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.

      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:

      July 12, 2011

      It goes to 11.

      Somewhere, something incredible 
      is waiting to be known.
            ~ Carl Sagan

      Carve out one minute of your day for mindfulness.
      Turn off the Internet and turn on the Innernet.
      Every night as you fall asleep, plant a seed in your mind.
      Every morning when you wake, take a minute to meditate.
      It makes a world of difference.
           ~ Lili Balfour

      Today I saw that a friend lost a baby unicorn.

      And I realized, everybody hurts and everybody struggles sometimes.

      We’ve been struggling at 106 Miles to create a charity event for the Nerd New Year (11/11/11) as we moved the event from Fox Theatre in Redwood City to the Redwood City Courthouse Square, and now (hopefully) to Broadway in Redwood City between the Caltrain and El Camino Real for a street party. See: NerdNewYear.com

      Sometimes I ask myself, why even try do it?

      Not because of synchronicity. That seems too far out to me.

      And not just because it goes to 11, though that does help.


      I’ve been excited about 11/11/11 ever since January 11.

      Truth is, everywhere I go this year, I see elevens.

      11s have no meaning except as a personal wake up call.

      A wake up call to do something meaningful.

      I hope on 11/11/11 to raise awareness for 11 causes.

      In their honor, here’s a list of my favorite eleven lists.

      8. Eleven Facts About Pandas (and then some!)

      6. Eleven Inspirational Quotes (my favorite is the one from Albert Einstein, “I once thought that if I could ask God one question, I would ask how the universe began, because once I knew that, all the rest is simply equations. But as I got older I became less concerned with how the universe began. Rather, I would want to know why He started the universe. For once I knew that answer, then I would know the purpose of my own life.”)

      All of those elevens really do wake me up.

      We don’t know what will make us happy, but we think we do.

      Life ebbs and flows. Physically, mentally, emotionally.

      Life has many chapters, if you allow them to open.

      Meaning is not something you stumble across. You have to build meaning into your life… And you build meaning into your life by the commitments that you make.

      Commitments beyond yourself.

      When we’re young, we search for identity: “Who am I?

      Your identity, actually, is what you’ve committed yourself to:

      We close with a short story passed to me by Shuqiao, whose song is the Dalai Lamas “My religion is very simple; my religion is kindness” as she shares “The Egg” by Andy Weir

      You were on your way home when you died.

      It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered, you were better off, trust me.

      And that’s when you met me.

      “What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

      “You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point mincing words.

      “There was a… A truck and it was skidding…”

      “Yup,” I said.

      “I… I died?”

      “Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

      u looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

      “More or less,” I said.

      “Are you God?” You asked.

      “Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

      “My kids… my wife,” you said.

      “What about them?”

      “Will they be all right?”

      “That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died, and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

      You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Some vague authority figure. More of a grammar school teacher than the Almighty.

      “Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly reliveved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

      “Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

      “Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

      “Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right.”

      “All the religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

      You followed along as we strolled in the void. “Where are we going?”

      “Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

      “So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

      “Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just dont remember them right now.”

      I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic then you can possible imagine.

      A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold.
      You put a tiny part or yourself into the vessel, and when u bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

      “You’ve been a human for the last 34 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for longer, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point doing that between each life.”

      “How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

      “Oh lots. Lots and lots. And into lots of different lives,” I said. “This time around you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 A.D.”

      “Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

      “Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

      “Where you come from?” You pondered.

      “Oh sure!” I explained. “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there’s others like me. I know you’ll want to know what its like there but you honestly wont understand.”

      “Oh.” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, could I have interacted with myself at some point?”

      “Sure. Happens all the time. and with both lives only aware of their own timespan you dont even know its happening.”

      “So what’s the point of it all?”

      “Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? Your asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

      “Well its a reasonable question,” you persisted.

      I looked in your eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

      “You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

      “No. just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature, and become a larger and greater intellect.

      “Just me? What about everyone else?”

      “There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you, and me.”

      You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

      All you. Different incarnations of you.

      “Wait. I’m everyone!?”

      “Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

      “I’m every human who ever lived?”

      “Or who will ever live, yes.”

      “I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

      “And you’re John wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

      “I’m Hitler?” you said, appalled.

      “And you’re the millions he killed.”

      “I’m Jesus?”

      “And you’re everyone who followed him.”

      You fell silent.

      “Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “You were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

      “Why?” You asked me. “why do all this?”

      “Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

      “Whoa.” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

      “No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

      “So the whole universe,” you said. “Its just…”

      “An egg of sorts.” I answered. “Now its time for you to move on to your next life.”

      And I sent you on your way…

      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.


