A Break in the Routine

Wake up, shower, burn coffee, listen to the news drive to work. We all have morning, afternoon and evening routines. We also all experience breaks in that routine. Maybe a vacation or getting sick there can be many reasons for breaks in our routines.

Routines are powerful. Routines help with mental health, overall health and even give life meaning. It can be tempting and sometimes unavoidable to break from our routines but should we? Why do we have routines? Besides the health and meaning benefits routines give us the best route to accomplish goals. When we are tempted to break from our routine perhaps it would be best to remember our goals. Fitness goals can are not easy to meet and the routines to reach these goals are easy to break. For example I will work out every weekday for a half hour but I am on vacation… Remember the goal I want to feel good and focus and that half hour gives me that. Maybe change the routine. I will work out in paradise instead of my home gym. Now we are still reaching to our goals and enjoying ourselves.

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Now what if our routine isn’t working? A change might be in order. The best routine we can participate in is self evaluation. Am I being the best me I can be yes? Continue on. No. Switch up the routine and continue on. The answer is never to just stop.

 “Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious … and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

Walt Disney

“We Are What We Repeatedly Do”


“If You Have Good Habits, Time Becomes Your Ally. All You Need Is Patience”

James Clear

Its not new

In 1976 Richard Dawkins wrote a book called “The Selfish Gene” . In his book he explained how genes are passed down from generation to generation for survival of a species. The book was insightful and made a huge impact in the scientific community. Dawkins viewed genes as units of information spread through biology. In chapter 11 of the book Dawkins begins to look at culture as if it were evolving in the same way as a species biology. If culture were evolving how would that happen, not through genes but through memes (yes you read that right, Richard Dawkins invented the term meme and we are using it the same way he hypothesized we would).

Dawkins used the Greek word mimeme which translates to, something imitated to come up with the word meme. Dawkins suggest that a meme is like a gene in that it holds information pertinent to societies survival and passes it down in a unit like song, film, funny internet picture.

Very often I hear younger folks throw around words like disruptor or new or revolutionary for ideas that have been around since before I was born.

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In the book of Ecclesiastes the writer gets down about the monotony of life and complains that there is nothing new under the sun it is business as usual. This can be true and may seem like an inevitability. Something as “new” and “fresh” as the term meme is not new or fresh at all. Every new idea that has been introduced was actually introduced earlier.

There is nothing revolutionary about Air BNB and Uber. The companies are offering services that have been around for centuries and they are doing it pretty poorly for everyone involved except their share holders. Employees of both are treated poorly and by employees I mean everyone people who sublet their apartments and cars are not compensated fairly and the office employees that work on the platform are also mistreated. Customers safety is of no concern to management or shareholders, based on inaction and half steps currently taken. There is nothing revolutionary about being bad companies that are selfish and put profits over people.

What then would be revolutionary? What would be an evolutionary cultural jump in our species? Did you knw that at one time there were nine ttypes of humans walking the earth? Yeah crazy to imagine right?

  • Homo Habilis
  • H. Erectus
  • H. rudolfensis
  • H. heidelbergensis
  • H. floresiensis
  • H. neanderthalensis
  • H. naledi
  • H. luzonensis

What happened to all these other humans? No mass extinction, or significant changes in the earth seemed to kill them. Most scientist agree that all evidence points to homo sapiens committing genocide. Violence seems to be very much intrinsic to homo sapiens. Even know we have so many examples of homos sapiens hurting and killing each other because of their religion, skin color, and imaginary lines on a map. Homo sapiens created religion and politics and when people could not agree on what they invented they killed and kill each other over their disagreements on what they or their grand fathers made up. Homo sapiens invented money and when they did not equally spread out the money they let people who did not get a fair share die.

Want to be a real disruptor? Want a real revolution? Ditch the violence, care for life, show real unconditional love for life.

Sola dosis facit venenum

I was rushed off the cattle car with the rest of the soldiers at Fort Sill Oklahoma, the drill sergeants had us line up on the concrete pad and do what felt like a million pushups and sit ups. After the exercises the drill sergeants had us drink all the water in our canteens (two of them), we refilled the canteens and were made to finish off two of them again. Some of the soldiers could not finish the canteens others vomited up the water that they drank. We were dangerously close to hyperhydration or water toxemia. Clean water can become poisonous when too much is drank within a short period of time.

Symptoms of water intoxication tend to start appearing after you consume more than 3 to 4 L of water in a few hours.

“The dose makes the poison” or in Latin, “Sola dosis facit venenum”. In the Christian Bible there is a verse in the book of 1 Corinthians And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

There is another idiom I think of as well from Aseop which is; “Too much of a good thing “It is possible to have too much of a good thing.”

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Balance is so important in our lives. I have seen people get their dream jobs and experience burn out in less than a year. Some retirees suffer from depression and anxiety from withdrawing from work to rapidly and not keeping themselves busy.

What is the secret to balance then? The secret is to understand that balance is accomplished day by day and looks different for everyone. Listen to yourself and if you need to seek professional help. Often what drives some people is unresolved issues that are not worked out in healthy ways. It is unhealthy to work more than you see your family and we are all doing this right now with the promise of more time from society but that time may never come so when you have that time you want to enjoy it. Finally take time for yourself and family.

