45

Here, on the occasion of my 45th birthday, are forty-five things I know.

  1. Human significance is largely predicated by our inability to fully grasp how insignificant we are.
  2. Most of what drives us can be summed up in two words — Me too.
  3. There is no such thing as nothing. There are only things we can’t see.
  4. Time is a finite resource. Its finite nature is that which connects us with the rest of existence.
  5. How we spend our time here and now matters only here and now to that which is here and now.
  6. Care.
  7. Don’t worry. Do. If nothing can be done, don’t worry.
  8. Saying no is saying yes to other things.
  9. “You only need one good reason to commit to an idea, not four hundred. But if you have four hundred reasons to say yes and one reason to say no, the answer is probably no.” – Twyla Tharp in The Creative Habit
  10. Abundance may seem more than enough but it is only so when we are not doing enough with our abundance.
  11. Our approximation of others is built upon our approximation of self.
  12. Community requires sidewalks.
  13. The best ideas are timeless.
  14. No idea is truly original.
  15. Never, ever, ever, ever be without the tools to capture ideas.
  16. Ideas need us as much as we need them.
  17. Paper is always on.
  18. There is a dangerous place between who we really are and who others expect us to be.
  19. Don’t waste your CPU on things you are not committed to do.
  20. Convenience can be a double-edged sword because inconvenience can be such a very good motivator.
  21. Meaning is the space between the words.
  22. Paper is never passive.
  23. Take the time to appreciate the simple things that improve our lives in ways both measurable and immeasurable.
  24. A good pen is a promise of love to an empty page.
  25. If the best tool is the one that is with you, always make sure to carry the best tools you can afford.
  26. Nothing makes me laugh more spontaneously and uncontrollably as good food.
  27. Prince’s song Purple Rain is a near measure for measure, um… homage to Faithfully by Journey. I would link to a video of Purple Rain but Prince is famous for getting most videos of him performing removed in quick order from You Tube. But, hey, listen to the Journey song and sing the lyrics to Purple Rain and you will find it is THE EXACT SAME SONG.
  28. Great artists steal.
  29. Those things we think are complicated are likely far more simple than we think they are.
  30. Those things we think are simple are likely far more complex than we can possibly understand.
  31. We spend a good part of our lives attempting to re-learn the things that we have un-learned since childhood.
  32. The most important things we learn about life we learn before kindergarten (a reference to this great book here).
  33. What we often seek most is substance in a world of surface.
  34. “The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.” – David Foster Wallace
  35. If you sense a theme you are probably right.
  36. If you must love your neighbor as yourself then the first step and the hardest step is to love yourself.
  37. Right now is already a moment ago.
  38. A journey of a thousand miles may begin with one step but takes place in-between the spaces of the tens of thousands that follow.
  39. Truth requires courage.
  40. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” – Martin Luther King Junior
  41. Many of our most beloved children’s songs use the same melody (ABC, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star).
  42. It’s not Van Halen without “Diamond” David Lee Roth. Any other incarnation we accept of the same name is, in fact, a pale substitute of the real thing and devalues the higher quality original in the same way that we call all bargain store brand tissue paper Kleenex.
  43. I can guess any woman’s age within three years. (Yes, I have a secret. Yes, it is the same one that the carnies use. No, I’m not going to tell you.)
  44. Find your limits. Find your loves. Respect each deeply.
  45. I’m far more comfortable with and interested in the things I don’t know.

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