For a Bad Time, Invite Me

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 6.35.40 AMThey call it “The Curse.” Kids started begging me not to attend their games. Me! Their one fan. We didn’t get a lot of fans in those days because we’re regional and we didn’t win.

“Casey! You’re cursed. Don’t come, it’s a big game.” I began to test “The Curse” with baseball games. I’d pass by. Dropped ball. I’d stay home. Victory. I’d hide behind a tree. Triple play–other team. I’d stay away, home runs.

The Curse applied to basketball, too. Ever the skeptic, I tested it again. Sure enough, if I went, more turnovers than an Italian bakery. I collected more and more data–as anyone in education knows, the more data the better. Sadly, my scientific study proved The Curse real.

Little did I know The Curse extends to other things, like trips and events. Invite me–your event will be canceled, postponed or a disaster. The Curse controls weather, too. Hurricanes and snowstorms may seem like acts of God, but if I’m on your roster, they’re not. They’re The Curse. One event figured this out and said, “Sorry, stay home.” They’re lucky they caught it in time. Their event was global. If I’d gone for real, world peace would’ve been off the table for good.

Today I was supposed to participate in an awesome event, so the National Weather Service predicted several feet of snow in a radius of 1000 yards around my car. The event’s 35 minutes from me if I speed and seven days away if every Rhode Islander suddenly gets their bread, milk, and Dunkin Donuts coffee in the storm. Rhode Islanders can’t drive on a good day, let alone snow.

The event is called Choose2Matter. The point is this: Kids think school sucks. School sucks because it “doesn’t matter.” I surveyed about 50 of my students both before and after listening to parts of Seth Godin’s and Sir Ken Robinson’s TEDx. Exactly two told me “School’s awesome. Especially this class.” My future Yes Men. The rest wanted something more from their education. They wanted “it to connect–to matter.” They cited “Genius Hour” as the thing that “made it real.” Genius Hour’s based on Google’s concept that downtime makes for productive ideas. Creativity generates value. Employees get 20% of their time to work on whatever they want–provided it could potentially benefit Google. Gmail was created this way.

Good idea! I squashed five days of work into four and cleared the slate on Fridays. They’re actually doing 20% more work–not Google’s intent. But heck, I’m in education. I can bastardize anything I want as long as I mix in some math.

Kids love it. Much more than I thought. They work outside of class. “We can use this in real life!” Kids doing extra work? For no additional credit? Hmmm… Could be onto something here.

“Hey, Kid! Why wait four years before you make your ideas real?” Showing students they have the power to convert knowledge to action–that’s magic.

School matters when we make it matter. Choose2Matter asks this, “What breaks your heart?” Kids solve those problems. When kids matter, they’ll change the world.

Turns out, adults will, too. We want to feel we’re not replaceable cogs, easily retrofit with the next guy down the road. When we matter, we transform things, too.

“There aren’t many history jobs out there these days…You’re lucky to have one,” someone said to me.

I should’ve replied, “You’re wrong. There’s only one of me out there these days…They’re lucky to have me.” Maybe if I’d said stuff like that earlier in life, I could have converted “The Curse” into “Magic.”

That’s what I want for my kids.

Still, there’s no denying the weather. The event’s postponed. I’ll be teaching tomorrow, so I can’t go. I’m disappointed. Anytime kids stay up praying there won’t be a snow day, a snow day’s a sad thing. Don’t worry, guys, you still matter. You’ll matter tomorrow, the show must go on.

Here’s the secret–you’ll matter for the rest of your life, too. Maybe a little snow makes everyone all the more determined to make a difference when the work starts tomorrow? Maybe it’s not a curse after all.

Maybe–just maybe–it’s the start of magic.

 

[image: digitaltrends.com]

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I’ll Never Be Beautiful

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 5.39.36 AMI’m looking at everyone’s profile pictures. They’re all rock stars with awesome pictures–pictures of hair blowing in slow-mo, light hitting unblemished faces in just the right way. Pictures of scaling Mount Everest. Pictures of scuba diving, standing in front of race cars, meeting Clint Eastwood…

My picture, for years, was me on a rock wall with Declan. I didn’t have a rock star picture, so I picked a picture of a Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 5.45.50 AMrock instead. One that looked intentional, like I left my rock star picture at home because I was cool.  It was far enough away to hide my imperfections–slightly bigger than a spec, yet not big enough to pick me out of a police lineup. Certainly not big enough to see that don’t photograph well. That I wasn’t beautiful.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m okay with average. I have redeeming qualities even if my picture isn’t beautiful. Even if I don’t radiate “superstar.” I’m an okay human being. A human being, however, who really did need a better profile picture.

