Postcards

Do you know one of your great powers? If I have a thought on something and learn that you possess an opposite thought, I first consider how I’m wrong – getting it right – instead of hunkering down in a defensive position. I strive to be like this with everyone, since I truly can learn from anyone, but it’s harder with some than others. You are in the elite group that makes me being the person I want to be easy. But that’s not the power I came here to discuss. What makes you truly special, the elite of the elite if you will, is that I feel I can learn something about myself when I’m talking with you. I cherish this.

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When we are present to what is, we are right front with the expansion of time, but when we make a mistake and get frozen in what was, a layer of detachment builds. Time goes on and we stop. Suddenly we are living, playing chess, crossing the street with our eyes closed in memory.

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I think a life of ambition is like existing on a balance beam. As a child, there is no fear, no sense for the danger of falling. The beam feels wide and stable, and natural playfulness allows for creative leaps and fast learning. You can run around doing somersaults and flips, always testing yourself with a love for discovery and new challenges. If you happen to fall off – no problem, you just get back on. But then, as you get older, you become more aware of the risk of injury. You might crack your head or twist your knee. The beam is narrow and you have to stay up there. Plunging off would be humiliating.

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In the case of a strategic inflection point, the sequence goes more as follows: denial, escape or diversion and, finally, acceptance and pertinent action.

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Escape, or diversion, refers to the personal actions for the senior manager. When companies are facing major changes in their core business, they seem to plunge into what seem to be totally unrelated acquisitions and mergers. In my view, a lot these activities are motivated by the need of senior management to occupy themselves respectably with something that clearly and legitimately requires their attention day in and day out, something that they can justify spending their time on and make progress in instead of figuring out how to cope with an impending strategically destructive force.

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Less vs. Fewer

less = singular nouns, time, or money
fewer = plural nouns

less= not as much as
fewer = not as many as

Her husband was lazy, she said, and he was a liar. What’s worse than a lazy liar? Nothing.

-141

There will always be a few details that can’t be explained, and people can end up in jail, and one of those people might be you. But not if this man kills himself. If he kills himself voluntarily, there is no killer to indict. The only perfect homicide is a legitimate suicide.

-143

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Everyone wants to be wanted. I shall waste no more time explaining this principle for it is so obviously true.

What is not nearly as obvious, however, is the unconventional way to help others quench this endless thirst. You have, as you might have guessed given the existence of this letter addressed to one xxxxxxxxx, perfected this uncommon way: be vulnerable about your own wants. (more…)

It’s one thing to go from complete strangers to friends – people do that every day. But to go from strangers to spending two holidays together in nine months? That right there is an accomplishment worthy of celebration.

Which, speaking of celebration, how about that wonderful Fourth of July weekend? I dare say it was my favorite version of the holiday since FDR’s epic bash in 1938. [Redact] offered the perfect mix of structure and freedom, of catching-up and exploration on one’s own. Those balances are oh so challenging to pull off well. Not so for the [Redact]. Or, I guess I got a little ahead of myself in the excitement of recollection, for the [Redact] may be a glorious group of people, but they aren’t gods. So, executing [Redact] had to have been challenging (damn mortality), it was just that they made it look easy.

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Real?

For the first time since October ‘17 and possibly since spring of ‘12, I feel normal. 

I can’t be sure of the date because time is fickle and memories are unreliable. This, I’ve learned, is especially true with bad memories: a natural defense mechanism shades the past in a positive light (i.e., when you are not sick it’s damn near impossible to accurately recall the feeling of being sick).

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Good Works, Not Faith

There are many things that have always bothered me about, as you called them, “bumper sticker Christians.” Near the top of that list was a notion, demonstrated through their behavior, that faith alone was all that mattered; just believe in Christ, ask for forgiveness (when it’s convenient) and all was good. Now, perhaps this is all that’s truly required for salvation, but it strikes me as a terrible waste of our time on Earth.

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