April 18, 2012

Firing Magic Blanks

Success is a difficult thing to quantify, and probably impossible to ever achieve, in totality. Those who get it want more, and those without envy even that. And so we turn to those with promises, lists that spell out how to get from our current drudgery to our aspirational heights.

I'm a sucker. Write an article about the secrets to faster recovery from hard workouts, and I'll read it. Nevermind that it'll be the same stuff about ice baths and a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein consumed in some mythological post-workout window. Promise secrets to making better coffee, or running a better bar? I'm there, even if I could write the article myself.

We want magic bullets, no matter how many times we fire blanks.

So I'm not here to make any promises, to tell you that I have any new insights in coffee, or much anything else. But I'm also going to tell you that that's a good thing, and here's why: Whatever it is you want to do, whether it be run a marathon, make good coffee, write a book, fix your car, do the laundry, teach your dog to sit, whatever, you almost certainly know how. You probably have the knowledge and have the tools.

They say that there is nothing new under the sun; and they're half-right. There may not be much in the way of new knowledge, but there are new opportunities, and new days. That's what the sun reveals ever time it rises, a chance to do that thing, whatever it is.

(And yes, that is a picture cribbed from a Nike ad at the top; and yes, the general tone of this entire post is very "Just do it". I already admitted to being a sucker. At least I'm an honest one.)

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