Tony Hollowell's blog
I never leave without making a scene. This shall be no different.
It is time to stop writing. This is the last blog post. There will be no other.
Likely, very few people in the world care about this. Don’t worry. All will be well. Read more »
I do not have many close friends. Maybe 10. That is plenty. I never wanted to have many friends. I want only a few close friends. That is what I have.
Do you want to know how to become my friend? Probably not. But since this is my blog and not your blog, I shall describe it.
First, let me give a long list of things NOT to do. Do not talk to me excessively. Do not invite me to a party. Do not mention how knowledgeable you are about the local bar scene. Do not even come close to making me feel like you need me/want me to be your friend. Do not try to “save” me. Do not try to tell me what you know. Do not call my phone. Do not send texts to my phone. Do not leave a voice message on my phone.
I have a highly developed and highly sensitive "dependency" alarm, and if this alarm goes off, you have virtually no chance to ever develop a friendship with me. If I smell dependency, I run a hundred miles per hour in the other direction.
My friends are certainly reinforcement. They help solidify me, strengthen me, sustain me. But they do not make me. I am not dependent on them. I rely on them, but I am not dependent on them.
Parasites are dependent. Friends are reinforcement. There is a big difference between the two. Read more »
I do what I want to do.
I used to think it was a problem. I used to think, “Gosh, isn’t it selfish to do whatever I want to do?” I came to a very surprising conclusion: no, it is not selfish to do whatever I want to do, as long as what I want is truly good. Read more »
I just read the following lines in a business magazine:
“Any woman who may want to marry me has to understand that I am already married. I am married to my business.”
This quote reminded me of a disturbing truth that undermines our cult of individualism in the West. That truth is this: you WILL love god.
No human being is free from desire. Every human has it. And every human attaches that desire to something, making it their god. It is disappointing news to radical individualists, but the conclusion is unavoidable: You WILL love god. Read more »
"What we do in life echoes in eternity."-Gladiator
I constantly ask the question: what do I want to do with my life? I tried many different things and had many different experiences. I did biology research in Wisconsin. I traveled around the world and went to every state in the continental US. I went to Montana via train and spent the week living in a snow cave at Glacier National Park. I started a business and wrote a book (three books actually, but only one is published). I became a blogger. I taught for five years. I coached several sports.
To some, it may seem like a random series of events. To me, it all is woven together in a single pattern, a definitive path that has lead me directly to the spot where I am at today.
Where am I at today? I am in my room, surrounded by my few remaining possessions, and tomorrow, at 2:55pm, I show up to Saint Meinrad Seminary to begin my training to become a Catholic Priest. Read more »
I have not blogged in two weeks because I do not have anything to say. I do not blog to build a social media empire. I do not blog to gain notoriety. I do not blog to expand my brand. I do not blog to share thoughts with others. I do not blog to keep people up to date with what I am doing.
I blog because, at times, I have something to say.
In the last two weeks, I haven’t had anything to say. I still don’t. Thus, I haven’t blogged in two weeks, and I don’t know when I will begin again.
I also blog because it helps me to clarify my thoughts. There is no better way to clarify the jumbled mess of random nueral firings and floating/fleeting thoughts than to write. Thinking is like looking at a block of stone and wondering what it could be. Writing is like taking a chisel to that stone and creating a sculpture, revealing what the stone contains.
However, sometimes I put the chisel down, and I go run around Glacier National Park for a week, I go to my brother’s wedding, I go to a friend’s wedding in Philadelphia, and I go for a multi-day bike tour, and I completely neglect the chisel. Staring at a piece of stone on a consistent basis is boring. Sometimes, I need to go out and breathe some fresh air. Instead of having things to say, I let the world say things to me.
Our lives are an unwritten book, partially begun but with an unknown amount of pages still remaining. What will I do with those unwritten pages? What great deeds of courage, what sad tales of disappointment and confusion, what grand adventure and boundless joys are going to fill these blank pages? And in this yet-unwritten book, what is going to be my masterpiece that will define my life, and when will it occur?
Of course, our whole lives, the whole “book”, is everyone’s masterpiece, but within a book, there is always a climax. There is always a peak that defines the adventure and changes it forever. So too, in our lives, there is a moment, or a series of closely related moments, that are the peak of our story, our finest work, our grandest adventure. This is our greatest masterpiece. Read more »
“The Liege psychologists propose that, because money allows us to enjoy the best things in life – we can stay at expensive hotels and eat exquisite sushi and buy the nicest gadgets – we actually decrease our ability to enjoy the mundane joys of everyday life. (Their list of such pleasures includes ”sunny days, cold beers, and chocolate bars”.) And since most of our joys are mundane – we can’t sleep at the Ritz every night – our ability to splurge actually backfires. We try to treat ourselves, but we end up spoiling ourselves.”
The quote above comes from an article inWired magazine, and it is about a group of scientists who are trying to understand why people who have more money and are very wealthy seem to be less happy. I was going to read the whole article, but I read that first sentence, and I immediately began to pen this blog post, because the article’s foundation is so utterly and reprehensibly wrong.
It is wrong because of it’s fundamental premise, revealed in the opening statement: “money allows us to enjoy the best things in life”. Thus, the scientists' fundamental premise is that money (LOTS of money) allows you to enjoy the best things in life. Thus, sleeping at the Ritz is a superior and more joyful experience than “mundane” joys (like cold beers) and if you have these “superior” experiences in excess, then you will no longer enjoy the “lesser” joys in life.
I wanted to punch the screen because this is a lie. Read more »
Listen. I get it. I like things that are on sale. I buy things that are on sale. But truth be told, I have a great distrust for things that are "on sale". This is because I spent most of my life buying things that are on sale, only to watch these items crash and burn to a fantastic death. Eventually, I realized that there is a cost to almost everything that is “on sale”.
Everybody loves a sale because everybody thinks that a sale is a deal, but everybody is wrong. Read more »
I promise it was an accident. It wasn’t an elaborate plan. It just started with a need. I needed a test-prep book for my students to prepare them for a state math exam. I probably put in 4-5 different searches on Google over the span of 3 months, and I could not find what I wanted. Every time I would type in the specifics of what I wanted, Google would pop up with “No results found.”
Finally, one day it just hit me: why don’t I make what I want? Why don’t I just write this book myself? I had already conducted extensive research into the exam, I had spent 5 years in a classroom teaching remediation classes, and I have an irreversible tendency to do things before realizing how hard they will be. I was sitting in a rocking chair on a Saturday morning, and for five hours, I stared out the window and thought about what this book would look like and whether or not I would make the commitment. Suddenly, I made a decision: I decided to write the book. I arose from the rocking chair, went to my computer, bought the domain name for the business, and then I opened a Microsoft Word document and started writing.
It is important to note that I had never started a business and I had never written a book. I have no business background. I studied environmental science and theology in college, which means that I memorized the periodic table, played in streams, and studied ancient texts. This is not your standard foundation for business. I was just a crazy math teacher.
As it turns out, being “crazy” helped immensely. Starting a business is crazy. I am crazy. It was a good match. Read more »