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… 🙂

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


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.

 

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.”

Steve_jobs_says

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.

 

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:
fifty-two.

Unsure of every step:
almost all the rest.

Ready to help,
if it doesn’t take long:
forty-nine.

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

Able to admire without envy:
eighteen.

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

Those not to be messed with:
four-and-forty.

Living in constant fear
of someone or something:
seventy-seven.

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

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

Cruel
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:
thirty
(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:
three.

Worthy of empathy:
ninety-nine.

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

(translated from the Polish by Joanna Trzeciak)

SourceCaterina.net

 

March 11, 2011

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

That secret to life I tweeted from Daymond John on Shark Tank.

It reminded me that 80 percent of success is showing up.

And that happiness is correlated with success. Additionally…

 True happiness involves the pursuit of worthy goals,” Csikszentmihalyi said. “Without dreams, without risks, only a trivial semblance of living can be achieved.”

 

But how does a being discover worthy goals to pursue?

I have a vision

Worthy goals come from enlightenment.

Enlightenment comes from living.

Life itself is a process of continual improvement.

In 21 easy pieces. We begin each cycle by waking up.

1. Wake up.

2. Breathe.

3. Let go.

4. Get up.

5. Show up.

6. Position.

7. Include.

8. Be here now.

9. Be excellent.

10. Dance!

11. Give.

12. LOVE.

13. Reflect.

14. Empathize.

15. Encourage.

16. Be kind.

17. Connect.

18. Learn.

19. Simplify.

20. Nap.

21. Iterate.

 

At any point, be open to enlightenment

Fav_panda_pic



See also:

 


(photo sourceKeira Susan Dazi!)

 

June 23, 2010

Eleven Essential Reflections On Happiness…

How_to_be_happy_simplified

Wow.

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

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

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

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

Simply put, happiness is the way.

And happiness comes from within.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read. Reflect. Repeat.

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

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

June 8, 2010

We believe in the interconnectedness of all things.

“We are feedback loops; we are the stories we tell ourselves…”
~ Doc Jensen on LOST  

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

In the beginning, there was nothing but darkness. We all were one.

And then we said, “Oh haiLet there be light.

Cieling_cat_creates

And then we LOOK closer and more carefully. We could see that there was nothing. Which is a funny thing to say because sometimes words are inadequate, and sometimes words have two meanings.

And then expansion started… Wait!

And we added things. And the universe expanded. And we added more things. And the universe kept expanding to accommodate adding more things. And everything was awesome. Fundamentally.

It might seem like everything was added randomly. And perhaps that is the case. But that’s not what we believe.

We believe in the interconnectedness of all things.

This idea was kept in the dark for billions of years. Instead, the reigning belief was detachment: “I don’t really want to know how your garden grows, ’cause I just want to fly.” And so, we lived forever…

…and life was but a dream. Edgar Allan Poe waxed poetic, “All that we see or seem… is but a dream within a dream.” (Thanks Ankita!)

And we thought about the words of Rumi…

We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.

The face of the unknown, hidden beyond the universe would appear on the mirror of your
perception.

They say there is a doorway from heart to heart, but what is the use of a door when there are no walls?

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.

And the Primitive Radio Gods whispered quietly in the corner…

Am I alive, or thoughts that drift away?
Does summer come for everyone?
Can humans do what prophets say?
If I die before I learn to speak,
can money pay for all the days
I lived awake but half-asleep?

Suddenly we woke up with a kick. And we were no longer detached when we woke up with the idea. Not to spoil Inception, but merely to praise Inception:

What’s the most resilient parasite? An idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules.

For our idea, Douglas Adams offered enlightenmentSpecifically, Dirk Gently illuminated us.

I’m very glad you asked me that, Mrs Rawlinson. The term `holistic’ refers to my conviction that what we are concerned with here is the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. I do not concern myself with such petty things as fingerprint powder, telltale pieces of pocket fluff and inane footprints. I see the solution to each problem as being detectable in the pattern and web of the whole. The connections between causes and effects are often much more subtle and complex than we with our rough and ready understanding of the physical world might naturally suppose, Mrs Rawlinson. Let me give you an example. If you go to an acupuncturist with toothache he sticks a needle instead into your thigh. Do you know why he does that, Mrs Rawlinson? No, neither do I, Mrs Rawlinson, but we intend to find out. A pleasure talking to you, Mrs Rawlinson. Goodbye. 
    — Douglas Adams, Dirk Gentley’s Holistic Detective Agency

And then Tim Berners-Lee — or was it Dan Connolly? — distilled the words to their essence:

We believe in the interconnectedness of all things.

And then Jamie Zawinski reflected on the Vannevar Bush-influenced words of Ted Nelson:

Intertwingularity is not generally acknowledged —
people keep pretending they can make things deeply hierarchical, categorizable and sequential when they can’t.

Everything is deeply intertwingled.

And then the Internet developed its own connective tissue. Which itself is unsearchable.

And then I couldn’t believe what happened next. Free association. Say what? We’ll see.

