election2010 Misc Personal Politics

obama’s failure.

It’s good to be declarative when talking about presidents. They should own things. Think ‘Bush’s War’ for Iraq. And, now, it seems ‘Obama’s War’ for Afghanistan.

So, I’m declarative here: Obama’s failure.

I’ve wanted to write this for a long time. It really built over 2010. As my feelings grew stronger, I felt trapped by circumstances. For the first half of the year, I was seeking the Democratic nomination for Congress. It’s probably not the keenest strategy to air your grievances against the leader of the very party whose nomination you are seeking. (Also, the airing of grievances should be restricted to Festivus anyway). In the second half of the year, after winning the nomination, I felt paralyzed by cynicism. If I called out the president, it would just be viewed cynically as another Democratic candidate who was trying to distance himself from an unpopular president. It would perceived as just another politician willing to say anything, and throw anyone under the bus just to get elected. As an aside, I also refrained from any Republican-bashing whatsoever because outside of its unproductive nature, I realized it would be dismissed as standard politics. (This strategy was not as effective as I hoped.)

So I pretty much meant kept my mouth shut in public on the subject of the president. Tonight, the president delivers his third state of the union. I didn’t want him to address the nation until I weighed in. I can only imagine the frustration of his speechwriters once they read this and have to do a massive re-write with only hours to go. Such is life. šŸ˜›

I am not happy with President Barack Obama. Some would say that I am just being cynical. But it’s the opposite. It’s the president that has revealed himself to be the most cynical of all.

In 2006 & 2007, Barack Obama campaigned across America speaking aboutĀ change. Not just any change. Not changing a few policies. Like changing the healthcare system, changing the vacancy sign at Gitmo, or changing DADT . No, he talked about transformational change. Washington was a corrupt, fatally flawed place, that had ceased to function for the American people. If the goal of Washington was to advance the cause of the American experiment, it had failed. It was broken. Barack Obama had come along to tell us…no, to promise us, that he was coming to Washington to destroy it.

There’s a deep sense of hopelessness and cynicism attached to politics. Most of all amongst the youngest of voters. I believe it boils down to a sense that it doesn’t matter which candidate wins, nothing changes but the window dressing. In a campaign of historic proportions, Obama flipped the script. He galvanized young and old. Here, he promised, was your chance to be heard. I’m sick of all this too. The posturing. The petty bickering. The flitting away at the margins, while the glaring disasters are in plain sight. I hear you! Now is not the time to be small, it’s time to go big! Instead of being sick of everything, let’s change the system, he whispered to us.

So we elected him. And, look, I’m actually one of the people who think almost any decent Democratic candidate should have won that election. The conditions near-perfect (Bush fatigue, supreme economic malaise-turned-crisis, a changed McCain, and everything ‘Sarah Palin’) for a McCain defeat. But, still: record dollars raised, largest grassroots effort in American history, electoral landslide! Change had come to America! Game on! Let’s go change Washington! Can’t Wait!

It’s been two years. I’m still waiting.

That’s not to say that a lot hasn’t been accomplished. Far from it. The president has presided over one of the most ambitious legislative agendas in decades. See this site for the laundry list of things, passed and signed.. As checklists go, he’s been busy.

But Washington today looks a whole lot like it did 5 years ago. The huge scary problems that were looming over us 3 years ago, are still there. The president promised transformational change, and then once he got there, he went hard at work on transactional change.

Am I being too harsh? Is it not realistic to expect big, systemic change? To expect course-altering? Maybe, but I was just expecting what was promised.

In the end, I’m a harsh realist. So I as I watched the campaign unfold, I was never sure that Obama would be able to do the things he promised. But I believed that he was truly angered by these things and that he would at least try.

I do not believe that Barack Obama ever tried to change Washington. This is Obama’s ultimate failure.
Maybe he tried to do it by asking nicely. He went behind the scenes and extended olive branches. Asked for help in tackling the big problems and reforming the system. In fact, let’s just assume that he did this and was (not) shockingly, rebuffed by all those with a stake in the status quo and that sought political advantage.

