Advice for everything, and short enough for a T-shirt

I think there must be something buried deep in the human condition that craves some sort of simple proxy for things very complex and important. I know that physicists crave this because there is an ongoing search for the theory of everything — they’re looking for something so concise that it can be put on a T-shirt. How do I know this? I happened to read a book called the Universe on a T-shirt: The Quest for the Theory of Everything, by Dan Falk. I’lI say it’s a fun read, particularly if you’re not a physicist.


I’ll admit I have no ideal why this came to mind but here we are, and I suppose here we go…

As I thought about this more and more I kept wondering if there was some simple advice that encompassed everything but doesn’t involve very much math (and to be used when someone comes up looking for answers). I mean, isn’t that what we’re all looking for, something that’s smart, snappy and easy to digest when you’re out with friends?

Sure, a smart snappy meme is a simple search away, but since the Internet is still very much the wild, wild west and nothing’s been agreed upon, I should at least get my voice out there. So here goes, this is what I’ve come up with — “Keep moving, just not backwards”. It’s profound, meaningful, simple, helpful, and definitely will fit on a T-shirt (although I will openly admit it’s not so clever or unique). I should also mention that this can be taken literally, although it mostly should be taken figuratively; for no other reason that I believe constant movement in a literal sense is a biological impossibility. Wait.. I’m wrong… sharks are constantly on the move or they will drown… but I digress (although I hope my point is well taken).

At this point I’m not even sure if I’m trying to be serious or just writing with my tongue-in-cheek. Nonetheless, there are some important messages behind my newly minted meme, and I believe they’re worth noting.

  • When you are moving, by definition there is action, and when there is action, something is getting done.

  • Although the movement may sometimes be slow, you are still progressing forward.

  • When you are moving you have momentum and that can take you far, particularly when you are a little tired.

  • Moving takes you to new places.

  • Not moving backwards ensures you are progressing.

  • You are definitely harder to catch when you are moving.

  • It’s healthier to move — it keeps you loose, agile, and strong.

  • If you aren’t moving you’re probably not doing anything

All of this is quite literally and figuratively speaking.

I really should consider having T-shirts made... maybe even sell them on the Internet… I’ll make a fortune.


What's in an adventure...

I will be using the definition of adventure rather liberally; using it figuratively and will definitely be using it as a verb! It’s far more action oriented that way.


ad·ven·ture [adˈven(t)SHər, ədˈven(t)SHər]

NOUN: an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.

VERB: engage in hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.

It seems that being an experiential learner, having a fundamental belief invaluable skills are learned on adventures, and knowing that with a new year there will be great opportunity, has me thinking of adventures lately — and if you have gotten this far, it has you reading.

It’s easy to think of adventure as travelling to a new country, climbing a cliff face or trekking the highlands of Scotland — and although adventurous, it is limiting when you consider the full scope of what an adventure can be. This is why I like thinking of adventure as a verb; especially when you think of it as exploration of unknown territory.

Now you have something to work with —

Only know one language and it’s holding you back — learn a second language. It’s an adventure!

Not very good with your hands — break out the tools and build that bunkie* you need. It’s an adventure!

Someone is looking for a volunteer to solve a problem — raise your hand and say you will solve it. It’s an adventure!

Instead of saying you can’t drive standard — ask someone to teach you. It’s an adventure.

And although the big adventures are great to share with friends, I’ve found the real opportunity to grow and explore is with those small potential adventures that come your way on a daily basis. I’m a big believer in taking on these small adventures as a way to broaden your abilities, increase your view on the world, and simply become more interesting.

Here’s to adventures both big and small !!

And if you are wondering about any adventures I have on the list this year, my daughter and I are going to build a small off-grid bunkie with all the modern conveniences we can muster — talk about exploring unknown territory.


* a hut holding a bunk or bunks, a free-standing bedroom separate from the main house, which may or may not have other facilities (a fully outfitted outer house would be a guest house and not a bunkie)

Energy and Angst... here's to 2019.


He was a old school General Manager — he smoked too much, definitely enjoyed his scotch, would go toe to toe with anyone over the business, and protected his people with a passion. He was the sort that would have his feet up on his desk when he spoke with you… ever crotchety, ever prickly, and ever insightful; I learned much from him. I remember sitting across from him once lamenting over the dynamic environment we found ourselves in.

I feel like a cork bobbing in the ocean, I’m not able to grab onto anything, and just moving around at the whim of the ocean. There’s just no control over any of it.” He looked at me and simply said, “Me too”.

Don’t get me wrong we were running a solid business with good leadership, a good team, plans were in place, over plan performance was commonplace, and we had just enough operating mechanisms to ensure we stayed the course (but weren’t repressive). If memory serves me (and it doesn’t always) this was a time when the corporation was starting the journey towards a multi-billion dollar company, and it was a time of more and more “corporate reach in”. There were a growing number of things happening that we just hadn’t seen before — it was a interesting combination of Energy and Angst. It was a time where positive energy and confidence finds itself irrationally dealing with the future and a perceived unknown.

This is something I find also seems to occur at the beginning of each year — you don’t really have to look any further than those New Year’s resolutions or New year’s words people rally behind.

2019 is a year that will have 365 opportunities, and if you are paying attention to the pundits, may also be a year of turmoil (but then again I think they say this every year). All of this energy and opportunity, balanced off (sometimes disproportionately) with events beyond your control is what we have to work with to make the most of the coming year.

I can’t truly say if ever stopped being that cork in the ocean or just got very good at being “a cork” — either way I survived, as well as thrived. Some of it was a result of just going with the flow, some it was finding the proverbial port in a storm, some of it came from knowing what needed to be done when the waters were calm, and sometimes it was simply knowing when to hold on tight. Yes, all very metaphorical but nonetheless helpful. Each year I have had a plan regarding how to handle the year’s ocean; sometimes complex and sometimes simple, but I have always had a plan. And I have always gotten it down on paper. This has always been my anchor.

This year I want to go with the flow, see where things take me, and maybe wash up on some shores I’ve never experienced before — and to ensure I don’t get lost, my plan for 2019 will consist of one word. And that word is desire. It will be interesting to see where it takes me.

A friend of mine mentioned his word for 2019 is deliverance — I’m sensing my seas will be much calmer.