Game of Life

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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 »

The best things in life

“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 »

The body runs on calories. The mind runs on ideas. The heart runs on desire.

We live in a culture that is excessively focused on the body. We try to find ways to manipulate the body, to make it strong and “healthy”, and we are told that if we have a strong and healthy body, we can do almost anything.

This is stupid. I have seen weak minds and unhealthy bodies do amazing things that no full-time gym member could ever accomplish. They conquered their challenges, not with a perfect body, but by having a strong heart. Read more »

I trust leaders, not stories

When someone gets told to do something that they do not want to do, they usually complain. In the complaining, the stories get changed. How do I know this? Two reasons. One, because I have done it before. Two, because it happens almost every time I correct a student.

It happens something like this. I tell a student to stay after school for twenty minutes because they were continually disruptive in class. The student mumbles under their breath and gets mad. Later that day, they go home and tell their friends, “Mr. Hollowell was so rude and inconsiderate. I got up to go use the bathroom, and then he yelled at me and told me to sit down and he gave me a detention. Can you believe he made me stay after school for twenty minutes just because I needed to use the restroom?” Actually, Billy, you have to stay after school for 20 minutes because you were a complete train wreck in class, and your final disaster was getting out of your chair in a disruptive manner and pushing two students on your way out of my room. You do not have a detention for going to the restroom. You have a detention for being a moron. Read more »

An ace in the hole

You should always keep something to yourself. You should never lay down your whole hand. You should always keep an ace in the hole.

An “ace in the hole” is something about you that no one else knows or understands. An ace in the hole is not about what you do. It is about WHY you do it.

In his book “No More Mondays”, Dan Miller writes about a time when he was broke and he had creditors coming to his house daily, threatening to take the house if he didn’t pay up on some of his debts (debts that he was trying to pay off). He explains that during this time in life, when everyone was trying to get every ounce of property that he owned, he always left a $100 bill in his pocket to remind himself that he was never broke. This $100 bill was an ace in the hole. Read more »

Why Sports?

I just witnessed one of the greatest basketball games I have ever seen last night: Butler vs. Duke. Some called it David vs. Goliath. But really, it was Thor vs. Hercules. Patton vs. Rommel. Rocky vs. Draggo. It was two evenly matched warriors getting after it. And in the end, Butler came up short. Painfully, painfully, short. Read more »

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