Then what?

He used every old trick in the book to get things done. Nothing changed except the transactions. He got some impressively difficult legislation passed. To do so, he signed bills that had massive pork (when he promised to not do this). He OK’ed backroom deals (when he campaigned for radical transparency) to horsetrade for votes. He signed a ~$4 trillion tax cut extension when he said that he wanted to truly take on the debt. Yeah, he did get a lot done. But at what cost? The cost was preserving the system, keeping our course (towards the iceberg), and maintaining the destructive status quo of DC.

What did I want him to do? I wanted him to fight. I expected him to take a baseball bat to DC if it wouldn’t change easy. I expected him to expose the corruption, hypocrisy, and ideologues who stood in the way of transformational change. Hold press conferences where you call individual people out. Highlight the dollars flowing between certain PAC’s and their supplicants. Explain how it all actually impacts the American people. Re-engage that army Ā of volunteers to go to work at the grassroots level to spread the word about what was really happening. It would work because he was right. Because he took the moral high ground.

Of course this would have consequences. Instead of passing all that legislation, Congress would grind to a standstill. No healthcare reform, DADT, etc, etc, etc, etc. Instead there’s war in DC. He’s taking a bat to Washington. I’m OK with that. Not because I’m insensitive to the suffering of the people who have benefited from the incremental progress of the new laws. Not because I’m a purist who believes that Perfect is the enemy of Good. But because we are a nation at a pivotal moment, at a time of crisis, and transactional leadership won’t cut it. We need transformational leadership, and Obama was thrilled during the campaign to be the vessel in which we believed it could be enacted through.

Why am I so hung up on this? Why am I so repulsed? Because the big problems aren’t close to being addressed:

– $14 trillion in current debt; record deficits; $50 trillion more coming down the pike
– $3 billion spent lobbying and more on its way each day
– A financial system that is still deeply vulnerable but papered over due to the Fed’s printing press
– A ~17% real unemployment rate that has showed substantial evidence of being the ‘new normal’
– A manufacturing sector on its last legs due to failed US trade, tax, and regulatory policies
– Control of our debt by nations who appear to be becoming increasingly aggressive towards us
– The list. Goes. On. And. On. And. On…

As long as the status quo remains, we are not capable of taking on these challenges. That was his campaignĀ narrative . It was right then. It’s right now. What’s changed are the president’s priorities. He chose getting stuff done vs getting stuff right. He chose progress today vs a real foundation for tomorrow.

That’s President Barack Obama’s failure. He failed to do what he told us he would. Worst of all, he didn’t even fight to.

I suspect this post will infuriate many. It will bring out the instinctive need to defend ‘their guy.’ I understand your reaction. Politics is horrifically adversarial and combative. It’s worse than sports. When a Steelers fan makes fun of the Bengals (even if they’re right), I pipe up. When a Patriots fan rips on the Jets (even if they’re right), I rush to concoct a tortured defense. But politics, the debate over the direction of the future of our country, should not be so tortured. I believe, to my very core, that we should not defend people or parties. We should defend principles and ideas. Only principles and ideas. Because the people and the parties sell out. They change. They compromise. They sell out. Our values, our principles, our ideals and ideas, these are the things that are true. Hold them above all else.

For the first time in a very long time, I sat down to write without fear of if it would be used against me. I didn’t worry that it would cost me votes or whether it would be popular. This is what I feel. I say it with a clear heart and no sinister purpose. I know my values and I know what I would like to see done. And so I write.

Life Personal

fighting the world’s fight.

In The Unforgiving Minute, Craig Mullaney talks about his Rhodes Scholar experience. In introducing it, he speaks of ‘a demonstrated passion for “fighting the world’s fight”‘ asĀ one of the criteria for selection.Ā The phrase stuck in my mind.

