Brainwashed From Birth

Brainwashed from Birth

As a kid, I was raised in a partially religious household. My Mom was devout Mormon (still is), and I believe my Dad was agnostic (if anything, he never really discussed it). He supported my Mom’s decision to make my sister and I go to church, but for the most part didn’t really take part (he was more the “church of the outdoors” sort on the weekends).

Because of this scenario, I went to church for 3 hours almost every Sunday of my life, spent 4 years in seminary studying scriptures, and even ended up serving a 2 year, full-time mission for my church.

At this point in my life, I’m no longer religious (for a huge number of reasons, enough for an entire book), so I won’t dive into the many whys here.  Continue reading…

Tick Tock

Long lonely railroad tracksTime is limited. It is a non-renewable resource. We don’t know how much we have, but we know we will eventually run out. That could be tomorrow, or 50 years from now, but it WILL eventually run out.

As Steve Jobs stated so elegantly at a Stanford commencement speech in 2005:

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

As with almost all things in our world, the greater the scarcity of a commodity, the greater the value of that commodity. Gold, diamonds, works of art…you name it. If it’s very rare, and very desirable, it has great value. Continue reading…

Traditional CRAP

The feet of people on a bus

I’ve always liked acronyms, and I’ve come up with the perfect one to encapsulate the 4 main types of tradition that dominate our lives:

  • Cultural
  • Religious
  • Ancestral
  • Personal

CRAP. A fitting acronym for most traditions, in my opinion. You see, when I hear the word tradition, another more insidious word comes to mind: Routine.

To the creative, the adventurous, and the free spirited, the word routine absolutely reeks of inhibition, boredom, and staleness.  Same old, same old. Gag. Continue reading…

The Myth of Perfection

The Myth of Perfection

One of the reasons that we tend to be such harsh critics of ourselves is the belief that we can, and perhaps need to be, perfect. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Perfection, true objective perfection, is an absolute myth. In our entire universe, one of the very few constants is change, and the thought that something can be objectively perfect is utter horseshit.

Are you familiar with Einstein’s theory of special relativity? While the details are quite complex, the simple version is this: truth is relative, based on the observer’s point of view. Continue reading…

Chicken Shit

Fox in the woods

Everyone feels fear, though not everyone is willing to admit it. Some people feel the effects of fear more intensely than others, while others seem to feel no fear at all. Fear sucks, and we have the Amygdala and the Hypothalamus to thank for it.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the fight-or-flight response? Well, there is also a lesser-known third response that occurs in the face of fear: Cower.

Some people fight, and some people flee…but many people just shut down. They become, quite literally, paralyzed by fear. I believe that every single one of us, at one point in time or another, has cowered in fear. Continue reading…