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A Ferret Called Wilson

Chasing Happy, Chasing Dreams

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finding happy

Life Is Easy

When I was young my mom always said to me, “life is what you make of it!” She would also say, “life is an adventure,” but she always said these things to me when I was upset about something, usually being mistreated by my sisters or dreading going to school. I can’t say the context made for very effective communication of her message.

Now that I’m a grown-up I find myself coming back to these words. Nobody says “life is what you make of it” anymore. Instead, everyone says, “life sucks, and then you die” or “life’s tough, get a grip” or “only the strong survive.” Through my studies I’ve come to know that life is, in fact, what you make of it and if you believe it is going to be hard and miserable, then your belief will become your reality. So I would like to propose an alternative belief: Life is easy and fun. I would also like to invite you to join me in living a funner, easier life. Continue reading “Life Is Easy”

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Priorities

For years now I have been fighting with various degrees of depression, dejection, loneliness, ennui, and existential terror. I don’t think I’m alone. I don’t think my experience is unordinary. On the contrary, I think most people are lonely; most people are dejected; most people feel an intense lack of purpose in their lives; most people are just worn threadbare and wishing for a break from the unceasing trudgery. In the last three years I’ve made impressive progress in managing my various distresses and I’d like to share them with you.

Continue reading “Priorities”

Chronic Fatigue & Supplements

For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know that I’ve been fighting with a candida infection for over a year now. I’ve also been fighting with chronic, debilitating fatigue. I have an extremely strong will and if I know I need to get something done, then I can fight through just about anything. It’s probably this will power that has gotten me into the fix that I’m in. Just like with sports, if you push too hard and don’t give yourself adequate rest, eventually you will crash.

Continue reading “Chronic Fatigue & Supplements”

TEDtalks and Intelligent Information Consumption

I try not to read the news because it makes me sad. However, TED talks are just long enough for me to listen to while I eat my breakfast and usually they’re of a higher quality with real content, so sometimes I’ll indulge.

However, I’ve noticed a marked decline in the quality of even the TEDs since they first came out. When I was a graduate student three or four years ago, the talks were these 15 minute summaries of a respected academic’s work. They served as a trailor for getting to know the thinker in greater depth should one choose to do so. Then I noticed some speakers weren’t academics or researchers or even policy makers, they started to include inspirational speakers. I remember one woman talking for 8 out of 15 minutes about how she knew the secret to finding happiness and it was simple, but not easy. It wasn’t until the 12th minute of the talk that I learned that her secret was, “patronize my books and consulting courses to learn more.”

Continue reading “TEDtalks and Intelligent Information Consumption”

Yoyu

In Japanese there is a word yoyu which means something akin to “wiggle room,” or “having extra leftover.” You might use it to compliment someone’s riding:

“You climbed that hill with yoyu!”

or to express concern for your budget:

“I never have any yoyu at the end of the month.”

Yoyu is critical to maintaining happiness and composure on your path. Whether you are trying to achieve peak performance as an athlete (me!), or just trying to make it from one day to the next amidst the various demands of work, social life, personal health, family, bills etc (also me), protecting your yoyu can be the difference between achieving your goals and crashing in a blaze of terrific splendor somewhere midway.

Continue reading “Yoyu”

Resilient and Sustainable Bartering Communities

The idea for a bartering community came about as a result of my increasing suspicion that the Capitalist Economy was no longer serving its purpose of bringing increasing wealth and prosperity to all its members. More and more I was seeing examples of perfectly capable human beings becoming homeless, hungry or otherwise impoverished because the economy didn’t value their skills. When going shopping, it seemed that I could spend more time searching for the right product on the market than it would take me to build the thing I wanted from scratch, or from bits and pieces of things I had lying about. The final clincher was my realization that money itself destroys the Stuff which humans thrive on — interdependence, intimacy, vulnerability and community. All of these problems simply vanish if we have as people a means to coordinate our activities that is independent of political jostling, deceptive marketing, and an increasingly tenuous network of anonymous actors, each one motivated only as far as his paycheck will stretch, who collectively form the labor force and supply us with all that we consume.

Continue reading “Resilient and Sustainable Bartering Communities”

In the Quiet Stillness

Yesterday was my precious Sunday practice. After 92 brutal kilometers of climbing, chasing, hair raising descending, and generally wallowing in the pain cave, I came home to collapse on my living room floor.

My nap yesterday gave me the precious chance to wake up early this morning. Up a whole hour before the sun, my mind took its time to slowly wake up to the day and to my existence. It’s funny how the world of dreams and the world of waking, and the world of society outside are all so different from each other. At once I am the same person in each of them, and yet I am very, very different.

This morning, in the quiet stillness of dawn, I am filled with an aching appreciation for all the people who have touched me in this life so far. There are those who I meet in my regular life, and there are those who I have never met, and there are those who I used to know well who have now, for the distance between us, faded into my memory of them. To all of you, regardless of where our paths put us now, at one time we crossed, and perhaps we will cross again, but even if that never happens, I want you know that you are with me in my heart.

When my own life becomes too heavy to bear, I think of those of you who believed in me and it gives me the strength to get up just one more time and to push on that one extra step. When I fear that my dreams are too big for my tiny existence, I remember when you refused to doubt me, and I choose to believe you instead of the nagging voices in my own psyche. And then, when the quiet of morning arrives and I have the freedom to look at all that I have done and all that I have yet to do, I remember you and I secretly hope that one day, when I’ve traveled this path that I’ve set out for myself, that you might be able to share in my victory.

So, to all of you*, thank you. I hope I can be worthy of everything you believed of me.


*Peggy, Lloyd, Secret anonymous blog-stalker, you’re in this too.

Dejected

I believe in Love and Happy; I believe that these are things that are possible for all of us to have, that they are indeed our very rights as human beings. I am putting my whole life force into chasing my Happy, but there are times when I get downright depressed at the enormity of the task. Let me lay it out for you.

Human beings by their very construction need certain unmeasurable, non-marketable things in order to thrive. We need to love and to be loved. We need a sense of belonging. We also need healthy food with complete nutrient profiles, not just the right ratio of carbs, fats and proteins. Unfortunately even the best nutritionist only knows a part of what a complete profile looks like, so another way to state our need is that we need to eat whole and varied foods, with all their germs and natural chemical composition intact. In addition to those things we need stimulation. A certain amount of adrenaline rush, hardship, thrill, exhilaration, and sadness are all necessary to keep us in balance. Finally, at least as far as my understanding, we need stillness.

Continue reading “Dejected”

It Can Be Yours

I was talking with my S.Pig this morning about bikes and things. It’s something that we love to do: just dream and gush about the new bike we tested, the new trail, the latest workout, the next race, this rider we met… We have many things in common but perhaps the greatest commonality that we share is a willingness to chase our dreams no matter how far they take us off the beaten path. Continue reading “It Can Be Yours”

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