“Please send a professional head shot…” I guess The Rock didn’t work. Try hard to look passable at least, professional at best if supermodel’s off the table. I picked a happy day. I smiled at my iPhone. Click. Done.

It’s me. And it’s real.

The other day, my students hijacked my class for their Genius Hour project. It’s a Design Your Own Project that connects their passions with a spirit of entrepreneurship and a quest to save the world. These students transformed a buzzword–bullying– into a multimedia presentation that gave me goosebumps. At the end, I thought, “How can we let what another says define us? Why am I not “beautiful?” Because someone told me in high school? Because they nicknamed me ‘Ultragorgon’ after our unit on Greek mythology, wrote it in my yearbook, weren’t nice, and a quarter century later I like myself just fine but the idea that I could be beautiful never crossed my mind? Why does a fifteen-year old girl feel like a slut because someone said she was on Facebook or Twitter? Why would a kid shut down in the face of taunting rather than say “I’m awesome,” and walk on by? Transcend? Why would a teen say, “My life has no value? I want to die.”

Teens say adults say, “Don’t worry about it, ignore them.” Then we, the adults, go about our real adult business, stressing because people aren’t nice to us, office politics stabs us in the back, or the clerk at the grocery store gave us The Eye. And that sets the tone for our day. But that’s different. We are in the real world where life really matters.

Head Shot for BioI tell the teens they’re amazing, and I’m sorry that every individual in the universe doesn’t always agree, but they have this group of friends right here, now, and they must first love themselves regardless of what the world thinks. They must learn to deal with “crappy people.” They must know they are great.

These are important lessons to preach. And even more important to practice. After watching their presentation, I decided I’m pretty darned good at the preaching part, but the practice…I’ll improve.

Oh, and by the way, I really like my picture. It is, indeed, beautiful.

That Moment Where Kids Discover Life’s Not Magic

Declan’s six. Every time I say, “no,” which is quite often, he says, “Can I do that when I’m a teenager?”

“I’m going to watch every show when I’m a teen,” he says. No. No, you’re not.

I’ve banned cartoons with a strong correlation to acting out and one that revealed a girl’s chest hidden by blurry stars.  “HAHAHAHAHA, those were her boobs!” Inappropriate–error in supervision.

“I’m going to swear when I’m a teenager. I’ll say ‘crap and…'” I break this train of thought.

“Nope. Not gonna happen.”

“Dad swears,” he negotiates. “Brittany swears.”

“Well, you don’t.”

“I’m going to eat all the candy when I’m a teenager. Can I?” This answer’s more important than permission to say a thousand f-words. He leans in for the answer.

“I suppose. Once I ate a pound of M&M’s I bought with my babysitting money. If you earn your own money, you can buy candy.”

“I have to use my own money?” This concept is extremely disturbing. Money, you see, comes from the pockets of parents, from the magic machines we drive by, and from the card in every adult’s wallet that lets us get all the stuff we want.

“Sure. I don’t buy unhealthy food a lot. If you want it, you can work when you’re a teen. Spend your money.”

“Can I pick up my puzzles and get five dollars?”

“It doesn’t work that way. See, I’m paying for your food and house. You should give me money. But I’m in a good mood, so I’ll let you stay.”

“Will you let me stay if you’re in a bad mood, Mommy?” I shouldn’t have said that. He doesn’t yet realize nobody ever really moves out of their parent’s house. We’ll be celebrating Brittany’s 21st birthday tomorrow. Well, not really, because when you’re 21, you don’t celebrate at home.

“Yes. You can stay even if I’m in a bad mood.”

“Well, when I’m a teen, I’m going to do whatever I want!” He stomps away. Note to six-year olds–getting the last word doesn’t mean victory. Carry that pearl into your teens.

I get to school and recap this conversation with my teens. They come to a general accord that teens cannot do whatever they want. That being a teen sucks.

“All we do is clean and do homework.”

“I have to babysit all the time.”

“My parents are stupid.” Yes. Yes, we’re all stupid. Until you’re 30 or run out of money in college.

