ifindkarma. elegance is refusal.

January 12, 2012

Who’s got it better than us? NOBODY! #Harbaughisms

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — ifindkarma @ 12:49 am
Joyce reminds me that 1/11 PandaWhale turned one year old.

Right now we’re working on awesomizing PandaWhale, building on what we’ve learned from our alpha.

We draw on inspiration from Jim Harbaugh:

Who’s got it better than us? NOBODY! 

I repeatedly watch 0:55 into this clip…

The 49ers reached the NFC title game because of three things: The Team. The Team. The Team.

What transformed The Team from 6-10 last year to the NFC Championship this yearJim Harbaugh!

I’m sad that Harbaugh hasn’t tweeted his philosophy recently.

That philosophy was imbued in Jim and his brother John “early on, an approach, a way of looking at things in terms of football, or life… That comes from our parents.”

Their dad Jack Harbaugh would chauffeur the boys to school each day and utter the same 20 words:

Ok, men, grab your lunchboxes and attack this day with an enthusiasm UNKNOWN TO MANKIND.

And don’t take any wooden nickels.

They turned out to be words to live by.

“In this world, you can choose to be positive or you can choose to be negative,” Jack Harbaugh says. “You can choose to see things through a set of eyes that sees good or you can choose to see things in life that aren’t so good.

“At least every day, they were reminded to look at it through a positive set of eyes. Let the lens of your eyes be positive.

We try to stay positive as PandaWhale navigates our creative process to create a masterpiece.

Like Alex Smith after a 27-yard QB sweep!

Alex_smith

So in honor of PandaWhale’s anniversary, here are 11 of my favorite #Harbaughisms:

11. “I don’t like that kind of football where you try and talk and intimidate. It’s not real. You play with your feet, your legs, you play with your hands. Just play football. Shut up and play football.

10. “I just like being the guy who throws the rocks at the beehive every now and then.”

9. “I didn’t want to be in any kind of comfort zone. I didn’t want to be in any kind of guaranteed situation. The fact that it was uncharted waters, try to figure out ways to do things, gave me energy.

8. “I don’t take vacations. I don’t get sick. I don’t observe major holidays. I’m a jackhammer.”

7. “As long as everything that’s said is said against us, we feel a certain assurance of success. It’s when they go the other way, when flowery words of praise start to be heaped upon us — that’s when we start to feel exposed before our enemies.”

6. “ALL OBSTACLES CAN AND MUST BE OVERCOME. That’ll be our approach without excuse.

5. “We’re not sustaining a gosh darn thing. We despise the word sustaining. We despise the word satisfaction.

4. “What’s YOUR deal?” (“I’m great.”)

3. “We want to win with numbing repetition.

2. “Attack this endeavor with enthusiasm unknown to mankind.” (“EUTM” comes from Jack Harbaugh.)

1. “Who’s got it better than us? NOOOO-BODY!

It’s worth reading Jack Harbaugh’s story of “Who’s got it better than us? Noooo-body.”

To this day, it gets Jim Harbaugh all fired up.

Bay Area rapper Bailey even turned it into a rap.

Been there, done that, got the tee shirt.

Nobody has it better than us. NOOOO-BODY!!!

And on that note, it’s back to the creative process we go, to create a better “masterpiece”…

Creative_process
Go Niners! Go Niners! Go Niners!

Go_niners

Meanwhile, special props to the 49ers Special Teams for being DELIGHTFULLY QUIRKY!

The 49ers Special Teams Unit can be seen dancing before every kickoff to a song by Future called “Tony Montana”

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

Who dances better than us? NOBODY!

Who’s got a more colorful coach than us? Nobody!

Harbaughisms

Hail to Harbaughisms… 🙂
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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. 

Panda_vs_toy_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

#42

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.

21.
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… *********

 

 

Dont_just_give_up


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.

You_are_free_to_choose

 

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

Dear_karma


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
ze
 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 

Rogue_panda

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 

November 11, 2011

#NerdNewYear #111111

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — ifindkarma @ 8:55 am

On 11/11/11, it goes to 11.

It is ON !!! Time to celebrate !!! 

11/11/11 = NERD NEW YEAR

Where? On Broadway. 2600 Broadway in Redwood City, CA, to be precise.

We closed down the streets and lit our countdown clock…

Drinks, food, fun, awesome prizes!

As seen on: 

Totals:

  • Facebook LIKES: 927 (plus 127)
  • Twitter TWEETS: at least 3879
  • Groupons sent to: 1.2 million people (110 + 96 = 306 bought)
  • #nerdnewyear trended on Twitter 11/11/11
  • Estimated Redwood City attendance: 1500
  • We’re still figuring out how much we made for charity…

    Every day I’m shuffling…

    Everybody just have a good time! And smile, for cameras are everywhere…

    We’re on a mission from God… Hit it!

    New year‘s resolution: Live with intention. Walk to the edge.

    Live forward. Understand backward. I will always have a great memory of this day.

    Greatest_happy_hour_ever

    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.

    WHAT?!

    What

    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.
    Lost_one_baby_unicorn

    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.

    Yo
    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 27, 2011

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

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

     

    He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder.
           ~ M.C. Escher
     

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

     

    I want to learn to be an excellent storyteller.

    So I searched like a panda, and here’s what I found.

    Seth Godin’s best storytelling rules:

    • Be consistent and authentic.
    • Promise fun, safety, or a shortcut.
    • Emphasize the worldview of the audience.

    Suite 101’s best storytelling rules:

    • Start with a catchy beginning.
    • Keep it short.
    • Use silence.
    • Satisfy the audience.

    Then I saw this tweet from @Shervin quoting @Jack:

    “I’ve often spoken to the editorial nature of what I think my job is, I think I’m just an editor, and I think every CEO is an editor. I think every leader in any company is an editor. Taking all of these ideas and editing them down to one cohesive story, and in my case my job is to edit the team, so we have a great team that can produce the great work and that means bringing people on and in some cases having to let people go. That means editing the support for the company, which means having money in the bank, or making money, and that means editing what the vision and the communication of the company is, so that’s internal and external, what we’re saying internally and what we’re saying to the world – that’s my job. And that’s what every person in this company is also doing. We have all these inputs, we have all these places that we could go – all these things that we could do – but we need to present one cohesive story to the world.”

    @Jack’s words are in @Shervin’s yfrog:

    I40m

    And actually these words come from 100 days ago when @Jack gave his Golden Gate Bridge speech.

    Telling a great story requires patience and research.

    A great story is not just marketing or celebrity.

    A great story needs conflict (against others, nature, and/or self).

    A great story needs plot (voyage and return, quest, comedy, rebirth, tragedy, overcoming the monster, or rags to riches).

    A great story needs themes (love and death being the most powerful).

    A great story needs perspective.

    I_see_lots_of_gifs_of_pandas_rolling_all_over_the_place_nowadays
    As an example, consider Chimamanda Adichie, The Danger of a Single Story:

    And telling a great story requires practice.
    Then again, so does anything excellent.

     

     

    Always remember: fall down seven times, get up eight.

     

    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.

    106miles3

     

    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.

     

    Be_awesome

     

    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.)

    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.

    Pyramid-jumbo

    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.

    190k_receipt_perezsolomon

    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!!

    Um.

    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.

    Challenge_vs_skill

     

    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.”

     

    Fox

     

    “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?”

    “Yes.”

    “Are there hunters on that planet?”

    “No.”

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

    “No.”

    “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.

     

    Princefox

     

    “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.

    “M
    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.

     

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