“I’m sorry” or “Thank you”

We should be quick to apologize when we have offended someone or wronged them. There should be an expression of remorse and want to change and grow from the mistake.

I used to apologize for everything. That’s what happens sometimes when you grow up in a house of violence. You want to keep the peace or think everything is your fault.

It took me a long time to figure this out, but you don’t need to apologize for every mistake you make. Not every piece of miscommunication needs to be amended. Often times there’s room for something else–a “thank you.”

Instead of being sorry for showing up late, you can extend a “Thank you for being patient.”

Instead of apologizing for not getting to the dishes and your partner does them you can respond with, “Thank you for being so thoughtful.”

Instead of saying sorry for not showing up to dinner without a bottle of wine, thank the host for such a wonderful evening.

You don’t need to feel an obligation to pay back every single debt you accumulate. By saying “thank you,” we are accepting others’ generosity. When we do this a miracle begins to happen: connection.

We are all worthy of love and connection.

The pursuit of happiness

We think that it means, particularly the next generation of teenagers, that we should be happy all the time.

This isn’t true.

If you talk to a devoted multi-generational firefighter, they are not always happy. Even if they love being a firefighter, firefighters have to do work that is really hard to do. That’s what makes being a firefighter.

The pursuit isn’t for happiness but for something more meaningful and lasting. Something bigger than ourselves that we can be lost in.

“Tapar el sol con un dedo”

I’m told it’s a popular saying in Spanish that translates to: “To cover the sun with a finger.”

It’s a warning. Meaning you shouldn’t try to pretend your problems are not as big as they are. Or to make something small or insignificant to solve complex problems.

Everything for everyone

That’s what Amazon and the Super Bowl try to accomplish. Be something for everyone. Average stuff for average people.

For everyone else: You can’t define what it is you do without first defining what it is you don’t.

Meaning, you must define the edges. You must pick a genre. You have to decide who it is you serve. Because you’re not Amazon.

It’s worth noting that the most popular books in the US is only read by one percent of the population. You might write the next Harry Potter but it doesn’t mean people will read it.

Accepting the gift

It isn’t reciprocity. By definition, gifts are meant to be freely given. No strings attached. Yet, we have a hard time accepting something without giving something in return.

That’s what industrialism has indoctrinated us to believe. This for that.

Accept the gift. You may not feel like you deserve someone’s generosity, but then again, who is entitled to anything in this life?


Not having the means to sufficiently live is a really tough place to be. A billion people will go to bed tonight without power, food or clean water. Think about that. A billion people.

Yet, we can get caught feeling that we are behind right here at home. That’s because of indoctrination. Industrialism has taught us for many decades to want more and to not be satisfied.

Do you really need a new car or is the one you are driving working just fine?

Do you really need a new pair of shoes or do you have enough?

Do you really need a lot of these things we charge or do you simply want them?

This post isn’t to shame anyone. I love nice tools. However, luxury is a narration, a story we tell—not a necessity.

If you are feeling behind, the question is, “From what?” Because consumption can feel like a hamster wheel that’s constantly spinning.

Creation can kill our need for consumption.

Minimizing the efforts of others

Why do we do this?

Why do we equate other peoples success to luck or privilege while simultaneously view our situation as circumstantial?

Most of it has to do with our narration. When we can insulate ourselves it lets us off the hook. When we have no responsibility then we can’t take it.

There’s a reason why many people who win the lottery eventually end up with the exact same as before. Think about it.


If the boss asks you to jump, we have been indoctrinated to answer, “How high?”

Another way to think about this is if the boss said walk, you may respond, “How far?”

It’s a silly visualization. To imagine people jumping up and down or walking with no direction.

But the thing that strikes me is this:

We only give what is enough to not get in trouble for a job that we don’t care much about. Even if the destination is pointless. Show me the set of instructions, show me the map, and I will comply. No more, no less.

On the other hand, when we are creating art, you’ll realize rather quickly:

We don’t know what to do because no one is expecting anything out of us. And we are terrified of the space and freedom to decide when no one defines the genre/rules/boundaries for us.

Many of us have a hard time handling this. Which is what makes art so terrifying to begin.

Some people think it’s a call to do art. While you certainly can feel a pull towards one’s vocation, we are way more afraid of the freedom and judgement art creates and call it mystical to avoid the leap to make work that might fail.

What does it say about us if we put our heart and soul into something and not have it work?

To make art is to lead. To take a torch and shine a light in the darkness for others to follow. And if you don’t pick yourself, how are you expected to lead us?

Everything is improv

Improvisation theatre teacher, Keith Johnstone, astutely claimed that every interaction on stage is about status. Who’s up? Who’s down?

The analogy is powerful. Because once you see it, it will change every interaction you have going forward.

The interaction with the boss, the exchange with a teacher, the run in with your neighbor, attending someone’s retirement party, getting pulled over by a police officer—all exchanges in status.

We think improv is about being spontaneous working without a script or a set of instructions. But we are wrong. It’s about the exchange of status.

Life is improv. Everything is improv.