Living Life Vicariously

So the Capitals won the Stanley Cup.  Go DC!


This little figurine made a debut on the counter of the concierge late last week for us to cheer them on!


You can ring the bell for help and while your waiting, get excited about the game. 


While these types of sports are not my thing per se, I do like watching a good Rocky movie or action flick where the good guys beat the sh*t out of the bad guys.


Whether you’watching your favorite sports team, your Hollywood dream stars, or even an occasional do (something) good politician, we are living vicariously through them. 


It’s not our success we are seeing, but somehow we temporarily suspend our own selves and live through others (their eyes, their actions) and we partake just for a second of what it’s like to be them winning or doing something really significant in life. 


We all can’t be superstars in the center ring duking it out (all the time) and so we take a step back to see others that we relate to face up to the challenge, fight and hopefully win big. 


We don’t walk away with the trophy, prize money, or fame, but we congratulate ourselves somehow for being on the winning team. 


Heck, I didn’t do anything but have faith, go along for the ride, and then take pleasure in seeing my guy(s) win. 


Yet, from the humdrumness of perhaps some of our own everyday lives, we fantasize and garner the courage and strength to do our own great things. 


We can’t be the strongest, smartest, most good-looking, personable, and talented in the world, but we can see parts of ourselves in others and we can try to model the best of them in ourselves and leverage what we got going on!


I don’t really like spending a lot of precious time living like this through others–I don’t mind getting inspiration when I see something amazing, but really I just want to try my hardest to be the best that I can be. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Growing With The Challenge

Thought this was a good saying, and wanted to share it.

“A man grows with the greatness of his task.”


In Hebrew, there is a similar saying:

“Lefum Tzaara Agra.” (Which translates roughly too: “As the suffering, so to is the reward.”)

Adversity, hardships, challenges, pain, suffering–these all test our mettle.


Obviously, these are not fun, but in the end, we are forced to grow from these experiences. 


– What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. 


Sometimes though, they really can kill us. 


So, push yourself as far and as fast as you can, but also you better know your true limits. 


And we all have them, even when we think we’re invincible. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sometimes We Get Surprised

Sometimes we get surprised in life. 

Now of course, the surprise can be good or not so good. 

One person told me this funny story about how they were in the bathroom and they reached for the toothpaste.

They put it on their toothbrush and proceeded to brush their teeth.

All of a sudden though, they realized that something didn’t taste quite right.

Lo and behold, they see that they had accidentally put Desitin (diaper rash ointment) on their toothbrush.

Yikes, that was nasty indeed (at least no mouth sores after that)!

But surprises, even when not so good, can be a wake up call. 

In this case, you better be more careful what the heck in put in your mouth.

And more generally-speaking, we need to pay attention to what we’re doing–be deliberate, plan, and adjust accordingly. 

I remember early in my career, one supervisor telling me, “I don’t like surprises!”

Yeah, unless it’s winning the Powerball lottery jackpot or something like that, what surprises are usually all that great anyway? 

Sure, I like a my share of adventure, novelty, fun, and challenge in life, but also I’ll take a mouthful of tranquility mixed with some incremental progressive learning and growth over Desitin on my toothbrush any day of the week. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Awesome Drumbeat of Life

drumdrum2

Just thought this was such an awesome drum. 


On the top of the drum was a painting of a drummer. 


And on the side was a picture of a beautiful lady dancing. 


It was so simple, yet so eloquently done.


There is something amazing when you can literally feel the art come so alive.


Almost like seeing and feeling the vision of the artist as if looking directly through his eyes.


Our experience her on earth is that of our soul moving and acting in a surreal physical world.


But in so interacting, we leave behind and impact this world with artifacts, and deeds to others, that last beyond ourselves and the moment. 


What a wonderful world G-d has placed us in to experience his wonders and to learn and grow.


I can feel the drumming of my heart and the dancing of my feet all along the way.


And even though I don’t comprehend everything I am experiencing or the decisions that I must make, in it contains not only deep intrigue, but also genuine surprise and challenge, and ultimately meaning, every step  along the marvelous path of G-d’s garden. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

World’s Fastest Bicycle “Egg”

ETA Speedbike
This human powered bicycle is so cool–and fast!

 

It is called the ETA (or “Banana Bike“) and is being designed by AeroVelo, University of Toronto engineering graduates and students.

 

These are the same folks that created the award-winning Atlas human-powered helicopter.

