Apparently worthless

Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.

~ Thomas Merton


Our sense of what’s possible

The people we’re surrounded by limit or expand our sense of what is possible.

~ Brett McKay from,

That’s a perfect turn of phrase from McKay. I love to find myself exposed to new people; those moments where I think, “that’s interesting!” are like single-serving sized friends (with hat tip to Chuck Palahniuk).


Hey remember that time when…

Do you remember how you felt, and what you said, when you were trying to put forward the best version of yourself to win someone’s amorous attention? Really think about that for a minute.

Now, presuming you are lucky enough to be in a relationship at the moment—perform the following exercise:

Sit down with that person and start bragging about all of your shared stories as if they were things you did before you met them…

“One time, I went to the Grand Canyon in the winter and saw the most awesome snow squall blow up the valley!”

…then they counter with, “Neat! I once was strolling up a side street in Paris and I stumbled over a famous bakery that I’d read a book about—the Madelienes were to die for!”

“Wow! I once saw the sunset from the top of the Tokyo tower and then ate the best sushi…”

“I was in Trafalgar Square for Guy Fawkes night and then I went and listened to a Vespers concert in a church…”

“omg that reminds me I saw the Salisbury Cathedral and had this conversation with a random person who was crazy-passionate about how they built the cathedral…”

“…huh, I once hiked miles into the forest, to the top of a mountain in Kamakura Japan—oh, the mist and the wind and the trees where amazing.”

“wow! I spent a week in the French Alps with a couple of the people who created Parkour—except that’s not what they call it…”

“Really? I once rented a car and drove all over the Cottswalds in England…”

“Neat! I took a road trip to Boston and walked the entire Freedom Trail and had a picnic lunch at Bunker Hill in the shade.”

…and so on and so on.

Let me know how it works out.