i’m not looking forward to my next vacation

Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from. (Seth Goden)

As I contemplate the next phase of my life, this is exactly how I am trying to set up. Whether I pursue photography full-time, program Ruby, teach computer science or greet people at the Anchorage Walmart, I will find more happiness in my every day.

The Indispensable Man

Sometime when you’re feeling important;
Sometime when your ego’s in bloom;
Sometime when you take it for granted,

You’re the best qualified in the room:
Sometime when you feel that your going,
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions,
And see how they humble your soul.

Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining,
Is a measure of how much you’ll be missed.
You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop, and you’ll find that in no time,
It looks quite the same as before.

The moral of this quaint example,
Is to do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There’s no indispensable man.

~ Anonymous

Becoming Distinguished

A great list of ways to distinguish yourself from Joshua Becker on Becoming Minimalist:

  1. Be faithful with a little. (With your money, your body, your talents, your education, your upbringing, your opportunity, or your position, be faithful and disciplined to make the most of everything at your disposal. )
  2. Choose to live differently.
  3. Remain focused.
  4. Live humbly.
  5. Include others in your growth.
  6. Show grace to others.
  7. Appreciate different opinions.
  8. Bring optimism into every day.

Predictable is Preventable

I had privilege of hearing Gordon Graham in person many years ago. I can still still him blowing his train whistle. If you can predict it (“hear the train whistle”), you should be able to prevent it (“get off the tracks”). I talk to my kids about this all the time (“we shouldn’t have the dog on the top bunk”). The clip below is directed at law enforcement, but the concept applies to any field.

Standing Out

Brett & Kay McKay on The Art of Manliness give a good reminder that it is still possible to stand out in today’s hyper-competitive world :

While it often feels there’s a dearth of opportunity out there, the real scarcity in this world isn’t in openings, but in common sense, social skills, manners, reliability, and persistence.

Nail these basics, access to which is inexhaustibly abundant, and you’re no longer competing with the masses, you’re competing with the very small segment of humanity that understands and is willing to execute on the rare, but stupidly simple fundamentals.