I decide to let them into The Parent Inner Circle. “I’m going to tell you the truth. From a parent point of view…” They listen. They’re about to learn the secret of life.

“The reason we have you is so you can find the remote control when it’s lost. And do the dishes. And get our drinks. And watch the other kids we continue to have so that when you leave there’s always someone available to take out the trash. You babysit those so we get a break. That’s the real reason we have you.”

They stare–I might just be telling the truth. I figure I’d better iron this out.

“Everyone spends life wishing to be someone else. Kids want to be teens, teens want to be adults, adults want to be kids again. Being an adult sort of sucks, to be honest…we’ve got to pay the bills, listen to you whine, make sure you get some kind of food and don’t grow up to be criminals…If something bad happens, it falls on us to fix it. That’s a lot of pressure.”

A couple nod. Teens ready to agree?

“You’re just getting a taste of that pressure. Believe me, the pressure increases…you ain’t seen nothing yet…” I continue, “There have been rough times for me. Ask your parents, maybe for them, too. Some of your parents work more than one job…they do a lot for you.”

I get a “That’s true.” I’m being heard.

“So, yes, if I want, I can leave here today, drink two six packs and hit the clubs. I can eat anything I want, say anything I want, and do anything I want. I’m way over 21. But do I?Nope. Because I’m an adult. The pressure’s on me. I work hard to be better just like I tell you to do. We’re all playing the same game. I’m just on a different level.” Smiles. Good sign.

“The truth is, most adults want to be teens again. Not me. I work hard at things I love and feel passionate about. I didn’t always–but it’s what makes the difference. Doing things that you love–especially work…it’s the secret to having a good life…being great. Does anyone master it? I don’t know…Life’s about being under pressure. The wrong kind of pressure crushes you. The right kind turns rocks into diamonds. Find positive people–good friends. Work hard. Do things you love. Be great–let pressure turn you into a diamond. Being a teen won’t be so bad…being an adult will be even better.”

They smile. I feel a little like Mel Gibson after the “Freedom” monologue, and I wonder how long they’ll remember…I go home and inform the six-year old that teenagers don’t want to be teens. He doesn’t believe me. He continues listing all the things he’ll do when he gets there.

Having won one intellectual battle, I sit down to do something purely adult. No swearing, partying, or candy. I make tea, and sit down to write. Heaven.

http://youtu.be/KWRPzdedeyY

Training The Boy to vacuum. I said, “If you’re a really good boy, you can vacuum.” It worked. 

One Inspiration at a Time

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 5.01.36 AM

Silence is a source of great strength  –Lao Tsu

I write at 4AM. The moments before the birds sing bring me the most peace. My mind clears. Silence reveals the thoughts that drown in the clatters, jangles, and noise of the day. The fire glows, coffee sits to my left, and I think. I am inspired. As I start, I look for one inspiration each day. A quote. A blessing. A thought. Something to think about during the day. Sometimes I share them with a friend.

Today, caffeine is my daily inspiration. Hear me out on this one… After receiving “The List of No” from the doctor, he said “sure” on some caffeine. His colleague had taken it away. I suffered. I suffered a lot–not because I need the drug. I don’t need caffeine to live any more than I need crack or heroin. It’s just that decaf coffee tastes like a cup full of butt and I can’t find one that reminds me of coffee. I love coffee. It starts my thinking each day.

“There’s only so much I can make you suffer,” he said. “You can have some caffeine.”

I forgot to define “some” because my mind, celebrating the victory, was already onto the next negotiation. “I’d like to start running again.”

He gave me the look. He had been clear about the “no activity” mandate. I’ve obeyed, except I do forget things downstairs so I can run up and down the stairs to get them. The smallest exercise protest. Other than that, I obey.I negotiated. I begged.  I said, “You don’t understand. I’ve gone from 7-10 miles to couch instantly. I’m stir crazy. All my friends want your card so they can avoid exercise too.”

“You can go walking.”

“I hate walking. It bores me. I lack focus. I need to run. How about jogging? I’m not that fast anyway.” My jogging reminds people of walking. Semantics.

