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Capacity

How do you know if you have reached your capacity? What happens when you exceed it? Is that even possible? When I reach a new training goal and exceed my capacity, I just move the line to the new personal best. If I could increase my capacity by 1% 5 days a week, the gains in a month, a year would be remarkable. My squat personal best is 250 pounds of 5 sets of 5 reps. A 1% increase would add 2.5 pounds tomorrow, which seems entirely doable. After 5 days my capacity would be set at about 263 pounds. For my age and frame size, there is likely an extreme capacity. With a little bit of Google sleuthing, it seems that the record for a 64-year-old is 369 pounds. That seems impossible for me to imagine lifting but shouldn’t we strive to reach the outer limits. And if the record holder, John LaFlamme, add 1% a week for a month he would reach more than 390.

What about other workloads? If I write 2500 words today and read 200 pages can I increase both by 1% tomorrow? That is only one more sentence and a couple more pages. If I contacted 6 prospects tomorrow could I contact 7 and then 8 and then 9 or ten a day, by the end of this week. Are we afraid of capacity or is capacity a synonym for fear? Fear erodes capacity; fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of success, fear of commitment, fear of accountability. Let me offer this assurance if you try to improve you will fail, the outcome is uncertain, you may be asked to do more, you won’t have the same excuses, and you will improve (probably not all on the same day but maybe).

What if your potentials and mine are infinite? Well, not technically infinite but so much greater than we are reaching as to seem unlimited. Do you have enough desire and drive to move your needle 5% a week or even 5% a month? What activities and projects are you working on? How could you apply a metric and the set a 5% improvement target? Let’s pretend that you aren’t already walking your 10000 steps a day, like we have been convinced that we should be doing or that you aren’t drinking 64oz of water every day. Improving on these might go hand in hand. If you are walking 6000 steps and drinking 4 glasses of water already you might be able to add 60 steps and an additional 4 oz tomorrow and then repeat and repeat and repeat until you can check the box. Sometime next week you would be up to your 8-8ounce glasses and be pounding out 6500 to 7000 steps. Within a few weeks, you would have increased your capacity and reached the goal through habitual, committed improvement. (Be sure to consult your medical advisors before undertaking any new strenuous activity that could exacerbate an existing condition)

Technology can be a great tool to help remind, prod, coach, and hold accountable our improvement goals and serve as a record of the achievements. I use Duolingo to both encourage and prompt me to continue with my French lessons. Curious.com keeps me learning across an array of subjects by sending an email and then suggesting additional lessons. Noom counts my steps and my TomTom calculates my distances and 5X5StrongLifts coaches me in weight training and kicks my butt when I don’t. In my coaching practice, I act as all of those to my clients and hold them accountable to both the goals and schedules that they have created.

The 1% better every day is credited to Kaizen and in modern terms, this might be the impetus but our neolithic ancestors improved on a daily basis or face dire consequences. Their increase in all kinds of capacity leads us to today where the urgency to improve isn’t as pressing as it was once was. If I don’t learn to conjugate the verb avoir or do 5 sets of bench press and overheads, I probably won’t be eaten by a predator. Where fear once compelled us it now seems to fear detours and derails us from moving forward. The motivation is more intrinsic and inspirational rather than pragmatic survival.
My simple and simplistic analysis would then suggest that capacity is up to me. If I want to improve my fitness, my health, my financial resources, my relationships then it is up to me to participate in the work at the least and design and command at the most. The same is likely true for all of us.

B

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What are You Witnessing?

You are a witness to your own truths. They exist in your head and you get to choose whether to accept them, reject them, alter them. They do not dictate your words or actions but if you aren’t conscious of them, they will influence how you behave and interact with others. As I have allowed my prejudice towards specific positions to soften, I have released one set of ideas and felt them dissolve as my curiousity, compassion or conscience created a new frame to be considered. But, how do I reconcile the probability that my conclusions are wildly and widely different from someone/everyone else? Does the sum of my experiences shape or define how I construct certainty? It is likely if I am not diligent about my reflection and discernment, I will wade the confirmation bias creek and swim my way to a comfortable, possibly biased, conclusion.

When I am open to shaking things up and letting the ideas in my head, that I hold to be real, to evaporate and make space for new pathways to connect I might arrive at similar conclusions or may wander widely and wildly in another direction. Discovery rarely happens if I take the same journey on the same route so I will try to observe different twists and turns along the way.

