What I've Been Thinking About...
I had a conversation this week with a recent college grad and we were discussing their future plans. While doing so, I was reminded of a scene from one of my favorite shows The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. In it, the main character decides she is no longer going to accept being an opening act. She wants to headline and if the place isn't going to offer it, then she will turn them down. One of her friends who is also in the business caught wind of this and gave her a pep talk. Actually, it wasn't a pep talk, it was more like a "Don't you screw this up" talk.
The window of opportunity is only open for so long. When opportunity presents itself, we must be ready to accept and dive in. The only way we can ensure that we are ready is by putting in the work. In Maisel's case, the work that needed to be done was her performing her act over and over, refining and improving each night. By not accepting work, she wasn't getting better. When you are not good, the opportunities will no longer be available. The friend in the scene said to her, "Don't plan, work. Just keep working". It is the only way we are going to get better in this world. We must work and continue to work if we want to become a better version of ourselves!
Fitness Tip of the Week
A few years ago I was introduced to the Japanese term kaizen which was explained to me as constant, daily improvement. The idea is that each day, we should be slowly inching our way to becoming a better version of ourselves in something. It does not have to be be one big sweeping change but rather slow and steady progress. Think more turtle than the hare in this approach.
In regards to fitness, if we take the kaizen approach of constant daily improvement, it is important for us to start training at a level that is somewhat simple in nature. In essence, set the baseline low and with each week, slowly raise the bar higher and higher. Continue to raise the bar until you reach a level that you have never reached before. The best improvements are the ones that last. The improvements that last are the ones that take time to develop properly. For example, a crash diet may get you the weight loss in a short amount of time but it often doesn't stay off. What does stay off is the slow decrease in bodyweight week after week, month after month, year after year. The same approach can be taken when you try to improve in just about everything. Do not to rush progress. Like a nice piece of meat, you want to slow cook the process!
Perspective is All We Have...
A few weeks ago we were in California and I ran into a situation where I was being a bit of a baby. Marisa had a work convention about 40 minutes from where we were staying so Emilia and I dropped her off in the morning. As we prepared to come home, I plug the address in to head back and see the drive is going to take over two hours! I was annoyed and frustrated for about 25 minutes of the drive. At this point Emi asked to stop somewhere to go to the bathroom and I gave up on the idea of getting home in a timely manner. After the bathroom break I told her there was going to be a lot of traffic heading home and the ride will take longer than anticipated. She looked at me and said, "It's ok Daddy, we got stuck in traffic going to Mimi's house. I am brave when we get traffic". After hearing that, I realized that if a 3 year old doesn't really care about getting stuck in traffic then neither should I!
Emi's mindset snapped me out of the pity party and accepted the fact that there is nothing I can do about the traffic. The circumstances we faced were out of my control so I made an effort to make the best of it. On days like this, it is easy for us to take on the "woe is me" approach and start blaming the world for our situation but we forget something important: the world doesn't revolve around you. In the grand scheme of things, a few hours in the car with your daughter pales in comparison to some of the horrors that go on in the world. If you need an example of real problems, look no further than Ukraine. Terrible things do happen in this world but being stuck in traffic is not one of them. Get over it and appreciate the moment.
What I've Been Reading...
Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
This book tells the story of poverty in both Paris and London in the late 1920's and early 1930's. Orwell lived among the impoverished for months in an extreme example of investigative journalism. The book is broken down into two parts. The first being his time in Paris, the second, his time in London.
During the Paris years, he pawned just about everything he had except for the clothes on his back. Eventually he found work in a restaurant performing the lowliest of tasks. Fed up, he hears of a job opportunity in London and heads there. When he arrives, the job is not available for over a month and he has little to no money. Stuck with limited options, he takes to living with the traveling homeless known as tramps. Eventually, he gets the job and his lot improves but the stories and people he experienced over this time led to a pretty interesting book!
In the end, Orwell shares his thoughts on the experience living amongst the homeless. He learned very quickly how things can spiral downward and sympathized greatly for those left without a home who had to survive on little to no food and depend greatly on a system that doesn't really seem interested in helping those who need it most.
Quote of the Week
"Victory is to him who fights the longest" -- Boris, a homeless man George Orwell befriended in Paris
I hope you all have an awesome week!