Connecting to the world

We worked so hard to create the postal system, the telegraph, radios, TV, phones, fax machines, the internet, email, text, social media…because human beings so desperately want to connect.

Now that we have broken the barrier to connect, we are exhausted from reading how the world needs to be fixed. It continues to be the source of so much of our sadness when we spend too much time “connected.”

We don’t want a connection with everybody. We are looking to connect with somebody. Something authentic and real not manufactured with an algorithm. No one seems to get tired when someone writes a letter or stops by our house to see how we are doing. What’s the problem then?

Interviews don’t work

Interviews are a terrible way to hire someone for a job. Because someone who is really good at interviews may be bad at their job. And the reverse is true too.

It’s an audition.

Which tells me, people are lousy at judging someone else’s character. What makes it worst is that first impression fuels so much of our narrative in what we choose to see in that person going forward.

Bad first impressions create a hole for someone to get out of.

Write it down or forget it

Often times the best ideas for a blog (or anything really) come when I am in the shower or laying awake at night.

The reason, I think, is that being still gives space for ideas to flow. The constant bambarbemt of the incoming is too much for creativity to thrive.

The second challenge is then to write it down. If I don’t, I won’t remember to put together for someone else to read it.

(This blog today is here because I forgot to write another idea.)

Convenience

Pay attention and you can see that the big sell for our modern-day culture is convenience.

Don’t want to cook your food? Here it is on your doorstep. Don’t want to buy groceries, we will have them delivered.

I don’t even have to finish my sentences anymore on Gmail–it will finish them for me.

The convenience is nice. It isn’t something that everyone can afford. It is just so ironic to me that what makes our lives worth living is overcoming struggle.

If there is no adversity, I have a hard time finding a purpose.

Hand them a microphone

I figured out that if I stand outside on my front porch I can reach my buddy a couple miles away on the radio. The thing is once we tried it, we didn’t have anything to say. 

Hand a radio to a couple of five-year-olds and they will find plenty of things to talk about. 

Another example: Ask a stranger what their favorite song is, and they will have a hard time picking one. You can’t think of one song? 

There are no “right” answers. There are just answers. Answers to problems that need to be solved. There is a lot of ways from getting to A to Z. The road you choose is going to be windy. But it is a choice where to go. Use your compass, ignore the map.

What do we fear more?

The change itself or the fear of change?

Take masks. Something not controversial to wear in a hospital 10 years ago performing surgery or if you had the flu is now a hot button issue. Many that oppose masks are not actually afraid of wearing a mask but what it could symbolize–change.

Self-driving cars are another example. At first, you worry if a car can actually drive itself. Then with enough testing, data, and time, we seem to embrace it. (Yes, some quicker than others–after all many continued to buy cassettes when CD’s came around.) But now, delivery drivers are worried that self-driving vehicles will take their jobs. What then?

All are valid concerns. Because change happens faster and faster every day. In fact, it is happening faster than it ever has and it isn’t slowing down. Exhausting.

First, we must have the awareness of what it is we are afraid of. Then we can face the fear.

Reactionary culture

We live in a unique time where we are demanding more from the culture. Demanding more respect, to change things as they are, to create a more fair and just world.

This is good.

I have also seen the frustration carry over to things that are more trivial.

For example, Alta Ski Lifts made it very difficult to park at quite possibly the most popular trail head in the state. Now in the winter, ASL is essentially blocking a way to get into areas to ski like Grizzly Gulch unless you are willing to walk two hours.

Obviously, as a backcountry skier, that was infuriating. And you can read it if you take a spin on Instagram. Over and over again. After a while you begin to see that the reaction doesn’t match the crime.

Sure, it isn’t fair. There are lots of things that are not fair in our world. This is privilege we are talking about though. Most in the world can’t recreate like this.

Social media isn’t a platform to whine and complain. And we don’t need this type of media to mettle with the important work that is giving a voice to the voiceless. Do the hard work to assemble, not to complain. Step out of the way and give energy, don’t take it.

Recovery

Every piece of advice on getting stronger is to make sleep a priority. No one is saying stay up until 2 AM playing video games. You have to make recovery just as much of a priority as the workout in order to go again tomorrow.

There is wisdom in this.

I have found that it is easier to accomplish the “to do” list when I am already in the mindset to get things done. Not when I have more time on my hands. On the contrary, when I have less.

Pick a schedule that works. You can say from 10 AM to noon that is the time you are being productive. No emails. No checking Tweets. Time to do the work. And then the clock hits noon and you are done. Your sprint for the day is complete. Now it is time to rest.

If you are always available to get the next thing done, you’ll just burn yourself out. Get a proper rest and then repeat.