and they hunt. It is very disturbing. They also raise chickens. These are their only interests. Are you looking for chickens?”

      “No,” said the little prince. “I am looking for friends. What does that mean–‘tame’?

      “It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. It means to establish ties.”

      “‘To establish ties’?”

      “Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . .

      “I am beginning to understand,” said the little prince. “There is a flower . . . I think that she has tamed me . . .”

      “It is possible,” said the fox. “On the Earth one sees all sorts of things.”

      “Oh, but this is not on the Earth!” said the little prince.

      The fox seemed perplexed, and very curious.

      “On another planet?”


      “Are there hunters on that planet?”


      “Ah, that is interesting! Are there chickens?”


      “Nothing is perfect,” sighed the fox.

      But he came back to his idea.

      “My life is very monotonous,” the fox said. “I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . .”

      The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.




      “Please–tame me!” he said.

      “I want to, very much,” the little prince replied. “But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand.”

      “One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox. “Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me . . .”

      “What must I do, to tame you?” asked the little prince.

      “You must be very patient,” replied the fox. “First you will sit down at a little distance from me–like that–in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . .”

      The next day the little prince came back.

      “It would have been better to come back at the same hour,” said the fox. “If, for example, you come at four o’clock in the afternoon, then at three o’clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o’clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you . . . One must observe the proper rites . . .”

      “What is a rite?” asked the little prince.

      “Those also are actions too often neglected,” said the fox. “They are what make one day different from other days, one hour from other hours. There is a rite, for example, among my hunters. Every Thursday they dance with the village girls. So Thursday is a wonderful day for me! I can take a walk as far as the vineyards. But if the hunters danced at just any time, every day would be like every other day, and I should never have any vacation at all.” 

      So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near–

      “Ah,” said the fox, “I shall cry.”

      “It is your own fault,” said the little prince. “I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you . . .”

      “Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

      “But now you are going to cry!” said the little prince.

      “Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

      “Then it has done you no good at all!”

      “It has done me good,” said the fox, “because of the color of the wheat fields.” And then he added:

      “Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret.” 

      The little prince went away, to look again at the roses.

      “You are not at all like my rose,” he said. “As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world.

      And the roses were very much embarassed.

      “You are beautiful, but you are empty,” he went on. “One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you–the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or ever sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose. “

      And he went back to meet the fox.

      “Goodbye,” he said.

      “Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

      “What is essential is invisible to the eye,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

      It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

      “It is the time I have wasted for my rose–” said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.

      en have forgotten this truth,” said the fox. “But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose . . .”


      “I am responsible for my rose,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.


      April 4, 2011

      The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

      LEARN says Nature Boy. Casey Abrams’ version is 80% mesmerizing:


      A WORD ON STATISTICS, by Wislawa Szymborska

      Out of every hundred people,

      those who always know better:

      Unsure of every step:
      almost all the rest.

      Ready to help,
      if it doesn’t take long:

      Always good,
      because they cannot be otherwise:
      four — well, maybe five.

      Able to admire without envy:

      Led to error
      by youth (which passes):
      sixty, plus or minus.

      Those not to be messed with:

      Living in constant fear
      of someone or something:

      Capable of happiness:
      twenty-some-odd at most.

      Harmless alone,
      turning savage in crowds:
      more than half, for sure.

      when forced by circumstances:
      it’s better not to know,
      not even approximately.

      Wise in hindsight:
      not many more
      than wise in foresight.

      Getting nothing out of life except things:
      (though I would like to be wrong).

      Balled up in pain
      and without a flashlight in the dark:
      eighty-three, sooner or later.

      Those who are just:
      quite a few, thirty-five.

      But if it takes effort to understand:

      Worthy of empathy:

      one hundred out of one hundred –
      a figure that has never varied yet.

      (translated from the Polish by Joanna Trzeciak)



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