What did it mean to fight the world’s fight? How do you dedicate yourself to this? Is it a lifetime goal? Do you work towards it every day? Do you pay your dues so you can one day fight it? Is there one overarching fight? Or are there 1,000 little ones?

Since I first read about the fight, it’s echoed in my head. What a perfect question. As a member of the Google generation, I (duh) googled it. I came across thisĀ graduation speech. Ā I think It’s a great exploration of service.

How do you think we fight the world’s fight?

Business Life Personal Politics

reading joker one.

At one point in 2004-2005 I read a book or two a week. In retrospect, it was a phenomenal time. Some of my earliest memories are of reading soo much. At one point, I remember that my brother and I were so engrossed that our father took our books away from us when we had visitors, because otherwise we’d just retreat to our room and read. Anyway, since 04-05 there’s been a long, slow decline in my reading volume. I’ve recently made a conscious effort to pick up my old reading habit.

This weekend I read Joker One A Marine Platoon’s Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood by Donovan Campbell. My review? RUN out Ā to borrow/buy it. It’s amazing stuff. /End book review.

Here are three thoughts inspired by the book.

1) Read Joker One to learn about leadership. Joker One does an amazing job of elegantly boiling down what leadership comes down to. In his final few pages he boils it down to one, elegant, powerful word. I have never heard of leadership described in this manner but once I read it, it resonated. I won’t call out what it is here, because, honestly, it’s a powerful culmination of the 300 pages that came before it. Discussing it out of context not only fails to give it its due, but also to spoils the powerfulness of its words and meaning when you read it. Obviously leading men in battle, with the weighty consequence of life and death surrounding you, is far different than civilian leadership. Yet the lessons and universality of the questions the author raises should speak to anyone who has or will be put in a position of leadership. Great stuff.

2) I’ve posted previously about Generation Kill. Glimpses into the military have always enthralled me. As I read Joker One, I literally felt as if I could sniff war. I finished the book about an hour ago, and I’m struck by the same thoughts I always have: It’s almost criminal how we turn a blind eye to our unpleasant truths. War movies fail at the box office when the country is at war. People tune out the news when the death toll or other such updates are reported. No one complains when the media closes their war-locale reporting bureau. We don’t want to talk about the thousands of dead and those badly maimed and injured. We don’t pay attention to the horror stories of the lack of long-term medical treatment and job opportunities afforded upon soldiers when they return. We turn a blind eye to the rampant PTSD.

But this is all after the fact. What responsibility do we all bear, as citizens, for how much we know about the foreign policy that guides these troop deployments? Troops do their part by answering the call, charging towards gunfire, and following orders. The dictates that guide them are from the highest levels of the military following the orders of the highest levels of government. We put those people into power, and so, ultimately, are responsible for those orders. They represent our will. As easy as it is for us to get bogged down in our lives, our trials and tribulations, it’s our greater responsibility to think deeply and honestly about our views. They guide the fate of so many of our brothers and sisters.

Ultimately, society is a grand bargain. We are inextricably interdependent. It would be a shame if the only ones holding up their end of the deal are the ones risking their lives to follow orders and represent America.

Have we done our duty honorably?

3) After reading Joker One, you literally feel an emotional connection to the marines in the story. You care for them. Admire them. Like them. Empathize with them. That’s not terribly surprising: Even if you took a group who have no reason to respect or admire, but dive into their life, you’d almost certainly find a compelling, story that would elicit empathy. This is why it’s always struck me as strange, the amount of contempt that we have for strangers. Instead of the benefit of the doubt (forget kindness), we often are ready to believe the worst in others. What if you thought about each random person you met, and put in their place someone you cared about: an old friend or family member. I’ve just read this book, and since I’ve never met any of these amazing marines, they could literally be any of the strangers I’ll bump into next week. How would I treat them if I knew who they were? How would I treat a stranger if I didn’t know their personal story? What does this say about us?

Now: go buy Joker One.

