The Places You Will Go

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How to stop vomitting on your self: A self-help guide to finding your destiny

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 »

You WILL love god

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 »

Putting on the new man

"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 »

Why I have not blogged in two weeks

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.

Later.

My greatest masterpiece

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 »

Haiti 2010: "Come See My People"

Music By Danielle Rose

There is so much to tell you, but I can't. The video is my best attempt to describe how awesome it was to be in Haiti. The people are beautiful, the land is beautiful, and the trip was awesome.

We visited a few schools. When asked what is the biggest challenge that a school faces, the answer was always the same: feeding the children and paying the teachers.

There are miracle workers at some of these schools. I saw a teacher with nothing but chairs in her room (and hungry children sitting in the chairs), but the students were more disciplined and more learning was occurring than in any of my best days as a teacher.

The people love soccer. It is in their blood. Soccer truly is the universal sport. The clip at the beginning of the video is from a "senior vs. sophomore" soccer game, and the little kids are cheering for the sophomores after they just scored a goal. Let's just say that I went crazier than I ever had for a touchdown at Notre Dame stadium. It was bananas.

They need help to feed their kids and pay their teachers. If you want to help out, you can send money to our fund that we started. Our goal is to raise $50,000. The money goes straight to the kids and families you see in this video, and many are refugees of the recent earthquake. There is no middle man. This is not the Red Cross. The money gets wired directly to the school to help the kids and to support their learning. Shoot me an email if you want more information at tony@tonysclassroom.com

The head of the school told us: "You can't develop a country without education."

The world is my classroom, and I learned so much from the people of Haiti.

My next adventure

I would rather prove myself wrong than wonder if I could have been right

Whenever I am trying to improve a situation, I am faced with a choice: do I continue doing the same thing that is currently producing mediocre results with the hope that it will eventually pay off, or do I try something that could be unfavorable but also has the potential to be incredibly beneficial?

I am always trying to improve things, whether it is my class, my school, or lately, my own life. With the help of a friend on a canoe trip, we conjured up a phrase that adequately describes my own perspective on what to do in this situation:

“I would rather prove myself wrong than wonder if I could have been right.” Read more »

OUR GREATEST FEAR: CRITICISM

No one is really afraid of failure. No one has fear of trying something and then failing. What people truly and deeply fear is criticism.

I wrote a math book last year, and when I was writing it, I would occasionally get filled with fear. I told myself that I was afraid of failure. I told myself, “You are afraid of putting much work into this book and then nobody wanting it.”

But when I looked at my fear, I found that I had no fear of failure. My greatest fear was not that the book would go unwanted, but that people would criticize me for it. I feared getting emails that said, “This book is horrible. Why would I ever use it in my math class?” I feared meeting someone who had used the book and having them tell me, “I can’t believe how many mistakes there are in the book. It is embarrassing.” I feared somebody telling me that my website is confusing and useless.

Fear causes a person to cave in on their selves. I often thought to myself, “Why put myself in a position of criticism? Why shouldn’t I just write a small manual for my students? Why should I risk criticism?” The fear at times was crippling, but it was NEVER because of the fear of failure. In fact, the fear actually caused me to occasionally desire failure. I would think to myself, “If I never hear a comment about this book, that is good, because no comments mean that I didn’t make anyone upset.” Read more »

DEMOCRACY, FREEDOM, AND THE CALL OF THE WILD

Have you ever had the chance to visit a National Park? Have you seen the sun set over the rim of the Grand Canyon? Have you walked through alpine tundra in the Rocky Mountains? Have you hugged a giant sequoia that shoots 300 feet into the sky?

If you haven’t, you should.

If you have, then you owe a large debt to those who gave these great gifts to you. You see, I am a great lover of democracy. To me, democracy is about the freedom to create a world that is better than you found it. It is freedom to give yourself to a good cause. And here in America, there is a never-ending fountain of democracy-loving people who laid the foundations and passed on gifts of splendor to future generations, and our national parks are one such heritage. Read more »

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