Give it a try tomorrow morning and let some of your presumptions, assumptions, pronouncements, and postures to melt and make room for an adventure that is as yet unimagined.

B

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The Journey of a Thousand Miles

One foot in front of the other, repeat. Moving forward isn’t difficult to imagine but it can be hard to accomplish. When I head out for a run in the morning, I am full of enthusiasm and energy but after a few hundred feet, my brain starts telling my body all the reasons that I should turn around and go home. ” you are too tired” ” you didn’t eat breakfast yet”,” you don’t have water”,” Your knee is sore”, ” you are working too hard”. This goes on for about 3 kilometers. At about 12 minutes, the naysayer’s brain becomes quiet and I am in a rhythm that allows me to clock miles while disposing of unwanted and unneeded baggage in my head.

” The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, then starting on the first one.” ~ Mark Twain

If I have a project that isn’t literally bipedal motion, I still need to move it forward step by step. As a destination focused person, I struggle with the incrementalism of this approach but can attest to some monumental failures when I tried to get ahead of the next action without taking the previous. Even when I reverse engineer a plan, for myself or a client, I then need to begin at 1 and move through 2,3,4, … to 123,124 …
Following each measured step can be monotonous but I have learned that it is the most efficient and more often, I discover that there are multiple stems that could be tried and I get to make more informed decisions at each juncture. There have been many times that this one-step-after-another process has lead me to an as yet unimagined possibility and ultimately to a different and better destination.

This has occurred so often that I am now treating each stage of the journey as a mini destination. The running metaphor runs out of steam at this point but I confess that there have been times where I had gone too far and needed to coax myself along with the mantra ” you can stop and walk in 100 more steps” and then I have slowed and walked and said ” you will start running again in 100 steps”. Luckily I have never needed to go on full out repeat of that set but it is a good reminder that setting small goals that lead to bigger ones can be motivating and reduce the paralysis of being overwhelmed.

The final benefit of methodical forward motion is that you eventually reach the destination; maybe not where you thought you would be or on the schedule you expected, but you get there. Finishing a marathon in 3 hours is a whopping big goal but finishing a marathon is still an amazing accomplishment. And the best thing about reaching your destination is the feeling of achievement that goes with it.

Step up today and step out. Stretch out your leg and put your foot down, lift up your other leg and do it again. Who knows where you might end up.

B

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What Gets to You?

There is a gap between aspiration and implementation that needs to be filled. If my effort doesn’t reduce the chasm, then the goal is merely words. If my personal mission, for 2017, is to significantly influence 100,000 people this year but I sit quietly on my hands waiting for the best time to make a perfect appeal, I will likely get comfortable with the waiting rather than the action. I am an impatient imperfectionist with a serious action bias so I am more likely to leap before assessing how far I need to jump or how far I might fall. The specific metric isn’t as important to me as the doing. I would sooner fall 50,000 short while taking some for of action to inform, encourage, incite, provoke and coach rather than 100,000 short perfecting a perfect message (nonexistent). I blog, podcast, tweet, post, coach, speak, present, propose almost every day. The analytics I am using suggest that I have legitimately reached 300,000 unique individuals so far this year. More than 2000 have replied, commented, shared, challenged, celebrated. But how do I measure the in-betweeners? Between reach and engagement? Between engagement and action? Between status quo and change? Does it matter?

I am also an extrovert who uses the outside of my head to ‘mull’ and ” reflect”. The above paragraph leads me to a reflection that I need to define significant and influence before worrying about #’s to improve the decisions that I make. If I believe significant is measured by any engagement ( is a Retweet equal to a comment, is a question better than a like, are criticisms an improvement over exposure?) (my initial answer would be no, yes, yes).

What moves a reader from passive consumption to engagement? What can I do to foster more questions? Does it matter if the engagement is a sidebar to the initial medium? How do you accept or welcome someone’s influence in your life? Do you realize and recognize when and how your views, approaches, and opinions are being shifted? Is logic a contributing element? numbers? stories? depth? brevity? clarity?

Are you more likely to shift positions with a preponderance of evidence or an abundance of confirmation? Does a 300-page case study sway you more than 300 people aligning with a specific idea or trend? What influences you? Is there something that I could say or do or some way I could express my ideas that would be more likely to resonate with you?

Do you comment when something triggers a reaction (positive or negative)? Do you share through your network? Do you follow bloggers, tweeters? for their content? or just friends?