Life Personal reading Technology

does twitter improve memory?

Last month I read an article in Wired about a woman who remembers everything. You name a date and she’ll tick off hundreds of events that have happened to her on this date. The publicity eventually attracted Ā Wired. The article reached the new conclusion that the reason she remembers so much is because she has a form of OCD that makes her take detailed notes on her life which she feels compelled to re-read.

I found this interesting because I kept a journal back around 2000 for a few years. When I go back and read the detailed entries about my day, things that had all but completely disappeared from my mind rush back. Stories and events that were such a big deal, then doomed to be forgotten, are revived. Nostalgia aside, I think it’s helpful. Seeing how I thought about things, reacted to events, people, challenges, successes, etc is helpful for me to compare and contrast where I am today. It’s easy for me to think that everything is different in my life now. While , it’s in some ways true, in many others, the same themes are still present and powerful. Events change, but the themes have been constant. Without my record, it’s easy for me to remember that past very differently.

As I think about the Wired article’s conclusions: that memory is strengthened by how we treat, record, and revisit it, I wonder how memory is changing. With our Facebook status updates, blogs, and Tweets, millions of us are constantly sharing details of our lives. Will this act of recording, sharing, and commenting on our lives enable us to remember better? Whereas previously, we had to live in the moment, today, we constantly stop and “document.”

Then again, if all of our social posts contain little substantive contemplation of our lives, it’s doubtful any of it will be very useful šŸ™‚

Life Personal

what do we value?

What is it that we value? As a society at large, I’ve heard a lot of candidates: We value our environment. We value our children, Education, Progress, Peace, Health, Knowledge, Kindness. All kinds of stuff. I’ve never thought long and hard about this question. Now that I am thinking about it, these are the kind of contrivances that come to mind. Is “contrivances” too harsh?

We show what we value in our actions. Regardless of whether you view “the market” as an efficient decision maker, at our collective simplest, we all make our decisions based on what we value. I value the glorious feeling my stomach gets after eating McGriddles more than I value $1.99. (and apparently value my taste buds more than my health) I value my time more than the savings from cutting coupons. (Though this is debatable since I also don’t grocery shop – see McGriddles example.) I think it’s clear: what we value, we select.

So let’s look at the world. I see luxury cars aplenty: Lexus, Acura, Porsche, BMW. Still stuck in traffic, I look inside those pretty cars and see Chanel sunglasses, Prada purses, Armani suits, etc. Out of traffic and with my friends I hear them talk about buying 50″ TV’s to go with their Playstation 8, Xbox, and new Blu-Ray player. This says nothing about the present (crappy) state of schools, (in-)access to higher education, (lack of quality and access to) health care, (in-attention to) the environment or any of those things. Let’s ask again: What do we value?

What do you value? How do you spend your time? How do you spend your money? How do you spend your attention?

My mind has focused on this question of value. It birthed other questions as well: Who do I want to be? What should I be grateful for? What am willing to sacrifice for? What is broken? What is perfect?

In the serendipitous way that is life, I came across this clip for the second time today. The gist is in the headline:

“Everything is so amazing and nobody is happy.”

I’ve been in a mood, so this really stuck. He focuses on the marvels of technology: cell phones work everywhere and allow us to send photos at the speed of sound. We sit in a chair in the sky and are transported around the world. We get updates about our friends and family automatically while we sleep that are sorted by how important these people are to us. Are you kidding? Then there are the health advances, the knowledge advances, etc. Yet, we’re still not happy. We’re not grateful. But this is the way it’s always been, I hear in my head. Minus a few hiccups, civilization has been a pretty sweet uptrend. Things have gotten progressively better and we’ve raised our expectations accordingly (along with the level of complaints). Essentially, my takeaway from this awesome video is that we don’t value any of this progress. We’ve taken it for granted. We consider it as owed to us.

