Category Archives: challenge

Home Is Where The Results Don’t Matter

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote “Eat, Pray, Love”, which became a bestseller. In a TED Talk she gave recently, she talks through how she struggled with the task of writing again, post-success, by looking back at how she kept writing post-failure. She called it “going home”.

And you have to understand that for me, going home did not mean returning to my family’s farm. For me, going home meant returning to the work of writing because writing was my home, because I loved writing more than I hated failing at writing, which is to say that I loved writing more than I loved my own ego, which is ultimately to say that I loved writing more than I loved myself. And that’s how I pushed through it.

your home is that thing to which you can dedicate your energies with such singular devotion that the ultimate results become inconsequential.

I think that’s beautiful, from the personal development Product Owner perspective.

What is your home?

I Am A Millionaire (And So Can You!)

Folks, it happened. I am a millionaire. After 10,000 hours, I’m popping tags like the silly can holders.

Or at least… I live like a millionaire. On the daily, I swan dive into a multi-storey vault of Dogecoin a la Scrooge McDuck. Luckily, such riches have afforded me the necessary thick skin and equally necessary metallic Beyonce bouyancy to not get all cut up by or drown in said vault of said coin. (I got 99 problems, but tetanus ain’t one. (Hit me!))

So after my morning swim, after shimmying the moon dust off my shoulders, I get on with my day. And my days are pretty ordinary, except for the ‘living like a millionaire’ part. My vast wealth of cryptocurrency stays in that vault because I don’t need it to live like a millionaire. I already know how without all that.

“What?” you say, “Are you gettin’ all cheesy on me?” Naw, Pepper Jack, this is something that recently hit me like a tonne of feathers with a brick in the middle.

Fill in this sentence for yourself:

I live like a millionaire when I…

Here, let me help you out – this is just some of what’s on my list. I live like a millionaire when I:

  • play Candy Crush when I go to the bathroom.
  • beatbox in the shower.
  • rack my brain around Chinese Checkers.
  • commandeer a public piano.
  • crack a bad joke.
  • watch and hear my wife’s reaction to said bad joke.
  • walk around holding my wife’s hand.
  • say ‘wife’ whenever I can ’cause it still sounds foreign.
  • blare ‘And You and I’ by Yes before getting married.
  • jam to ‘Burn’ by Ellie Goulding as I walk out of work.
  • bask in ‘Express Yourself’ by Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band just about any other time of day.
  • whistle my theme song.
  • sit at my throne desk.
  • hang out at a cafe.
  • drink a cappuccino.
  • go on a date with a buddy.
  • make up a silly story.
  • tell the story behind my watch.
  • tell the story behind my pen.
  • tell the story behind my wedding band.
  • tell the story behind the number four on clocks.
  • tell the story of how I work for Taco Bell as a motivational speaker.
  • tell this joke: Did you hear about the Scottish cross-dresser? He wore pants.
  • watch and hear your reaction to that joke.

Sure, if I had some loose Hamiltons I’d build a community music studio and start a hovercraft polo league, but I’d also continue to do the above already awesome things. And of course, how I live like a millionaire will differ from how you live like a millionaire.

How do you live like a millionaire?

How can you live like a millionaire right now?

Baconday

The following is my truly ridiculous Wikipedia entry for ‘Baconday‘ – a birthday present for a quasi-nephew who recently turned 14. I forget how much I enjoy writing outlandish stories. What have you forgotten that you enjoyed?

A baconday is a day that comes once a year when a person celebrates the anniversary of their birth. Created in 1776 by the Connecticut delegate to the Continental Congress Silas Deane, this amendment to the concept of a birthday is celebrated in the New England region of the United States, often with a ridiculous rite of passage, usually involving a feat of strength.