Still trying to figure this out after 600+ posts,

B

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Are You Happy Now?

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” – Buddha

“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one — himself. Better to conquer yourself than others. When you’ve trained yourself, living in constant self-control, neither a deva nor gandhabba, nor a Mara banded with Brahmas, could turn that triumph back into defeat.” – Gautama Buddha

Choice is a social construct. It seems that the consequences of choice and range of options to choose are dictated by the circumstances of life. If I have limited income and very little financial resources my options for transportation solutions are different from someone who has significant margin in resources. But we can still make decisions within our personal menu and in the area of values and worldview, we can expand our menu (by choice) to include a wider array of selections.

I have written here about trust as a choice; one that once made becomes invisible. I have expounded on curiousity as being a frame we opt for. There have been numerous posts on how courage is a selection we are able to make many times each day. While the consequences of these determinations aren’t equal among different people and different cultures, the choice is still available.

I was volunteering last week at Calgary Reads Big Book Sale (100,000 used/donated books) and was sorting and curating the Health and Wellness section. I noticed that there were 11 books, written in the last 6 years, that had ‘Happiness’ in their title. Skimming the pages, I was struck by the focus on environmental and external forces and their impact on my happiness. The authors suggest that my happiness is a consequence of my where, when, how, and what. If I am unhappy, it is because of the circumstances in my life. I am in the wrong job, wrong relationship, wrong city …
None of my skimming revealed a thesis that my happiness is mine to choose or even that I have any serious influence on the happiness I feel.

Simply, happiness is a choice. A difficult one sometimes but still a personal choice.
Recognizing the situations and dynamics that bring you joy is important because it makes the decision to be happy easier. But the experience doesn’t create the feeling. The conditions are more like a placebo that requires a commitment to the generate remarkable impact. If I believe that going to Disneyland would be a trying and frustrating experience (I do) then arriving at the gate in Anaheim would likely be a disappointing and troubling day. If I have a medical appointment and decide to joyfully live in the moment and commit to exuding happiness throughout the session then I will see the good, the opportunity, the possibilities and feel less anxious (if not pleasantly surprised).

It may just be a delusion or a reframing of my conditions but I have taken the path of happiness under less than ideal conditions and found that my disposition changed the situation or at least changed how I perceived it.

I am embarrassed to say that I have allowed the opposite to happen. In a fit of ego or self-pity, I have chosen unhappiness and it festered into unkindness, unforgiveness, anger and despair in a place and time where I should have been overcome with glee. I think the term nocebo applies.

My mind (yours too) is powerful enough to alter reality, change perspective and revise the past and future so it shouldn’t be unimaginable that it can bring happiness into existence regardless of the swirling negativity or potential chaos.

Choose to be happy, act as if you are happy, see the world through happy eyes and speak happiness into the world and keep your eyes open to see what unimagined joy manifests.

Make Today and Tomorrow Remarkable,

B

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Happy Pi Day

Pi Day 3.14 π

A small symbol π provides us with a glimpse of an ordered world and a view of beauty and efficiency that is unrivaled. 3.14159265358979323… goes far beyond mathematical calculations. After all how often do I need to know the circumference of a circle. Pi shows herself in our DNA and the spiral double helix. She predicts the path of a river and the total distance traveled. She foresees and designs our communities and helps us understand our reciprocal relationships. Pi wasn’t a Eureka moment. Archimedes carefully calculated her value based on 2000 years of other’s estimations. About 2000 years later we are still enthralled with her power.

In honour of Pi Day, I am offering you the opportunity to make your own calculated discovery – about yourself and your larger world. If you are struggling to understand the meaning of your life and are hoping to discover a personal purpose, this opportunity may be for you. If your circle of influence and relationship is skewed or broken, this proposition can help you redraw boundaries and recalculate your position.

Remarkable coaching will uncover your greatest strengths and assist in finding alternatives to weaknesses. Through feed forward solution-focused sessions, you can discover specific intentions and actions to move you on your adventure.

My Pi Day Offer.

I am opening up 10 spots in April ( the start of Q2 2017) to clients who are interested in creating a significant change for themselves (in work, in life, in love, in health). The Pi Day Offer provides 3 – one-hour remarkable coaching sessions (either in person at our office or on the phone) where a commitment, that is the highest and best use will act as our guide. You will discover what immediate, relevant and concrete first step you can take and how to intentionally calculate and recognize when you complete it. You will be held accountable for your first, second, third … commitments and coached to recognize and reduce barriers that impede your goal. In recognition of the importance of π and your courage to take the next big step in your journey, we are offering this package to the first 10 adventurous and courageous clients for $314. If you respond before March 23rd, I will make you a pie.

