Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Freedom Is In The Mind

"Mothers who love your children, do not set them too soon to the study of history; let them dream while they are young. Nothing affrights me so much as the reasonable, practical child who believes in nothing that he cannot touch. These sages of ten years are, at twenty, dullards..."

-Edward Labailaye

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Formidable Formicidae; or What We Can Learn From Ants

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." - Marie Curie

Ants. They freak us out. Such a tiny little creature and we drop everything we're doing just to spray them with Raid, sweep them away, and even smash them. They are resilient little bastards. But the next time you think about doing the above, STOP and think for a moment. Remember this awesome post about why humans and ants have much more in common than we think.

Here are a few reasons:

1. Ants are social creatures. They have divisions of labor, communication between individuals, and ability to solve complex problems.

2. Ants collect, store, and share food. They have share food amongst themselves in the "social stomach". That is by far the most wonderful (and time-consuming) purposes of the human experience. Eat or die!

3. Female ants collect sperm and use it for later use. This one isn't the most obvious, but it reflects society and the displacement of the masculine figure (more on that another time). Weird.

4. Ants communicate by leaving pheromones. This is close to how human beings communicate through body language. We don't have to say many words to each other in order to say what we mean. We simply "sense" what another person wants or needs from us.

5. Ants are great students and teachers. Many animals can learn behaviours by imitation but ants may be the only group apart from mammals where interactive teaching has been observed. Humans go to school and have structured learning because without guidance, we don't develop a sense of purpose.

6. Ants are like Rachel Ray, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Muhammad Ali all in one package.The ant head has two strong jaws, the mandibles, used to carry food, manipulate objects, construct nests, and for defense. Humans have hands to carry out the same exact tasks.

7. Ants are like the Jay-Z's of the animal world because they HUSTLE. Next to flies, ants are the very first on the scene when fresh food is left unattended. We've all heard Mom say, "put that away before the ants get to it." They work and they work fast. Have you ever seen how fast ants clean off a rib?!

8. Ants are "eusocial", or the highest level of social cooperation. Humans build everything from tents to skyscrapers, some ants build colonies out of the ants THEMSELVES! Think about a time where you felt happy accomplishing something with cooperation. It was probably great because someone was there to SHARE that experience with you. And if it was teamwork, you often have a memory to share of the struggle. (This is exactly why I love CrossFit. It is hard work and can be a transforming experience when you're doing it with a friend.)

The moral of the story here is all ants have their purpose in the hive. If we are honest with ourselves, humans live the same way. We are social creatures that create hives known as "cities". In many fables ants are shown for their industriousness and cooperative efforts. Humans have worked together to achieve and overcome monumental events, and yet we are in such a sad state of affairs internationally. Indeed humans have much to learn in the Tao of the Ant...

So, go "DO WORK SON (together)!"

Monday, November 15, 2010

That one quote...you know the one that goes...

I've been MIA, so here are a few one-liners just to get me into "writing" mode again:

- Maturity is creating more than you consume.

- Your dreams are the seedlings of reality.

- Take a look at the whole map, not just the directions.

- Smile with your face, smile with your mind, and smile with your liver.

- Everything is interesting. Look closer.

Monday, June 21, 2010

To those who know me...

How to Behave Toward an ENFP

Give ENFPs the freedom to be flexible. Realize that churning through possibilities inspires their minds and get their creative juices flowing. Don't bog the unsuspecting ENFP down with too many details, especially on any subject not known to be of deep interest to him or her. Involve the ENFP in the process and try to keep things fun. When communicating with ENFPs you will find that many like to talk. Do not hesitate to interrupt and state your opinion. ENFPs enjoy speculating about ideas, and will do so for hours on end. They enjoy others who engage them in conversation, contribute their ideas and keep it moving in a positive direction. Overall ENFPs appreciate overt honesty in others, they want to know the truth, even if it is not nice or pleasant, they want to know how people "really" feel. ENFPs are easily influenced by what other people say. It may not appear that they are listening when they are talking to you, but soon after the conversation ends they often ponder what the other person has said and incorporate those ideas into their own thinking to use the knowledge for the future.

The main points to remember:
1) ENFPs are absolutely excited by people. So, FEED US GOSSIP. There isn't anything we ENFPs love more than to make opinions of people, followed by judging them accordingly.

2) Give us what we need to know/do straight. No details.

3) Never, ever, mask your emotions. ENFPs constantly over-analyze conversations and interactions, however, we begin to worry when it seems like to whomever we were talking were not being straightforward with their emotions. This means ALWAYS making eye contact.

4) We are incredibly spontaneous. Don't be surprised when an ENFP makes a completely head-turning decision, or when an ENFP makes a joke in bad taste. Just smile, and laugh along.

5) ENFPs work on their own schedule. Don't expect everything you ask for to be done exactly on deadline, which in turn worries us. We make priorities. Let us figure out everything we need to do first, then we'll get around to you.

6) We are a extremely selective group of people. Though we don't all share the same preference of person, we all have a 'perfect' type of person in mind. Don't be offended when you find that we loath a certain quality about you. Although this means we will pretty much dislike you altogether, don't take this as an insult to your persona as a whole.

7) We are ridiculously sentimental. The smallest things, which can even include shoelaces, pieces of trash, books, paper, and other trinkets, can sometimes hold the deepest places in our hearts, as long as they serve as some reminder of any particular event.