 

The ETA is expected to reach over 87 mph, thereby breaking the human-powered land speed record of 83.1 mph.

 

The bicycle mechanics are being enclosed in an egg-shaped aerodynamic shell and it will be powered by a single person doing the pedaling.

 

A combination of the movie Tron and the 1970’s sitcom Mork & Mindy, it offers the potential for an environmentally friendly way to get around town and some nice fat-burning exercise too. 😉

 

(Source Screenshot: here with attribution to BusinessWeek)

Walking Tall Again

CNN has a video out today on this amazing new technology for paraplegics.

It is a miraculous robotic exoskeleton called the ReWalk by Argo Medical Technologies in Israel.

The inventor, Dr. Amit Goffer, is himself quadriplegic and asked a simple question, “Why is a wheelchair the only answer for those with spinal injuries?”

He challenged the status quo and now there is a way for paralyzed people to stand and walk again.

I choose this video for the blog, because I found it so immensely inspiring to see someone previously wheelchair-bound participating in a marathon in Tel Aviv this year.

The ReWalk is strapped on and has motorized joints and sensors and a battery pack.

When combined with some braces, a person has mobility again on their feet!

I cried when I saw the patient, Radi Kaiuf go over the finish line after walking 10 kilometers with the ReWalk and everyone, including the children on the sidelines, cheering for him.

Congratulation to all the researchers from the Technion University who helped make this a reality–hopefully people around the world, who are in are in need, will be able to benefit in the future and walk again.

Truly, mobility is life! 😉

Many For The Price Of One

Many For The Price Of One

We were at the movie theater over the weekend and something funny happened when we went up to the counter to get our tickets.

I ask my wife if she also wants anything to eat like popcorn etc.

She says yes, and I ask the lady behind the counter where the tickets and snacks are sold for some popcorn to ring up.

She points to the next register and says “You need to get the snacks over there” (pointing about one feet over to the left).

I look at my wife like, okay and we pay for the tickets.

Then, we waddles over to the empty counter a foot over and wait for someone to help with the popcorn.

Well the lady who just sold us the movie tickets waddles over as well and says, “Can I help you?”

We almost cracked up laughing.

I said, “Yes, we would like some popcorn, please.”

She says, “Sure,” and proceeds to get the popcorn and we pay again.

What was hilarious was the lady selling the tickets redirected us to the counter over for the popcorn, where she in turn did the proverbial, changing of the hats, and then after selling us the tickets served us up the popcorn as well.

It reminded me of a TV episode I saw a kid where some people visit a small town and stop at the Sheriff to ask where the local inn is. The Sheriff points them down the street. Then the people go into the inn and there is the Sheriff again, but this time wearing the innkeeper’s visor. After checking in, the people ask where the town pub is and then stroll over across the way. They walk up to the bar, and the bartender turns around, and sure enough it’s the Sheriff/innkeeper now with a servers smock on and asks what they would like to drink.

I may not be remembering the episode completely accurately, but you get the point.

In a small town or an organization where people have to multitask, one person can play many different roles.

That’s why very often management in interested in good employees who can “walk and chew gum at the same time”–employees need to be able to perform under pressure to get many projects and tasks done, simultaneously, and they very often need to assume multiple roles and responsibilities to get that done.

Pointing the finger at someone else saying not my job or the ball is in their court is no longer an excuse not to get things done. We have to shepherd the project all the way through the many leaps and hurdles that may stand in the way of progress.

When people have to perform multiple roles and jobs–due to time constraints, cost cutting, or shortage of trained and talented people–then they may have to change hats many times over the course of their day and week.

The Atlantic (5 July 2013) in an article about performing head transplants–yeah, an Italian surgeon believes this is now possible–retells an Indian folk tale called The Transposed Heads.

Two men behead themselves, and their heads are magically reattached, but to the other person’s body. The clincher is that the wife of one of the men doesn’t know which man to take as her husband–“the head or the heart.”

It’s a fascinating dilemma–what makes a person who they are–their thoughts (i.e. brain) or their feelings (i.e. heart).

Similarly, when a person performs multiple roles at home, work, and in the community–who are they really? Which role is them–at the core?

We tend to like doing one or some things better than others, but does what we like doing mean that is who we are? Maybe doing the things we don’t like that challenge us to grow is what we need to be doing?

Like the lady in the movie theater–one moment she was the ticket master and the next the concessions attendant–both were her jobs.

We too are made up of multiple and complex roles and identities–we are head and heart–and all the things they drive us to do in between. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)