When things do not go as planned

Humans as a species crave order. Everything needs to make sense to them. There is a perception of control that humans seem to desire. We want to exert control of our environment and produce desired results. A good example of this would be in humanity’s desire to create time and mark time.

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Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. an alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.

― Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

It’s crazy when you think about it time is simply the “measurement” of persistence. For something so tenuous and amorphous it seems foolish to give it so much value.

Most founders of companies (yes including startups) are actually in their 40’s. You may get a little discouraged because you hear about the 20 year old starting a business or a family but do not get discouraged time is nothing but a weird made up number and you are doing great.

The only real time you have anyways is right now, so do the best you can with what you have, where and when you are.

Be like scientists

Life and business often gives us the opportunity to make decisions. Buying a car, taking a new job, getting a loan, how we spend our day. It is estimated that we will make 35000 decisions a day. That’s a lot of thinking that goes on and just thinking about all that thinking is giving me a headache and a little anxiety. Most of the decisions are inconsequential and Hobson choices (maybe that will make you feel a little less anxious or more), however some of the choices are of consequence especially when that choice is made continually. If we read for thirty minutes a day, we become smarter, happier and get better sleep. That decision is of consequence and not many of us read that much. The average person reads 16.8 minutes per day. Reading thirty minutes a day would be a good decision to make and something good to do but how do we know that?

We know that reading thirty minutes a day will help us because researchers engaged in six simple steps.

Step 1: They made an observation, research is good.

Step 2: They asked a question(or a few questions), in what ways is it good.

Step 3: They formed a test table / hypothesis, reading 30 minutes a day improves brain function

Step 4: They make a prediction, if a person reads for thirty minutes a day they will experience more improvement in brain function than an individual who hasn’t or if a subject reads thirty minutes one day and 0 minutes the other day the amount of brain function improvement will be higher on the read days.

Step 5: They test the prediction, A person reads one day has a brain scan, doesn’t read the next has a brain scan

Step 6: They evaluate the results and make adjustments, Brain function did improve in readers not non readers. Read more

The steps used to discover that reading improves brain functions was the scientific method. Scientists use this method all the time to prove or disprove theories and basically make decisions. Why shouldn’t we do the same when faced with choices? One thing to remember though is that scientists are using and have used this method often and published many of their findings so….. We may be able to skip to step 6 and read the scientists results. Time saver life hack but when we cannot and those situations will arise lets act like the scientists.

Science s willingness to accept facts even when they are opposed to wishes

BF Skinner

A Little Dark

Dan Weiden passed away Friday at the age of 77. Who is Dan Weiden? Dan Weiden was an ad executive and he came up with the Nike slogan “Just do It”. Nike was not going to use a tagline and told the ad company that Weiden worked for that they did not use slogans. Weiden insisted that they at least try the slogan for the campaign. He said that the images were to disconnected and asked Nike to try the tag line (not slogan), the rest is history… Well sort of

Dan wieden lets the world now in an interview where he got the idea for Just do it.


DAN WIEDEN: And the firing squad was there. And before they put the sack over his head, they asked him if he had any last words, and he said, you know, let’s do it. I remember when I read that, I was like, that’s amazing. I mean, how do you, in the face of that much uncertainty, do you push through that? And so I didn’t like the let’s thing. You know, I just changed that because otherwise I’d have to give him credit. Now I don’t really have to, so…

Gary Gilmore was the inmate who told the firing squad “let’s do it”. Let’s or just do it is an action statement and life is all about action. Granted the action taken after Gilmore said those words was death it is still kind of empowering hearing the charge Just do it or let’s do it. We made the plans, bought the gear, arrived in the place now what? Do it! Get it done! Make it happen! I feel empowered as I type. Don’t talk about it, be about it. Just do it or lets do it doesn’t ask for permission, doesn’t assume you can’t it just is and that is truly the nature of living isn’t it?

Whatever you need or want to do today my advice is DO IT!

Paradise Lost

When I was dating my wife she bought me a print of Muhamad Ali standing over Sony Liston and a copy of the poem / book Paradise Lost my Milton. The print is hanging up in my office at work and the book is on our bookshelf.

I am a big fan of the poem Paradise Lost. The fall of humanity, Lucifers’ revenge for being sent out of heaven.

The thing about Paradise Lost and the Christian creation story that I find most strange and there is a lot to find odd, talking snakes and all, is that God placed humans on earth. In the creation story God creates everything, then puts life on earth, humans are the last created creatures and they are the ones who are given rules to abide by on earth. Satan was kicked out of heaven prior to the creation of everything and wants revenge. Satan takes on the image of a serpent and tempts humans to disobey God. The humans succumb to temptation and God punishes the humans. The punishment for humans is almost the same as the punishment for Lucifer or Satan, banishment. Humans are banished from their home the garden of Eden. The garden of Eden is on earth.

