Posted: May 14th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: 2nd chances, compassion, consensual delusion, crisis, dark energy, dark matter, die once, empathy, experience, growth, High school, kids, love, New York Times, number one, opportunity, Pulitzer Prize, reality, understanding | No Comments »
When I started this blog in February of last year, I had no expectation that people would actually read it. At the very least it would provide a mechanism for me to record my thoughts, musings and opinions. Now 600+ people from over 70 countries read this blog. Frankly that blows me away. As there are both a lot of new readers, I decided to high-lite 5 of the more popular earlier posts that newer readers may have missed.
Once again, thank you to those that read this. Please feel free to comment, email me and recommend Consensual Delusion to your friends, colleagues, and family.
This entry on how my 1st son’s birth changed my perspective was picked up by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Tina Kelly and the New York Times “Local” blog last year.
This post, “Die Once”, is about my dad wrestling with his mortality.
After reading “Crisis and Opportunity”, a friend from high school asked me “when did you become so smart?” I’ll take the back-handed compliment.
I am actually grouping these 2 posts together as they both illustrate the very fuzzy boundaries that define science and mysticism. Both posts attempt to show the reader that we believe we know much more than we actually know. And that is both supremely arrogant and very dangerous; “master planned obsolescence” and “Is your reality, really reality?”
Lastly, in my opinion, this may be one of my most useful posts from a day to day living perspective. If my kids take anything away from this blog, hopefully it will be this message, “Don’t count on 2nd chances.”
Posted: March 1st, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: 911, Chiliean earthquake, control, experience, make every moment count, opportunity, responding, World Trade Center | No Comments »
About 9 1/2 years ago, a friend of mine was about to a begin working at a new firm. He pursued this position diligently, lobbying hard, selling his qualifications and the potential impact he could have on the company’s business. And when he was chosen, he was truly elated, as this position afforded him an phenomenal opportunity to advance in his career. So one beautiful late summer morning he woke up extra early, left his home in northern NJ and arrived eagerly at his new employer. Upon arrival, he was undoubtedly presented with stacks of forms from HR and left in some cubicle to fill them out alone. Then the first plane crashed into the tower. He left behind a wife and small kids, one just barely a year old.
This past Friday, the 15 year old son of friends left for an adventure as an exchange student. He too was undoubtedly excited about the wonderful experiences and opportunities that would unfold over the next 4 months. He would meet new friends, experience a new culture and elevate his Spanish skills to a new level. And then with in 24 hours of his arrival in Santiago, one of the largest earthquakes in modern times struck Chile. Fortunately, he was unharmed but the last that I heard, he has still yet to actually speak to his parents.
These are 2 personal examples of the world being turned upside down instantly; one caused by the senseless yet well planned action of a few men and another brought on seemingly at random by our very world. No one is immune from these exogenous events. They may not be life threatening but your life will be changed. While you can’t control external factors, you can control yourself. The only course of action is to simply accept the reality of the situation and respond appropriately. Whether that is making a last call to your wife and telling her that you love her or working closely with others for a common goal. Regardless of the outcome, every situation, good or bad, whether we realize it or not, presents us with an opportunity. It may not be the opportunity that we are looking for or one that we even want, but we don’t have that choice. However we do have the choice, or rather the responsibility to ourselves, to see these opportunities and seize them. Our lives are composed of a continuous stream of these moments. Don’t waste them. Make each one count. Make every moment your last moment.
Michael, you will not forgotten. Zach we all look forward to your safe return.
Posted: May 4th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: boxing, challenges, experience, growth, internal, opportunity | 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.
Posted: April 20th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: experience, in the moment, poetry | No Comments »
Pointed or pointless.
Pleasurable or painful.
Joyful or unbearably sad,
when everything is an experience,
nothing is ever wasted.