…continuing. LOOKWe didn’t start the fire. America, fuck yeah. Freedom isn’t freeTerrible Disney lessons. The virus of faith2000″ TVYou’re the man now, dawgBlue ball machine. Facebook is a lobster trap, and your friends are the baitTrue happiness comes from within. It comes back to you, you’re gonna get what you deserve… lovin’ is what I got, remember thatThe ride does not require an explanation, just occupants. Imitation of lifeNoah’s photosI’m expressin’ with my full capabilities, now I’m living in correctional facilities. Now let me welcome everybody to the wild wild west… California love… Regulators!!! I want it all: brand new socks and drawers. Why do I live this way? Heeeey, must be the moneyAlright stop, collaborate and listen. How can I find a woman like that? Guitar: impossibleFrench bulldogs. OMG pwnies. Ready, set, bagSpeak with meMeditate. Mediate. Kick. Things that make you go hmmmShow me how to dance. Alejandro. Ra ra ra ah ah ah roma ro ma ma gaga ooh la la. Cameron Diaz dancesStephen Hawking rocks. Time travel is horrifyingOuter space sucksCrumbling cities. Pink housesIconic bras. Mad menAh, l’amourDisney perversionsEpisode 200. And 201. FreedomUnconscious trumps free will. Disney deathsSerial killers. Corporate slogans. At-atCanned unicorn meatWhat if you’re wrong? The purpose of purposeThe empathetic civilizationEmma BatesQualia. Reid HoffmanHegel’s philosophy of history. The unexplainable. Time-traveling brandy thievesLife on Mars. LOST. The Little Prince.

I love The Little Prince. Whi
ch reminds me of some of my favorite words that Robbye Bentley has posted recently

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” ~ Og Mandino

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Life and Jah are one in the same. Jah is the gift of existence. I am in some way eternal, I will never be duplicated. The singularity of every man and woman is Jah’s gift. What we struggle to make of it is our sole gift to Jah. The process of what that struggle becomes, in time, the Truth.” ~ Bob Marley

“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.” ~ Stephen Covey

Thank you, Robbye. I have some favorites of my own, too.

The words of Rumi echo in eternity, “The face of the unknown, hidden beyond the universe would appear on the mirror of your perception.”

Which takes me full circle…

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

Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for” ~ Bob Marley

I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right. You believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” ~ Marilyn Monroe

If success or failure of the planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do… How would I be? What would I do?” ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

We are all connected to each other, in a circle, in a hoop that never ends. How high can the sycamore grow? If you cut it down, then you’ll never know…” ~ Colors of the Wind

And Scott Adams said, “The best you can hope for in this life is that your delusions are benign and your compulsions have utility.”

So it goes…

 

And then a lot of peoples’ brains exploded. Such is rock n roll.

And then we rested. Or at least, we tried to relax and breathe and reflect

And appreciate that nothing can ever be truly, fully understood. Seriously.

Still, three fundamental questions remain:
  1. If everything is everythang, are being and becoming just limited beings’ perspective of the oneness?
  2. If happiness is part of the oneness, why is it so difficult to be here now and connect to that happiness?
  3. If lessons are repeated until they are learned, is learning just finding the right connection to the oneness?

And are there things we can never learn? We’ll see.

If some connections cannot be made, perhaps there is no spoon at all.

If Internet is the substrate for interconnectedness of all things, perhaps The Architect knows.

And are there things that cannot be taught? Richard Feynman refuses to explain how magnets work. Feynman concludesI really can’t do a good job, any job, of explaining magnetic force in terms of something else you’re more familiar with, because I don’t understand it in terms of anything else you’re more familiar with.

Breathing is neither learned nor taught. It just is. And yet sometimes we must remember to breathe. And to be here now. And to be grateful for every breath.

And then when that gratitude gets us reflecting about the meaning of life, we learn to let it go; this too shall pass

It’s one who won’t be taken, that cannot seem to give, and the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live, sang Bette Midler.

So it goes.

Savor every second; enjoy every sandwich, as the dying Warren Zevon put it.

So it goes.

You need to live before you die, said Steve Jobs…

You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have
to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.

So it goes…

It is through death, too, that we make a connection with Randy PauschCon te partiro.

In the end, there is no greater job than enabling the childhood dreams of others.

And in the end, everything will be okay. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

And in the end, only kindness matters.

So we dance. And LOOK. And simplify. And reflect. And breathe.

Which takes us back to the beginning.

And then… Bazinga!

March 9, 2010

Eighty percent of success is showing up.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — ifindkarma @ 12:20 pm

TrendTracker’s retweet of me??– that 80% of success is showing up — made me truly wonder if Woody Allen really said that. So I googled it and found??that I was not the only one who was confused…

“I believe it was Woody Allen who said, ‘Half of life is showing up.'”
??
Showing up is eighty percent of life. ??– Woody Allen, from The Harper Book of Quotations 3rd ed.”
??
“Seventy percent of success in life is showing up. – Woody Allen”
??
“Comedian Woody Allen once said that 80 percent of life is showing up.”
??
“Woody Allen has been quoted as saying something like, ‘Seventy-five??percent of life is showing up.'”
??
“It’s like Woody Allen said: 90 percent of life is showing up.”
??
One page asserts that the quotation is from Allen’s film “Play it??Again, Sam” (1972):
??
“In one particular movie, Play It Again Sam, he says to the character??played by Diane Keaton, ‘I’ve figured out the secret to being??successful in life.’ She looks at him as if to say, ‘You can’t even??tie your shoes. What do you know about the secret to being successful??in life?’ And Woody Allen utters the following words, ‘Being??successful is eighty percent showing up. Eighty percent of being??successful in life is showing up.'”
??
And in a documentary film that aired last year on Turner Classic Movies??channel, Woody Allen apparently acknowledges that he is the originator??of the quote. From a review of the film:
??
He’s baffled that his advice to young playwrights — ’80 percent of??life is showing up’ — is so well known. ‘That quote has been used??10,000 times all over the world to represent me with some kind of??profound insight,’ he says. ‘As if I could determine the percentage.'”
??
Which led me to Google some more…
??
“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” — Woody Allen
??
“Eighty percent of success is just showing up.” — Woody Allen
??
“Eighty percent of success is NOT just showing up.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, TED Talk
??
And the inimitable Flickr photos, from Flowers to Paris
??
??
So what have I learned today? Life and success depend on lots of things. Just show up, okay? And while you’re at it, you’re likely to do better if you show up on time and with a decent attitude, thankyouverymuch.

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