Failure must always be an option: part 1 -Fear

Posted: May 28th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”
George Herman “Babe” Ruth

At least once in our lives, but more likely several times, I think everyone has avoided doing something because we thought that we might fail. Or we might look ridiculous. Or maybe sound stupid. Our egos may have remained briefly unscathed, but what did we really loose? Perhaps it was an opportunity to find something which we may have truly enjoyed. Or missed the chance to get to know a genuinely wonderful person. Or maybe we lost an opportunity to raise a question or make a statement that could have made profound and enduring impact.

The magnitude of the victory is always defined by the potential of the failure. “Easy wins” are meaningless and hollow. “Sure things” only bring transient satisfaction. Reflect on the most rewarding, most exhilarating moments of your life and I would believe that failure was always a possibility. A possibility that did not stop you.

Enjoy the experience, and if you fail, remember no one is keeping count, they are all waiting to join you in celebrating your successes.

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in that gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

Hello. My name is Dan and I am an addict.

Posted: May 22nd, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

I got a new coffee grinder on Tuesday, a proline burr model.  A lot more machine than the 20 year old Krupps it was replacing. Was using it for the French press, setting it to #1 course grind with our “house blend”, Gorilla Coffee’s Brazilian dark roast. But I felt like something was missing from my life. I knew that I needed more. Flavored syrups were just not going to do it. Nor would steamed milk.

I got up at 5:00 AM on Thursday morning and decided to go for it: I switched to setting #8, espresso, then dusted off the old La Pavoni Europiccola, an ancient mechanical model that came with a video cassette and instruction book which clearly warned the user how potentially dangerous this machine was if operated incorrectly or even just casually. Frankly, at 5:05 AM, everything is casual, but fortunately there was no scalding, no exploding pressure vessels or no real harm of any mention done.

Normally comatose Son #1, a fan of “sleeping” on facebook, had 4 shots and proceeded to chat more in the 10 minutes before he caught his ride to school than he usually does in a whole week. Son #2 was actually scared to try any -just the day before, a cup of French press had induced the “Gorilla shakes”.  I lost count but I had 16 shots minimum yesterday. Maybe that’s why after using the Wii, it calculated my fitness age to be 23.

Yes, my name is Dan and I am an addict. But I also like to think of myself as a coffee achiever, circa 1984.

Follow the link & enjoy: Join the Coffee Achievers: 1984 National Coffee Association advertisement

One perspective on time.

Posted: May 19th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Most people share a common perspective and understanding of time. Whether that common perspective is immutable or transient, right or wrong is not immediately relevant. What is relevant is that they share a common perspective.  The true essence of time is not as a unit of measure to distinguish but as a means of synchronization to lead toward unification.

Being late to a meeting is a useless concept. Being in the meeting is important. Framing a worldview in terms of synchronization is significantly more productive than defining everything as a comparison.

To frustrate or be frustrated?

Posted: May 5th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Have you ever considered that when you find someone frustrating, they may be frustrated with you? Perhaps its root cause is a failure to articulate. Or possibly, a failure to understand. More than likely, it may just be a failure of actually listening, considering and extending empathy. As a culture, we place great value on our individuality and invest a lot of energy in being distinct, to the point that we may even delude ourselves. But in actuality, we are all more alike, both in form and function, than we are usually comfortable in admitting.

So the next time you feel frustration begin to build inside you, try asking yourself why you are frustrated. Is it an issue of articulation or comprehension? Or is it a polarization of thought, brought on by a lack of empathy. The truly honest and considered answer may surprise you.

The real fight.

Posted: May 4th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

I enjoy boxing. More specifically, I enjoy actually sparring. While many consider it mindlessly brutal, dangerous and frankly stupid for two individuals to square off against each other in a confined space, I find it enlightening, expanding and remarkably calming. It has been my experience that you learn quite a bit about yourself while fighting. But you really get to know who you are, when you are under pressure; When you get tagged hard and didn’t see it coming. Or when your opponent’s punches seem to find their their target with regularity and precision, and your own body begins to slowly move out of phase with your thoughts. Your own punches seem to loose some crispness and you feel your focus drifting slightly, your attention going askew. That is when you begin to know who you really are. And more importantly, when you make the conscious decision to become better than when the contest began.

Sometimes our lives may progress smoothly but more often than not, we are engaged by one challenge or another. Some are unexpected, coming out of nowhere and stinging sharply. Others may be mere annoyances, almost insignificant alone but cumulatively taking a greater toll than previously imagined. Some of our challenges may not be so easy to define but the pressure is there never the less. It may begin to wear us down before we are even conscious of it. Regardless, at some point we do become aware and that is akin to being pressured in a fight. And there arises an opportunity to become real. To do something hard, perhaps even face something painful. To find our will, our strength and our desire in order to move forward. To take the opportunity to find out who we really are and what we can actually do. To honestly learn about our own weaknesses and faults and then work to correct them. And to provide us with an opportunity to exceed what we believed we were capable of, be it physically, emotionally or intellectually.

In my mind, fighting is never about my opponent. It is just about me. About my performance, my skills, my deficits and my growth. It is an opportunity to measure myself under a wide range of conditions so that I can improve, so that I can become better and perhaps one day, master myself. Removing external validation and keeping it only about ourselves, only about the momententary opportunity being presented, allows us to inch forward in pursuit of a singular goal, becoming a more loving, caring and empathic individual by understanding our own struggle. So even when others see only defeat, a victory is always assured, regardless of the circumstance and despite conventional judgements. Advancing to that point, that is truly the real fight.