Of all the types of mental anguish that we humans work so hard to avoid, few are bigger or more persistent than the fear of death. The thought that you and I will someday cease to exist is simultaneously humbling and terrifying. The thought of death is humbling because we realize that while our loved ones may mourn us for a short period after we pass on, life will eventually go on just fine with or without either of us. The thought of death is also petrifying because it could come without warning and there is no playbook that tells any of us how the end will come before it does. Life can end peacefully in one’s sleep after a long well lived life full of love, accomplishments, and relative comfort, or it can end violently right after the pain of a serious car accident, a gunshot wound to the chest, or multiple rounds of chemotherapy and the devastating effect it can have on the body’s biochemistry. Regardless of how death comes to each of us, one thing is for sure… it will eventually visit each and every last one of us. Continue reading Death – The Ultimate Equalizer
My first real look at Steve Jobs the person was during the Stanford University commencement address he gave in 2005 while I was still a graduate student there. That day I saw a very different man from the annoyingly brash young entrepreneur that was the protagonist of many emotionally messy stories in silicon valley folklore. He seemed to have become considerably tempered by wisdom and mellowed by the passage of time. The well delivered speech he gave that day was replete with unadulterated truth and nuggets of wisdom. He spoke about triumph, love, and loss with a raw purity that could have only been forged from equally raw real life experiences. Oddly, he simultaneously possessed a surprising level of humility as well as the confidence of a man who founded and served as the CEO of the most valuable technology company in the entire world. It was natural to wonder about the nature of the various experiences that had so thoroughly transformed the man from an acid dropping college dropout into one of the most powerful men in the world. Continue reading Life’s Lessons from Steve Jobs
We all intuitively know when we have experienced a display of exceptional skill because it stirs up emotions in us that words cannot quite capture. It is the feeling that causes you to shake your head in disbelief at Stephen Curry’s accuracy from 3-point range on a basketball court. It’s the emotions you feel when a soulful guitar solo leaves you in tears. It is the excitement that forces you to dance when you hear Alicia Keys belt out the chorus to “Empire State of Mind” from her famed vocal chords. Words cannot describe these feelings because exceptional skill predates language in our human culture. Before the invention of language or the existence of insanely skilled musicians, writers, and athletes, our ancestors were insanely skilled hunters and navigators who could deftly weave their way through the rich African jungle and strategically plan the efficient killing of prey. Master’s of their respective domains seem to possess skill that is otherworldly and beyond the average person’s grasp. This apparent unattainability of mastery is further heightened by the fact that there are so few masters in history who really stand out. These masters form a shining line through the annals of time: Galileo, Leo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Sir Isaac Newton, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Albert Einstein, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, Michael Faraday, Benjamin Franklin, Martha Graham, Marie Curie, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jeffrey Jordan, Steven Paul Jobs, Floyd Mayweather Jr, and John Mayer amongst others. The otherworldly skill these masters possess seduces us into repeatedly asking certain questions. How does exceptional skill come about? Are their brains just different from that of the average person? Are these people just born geniuses? Can anyone become a genius? Do I have what it takes to be like that or should I just accept my lot in life and stop fooling myself? Well my friends, I invite you to follow me on this literary journey as I attempt to explain where exceptional skill comes from. Continue reading How to get really good at (fill in the blank)
About the blog
The blog contains articles that discuss topics in the self-improvement realm on the blog page, as well as articles that simplify scientific concepts for the curious ones among us who don't have a scientific background on the science in plain english page. We release articles fairly regularly, and provide updates of pieces of art as they near completion on our time capsule page. You can also listen to some tunes on the music page.