Please let us know that you are interested and we can find 3 dates and times that works best. Contact Bob McInnis 5872271449 or bob@remarkablepeople.ca

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I Don’t Understand

 

curious

I am a prideful guy and I think that I am a pretty sharp pencil. I like it when people think that I am clever. Sometimes I am clever, and sometimes I wing it. I rarely say, ” I don’t know” or ” I don’t know”. I am choosing to make Thursdays my “I Am Just Trying to Understand’ day each week. Thursday will be the day that I proudly declare my ignorance. I won’t synthesize what I do know and try shape it to fit an unrelated question. I won’t bluff my way through conversations. I will just say ” help me understand” or ” tell me more, so I can understand”. I am trusting that by being transparent and inquisitive, I will learn more about the subject under discussion and the person or people I am in conversation with.

Here are different ways I can say “I do not understand”

“What did you say? What do you mean? Ca you tell me more? Can you say more about that? I don’t understand. Excuse me, I didn’t get it. Excuse me, can you please repeat it? Sorry, I did not catch that. I missed that. That went right over my head. Can you please speak slowly? I don’t get it. Do you mind explaining it again? I’m afraid it is not clear what you saying. Would you mind clarifying what you said? I am sorry, but I don’t follow what you are saying. I don’t catch what you said. Sorry. I am not trying to be smart, I just don’t get it.”

Even writing those words makes me a bit uncomfortable. There is a script, in my head, that tells me that I should know everything or at least not disclose any lack of awareness, experience or education. It doesn’t matter where my scripts came from. I just need an awareness that the foundation informs my decisions. I can’t change yesterday and the actions or inactions that are embedded in my nature but I can move forward, slowly and subtlety altering how I choose to react to familiar and unfamiliar stimulus. Today, I recognize my desire (need) to be right and to be seen as clever and I challenge myself to be open and transparent by asking awkward and clumsy questions to clarify and learn.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
– Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio

Seems Bill understood that we need to accept that we don’t understand everything/anything. Where we see certainty Hamlet saw other possibilities. I am excited to see what Thursdays bring and whether my horizons will expand beyond what I am comfortable knowing.

Make Today Remarkable, by allowing some confusion,

B

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The Enemy

At the height of the cold war, most of us in the west; Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, Socialist, Christian or atheist, had a common enemy. And when President Reagan said, in 1987, in Berlin “I’d like to ask the Soviet leaders one question […] Why is the wall there?” and “I call upon those responsible to dismantle it [today]”.

Thirty years later, many of us in the west; Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, Socialist, Christian or atheist, have a common enemy. And when President Trump says, in 2017, in Washington says about his wall “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful.” It is time once gain to learn from history. Isolating ourselves and our misguided ideas is a disservice to the world and harmful to our people.

Under the old common enemy; Communism, a few benefited greatly. Members of the party elite built dachas, statues, monuments and amazing wealth. Oppression was necessary, so the officials suspended freedoms and disappeared citizens. Views contrary to the party line were ridiculed, writers and artists who challenged the regime faced imprisonment and anyone who wasn’t pure white Russian was relegated to secondary and tertiary citizenship.

Thirty years seems long enough for our collective memory to have faded. It seems many of us have forgotten that we opposed the era of Khrushchev through Gorbachev. A time when the ordinary people of the USSR suffered shortages in the most basics of life. A time when ruthless, cynical opportunism flourished and the best liars and fabricators made a mockery of truth.

It seems that Russia forgot the path and hope of “Demokratizatsiya” and have again accepted the iron fist holding sway while stuffing a wallet with gold. A bare-chested leader with bravado and little else, riding bareback isn’t a knight in white armor and cooperation with a bear is a fools game.

When held to public scrutiny and criticism, the power was sapped and the wall did come down.

We have a responsibility and an opportunity to shine a light with voice and deed, calling out narrow-minded protectionism and parochialism whether in Moscow, Washington, Ottawa or London or in the provinces, states, cities and towns.Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, Socialist, Christian or atheist, have a common enemy and she is overconfident that we will surrender to the dismantling of values and the construction of barriers to keep ideas out. Show her that she is wrong.