Values are often spoken of as something ingrained in us from our early life. He was raised with good values. But don’t we form values every day? Every decision we make determines what we value (and our values). Look around at the world. At the state of the financial markets, at businesses, at those in governments, and across society. It’s not a pretty picture. Think about what that says about what we value. Then think about the things that we *should* value and what a world like that would look like. What would a day where you spent your time on things that you truly valued look like? Start by spending an hour tonight asking yourself what it is that you value. Then, maybe, start living it tomorrow.

It’s a question I’ve never really thought about. Now that I’ve started, I can’t stop.

Business forsaken Personal

it’s always the same.

Months ago I looked around me at what was going on in the economy and stock market and it literally gave me tightness in my chest. It was hard for me to concentrate on work, or much of anything. Things that I had read about and worried about were coming to life and the pace of news was nauseating. It’s not that way anymore. Which is actually kind of scary in its own way. The Dow broke 7000 today in what was widely considered a critical support level. Where do we go from here? Likely no where good. But I barely batted an eye. Why? I’ve either gotten used to it, or I’ve made peace with it. This is our new reality. We should move forward. Always forward.

It’s always the same. The people who I watch in life, who I’ve read about, and who I admire, are always the same. Watch how they handle setbacks and misfortune. Sure they might hiccup. But only for a minute. They focus intently on what’s right in front of them. They see what they can repair. What they can improve. Where they can go. They keep moving forward. There are certain people who when you look back at their story, every one of their setbacks ended up being a launching pad for something better. Are they blessed? A coincidence? It’s their attitude. Dr. Liza Siegel, the psychologist from The Apprentice, (Yes, we had an on-site psychologist and let me assure you that we all made full use.) drove this home for me. She stressed how across all the people she came across in her life– whether it was the people who made it through the insane casting process to make it on The Apprentice or whatever, it was this resiliency that was just indefatigable.

So, now, as we look at the insanity around us, remember that it’s always the same. Be that person. If you’ve lost your job (or a friend of yours has, remind them) be that person. The one who takes a second to take accounts, and then wakes up earlier the next morning to move forward. Who creates their next opportunity. Whatever it is, savings vanishing, job losses, home price depreciation, etc — these are all detours. It’s always the same. Those who believe in themselves and their ability– those who believe in hard work and earning every inch of what they get– nothing has changed. There are still opportunities. We just have to get back to work. Oh, and as negative as I’ve been on all of this, I do, truly, believe that when we all get back to work, we’ll be on our way to getting out of this hellish hole. Until then we can each only do our part.

Life Misc Personal Technology

could vs should.

For the past few years the one thought that has never been far from mind is my “could vs should” debate. Essentially, I think we’ve become a society that has stopped asking if we “should” do something and instead default to if we “could” do it. “Can we get away with it?” has become our guiding imperative. In fact, asking if we should actually do something, when we’re able to do it, will probably cause people to wonder if you’re nuts.

Think about this example. It’s imperfect but might work: You’ve worked for years and are fortunate to make enough money to build some savings. Now, say bad times hit and you get laid off, but you have your savings to fall back on for now. Do you collect unemployment insurance? Of course, you could collect it. One on hand, this is what you’re supposed to do (it’s expected, right?). You and your employer have paid into the fund. On the other hand, should you? You know that lots of people are losing their jobs, and the state really doesn’t have enough money for everyone in the end. You have your savings, so you don’t really need it. But is that fair you might ask? The reason the guy down the street who lost his job doesn’t have any savings is because he spent all his money on a BMW and a flat-screen while you saved. So should you? Based on my small sample of friends, it’s an insane question to even ask.

