One documentary I always found fascinating was Life After People.
It’s a speculative foray into what would happen if every human being on Earth disappeared one day. While there are some major assumptions being made, it does raise a point I’ve held.
Humans have a very anthropocentric view of the world, thinking we are the lifeblood that makes the world work. In reality, we can nuke this planet seven times over and it’ll keep moving forward and evolving into something else. In 500 million years, the sun will have expanded, causing the planet to heat up far more than our carbon dioxide emissions. What will happen next?
Another stage of history for this world.
For 300 million years the dinosaurs roamed the Earth and were the dominant species. Human beings, which are much smaller than the average dinosaur, have dominated the past 10,000 years. After us?
Probably something even smaller that can adapt to the climate of the time. It might even be evolved robot parrots, who knows?
However, given its long history to date, and that to come, the world doesn’t necessarily care if we go extinct. It doesn’t want you to see the repercussions of your actions because it knows whatever you do to harm your own environment (landscape, water, others, self), is only going to amount to self-harm.
What it wants you to see is how your form of consciousness is the first of its kind on this planet. You are the end result of 13 billion years of evolution in the universe: a species that can reflect upon itself.
Look at your hand right now.
Think about it – it took the universe 13 billion years to create that hand.
What else aren’t you seeing?
It seems like a great response to a situation that doesn’t go your way.
It’s also a response used for people who have been rejected, denied, lectured to, erred, lost in any capacity or who just aren’t getting the results they were expecting.
The alternative is to find out why the situation didn’t go your way, put it in your memory bank and move on to another situation where you won’t make that mistake again. The more times you do this, the more ingrained it becomes about the route you need to take.
Simply, those who aren’t in the corner licking their wounds are putting up a strong fight for what they want in life.
The question you have to ask yourself is would you rather be a strong, dedicated individual… or cry and complain in the corner?
How many times have you heard a person was at the right place at the right time?
Or even just half of that statement: the right place or the right time. It almost seems unfair the universe capitulated to that individual, but the rest of us are stuck trudging through the mud waiting for our lucky break.
While luck is a factor in life, although there are those in academia right now arguing against the idea of luck, it won’t help you unless a foundation has been set.
The first time one of my articles went viral happened to be when a influential online writer was browsing through the site where it was posted. However, it also came after many years of practice and coaching… and after many of my articles disappearing into oblivion. Had I attempted to write that article at an earlier point in my writing career, it wouldn’t have fared as well.
Luck is the final ingredient after hard work and persistence.
Without the latter, all the luck in the world isn’t going to help.
“You shouldn’t charge that little because you’re devaluing yourself and screwing the rest of us over.”
That was great advice given to me midway through my magic career. I immediately put it to good use, haven’t looked back since, and even wrote about the experience. That advice was also given by one of the working professionals in the city who had been making a living off magic for the past 35 years. When it came to business, he knew what he was talking about.
“You should have a top hat and cape as part of your costume with your shows.”
Excuse me? Top hat and cape? This advice was also given around the same time as the previous and was ignored completely. I haven’t looked back from that decision either.
People are always going to give you (usually unsolicited) advice. It’s either because they think they know better or they actually know better.
The way to tell the difference is to pay attention to what they’re nitpicking. If they’re a colleague and their advice revolves around you still having better opportunities tomorrow, listen carefully.
If they’re a random person who just has a personal preference for something in their own life: ignore completely.
Have something important to say.
Make sure it’s thoughtful, honest and comes from a place of careful reflection. Shouting that the world is coming to an end from the top of a soap box is asking to get ignored.
So is pointing fingers, hurling insults as a form of argument (known as Ad hominem in Philosophy), thinking shouting equates to sound logic, refusing to challenge assumptions, being afraid to say what you really feel, holding back what’s in your heart, not understanding your topic, thinking you understand your topic, trying to belittle others by attempting to sound more intelligent, refusing to listen to others who are more intelligent about the topic and refusing to admit some part of what you’re saying might be wrong.
Oh – and not listening to what the other person has to say.
If you’ve stuck with me for any period of time, you know I’m a big advocate of small steps over a long period of time.
The reason I keep pushing it, even though our world suggests it’s about the big overnight change/success, is that small steps produce exponential results. It will take several years, but once that big breakthrough happens – several more follow.
Sometimes, you won’t even notice a big breakthrough happening until others point it out to you.
As long as you don’t expect it to happen overnight, because it rarely happens, hitting the big breakthrough in your life is a matter of taking the small steps.
Each step brings you exponentially closer to massive changes.
Just be patient and trust your efforts aren’t being done in vain.
“Offsets are like the indulgences that were sold by the church in the Middle Ages. People of means loved indulgences, because they could practice any hanky-panky or worse, then simply purchase an indulgence to avoid punishment for their sins.
- James Hansen
I always had a problem with the idea of carbon offsetting because it doesn’t make sense on paper.
It’s the equivalent of two people owning a lake and slowly poisoning their half, but one pays the other to poison it a little less.
Psychologically, it makes great sense to people because they feel they can get a free pass for having such a heavy footprint with their lifestyle. It allows people who offset to bury their head in the sand while still claiming they’re doing something good.
On paper, offsetting can’t be measured, isn’t always tracked and doesn’t solve the initial problem of dumping massive amounts of carbon dioxide in the air. It’s also not certain what the buyers actually do with the money. We just assume it’s being used for the intended purpose.
Here’s a better idea: take accountability and and always remember, you can’t eat money.
As a magician, there is a rush to find the latest and greatest magic routine.
It usually involves some “innovative” concept that will blow audiences away and make them believe magic is real. Very few of them actually fulfil this promise of being innovative and fresh.
Most routines were releases by magicians who read through older manuals and updated the routines for a modern audience. Even if it was a great twist on a classic, you then had to contend with a horde of other magicians also buying the same routine.
However, the real secret is your career as a magician is based entirely on your ability to create a show that is uniquely you. The routines you select should be a reflection of your own personality and tailored toward the audience you are trying to attract.
This lesson also applies to fashion, music, teaching, and just about every other facet of life where people are always trying to sell you on the latest and greatest.
New and shiny isn’t always the best option, merely the most amusing one at the time.