B

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The desire to fit in is the root of almost all wrongdoing

Imagine that one morning you discover a ring that grants you magic powers. With this ring on your finger, you can seize the presidency, rob Fort Knox and instantly become the most famous person on the planet. So, would you do it?

Readers of Plato’s Republic will find this thought experiment familiar. For Plato, one of the central problems of ethics is explaining why we should prioritise moral virtue over power or money. If the price of exploiting the mythical ‘Ring of Gyges’ – acting wrongly – isn’t worth the material rewards, then morality is vindicated.

Notice that Plato assumes that we stray from the moral path through being tempted by personal gain – that’s why he tries to show that virtue is more valuable than the gold we can get through vice. He isn’t alone in making this assumption. In Leviathan (1651), Thomas Hobbes worries about justifying morality to the ‘fool’ who says that ‘there is no such thing as justice’ and breaks his word when it works to his advantage. And when thinking about our reasons to prefer virtue to vice, in his Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751) David Hume confronts the ‘sensible knave’, a person tempted to do wrong when he imagines ‘that an act of iniquity or infidelity will make a considerable addition to his fortune’.

Some of history’s greatest philosophers, then, agree that wrongdoing tends to be motivated by self-interest. Alas, I’m not one of history’s greatest philosophers. Although most assume that an immoral person is one who’s ready to defy law and convention to get what they want, I think the inverse is often true. Immorality is frequently motivated by a readiness to conform to law and convention in opposition to our own values. In these cases, it’s not that we care too little about others; it’s that we care too much. More specifically, we care too much about how we stack up in the eyes of others.

Doing the wrong thing is, for most of us, pretty mundane. It’s not usurping political power or stealing millions of dollars. It’s nervously joining in the chorus of laughs for your co-worker’s bigoted joke or lying about your politics to appease your family at Thanksgiving dinner. We ‘go along to get along’ in defiance of what we really value or believe because we don’t want any trouble. Immanuel Kant calls this sort of excessively deferential attitude servility. Rather than downgrading the values and commitments of others, servility involves downgrading your own values and commitments relative to those of others. The servile person is thus the mirror image of the conventional, self-interested immoralist found in Plato, Hobbes and Hume. Instead of stepping on whomever is in his way to get what he wants, the servile person is, in Kant’s words, someone who ‘makes himself a worm’ and thus ‘cannot complain afterwards if people step on him’.

Kant thinks that your basic moral obligation is to not treat humanity as a mere means. When you make a lying promise that you’ll pay back a loan or threaten someone unless he hands over his wallet, you’re treating your victim as a mere means. You’re using him like a tool that exists only to serve your purposes, not respecting him as a person who has value in himself.

But Kant also says that you shouldn’t treat yourself as a mere means. This part of his categorical imperative gets less publicity than his injunction against mistreating others, but it’s no less important. Thomas Hill, a philosopher at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, notes in Autonomy and Self-Respect (1991) that servility involves a mistaken assessment of your moral status. Crucially, the servile person is guilty of the same root error as the person who deceives or threatens others – namely, denying the basic moral equality of all persons. It’s just that the person you’re degrading is you. But servile behaviour neglects the fact that you’re entitled to the same respect as anyone else.

Now, maybe you’re thinking that lying about your opinion of Donald Trump to placate your parents so you can eat your cranberry sauce in peace is no big deal. Fair enough. But servility can cause much graver moral transgressions.

Take the most famous psychological study of the 20th century: Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiments. Milgram discovered that most of his subjects would deliver excruciating – and sometimes apparently debilitating or lethal – electric shocks to innocent victims when an experimenter told them to do so. In ‘The Perils of Obedience’ (1973), Milgram explained that one reason why the typical subject goes along with malevolent authority is because he ‘fears that he will appear arrogant, untoward, and rude if he breaks off’. The subjects’ commitment to politeness overwhelmed their commitment to basic moral decency. And a lot of us are more like Milgram’s subjects than we’d care to admit: we don’t want to appear arrogant, untoward or rude at the dinner table, the classroom, the business meeting. So we swallow our objections and allow ourselves – and others – to be stepped on.

The pernicious consequences of servility aren’t confined to the lab, either. Indeed, Milgram’s experiment was motivated partly by his desire to understand how so many ordinary-seeming people could have participated in the moral horrors of the Holocaust. More recently, the military violence at Abu Ghraib has been explained in part by the soldiers’ socialisation into conformity. These examples and reflections on our own lives reveal an underappreciated moral lesson. It’s not always, or even usually, the case that we do wrong because we lack respect for others. Often it’s because we lack respect for ourselves.Aeon counter – do not remove

Christopher Freiman

This article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons.