Hesitation. Slight opening of the mouth. Pause. “No………I don’t think so.” He’s Southern. Bound by law to be polite. “Nothing that gets your heart rate up. You could do stairmaster or elliptical a little if you take it slow.” I hate both of those things. And slow’s never been in my repertory. If exercise doesn’t beat me up, it’s not effective. I’ve run, played basketball, boxed, thrown, fought, done competition weightlifting (never competed–too scrawny) and played all the fast sports. Not well. That’s not the point.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 4.56.13 AMThe one activity that slowed me down–Japanese sword. It was good for me, meditation and inner peace combined with the ability to cut someone’s head off if I trained hard enough–a good combination. Then yoga. But I was highly, highly suspicious of yoga—what good could it do without pain? My friend of Indian lineage made me go on a yoga retreat. How could anyone of Indian lineage steer me wrong on yoga? He said “Experiences are everything,” and that I needed “to get rid of [my] monkey mind.” He was right on both accounts. Yoga centers me.

Yoga doesn’t really raise my heart rate. “How about yoga?” This was turning into a fierce negotiation. I felt the tone. I’d spent years in Career One negotiating with attorneys and body shops. Surely I could defeat one doctor on the issue of physical fitness despite the fact he had more degrees than me.

“Hmmmm…” He’d said a definite no to yoga the first time. But I obeyed his orders not to drop dead for an entire month, taken drug upon drug, and listened to his every command. Surely that gets a reward? “No, I don’t think so. Too much with the neck.” Defeated. Again. That’s when I asked him about caffeine.

He said yes.

Inspiration: Even when the list of “no’s” gets long, if we keep looking, we get one yes. Sometimes we have to look hard for it, not abandon the search. And when we find it, it’s golden;)

My coffee smiles in the mug my friend Kristen made. And it tastes very good.

[Images: Sarah Steenland and Kristen Runvik. Check out their stuff. Their art makes me smile]

How to Be a Stalker

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 5.52.28 AMI’m about to teach a lesson about researching and connecting. Who wants to learn about researching? Exactly nobody. I survey my audience. Teenaged Facebook fiends drifting off into space. Think quick. We need excitement. The best theatre is performed live…on the spot. So it is with teaching.

“Pay attention,” I say. “You may want to take notes.” Notes. An offer no student can refuse. A few pens rise through the air. “Today, I’m going to teach you…stalking.”

Stalking? Fantastic! Undivided attention…

“Ima stalk that girl who likes my boyfriend…”  Don’t worry, kid, I’ll clarify later.

“We watched three experts in our documentary. We need to know if they’re credible. They might be stupid. I don’t know.” Puzzled looks. I continue, “You know how they always interview that dumb person on the news who says, ‘But he was such a good neighbor, never gave me any trouble…’” Students nod.

Random person yanked off the street, spun as the expert:

“Excuse me, sir, what do you think about the national deficit?” 

“I’m glad you asked. I do my part by buying two burgers at the dollar menu…”

“How do we know if these are the people making an impact in the world? Dig in. Investigate.”

Stalking interests students. There are a ton of Discovery Channel shows about crime and stalking. Stalkers get ratings. Researchers…do not. Unfortunate, because I think researchers do more good for humanity. It’s all in the spin.

“Not like crime-show stalking,” I clarify. “Nothing creepy. Research!” A few students look disappointed. They’ve been had. The bait and switch complete, I continue.

I show them how to connect with real people in real time. How to leverage their research skills, find interesting people in their field, and how to make real-life contact. How evaluate whether the person’s worth his or her weight in salt, and if so, how to reach out.

“Man, this guy’s important,” they say after checking into United Nations Food Guy. They decide running all agriculture grants for Gates is probably a big deal.

“Look! He even has a Twitter! I’m going to follow him!” I look over. Someone has reset the screen savers on the student computers to pictures of our experts. A very good sign.

“This girl invented a new kind of rice that feeds a ton of people. At 18!” Yes, she did. The message I want to send is, “And you can, too.” 

Eventually, they realize we’re not stalking. There’ll be no horse heads in beds, no string of Facebook messages. No cyberbullying. Maybe just an inspired tweet or two with a scientist.

The world is about connections. When we connect, we are unstoppable. It’s a skill no one can take away. It’s a skill I’ve never seen taught in a book.

The power of the world is in our hands with social media. We can research, email, and tweet. We can connect with our heroes. We can use our power to create change, we can be someone’s hero. There are no limits to what each individual can do because every single person holds the power of the world in their hand in a single phone, tablet, or device. Like any good hero, this superpower is limitless. Using “the force,” is such a simple lesson. Using it to be a force multiplier…that is where the true magic begins.

