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Maybe I Can

I have two seemingly conflicting beliefs. The first is that whenever possible, it is best to know the truth. By default I think that we sometimes avoid the truth, and we sometimes avoid giving the truth. In almost every case, though, having a clear picture of the truth will allow you to operate more correctly. At the same time, I also believe that holding certain beliefs will benefit you whether they're true or not.

One such belief is that anything is possible. Even in the face of seemingly impossible tasks, I like to believe that maybe I can do it. It's a little bit insane for me to believe that a two-man team of Todd and me can compete against WordPress and Tumblr, but I really believe that we can. Now that we've built something that people really like it's not so crazy, but it was really crazy when we first started. When I got into pickup, I had to believe that I could go from being extremely introverted and awkward to extroverted and sociable. There was little evidence to support that possibility.

I say that these two ideas seem to conflict because I believe that they are actually quite compatible. When looking at the history of others, as well as my own history, I've noticed that we consistently underestimate what we are capable of. Our idea of an honest look at our capabilities is actually further from the real truth than is the assumption that we can do everything.

Rounding up to the nearest 'everything' is not only more accurate than our best critical assessment, it's also much more valuable. The cost of being wrong is usually illusory. If you think that you can become a master violinist, act like it, and turn out to be wrong, you'll still make more progress than if you believe that the ceiling on your ability is lower. At the same time, the cost of incorrectly capping expectations is to provide an artificial ceiling on your achievement. I'm not sure I've ever seen someone progress further than they believed they could.

Explorations of the Vegan Life: Part I

On Runner's Ravings

On Tuesday, I explored the life of a vegan by, well, being vegan. It was only a one day pursuit, and I plan on returning (for a longer period of time) in the near future. This is part 1 of my explorations as a vegan.

When I went vegan for a day, I didn’t have any lofty expectations. One day without meat and dairy is not a difficult task, even to someone who regularly consumes animal products. That in mind, I was not particularly surprised with the results of my day as someone who doesn’t subjugate helpless animals.

The key to being a vegan is knowing what to eat instead. For over a decade meat and dairy have been staples of my everyday diet, and so not having a burger or sandwich for lunch or dinner seems strange and out of this world. It isn’t insurmountable, I can survive perfectly fine without missing them, but it begs the question: What do I eat?

Again, it’s not about a particular love of meat. Steak is great, but I can live without it. The issue I’ve faced is finding enough alternatives that consist of variety.

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