I’ll note that the question of how to think about could vs should is something I’ve been chewing on since college, but really only hit close to home in the past few years. I found The Apprentice to be the ultimate personal experience with could vs should. Why? Because the whole experience is sort of like life on steroids. It’s so much of our everyday just compressed into a finite time period. The goal was clear, last each “week” until you get “hired” as “The Apprentice.” With this goal in mind, everyone did everything they possibly *could* to win. This included undermining one another, lying, ganging up, sabotage, and whatever else you can think of. In fact, this is what got under my skin during filming. The entire time we were taping I was practically a monk in my calm. My fellow contestants were always remarking at how quiet and even keeled I was. That is except after episode five when almost everyone around me decided to forget what actually happened and said whatever they thought would give them the advantage. I was livid (though, in retrospect, how naive was I to expect any different?). I got back after the boardroom and tore into my “teammates” asking them to not lie, and reminding them that they all had jobs, family, friends to go back to after the show was over and that they should remember that as they lived in this little lord of the flies fairytale world. Anyway, before going on the show, I thought long and hard about could vs should and did my best to only act in ways that I thought I should. Could I get away with a lot more? Oh, yeah. But I knew I shouldn’t and I let that guide me.

Bringing this home, I find that this problem starts not just with individuals but the institutions around us. We’re not asked to do the right thing. To sacrifice. To really, truly help each other. To ask ourselves if we should be doing something. Instead we’re told to always act in our own best self interest. That this is what a great American capitalist would do. That in doing this, and taking it to its extreme, we maximize all of our mutual self-interest and outcomes. Perfection ensues. I think this is a load of horseshit. As I look around me and a horribly battered world economy, I can’t help but conclude that this is the result of these ideas to their natural conclusion.

Of course that mortgage broker didn’t ask if he *should* be trying to approve the guy who’s making minimum wage for his $500K mortgage. The broker just asked if the guy *could* be approved. I mean everyone was doing it. Why wouldn’t it be OK? How about a level above him, the investment bankers who were chopping up these securities into tranches and selling them off to whoever. Should it make sense that you could make risk completely disappear from subprime mortgages? Not really, but who cares? The market said you could do it. Could the US as a whole continue to consume waaay more than we produced? Why were we or our government not asking if we should be? The list is endless.

I was reminded of this simple debate in my head as Barry Schwartz spoke at TED on our loss of wisdom. And that’s really what this is, isn’t it? Asking “should” is really using wisdom instead of defaulting to arbitrary limits.

As one thinks about could/should, you are naturally led to decisions. When you ask should, you’re really making yourself think hard about countless decisions that you might otherwise default to whether or not you’re allowed to/what everyone else is doing. And that brings me to the conclusion. Some thoughts on how I make decisions.

In my first position at P&G the head of our group, would always boil decisions down to principles. She’d ask what’s our principle here? If we had a principle in place, than we’d reason through it that way. If we didn’t, we’d find our way towards creating a new one. Making our decisions based on principles was a great way to do the right thing and not get caught up in the BS. Is it common sense? You bet. But since then, I’ve been lucky enough to observe literally thousands of people and business situations. And in 99% of them expedience (the “could”) dictates what gets done. Virginia, in her graceful way, always strove to avoid could and instead ask the should question. So that’s one of my decision criteria: What’s the principle here?

I’ve made really bad decisions in my investments. I’ve invested in the stock market since like 11th grade, and I think I’ve lost money almost every year. Just terrible timing and decisions. But out of these bad decisions came a pretty good principle for decision-making. When deciding whether or not to sell a stock, I found the most effective guide was asking myself “what would I regret more a year from now?” If I found that I’d regret not selling at a profit because I was greedy for more, than I’d sell. If instead, I found that I’d regret more missing out on a stock that could go through the roof, than I wouldn’t sell. Putting myself in my future shoes, and picturing which would cause more regret made my decisions so much easier.

My last big decision making tool is my newest. And, I guess, it’s not even really a decision tool. Basically when I’m stressed about a decision, or when I’m in a really, really bad situation, I ask myself a really simple question. “5 years from now, when I look back on this moment, how do I want to remember handling it? What will I be proud of myself for?” Usually a pretty clear image of what I’d actually be proud of comes to mind, and then I try to focus on acting in that way. A whole bunch of decisions automatically get made and I get to work. I think it’s my version of Jack (LOST reference!) letting the panic overtake him for 5 seconds, counting it down, and then purging it from his mind.