Inspiration

On a sea voyage to France with noted prankster Benjamin Franklin, the two foreign diplomats imbibed many an impromptu concoction. One fine day, a carefully rationed experiment in brewing bacon ale resulted in a four-bottle batch, of which three were intended for supporter of American independence Beaumarchais. The fourth bottle was shared between Deane and Franklin, with subsequent conversations resulting in baconday, an idea so creative, by their impaired judgement, that they feared the creative power of such a drink in French hands to the degree that they withheld their gift. Missing since the trans-Atlantic trip, the location of these bottles have been the subject of fable among New England bacon-lovers.

One bottle was found and sold at Christie’s auction house in 2007 for 100 brazillion dollars. The other two are still on the loose. Watch out.

Tradition

Intended for the families of Connecticut delegates, Deane proclaimed 13 bacon-related challenges, after the 13 American colonies, to be assigned and completed at each birthday, starting from one’s 13th birthday. Records were kept at the State House in Hartford, until the start of the Civil War, whereupon the more pressing matters at hand pushed out the jocular tradition from daily focus.

Pre-Civil War, the state’s government meetings began with a summary of the bacondays’ events since the previous meeting. Post-Civil War, the agenda item is not addressed, although it ceremoniously remains in the agenda as a reminder of those lost during the war.

Challenges

1st Baconday, 13th Birthday

Snort 13 fl. oz. of bacon grease in 13 minutes.

2nd Baconday, 14th Birthday

Consume 14 lbs of bacon in 14 minutes.

3rd Baconday, 15th Birthday

Wear 15 strips of bacon, from dawn ’til dusk, as the only item of ‘clothing’.

4th Baconday, 16th Birthday

Debate the virtues of crown rule against 16 strips of bacon in the town square.

5th Baconday, 17th Birthday

Soak in 17 pounds of bacon, from dawn ’til dusk.

6th Baconday, 18th Birthday

Run for mayor, with 18 strips of bacon as your running mate.

7th Baconday, 19th Birthday

Balance 19 lbs of bacon on your head in the town square.

8th Baconday, 20th Birthday

Perform an elaborate 20-part marriage proposal to a strip of bacon in the town square at noon.

9th Baconday, 21st Birthday

Take 21 shots of bacon grease, for breakfast.

10th Baconday, 22nd Birthday

Walk around, from dawn ’til dusk, with 22 strips of bacon in your shoes.

11th Baconday, 23rd Birthday

Submit to the state house a self-portrait using 23 strips of bacon.

12th Baconday, 24th Birthday

Legally change your name, first and last, to ‘Bacon’, for 24 days.

13th Baconday, 25th Birthday

Sing a 25-minute song, recounting your previous Bacondays.

References in Popular Culture

None. Yet.

The Birth That Counts

How do you prefer your birthday?

With a crowd all aloud?
With your crew downing brew?
With a few playing Clue?
With your mate tempting fate?
Sub-radar, “‘Tis news afar”?
(In a box with a fox?)

As I get deeper into my early 30′s, my preference has been the latter (no, not in a house with a mouse). Sure, I’m glad I was born, but if I’m not up for celebrating an event around a central character that is me, beyond celebrating for celebration’s sake, then I personally don’t see why I’d want others to go out of their way. If you want to, though, I won’t stop you.

Congratulating me on my birth? Call my Mom – she did the work. Call my Dad – he had a seminal part in the matter.

Congratulating me on making it this far in life without succumbing to disease or harm? I’ve made it this far, thanks, though I’m sure there are higher bars of achievement beyond survival now that the average lifespan is over 30.

Calling to say hi? That’s cool. Let’s grab a cappuccino.

I feel like I’ve turned into a curmudgeon in this regard. The thing is, the most useful part of a birthday, for me, is the opportunity to reflect…

The earth has circled the sun in about 525600 minutes. So while Earth has made its journey, how has mine been?

Reflection and other methods of observing ego are important, which is why I’d prefer to enjoy its benefits more often than once a year, say, once a week at my Sprint Retrospective. This means I have a birthday every week. Try it :) .

Happy Birthday to you, too.