“Don’t double-dip the chip!”

There are invisible rules we have all agreed upon to maintain the status quo. Many of these rules are here for good reason. We don’t want to eat someone else’s saliva. The trick is understanding which rules are meant to be enforced, bent or broken. Indeed, culture is one of the most powerful forces steering our lives. It’s in the air we breathe, we can’t even recognize it. The very clothes you wear, the language you speak, the way you talk/walk/eat, the food you make, the car you drive, the content you consume, the joke you make, the things you buy…all influenced by the culture.

It is worth pondering how the status quo has held you back from living the life you have always imagined? Because those rules may need to be bent or perhaps shattered.

Searching for meaning

Surveys show that most people believe they control their own destiny. What the data also shows is that the majority of people also believe that everything happens for a reason.

A contradiction. We believe we are in the driver’s seat but we also believe in fate.

That’s simply a narration we have of ourselves and the world around us. We have to create meaning in the struggle otherwise we struggle to create meaning.

Burton boards

In 1977, Jake Burton founded Burton Snowboards. This was a really difficult time to be manufacturing snowboards since most resorts banned riding sideways.

But Jake Burton kept persisting. He worked with local ski resorts to open their lifts to snowboards and finally in 1982, the Suicide Six ski area in Pomfret, Vermont, became the first mountain to allow snowboarders. Not long after Stratton Mountain, Jay Peak, and Stowe resort all opened up their slopes to boarders.

Here is the part that is interesting to me. At first, no one allowed snowboarders. Once it happened gradually, then it was suddenly you can ride everywhere. And once it was accepted at your local resort, other riders were curious to try too.

Because of their hard work bringing the sport to the public, Burton became one of the leading manufacturers of snowboards today.

Your ideas take time to adopt. Not everyone embraces your ideas, especially at the beginning. Even today, there are three resorts that still don’t allow snowboarding (two in Utah).

As Everett Rogers points out, you have your early adopters who will embrace the new and the laggards who are refusing to change.

The story we tell ourselves about certainty and miracles

We have a difficult time believing a human amputee can regenerate a missing limb. It’s because we don’t observe this in nature. Humans just haven’t been able to do this (yet) even if we see it with Salamanders.

On the other hand, it’s much easier to have faith that someone can cure cancer without the assistance of science because, in some extremely rare cases, it’s happened.

A couple of things: What we can detect and understand changes the story we tell ourselves. Yet, we quite often put our faith in processes without fully understanding how things work. And sometimes, we throw out the science to tell ourselves a completely different story that narrowly defies the laws of nature.


Deafheads are hearing impaired hardcore Grateful Dead fans that started showing up to concerts in the ’80s. They would use inflated balloons to feel the vibrations of the songs. Today, they have a Deafhead’s sections with ASL interpreters for the songs and large video screens so that the concert-goers can read the lips of the performers on stage.

Going out of our way to let others feel welcome opens so many doors of possibility that enrich everyone’s lives. Connecting to humans makes us more human.

Do you try to evolve or be true to who it is you are?

The problem is you can’t travel down both paths at the same time then evaluate to see which one had a more desirable outcome.

Knowing the answer ahead would be really cool but with no adventure what is the purpose?

Precisely because we don’t know what happens next is what makes life so interesting.

This might work. This might not work. You don’t know. Whichever path you go down is up to you though.

When we step on the edge of uncertainty I think that is the realm we feel most alive. Learning to accept our limitations is also the path of a warrior too.

How did Miles Davis become so cool?

Well, it turns out Miles meets and marries the Queen of Funk, Betty Davis, who then introduces Miles to Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone which gives him the inspiration to experiment with the fusion of the trumpet with psychedelic rock. Miles goes on to produce Bitches Brew, one of the greatest jazz albums of all time, and ushers in a new era of jazz fusion. It is later speculated that the name was a tribute by Betty Davis and her girlfriends and that Betty actually supplied the name for the album. On top of all this, Betty was a model and introduced Miles to the fashion world.

All good ideas originate from somewhere. They are borrowed, mixed and matched, blended together to make something new, even stolen.

Miles Davis wasn’t just cool cause he could play the trumpet. He played the trumpet in a cool way.

Authentic Indian cuisine from Canada

I opened up a microwave dinner the other night of Indian food from Trader Joe’s and on the box, it said, “Authentic Indian food from Canada.”

So, what makes it authentic?

Is it because they copied the recipe exactly? Is it the ingredients? Is it who makes it? Does the location matter? What exactly are we buying when it says authentic on the label?

Authenticity is overrated. Authentic is part of the story we are telling ourselves. An authentic chef who specializes in Indian food doesn’t always feel like making the same meal. Tonight she may want to make Italian. If she was to be authentic, then we wouldn’t get what we paid for. But since she is a professional, she does her job to delight the people she seeks to serve regardless of how she feels in the moment.

We so desperately want an authentic idea, we are willing to wait before we begin. We have it wrong. Begin and be a professional. Do your job. Be generous. Share your ideas. Be brave. The authentic parts, the genius, will seep through as you are engaged in the world.