This was a long, meandering post that I’m sure no one made it to the bottom of. But as I look around at the world around me, I can’t help but think we’d be in a far better place if, as a society, we valued decision making more. If we valued the long term, and the collective best interest. And to me, all of these things come back to “could” vs “should.”

Oh. And maybe this is burying the lead. But it’s not lost on me that this was the year of “Yes we can!” Ironically, I think it should be “Should we?”

Life Personal reading

religion vs spirituality.

time cover I’ve long listened to the discussion between being “religious” vs “spiritual.” Of late, I’ve heard of a lot of fatigue with people classifying themselves as “spiritual.” I suspect this has to do with how nebulous a term “spiritual” actually is and how many people have chosen to identify as such. There’s a great article in TIME magazine, actually it’s a whole section in the print edition, that covers the role of faith (religion)in health (medicine).

One of the things that struck me was how one of the experts, Rev. George Handzo, a chaplain with the HealthCare Chaplaincy of New York City describes the religion/spirituality talk:

“…Religion has to do with an organized set of beliefs. So I’m a Lutheran; I adhere to a set of beliefs that has been defines as Lutheran, and I identify with a community that’s Lutheran.

Spirituality, I think, is a much broader concept, and it has to do with probably a personal quest. Lutheran is what some other people have said Lutheran is. Your spirituality is what you say it is…”

(emphasis and parenthesis mine)

I thought this was such an incisive statement.

Going further, the series of articles is pretty great. Ever since my first psychology classes at Rutgers where I heard about the role of faith, religion, and belief in more positive outcomes for cancer patients, I’ve been fascinated by the power of faith and healing. The series speaks to a need for a more holistic health care system where not just the diagnostic of the individual goes past merely the clinical and goes broader to the social and faith-based. I, for one, am in favor (duh, given my earlier stated fascination with it) of involving clergy, guru’s, or whatever is right for the person to guide them through a period of deep illness in consultation with medical staff. TIME did a great job of gathering up a man of faith (quoted above), a medical doctor, and a psychiatrist to dive deeper. Good stuff.


send me your thoughts.

I love posting on this blog. Why? Because I guess I love writing and this forces me to just get something out there. And I love getting into discussions about the stuff that gets written– sometimes in the comments, sometimes over email, and often in person. Anyway, I don’t post nearly as often as I’d like to and this bums me out. So I’ll ask all of you– what topics would you like to see me right about? It could be a one off, a series, or whatever. I’m just looking for what you’re interested in. Email me, leave a comment, send me a FB message, IM me…whatever. I’m on a weekly updating pace. Which sucks. I should be writing something every day or two.

Hopefully more coming…

Life Personal

some general 2008 thoughts.

I agree with my friends who say that leaving resolutions for New Years is kind of silly since we should just start them immediately. But New Years is also a great opportunity to reflect back (as are birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc), take stock, and make changes. So here are some random thoughts:

1) In 2009, I’m going to try and make the best out of all that I have and not focus on what I don’t have or lost. I know, I know: this should be something we do everyday. Well, I know I can do much better at this. Also, this is my number 1 because of all that I believe 2009 will bring. I really believe that, on a macro-level, things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. Whether it’s watching wealth “disappear” in the stock market, jobs lost, promotions not appear, contracts lost, some prices going up, etc — I (unfortunately) believe there will be a lot to bring one down. And, so, I’m resolving to accept that all of this will happen and I’ll celebrate and enjoy the one, two, or three things that are presently good in my life and situation. I’ll let you know how this one goes.

2) The iPhone brings me great joy. I’ve had the iPhone for the past 2 weeks and I love it. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I love my iPhone. When I got my first blackberry ~5 years ago, I immediately fell in love with it and was addicted. With the iPhone, I love the full