The earth is an incredible planet. Planet Earth provide us with life, and protects us from space. Everything we have ever needed to survive and thrive has come from the earth. I do not know if it is irony or not, I do know that it is tragic, but humans have destroyed more than 97% of the earths ecosystem. Humans have not lost paradise, we have burned it away.

Why did humans do this and why do we continue to do this? Because we were tricked and continue to be tricked everyday. Instead of learning to live in harmony with the Earth we have learned to destroy the earth and carve out our living at the cost of the earth.

We still have a chance at paradise, we were not kicked off of the Earth. We just need to stop being tricked. A life that is zero waste, respects all life around us, works towards sustainability and understands that we must always be growing, that is a life that is lived without being tricked.

“We don’t have a lot of time on this Earth! We weren’t meant to spend it this way! Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about mission statements!”

Peter Gibbons
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Why do we trick or treat

Here in the United States Halloween will be at the end of next month. All the kids and adults will dress up as some type of ghost goblin or monster. The ghosts, goblins and monsters will march down the neighborhood knocking on doors. As the door opens the ghosts, goblins, and monsters will shout trick or treat and then be rewarded with candy from the house. My niece asked about how the tradition got started. I told her that a long time ago kids would dress up as ghosts and go to the farmers house and if the farmer would give the ghost a treat so that they would have a good crop. It was a guess and only half right. It seems that the children dressed as ghosts would knock on the doors and offer to pray for the dead for a treat. Trick or treating had very little to do with the crops. I will have to let my niece know that.

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I still think that IU made a pretty good guess. Crops were and still are a pretty big deal. I mean they keep us alive. Religion was also a pretty big deal and is also arguably a pretty big deal. However with crop domestication and organized religion. Crops and religion are often afterthoughts in modern society. I no longer need to know where my food comes from or what happens to a soul after a person dies. There is the grocery store and church’s for that.

I am all for progress of humanity but I often wonder about the price we pay for the progress. With plant domestication our cities grew and people could focus on other things. There was no longer the need to forage and gather for food. However plant domestication tends to ruin the plants microbiome and the environment where the plant is grown. It can be well argued that plant domestication has peaked and the progress that has been brought through plant domestication is negated by the negative affects of the process. Religion has moved from temples and looking to the stars with questions to studying of texts. I fear that the lack of questions and abundance of “answers” in modern religion has lead to a stale, unforgiving religion that maybe doing more harm to society than help.

I am in no means advocating for a return to the old ways I am however ready to say that we must change and adapt if we plan on surviving as a species. Change is a process and it is part of growth. Just because something was done a certain way does not mean it was the best way. Never stop questioning learning or growing.

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change


G o d or d o g

Yesterday my wife and I watched the movie DOG. The movie follows an US Army ranger who has had a traumatic brain injury and must take a fallen comrades dog to his funeral. The dog is also a solider and the dog and the US Army Ranger have suffered physical and emotional trauma from war.

The solider decides to drive the dog to the funeral. During the road trip the solider and the dog meet another solider and dog who have suffered trauma. The fellow solider lets him know that it is important to talk with someone about the trauma. anyone one wether it is God or a dog because without out talking it through bad things can happen.

Talk therapy also known as psycho therapy was first discovered studied and researched by Sigmund Freud in the early 1890s. Freud understood that life can be painful and confusing and that talking through our relationships and situations helps give us clarity and peace.

Computer programmers will often speak to rubber ducks when writing out complicated code. By speaking out our thoughts we can actually hear them and understand why we think the way we do. Many people do not realize what has caused their trauma and how that trauma has affected their lives.

In church as a younger person I always wondered about pray. In pray we would thank and ask for support from God an omniscient being. Why pray? If God knows everything than why do I need to mention anything to God? It wasn’t until I grew older that I realized prayers were not for the God that they were aimed at but the believer. It is through prayers (if you are praying right) that you discover epiphanies and self actualize.

Never be so busy that you cannot take the time to talk through your situations and relationships, with your God, dog, friend or rubber ducky.

Only God

I remember growing up and seeing a key chain. The key chain belonged to my maternal grandmother and I think it said something like “only God can make a Tomato”. I think I am really not sure what the vegetable was, I know it had to do with the sovereignty of god and faith. My grandmother and mom were huge proselytizers for the Christian faith, my mother still is.

I remember hating tomato’s growing up I have come around to tomato’s and enjoy salsa and tacos however you will not catch me eating a BLT.

Last weekend was a holiday weekend here in the United States and my wife, 2 dogs and three kids all left the city and spent time in our camper near the river. While swimming in the river and walking the dog I thought about how foolish we humans are and I thought about that keychain. Humans have been given almost everything they need to survive and thrive from God, nature, mother earth or providence depending on your belief system and humans have paved it over.

The tomato key chain and our weekend enjoying the natural world also makes me think about the poem trees by Joyce Kilmer



I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

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Don’t get me wrong humans are capable of many amazing things even creation, but all of humanity’s acts of creation pale in comparison to what has already been created and perhaps the best thing humanity can do is participate not in destructive creation but disruptive innovation and environmental conservationism.

Disruptive innovation and environmental conservationism focus on being a responsible citizen of the earth and understanding that we were given everything we need to not only survive but thrive.