Students can do this.

I ask a question. “What’s the number one thing people love to talk about?”

One girl shouts out, “Themselves!”

“Exactly. You’re not stalking–you’re building relationships. You feel good when people get to know you. Being on the world stage is no different. You connect. You make real friends. And when you make friends with others who want to change the world…you change the world.”

And hopefully, inspire others to do the same.

 

[image: retroworks.blogspot.com. Peter Sellers as Det. Jacques Clouseau]

Looking into the Artists’ Eyes

It’s easy to give feedback. But there’s something about giving honest and genuine feedback while looking into the eyes of an artist that’s emotional, different.

View of the Congregational Church that started the festival in 1967.

View of the Congregational Church that started the festival in 1967.

The Scituate Art Festival is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the nation. We’ve been coming for years. It’s my husband Rusty’s hometown. He always wanted to move back here but the time was never right. I’ve found the time is never right for most big things in life–changing careers, having a baby, moving…making any life change, really. The time is never right.

Sometimes, the universe intervenes. Other times it sends people to drop kick me. This time, it was both. The airport began to swallow up homes behind our house threatening to take our last shred of value. Selling wasn’t easy–who wants to move into a neighborhood where the roofs are part of the tarmac? Moving is tough–stressful, expensive. It’s never time. We found this house in the woods in my husband’s hometown, the town with the huge art festival and postcard New England village, and a buyer who was grateful to get from an apartment to a house. We escaped. And now this art festival is our hometown event.

“You’d better get rid of your hyphenation,” my husband said, “It’ll do you no good here.” This is his hometown. His last name gets nods. Mine, not so much. This is the type of town where people have lived for generations. I’ve been grandfathered in. “Oh, you have that house…” Everyone knows the house by description. People tell me stories of each generation who lived here, and the stonemason who built it. It’s the type of history I love.

As a real resident of this town, I pay attention to the festival. I listen to the old-timers, talking about the way the town was and used to be. The real history. The kind you can’t find in a book. The Greatest Generation telling the way things use to be, could have been, and sometimes still are.

The food court is everyone's favorite at festivals.

The food court is everyone’s favorite at festivals.

The Art Festival is the way it always is, a finely tuned operation that draws 2-300K people in a good year. Locals and people flock in for the artisans and the New England foliage alike.  We stop here and there for a small-town greeting or an apple dumpling–the type I eat every year, once a year, like clockwork. The civic organizations, school clubs, and people of the region set up booths and all the repeat revelers know how to find the best BBQ, the biggest sausage and peppers, the most perfect fries…and that apple dumpling.

And of course you can’t run a New England town without chowda and clam cakes.

Everyone in town bakes, mans a booth, volunteers or attends. Artists from all over the world show their crafts. As an outsider, I appreciate the variety and efficiency. As an insider, I see the community. I am starting to attach.

I see the antiques booths, the painters, the artisans. What started as a twelve-booth event in 1967 has expanded to pay for repairs to the Congregational Church has become something to behold.

But the best feature, by far, is the artists and artisans. I used to look at art through the eyes of a simpleton, an ignoramus.  Now, I look through the eyes of the creator. Just for an hour or two, I imagine myself painting, sculpting, bringing forth woodwork or pottery into the world, instead of writing, and showcasing my creations for the public. I look at the soul of the artist sitting, quietly showing his or her work. What courage to put oneself out there, in the middle of 300K people passing by casually, blending as people say things like “Beautiful,” or “Oh, no, that’s awful,” or worse yet, passing by without a single glance. The heart and soul of the artist unnoticed. Brilliance blending into the background of clamcakes and doughboys. There can be no greater insult than that.

I see the soul of the artist with the brush, crayon, typewriter, or lens. When possible, I talk to them. I appreciate them. We’re all the same, no matter the genre. We all put stuff out there, hoping someone will appreciate it. Or maybe, just maybe, that it’ll make a difference.

That’s what I see at the festival. Community, cohesion, and people making a difference. It’s the way every community should be, and can be, if we all just smile, create, and share. I’m grateful to be a part. Even if the screaming boy makes me leave early. Some day, this festival will be his.

