Monthly Archives: January 2013

Pay Attention To The Little Things

28 January 2013, by A.Cedilla
“Ignorance is bliss.”
“If ignorance is bliss, there should be more happy people.”
– Victor Cousin, 18th century French Philosopher

Knowledge is power. When you know how stuff works, things you can do a lot. For example, who is the world’s greatest detective: Sherlock Holmes, Batman or Adrian Monk?

The TV series, books, movies, cartoons and comics featuring these characters have set up whole fictional worlds about and around their exploits, because these guys are able to do things most people can’t. And the fact that you know who these characters are and are probably aware of the history behind that particular title (“The World’s Greatest Detective”) lets you in on the in-joke.

Detectives detect. They pay attention, finding things out and making connections, and in our popular fiction and media, they usually get to save the day. For mere flesh-and-blood mortals who don’t go through the drama we see on-screen, we’re asked to pay attention to different things, differently.

How would you know what you’re not paying attention to? Continue reading Pay Attention To The Little Things

On Enthusiasm, And Using Your Passion

21 January 2013 by A.Cedilla

En-theos – “…to be lit up with divine fire, to be possessed by a god.”

When people discuss having enthusiasm for their jobs, sometimes tossing in the etymology of the word can cast quite a different light on the issue. I mean, being aflame or being possessed?

That would be kind of mesmerizing to watch on the big screen…until you realize that if it were in actual, real life, anyone literally in such a state wouldn’t be focused on doing anything productive. Heck, they wouldn’t be able to focus at all. They’d be all terrible, screaming sensation. With the possible addition of explosive pea-soup vomiting, guttural howling and piss-your-pants terror. Nasty business, that.

 

That being said, enthusiasm is a feeling. It is a feeling and feeling fade with time, because time is a phenomenon that imposes limits. Without help, feelings fade. How do you keep them going? As a mental exercise to illustrate:

  • Think of a sheet of paper. Imagine folding it lengthwise into 4 parts, opening it, then dividing those 4 columns crosswise into 7 more columns: you have a lunar calendar of 28 days. Play around with a few of the weekends, you can bump it up to 31 days.
  • Find a paper plate, divide it into 12 sections. Number each section, and fix a pair of uneven “hands” smack dab in the middle of the plate: you have a 12 hour clock.

 

You have something you’re excited about. Something you really look forward to doing. You have the feeling, you have access to the means, and you have the time to execute your intentions.

What isn’t mentioned in all that are the things you do to fill those hours and days when you’re also doing other stuff that are not the thing you’re currently in love with. You still have to handle the blocks of time filled with hard, boring stuff while watching the clock tick away. You can’t get away from that. Continue reading On Enthusiasm, And Using Your Passion

When You Spend Time Like Money

13 January 2013 by A.Cedilla

We of homo sapiens are a visual race. We evolved to be, and hardly anyone ever really notices we talk in images and metaphors, because that’s just how we were wired.

Here’s proof of what I mean:

When someone’s in trouble he can’t handle, he’s in over his head. When we’ve moved past a particular situation, we’re over it. Hot and cool mean the same thing when it comes to current trends in fashion and music;  either you’re in, or you’re out.

So when we think of someone spending money like it was water, we get a very definite image. Something like someone throwing his money away, or throwing good money after bad –and is there really such a thing as bad money? Aren’t those things sunk costs? Or maybe what’s being referred to are things not worth a plugged nickel?

So when we think of money and time being the same thing — resources and things to guard zealously, the natural thing is to think of the two in the same terms, when they’re not. One is a non-renewable resource, the other we can print more of (and drive everyone nuts.) Continue reading When You Spend Time Like Money