Looked at the right way, this could be good news!

I came across this article a few days ago. The Ticktock of the Death Clock – NYTimes.com. Yes a depressing topic. The author muses on the wonderful internet resource DeathClock.com which purports to tell you, to the second, when you will die. Hah Hah funny.

Oddly though the article turns this topic into a positive and constructive messasge. Once the author sees that according to DeathClock.com he only has 18 years to go, he ups and quits his job:

Yes, just like that. Call me crazy. I worked as an editor and, ironically, my soon-to-be-former boss had once given me a copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking,” suggesting I needed to act more on impulse than rationality. I had previously underlined this particular section: “Decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately.

I skipped by the article online, came back the next day, read it again. Still I didn’t have the ‘nerve’ to visit DeathClock.com.

Realizing that 90% of what you find on the web is created by a pimply brazillian teenager working in the middle of the night (nothing against pimples) you know that you can’t take something like DeathClock.com seriously. Still it took me a few more days to visit DeathClock.com. And you know it didn’t depress me at all, it instead served as a kick in the pants to do more of the things that I love to do, and, as it says in the bible (?) “Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today!”

That’s my message to you, too.

Stand up! No, Sit Down!

You know the old joke that today they say something is good for you, tomorrow it’s bad, and the day after it’s good again? Recently there was a lot of press that sitting 3 hours a day could take years off your lifespan. “Sitting for More Than Three Hours a Day Cuts Life Expectancy”, so said the Wall Street Journal:

“Sitting down for more than three hours a day can shave a person’s life expectancy by two years, even if he or she is physically active and refrains from dangerous habits like smoking, according to a study to be published on Tuesday in the online journal BMJ Open.” (from the Wall Street Journal)

 Yeah but I thought: nowadays, a major part of the economy involves sitting for more than 3 hours. Start with office work. But add truckers, and pilots, and other kinds of drivers, people working in many kinds of factories, I mean, are we all doomed?

Oh don’t panic just yet. “Don’t Blame Sitting–Yet–for Shorter Lives”, so said the Wall Street Journal a short while later:

“Headlines last week suggested that people who spend a lot of time sitting were in mortal danger. Sitting too long each day could shave two years off one’s lifespan—or, for the glass-half-full crowd, sitting less could extend life by two years, the media reports said.

The study that led to the news accounts cautioned that no such conclusion could be drawn from the available research. Sitting studies haven’t yet fully gotten off the ground, thanks to technological, cost and ethical limitations. Yet the evidence so far all points in the same direction: that sitting more is tied to higher mortality.

But that doesn’t mean the act of sitting itself is deadly. Instead, it could be that people who spend more time sitting are less healthy to begin with, or that those who sit less are using that time in healthier ways such as exercising.” (fromthe Wall Street Journal)

Phew. That’s a release. I can sit down again!



Don’t work. Avoid telling the truth. Be hated. Love someone.

Ok, I don’t agree with all of “Don’t work. Avoid telling the truth. Be hated. Love someone”:

“Resist the temptation to get a job. Instead, play. Find something you enjoy doing. Do it. Over and over again. You will become good at it for two reasons: you like it, and you do it often. Soon, that will have value in itself.”

but there are some good lessons and reminders in it:

“Find that pursuit that will energise you, consume you, become an obsession. Each day, you must rise with a restless enthusiasm. If you don’t, you are working.”

I think it’s worth reading.

Advice about listening to yoruself

A few months ago, a friend of mine told me he was struggling, really struggling with a big career decision. Here’s what I told him, and what I believe and have applied to my own decisions:

“Try to pay very close attention to what you yourself want to do. It is easy to get confused by expectations put on you by others or by yourself based on what you think others – parents, friends, colleagues and so on, would expect you to do or what the conventional wisdom says is the right thing to do. All that is confusing.
You need to try hard to filter that out and find out what you – YOU – really want to do, what your heart tells you. It’s hard to do but I have found it to be a very good exercise. Once you force yourself to be aware of those other influences it becomes possible to try to look beyond them.
Second – if you are in a dilemma where two major choices are both incredibly appealing, just in different ways, and one moment you think one is the right thing and the next moment the other is the right thing – then it’s possible and likely that either choice would be the right thing and you can’t make a wrong decision based on all the information you have now.
Thats not to say that a year from now you discover information that answers the question, but right now, maybe both choices are equally good.”