Stupid Human Tricks

Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 7.07.35 AMIt must’ve mattered somehow. I don’t remember the exact reason I needed to leap the old, rickety desk to make my point clear, but leap I did. As I bounded over the crumbling seat, which had seen better days in the 70s, the arm flipped. So did I. I landed in what may have been the most beautiful breakfall since Jackie Chan.

This was entirely unexpected. Not the fall–predictable in Vegas–a highly uncoordinated person leaping not-so-stationary objects? A large armchair quarterback could have called that. The perfect landing–the odds of that in my world, 1000:1.

Historically, I’ve never been able to clear tall buildings and other objects–I tried in high school track. “Casey,” said Coach after I nearly doubled the school’s liability insurance attempting human flight via hurdles and high jump, “YOU WILL stay on the ground!” And stay on the ground I did, physically and metaphorically–for a long, long time.

Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 7.14.48 AMNo, falling wasn’t the shock that day. Executing a perfect breakfall–that was the surprise ending. No broken bones or concussion. Practice and preparation kicked in when I needed it. Beautiful. Slapping out, a bit stunned, I got up. “Nothing to see. Move along.”

I earned a solid place in the folklore of that entire crop of students.  Somewhere, there is a Facebook fan page, “Mrs. Casey is a Ninja.” It’s there. Forever.

Often I do stupid things without thinking. Sometimes they pan out marvelously, leading me in new directions, and other times I wake up thinking, “What have I done? How do I undo this?”  When things work out, I see a path, an idea, or inspiration to do more with my life–to avoid fear and stretch my vision, putting vision into action. When they don’t go so well, I reflect, “Hmmm…how did that happen? What did I learn?” There’s a lesson in everything. Good and bad. I try to find it. Often, I try to teach it as well.

I have two weeks left with my seniors. This time of year I’m in the center of the maelstrom cramming in last-minute thoughts about life they’re not really equipped to understand until they gone balls to the wall living. They haven’t lost jobs, been in debt, failed at something, or wondered what the hell happened to the last decade??

In the past, I was desperate to give just one more piece of advice.  Now, I relax–they can find me on social media. I see how they’re doing from time to time. They pop in post-graduation. That’s where the learning begins, because the desire to put the lessons into practice is…real. It matters.

“Wait for it, wait for it….” I can count down to when I get those pings. Questions. “What do I do now?” “What should I…?”  It’s all long after the pomp and circumstance fades.

I take a moment to freeze time. I look around, imagining. I snap a picture of each student in my mind–after graduation, their ghosts walk the hall–I hear their voices. I see them for years to come. I remember where they stood, their spot in the lunch room, the corner where they looked like they were going to bust out some a capella, the daily makeup at the bathroom mirrors, their jokes. Their energy is always there. I look around before they leave, and I see them doing great things. Every one.

Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 7.10.34 AMExcept this isn’t reality. Some will be dead. Some in jail, some will never get their sea legs solid in the ocean of life. That part, I try to push aside–the curse of a long teaching career. The ones I didn’t get to–the ones I didn’t save. Countless. The girl who wanted to be a vet, the boy holding the single yellow balloon in the snapshot. We were decorating for an event. Smiling. He wouldn’t have many years left to smile.

My stupid human trick, jumping the desk, made me a superhero. His “desk,” put him in the ground. I miss him. I miss them all.

I let the seniors go. Most’ll be back. They’ll tell me what was important, “Miss, I remember when you said…” Not one of them ever says, “Miss, I remember I got an 80 on that test.” They talk about the moments of connection. Things that made it real. That I refused to accept less than–not their best performance, but their absolute best VISION. There’s a difference. That I had a sign on the board that said “What’s YOUR big idea?” and demanded an answer. Some action. A business plan. Movement. Something real. Today–I have a pile of business cards to show for it. Some took their big ideas and converted them. That’s success. Those business cards are gold.

Years later, it matters. They know what I’ve been saying. They’ve done the stupid human tricks. They’ve made and learned from mistakes. And that’s where life begins.

[Quick plug–I’m excited that James Altucher’s book on this subject, “Choose Yourself” is set to release tomorrow, June 3rd…James has been influential to me in helping me convert Stupid Human Tricks not just to vision–vision I have. But to action. And more action. That’s the critical part of the equation. Without action, you might as well stand still. James, I’ll use this in class, probably violating several copyrights in the process when I copy more than a chapter. Don’t worry–I’ll bitcoin you the royalties].

[image: officeprosonline.com and jeaninallhonesty.blogspot.com]