Original Thought · Uncategorized

Memories

Blink and it is gone. The fleeting moment of 7 seconds ago is chased by the hurtling moment 7 seconds ahead. We hold ABCDEFG at once and then A is gone to the past and H is rolling forward. The pace of time ticks on and without holding onto the now and filing some rendition of it away, we find our minutes, hours, days and years spent without value or purpose. Memories are the economy of experience without which life has no currency.

140seconds

Our memories can represent numerous meanings of the word currency.
According to Miriam Webster;
Currency
a : circulation as a medium of exchange
b : general use, acceptance, or prevalence <a story gaining currency>
c : the quality or state of being current : currentness <needed to check the accuracy and currency of the information>
d : something (as coins, treasury notes, and banknotes) that is in circulation as a medium of exchange
e : paper money in circulation
f : a common article for bartering <Furs were once used as currency.>
g : a medium of verbal or intellectual expression < … neither side possessed any currency but clichés … — Jan Struther>

My memories act as a repository and a filter for the life I have led and a shimmering lens to the highest and best tomorrow. They contain and create truth, marketing both to my ego and anyone else who will listen. They become the chapters and volumes of the Book of Bob and in modern parlance ‘they fabricate my brand’.

As the story develops and is retold, by me and those who have heard them they begin to seem plausible and possible. When I remember a meeting with a colleague and relate the experience to them on the next encounter, it infiltrates their story just as their recounting finds room in mine. We both remodel and adapt and accept the altered version as today’s truth.

The moment I recognize as now slips past so quickly that I would miss it if I didn’t shape it as part of a bigger picture. William James gave currentness years of thought as he raced ahead of his world. His brother Henry once said, after his passing; ” William is always around the next corner.” He mused ” Time itself, comes in drops”. or in fuller exposition; “All our sensible experiences, as we get them immediately, do . . . change by discrete pulses of perception, each of which keeps us saying ‘more, more, more,’ or ‘less, less, less,’ as the definite increments or diminutions make themselves felt. . . . [All our sensible experiences] come to us in drops. Time itself comes in drops. (PU 104)” His thesis seems to suggest that only the current memory can quench the thirst for understanding, but only for a discreet pulse ( a drop).

‘I don’t know if this really happened but I know it is true’ a paraphrase from Marcus Borg’s post-modern apologetics suggests that memories (stories) can be profoundly true without being factually true. It is in that ether that we construct our reality – a recipe of factual, literal, and imagined to concoct save our sanity and a delicious cake that we can offer to those who are proximate and intimate.

What we use as a token of exchange, either memories or money are merely and intrinsically a social agreement. I accept your story and assimilate it into a trust matrix that I use to decide whether to share some of my life and time with you. Or, I receive your script or a digital version as remittance for goods or services and complete the transaction because we have agreed that the $, €, £, ៛, ₽, that we trade has some value that is factual, literal and concocted. In either case, if the agreement fails, the transaction ends without satisfaction.

Sitting around a campfire, standing at a water cooler, or in a pulpit, applying for a job, courting a lover is an exercise in bidding, accepting, and rejecting. We barter for relationship, status, position, power, and love with the memories we share and the clarity we imagine and bring to our storytelling. If my memory tales align with yours, we begin a dance. You offer a version of an event and I add or adapt to it and offer some of it back. When I say ” I love you” and hear ” I love you, too”, my understanding is framed by how I have experienced love in the past and how I desire to feel it in the future. Your words are interpreted through my arbitrary moment in time position that is informed by my recall, recognition and reflection and my unspoken desire to be loved.
Back and forth the stories go and for some, an agreeable, intimate, long-lasting relationship develops.

My ego and delusions of grandeur are both a great asset and a devastating liability. I assume my memories and their articulation exist to be a medium of verbal or intellectual expression, cherished by all who hear them. I realize that the 1000ish words of this post offer my intellectual expression, somewhat convoluted by the act of writing and the fact of reading and the faculty of recalling. My fallibility can seem either charming or troublesome because your memories, your ego, and your delusions play into the understanding; factual and interpretive, of the exchange. I trust and expect that some of this will resonate and some will provocate and I am okay with both. I would be distressed if it fell flat.

Make Today Memorable,

B