8) An ENFP's emotions can never be predicted. Whether it is feelings about weather, working, or most of all, people, these emotions shift very frequently.

9) We love to create. ENFPs are inspired by mostly anything. Random scenes of daily life or interactions with people can send our creative minds into hyper-speed. However, we our cursed with a fragile willingness to complete projects we begin. Though we'll ultimately feel bad about not finish certain projects, we learn to get over this, and immediately fall in love with a new idea.

10) Remember, ENFPs are hard to figure out. Most of what we feel cannot be put into words or understood.

Friday, June 4, 2010

"On average, nature punishes the specialist."

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

Monday, May 31, 2010

Words to my unborn son.

- Become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Tolerance is something built on purpose over time. Learn to be the rock in any situation.

- Master one thing over a lifetime. True mastery is honored, a jack-of-all trades is simply appreciated.

- Curiosity is the engine for thinking. All great things start as an idea.

- Your brain cannot tell the difference between a memory and an imagined scenario. YOU ALREADY DID IT. Use this to your advantage in building confidence.

- The old adage, "it's all in your hips" holds true for the important parts of a man's life. You need strong hips for lifting heavy objects, good posture, and great sex.

- Dance vigorously. In the animal kingdom, males do the mating dance. Not vice versa.

- Seek to understand first, then be understood. Giving your undivided attention is the most basic act of generosity. It will be noticed.

- Don't squash bugs. They are the guardians of the Earth. Or it could be your grandmother.

- Know the difference between simplicity and elegance. Simple things are as they appear. Elegance is complexity and beauty intertwined to appear simple.

- Shout into the open whenever possible. It's damn fun.

- Know when to say, "Please, Thank You, I Love You, and Forgive Me." Those four phrases will serve you well in the future.

- A real man knows when to ask for help. You are a fallible human being, ask for a second-opinion.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Meet the Girls, Barbara is the nicest one

Many ideas will change how you think. A few of them may even simplify your thought process. And fewer will change how you act. Study the good ones that make you act swiftly, like Taoism. Because that is all that matters. What you DO.

I went to college and studied Philosophy. I did it so I could outsmart my way out of hard work. Truthfully, I had no work ethic in college. It was a huge spring break to me. A big socializing activity, where people feign doing things with purpose, but they are there to take value from others (or hook up). Kind of like church.

But Philosophy revolutionized my thought process. Anyone who knows me will roll their eyes and tell you about my penchant for useless facts about Samurai daily living to the most elegant theories of Space and Time. Philosophy taught me how to appreciate ideas and be enthusiastic about passing them onto others. But that's all they are. Ideas.

I graduate in 2007, real-life hits. I have no real skills or motivation to contribute anything to society. Taking value and sustaining my sheltered life is my first and only priority. I party like a motherfucker to drown out the suffocating feeling of escaping responsibility. I lack spiritual substance. I am a true American.

During this time I take up the activity of improving my vanity, also known as "exercise". Notice I didn't say "working out." Exercise literally means "to use." You exercise enough to "tone", or "maintain." I decide I want to be ridiculously strong like Bruce Lee. Come 2008, I find Sandbags, Sledgehammers, and Salvation. Then I watch the movie 300 and find out the Spartans with 8-packs are for real. I find out it's because they all did CrossFit.

CrossFit redefined what it means to "work out." To me, working out is spiritual problem-solving. When I have an issue, my barbell is my therapist. When I need an ear to listen to my bitching, the pull-up bar is always there. It is literally the act of self-respect. And when you start your workout, you meet the girls (Fran, Cindy, Angie) and enter the Storm. And you walk right up into the rain and say, "Fuck you, my old friend." You finally free the manimal that has been waiting all your adult-life to come out. You understand Desire itself and how to channel it. You shift into the 6th gear you never knew you had. There is nobody to tell you "SLOW DOWN." On the road of life, you make your own speed limit.

Crossfit makes me act. It has taught me to be aggressive about what I want out of my life. With each Clean & Jerk and burpee, I strip one layer of bullshit away. For 24 years of my life, I was a wreck. Until I found CrossFit. Fuck trying to look cool. I check my ego in right when I start my warm-up (which is probably your entire workout). I yell like I'm mid-climax during my workouts. On a good day, even my ankles sweat.

CrossFit will change you. It will elevate you. You become a completely different person. YOU ARE ALIVE. It's spiritual because it teaches you energy transfer. Everything has a price. You put in effort and your body rewards you with a fuckload of endorphins. That's also called happiness. That beats any drugs or alcohol.

When things suck in life, a CrossFit workout will suck more. It will make you comfortable about being "uncomfortable" during exercise. You probably guessed that already has many benefits in real life. Everything stupid or wrong in the world suddenly becomes a whisper. It's like selective hearing, but with life's terrible moments. And best of all, you learn how to fight and make decisions.. Because in nature, you either fight or flee. But when you freeze in indecision, that's when you start to regret things.

The feeling of a CrossFit workout is probably equal to this:

Imagine the thrill a squirrel gets by darting out into the road near oncoming cars. But the cars are BART trains coming at him a 1000 MPH, on fire.

The best product is the one the salesman buys. Anybody is free to ride on my boat, I go towards the storm on the daily. It's time for you to climb aboard and say, "FUCK YOU, my old friend."


From now on, I will do my best to hold an introductory workout on Sundays at the College of San Mateo, around 1-2 pm.