Todd and I sat on my couch in Vegas today. He was on his computer researching home automation stuff, and I was cleaning up my place, getting it ready to hibernate until I return.
I didn't expect to like Vegas so much, I told him with a smile. He agreed.
Most of my week was spent smashing out drywall in the bathroom to install a bath, doing light electrical work, and preparing my book for its release. But we still had time to play poker three times, see Francisco Domingo sing, and check out a few new restaurants in the area. And I flew to Kansas City for twenty-four hours to see my friend Roxy fight, which I include as a Vegas thing because it was facilitated by living five minutes away from the cheapest airport in the US.
I had no idea what to expect when I bought my place in Vegas. I didn't know if I'd spend most of my time there, a sliver of my time there, or just rent it out. I hadn't even seen the place or the neighborhood by the time I closed.
I bought it not for any one outcome, but for the opportunity. I saw a pile of upside with a small price tag, and I jumped on it. I figured that buying it would create some great opportunity, even if I didn't quite know what it was.
Now I love Vegas. I love working on my condo there, I love working in my office that Ergo Depot very generously outfitted, and most of all I love entertaining people. I have a guest bed, and I built a small tea room that I mostly use when guests are over. I also subscribed to a service called House Seats that allows me to get free tickets to a lot of good shows. Even though I've only had my place for six months or so and have spent most of my time away, I've had at least seven guests that I can remember off the top of my head.
You don't have to know exactly why you're doing something to do it. And even if you think you know why you're doing it, you benefit by keeping an open mind to other possibilities.
If you trust yourself to mold opportunity into good outcomes, your primary goal should be to find good opportunities. And, of course, part of what makes a good opportunity good is accessibility. Working your way into a job that you're wholly unqualified for doesn't count as creating opportunity, because you have no real way to turn that opportunity into results. I thought about buying in Detroit, but decided against it because I didn't see a way to make something something out of that.
Another good example, one that most of us can relate to, is making friends. We don't choose our friends for specific purposes, but because we know that by having them good things will happen. I think that's why I've been willing to jump into long distance relationships, even when the happy resolution to the distance isn't obvious. I see potential in a person, in a relationship, and I'm optimistic about figuring out a way to reach that potential.
Something that drives me up the wall sometimes is watching people miss out on opportunities. I don't know what the world looks like from their perspective, but from mine it looks like they see an opportunity, can't figure out exactly how it will play out to the end, and shy away. This probably shouldn't drive me crazy, because we all have the privilege of choosing how we live our lives, but it does anyway.
When something looks like a big pile of opportunity, but definitely doesn't look like a multi-level marketing scheme, bias yourself towards jumping in. I do it all the time and can't think of a time I regret.
Photo is a staircase on the way up Diamond Head, Honolulu. Was just there yesterday on a layover on the way to Tokyo.
For the past month I've been working out regularly under the tutelage of Dick Talens, the founder of Fitocracy, and for the first time ever I'm making actual gains. Seven pounds gained so far, and substantial increases in the weights I can lift.
When we first started going back and forth about the training, I said something to the effect of, "I have the irrational idea that I can't possibly gain weight no matter what I do." I gave Crossfit a try for a while, and probably gained around 3-5 pounds within a year and tried Tim's Occam's Protocol with no real success. Back when I had a house I put a bench in my server room and even rigged up a lat pulldown system by putting pulleys in the ceilng. No gains there, either.
The reason I decided to get training from Dick was because I figured I could put to rest once and for all the question of whether or not I'm able to build muscle. I wanted to know what was possible, how much effort it required, and how much time it would take. As I rested in between sets today in the gym, I kept thinking about how I never thought I could gain weight, just because "I'm not that kind of person". I thought about other times I've felt that way and been wrong, and the different patterns these thoughts fall into.
There is No Way
Being on the cusp of launching HumanityR, it is terrifying to know that I am setting myself for the opportunity to fail.
I will be honest when I say that, a small part of me wanted to push back the launch because I didn't want to fail out loud. This is probably one of the most terrifying things that I've ever done, it's most definitely the highest risk action I've ever taken.
I've learned that there are two types of failure.
The first, is the most obvious, as well as the loudest. It's that kind of failure where you know you failed, but so does everyone around you. Like the time you were dancing, tripped, and fell into that bush that you didn't realize existed (only happen to me?).
Sitting around all weekend, spending every waking moment working towards launching, I came to conclusion that I am definitely afraid. Afraid of the out loud failure. The one where everyone sits back and watches as I either fly or plummet (gracefully, always).