      May 12, 2011

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

      I think of Emily Dickinson’s poem as I reflect on the shockingly sudden passing of my dear friend Omar Ahmad, who left this world on May 10, 2011. 

      Omar was a great optimist who made me think about possibility, and he made me want to do something great and live everything

      Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the question now. Perhaps then, some day far in the future, you will gradually without even noticing it, live your way in to the answer.
      Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. by Stephen Mitchell (via Kristen Collins)

      The past few years I’ve felt the pain of loss of several close friends.

      It hurts. I miss Omar. A lot. Even as I watch Omar’s memorial.

      I remember from ten life lessons: Don’t take yourself too seriously.

      I do feel like I didn’t spend enough time with Omar.

      And neither did Rohit. Or our little friend. Though we be successful.

      I loved Omar. He was truly a friend who inspired me to be kind.

      I will watch Omar’s TED talk again and again as a reminder to be active.

      I truly miss you, Omar. I truly do. And I still feel connected to you.

      Thank you, Omar. You and Steve Jobs inspire me to do something great — to design something simple that brings great happiness to others with what is left of my life…

      Almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

      It’s worth repeating what Steve Jobs said. “There is no reason not to follow your heart.”


      May 6, 2011

      Whatever you can do, or dream you can begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

      Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — ifindkarma @ 6:11 am

      Apparently that line is not from Goethe.

      We shipped the pre-alpha (alphalpha?) of PandaWhale on Cinco de Mayo 2011.

      Our alphalpha is at 106miles.net so startup folks can have conversations.

      Every week we simplify and improve PandaWhale for 106miles.net …

      For now, we need more time. And more pandas

      May 2, 2011


      Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — ifindkarma @ 6:11 am
      When we know better, we do better.” ~ Maya Angelou

      It has been a wonderful weekend of conversations.

      From Royale with Cheese, through Zoya and Sharks, to Osama on Obama action, conversations meandered…

      Oh, the humanity!”

      America, fuck yeah!

      “Hey man, is that Freedom Rock? … Well turn it up, man!”



      Speaking of conversations, in case you were wondering…

      We’re knee-deep developing PandaWhale, since 1/11/11:

      We will ship as soon as we can.

      PandaWhale, fuck yeah!

      We’ve proudly proclaimed fuck yeah from PandaWhale’s start.

      Naturally, we’ll build this affirmation into our coat of arms.

      And an awesomesauce family crest is inked in Latin…


      So how does “fuck yeah” translate into Latin?

      To the Qloud!

      A friend asked a friend who is trained in the classics.

      There’s “SIC FUTUE” which translates to “THUSLY, FUCK!” as if it were a command.

      Which doesn’t seem quite right.

      Nor does “COITUM ITA” which translates to “SEX YES” as if it were a lifestyle choice.

      Not quite right, either.

      Which brings us to “CONFACIMUS” which is literally, “Fuck it!” but in the first person plural, kind of like a royal “We fuck it!”, or “LET US FUCK
      ” …

      AMERICA, CONFACIMUS!!” has a nice ring to it as it rolls off the tongue…

      Let’s try confacimus on for size.

      PandaWhale? Confacimus!

      Mike Brown tweets? Confacimus!

      My friend Scott’s son plays hard? Confacimus!


      Fuck yeah, I could get used to confacimus in my vocabulary.

      Let’s try a more intermediate use of the word.

      “Confacimus Navegamus” could mean “Fuck it, let’s go sailing!

      But isn’t “SAILING, FUCK YEAH!” significantly awesomesaucier?


      Btw, I think the pronunciation is “con FACK i mus“.

      I’ve checked with a few scholars familiar with “street Latin”. 😉

      I do know there is a wonderful world between profound and gibberish.

      So let’s try an advanced employment of confacimus.

      Chalant and plussed and gruntled, cogito ergo confacimus.

      Come to think of it, confacimus has myriad uses…

      Conversations? Confacimus!

      Hot Sauce Committee Part 2? Confacimus!

      Barbie Computer Engineer? Confacimus!

      Kittens in bowls? Confacimus!

      Dreams that go to 11? Confacimus!!!


      I dream of organizing public conversations for 106 Miles.

      I dream of PandaWhale.

      Fuck yeah!

      It’s the dream that we all share. It’s the hope for tomorrow…


      Alpocalypse‘s “Perform This Way“? Confacimus!

      The Greatest Movie Ever Sold? Confacimus!

      Fear and Consumption? Confacimus!

      Apple’s ToS is a PoS? Confacimus!

      Enlightenment? Confacimus!

      Happiness? Confacimus!

      Love? Confacimus!

      Marvelous. 😉


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