These are bits and pieces of remarkable thoughts and ideas I have stumbled upon over the past week. Hope you enjoy them too.

Lucky Breaks

I like stories. I particularly enjoy the ones in which an underdog overcomes adversity. The number of books and films dedicated to this tale indicate that I’m not alone. We’re all familiar with the formula behind such tales.

Our hero is from the wrong side of the tracks, or, somehow unfairly disadvantaged. He (it’s almost always a “he”) does something brilliant in obscurity only to have it accidentally slip into the hands of someone with great influence. Much to the surprise of all who had previously shunned him, he is promptly lifted out of his dismal life. That is, until he is tested and almost loses it all. In the end, he smartens up, and comes back to win it all. (Including the girl… because there’s always a girl.)

The concern I have with these kinds of notions—in addition to it being terribly cliché—is that they leave us looking for miracles performed by someone else. This leaves many of us waiting for a lucky break. We can concentrate on our “art,” and some mystic benefactor/influencer will connect the dots for us. We trust in the notion that if we just keep doing our thing, everything will somehow work out.

Sadly, this is a fantasy.

–       Eric Karjaluoto….(How you win)

The Cheesecake Factor

There are two types of mistakes: mistakes of ambition and mistakes of sloth.

The first is the result of a decision to act, to do something. This type of mistake is made with incomplete information, as it’s impossible to have all the facts beforehand. This is to be encouraged. Fortune favors the bold.

The second is the result of a decision of sloth, to not do something. Wherein we refuse to change a bad situation out of fear despite having all the facts. This is how learning experiences become terminal punishments, bad relationships become bad marriages, and poor job choices become lifelong prison sentences.

The consequences of bad decisions do not get better with age.

What cheesecake are you eating?

–       Tim Ferris (The 4 Hour work week – Expanded and Updated Version)


People hurt. People are messed up. People are stuck in patterns and don’t even know they are pattens. Most of what we do is not malicious, not stupid, not selfish or ignorant. Is is, instead, a response to events whose significance we often don’t even recall. The next time you look down on someone else’s behavior—the next time you think, Oh, here we go again or _________ always does this—try to remember that. Remember that these aren’t just little personality quirks, but real feelings masked by annoying actions. These are people in pain, like we are in pain—even if it makes them act like a dick. Don’t hate or pity or pander to them. But let it remind you that they’re human.

– Ryan Holiday (The Next Step)

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