Monday, April 6, 2015

Checking the Weather in Peace

What happens when fear dominates hope? Does fear attract more attention than love?

People open The Weather Channel web site to check the weather, but the weather's not all we'll get. Headlines like "Widespread Severe Outbreak" or "Elevated Tornado Risk" pop up before we even enter our zip codes. Perhaps here fear has value, perhaps it helps people prepare. Or maybe headlines like these keep us on the site long enough that we may notice the Amazon ad to the right of the screen?

People turn to the news to learn about what's happening in the world. And we have myriad outlets from which to choose: television, internet, newspapers reporting on war, crime, suicidal killers … story after story there to scare us every day. How many times do we need to hear the same story, see the same images, read the same headline written with a different twist? We don't need to seek out the news; it finds us at the gym, the airport, a cafeteria, or when we open a web browser.

Why sensationalize the evil in the world instead of reporting on the good people out there doing good things? The media wants our eyeballs, and our eyeballs stick with the negative longer than the positive. Do stories of evil acts make us feel better about ourselves by comparison? Do we change the channel away from feel good stories because they make us feel worse by comparison? What does that say about us?

What can we do to tip these scales? Can we draw attention to positivity? Can we check the weather in peace?

Monday, March 23, 2015

No Sleep

Eventually, Freddy had to find a job. He got into a nine to five routine that really began at 6:30 am and ended around 6:00 pm. His job was okay by him. It paid the bills.

By the time Freddy ate dinner, did the dishes, folded his laundry or handled whatever other chore required his attention, he was tired enough for bed. But Freddy could never just go to bed.

At first it was a fiddle that kept him up late. For a while after that it was a drum set. Most recently his obsession became an electric piano he bought as soon as he'd saved enough cash. He found himself losing hours on a wooden bench, fingers sliding down white and black keys, practicing scales and feeling his way through songs. Some nights it was one or two or three in the morning before he fell off the bench onto his futon and passed out.

One night he played all three instruments, alternating every hour or so. Before he knew it, the sun shone through his apartment window and, feeling more wired than tired, he took a shower and went to work.

He expected to come home from work that day and go straight to bed, but a rhythm stuck in his head wouldn't quit. Down he sat to play some chords and up he rose with fiddle in hand and once again the hours disappeared.

Three days and three nights passed and Freddy didn't sleep a wink. At work he drank coffee, at home he just jammed.

Eventually, Freddy went to sleep on a Friday night. When he woke midday Saturday, reentering the world from a dream, a voice sang softly inside his head. The melody flowed to his finger tips and down he sat once again, lost in a world all his own.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Just Imagine

"Dear friends, do you know the secret to eternal happiness? Our team found it and we're willing to share. Imagine yourself imagining a life without borders, a life unrestrained, a life of true freedom. Now imagine imagining that life every day for the rest of your life. Get there mentally. We will show you how to get there in the real world.

Life can be so simple, and yet so many of us complicate our lives. We fixate on the day to day minutiae instead of focusing on what really matters. Sure, we all have to eat. But do we have to torture ourselves every day, work our fingers to the bone, cause ourselves insufferable amounts of stress just to get by? The answers to these questions and many others you may have is: 'no.'

Is there a way to live your life the way you want, every day, do the things you want to do, every day, and be able to support yourself financially? The answer to these questions and many others like them is: 'yes.'

So, how do we do it? There are a variety of ways. You will have to make some decisions that at first may seem difficult: change the way you eat, use different products than you use today or use some of the same products you use today in different ways, move to a different part of the country or perhaps to a different country (what a great opportunity to explore the world!), spend a lot of time meeting in person or speaking on the phone or tweeting / facebooking / instagrammingtoning with a lot of people you haven't met yet (but you'll have an opportunity to meet them soon!) and also with a lot of people you already know, and a bunch of other stuff we'll need you to do that we can talk about later. But then, once we get through all of that hulabahoo, then you'll be part of our team and you'll be truly free.

If you've read this far and you're thinking, where do I sign up?, send me a private message and we can get started today. If this note hasn't convinced you that you need to join us today (though I can't imagine how that's possible), think about the opportunity we're offering you and imagine what you'll be missing if you don't join us. Five years from now, ten years from now, twenty years from now – you don't want to have any regrets. Don't be that regretful, mentally incarcerated person who could've been free. Seriously, don't do it. Join us today."