Stairway to Happiness (if not Heaven)


Original by Matthew Perkins

“Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on.”

Robert Plant said that, but it just as easily could have been me, except I’m not particularly poetic, and I wasn’t alive in 1971.  I’m glad he said it, though. In addition to being one of the greatest songs ever written, it sums up a major tenet of my life’s philosophy more eloquently than I ever could:

Everyone, ultimately, is seeking the same thing: happiness.

There are two divergent paths in life: the path toward money and “success”, and the path toward happiness. You might achieve monetary success through a life dedicated to happiness…that happens all the time. But if you fail, you’ll at least likely be happy and fulfilled.

Continue reading

How to discern utter bullshit from truth.

Lately, it seems that everyone is convinced of everything. No room for thought, for challenge, for argument. Opinion is sold – and bought – as fact. Opinion that matches our already-held beliefs is held as ultra-true-can’t-possibly-be-wrong mega-fact. We’re apologists for obvious flaws in our standard-bearers.


Original by Via Tsuji

We use memes, quotes, videos, rants and shares to defend and to offend. We attack character and intellect of people we’ve never even met; we defend character and intellect of people we will never meet.


In a country that prizes free speech, one major philosophical premise of that freedom (courtesy of Thomas Jefferson) is that “…error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.”

We can let you say whatever nonsense you want to say as loudly as you want to say it, as long as we can safely bank on the idea that the vast majority of us employ reason to discern between utter bullshit and truth.

Reason isn’t swayed by hyperbole, talking points, echo chambers, or stump speeches.

Reason isn’t scared into blind support by patriotic platitudes.

Reason gets suspicious when asked to blame “the Muslims,” “the refugees,” “the Mexicans,” “the Blacks,” “the liberals,” or “the conservatives,” because reason knows scapegoating and character attacks are the tools of those who lack facts.

Reason knows that if a solution sounds too simple to be plausible, or too good to be true, it is.

Reason knows that every best choice comes with some negative consequences and every worst choice comes with some positive consequences, too.

When you find yourself getting emotionally swayed, take a page from the cynic’s book for just a second. Ask yourself: what is she selling me? What does he NOT want me to ask? What’s in it for him or her?

There is no “right answer” in a complex society. There’s only the best possible answer for the most possible people. There are many paths up that mountain. Anyone trying to tell you that his is the only one, however, is asking you to suspend reason in the hopes his errant opinion will be mistaken for truth.






Bottom of the 9th, bases loaded…FML.

Five minutes. Five goddamned minutes.

If you took a snapshot of any random five minutes, you’d likely see how freaking awesome he was at his job. How much his team loved him. How “on it” he was. Organized. Clean. Smiles all around.

But no, she came in at the five minutes when the shit had hit the fan. Big boss lady hadn’t been in since July. She’d heard how well everything was going, but her eyes were telling her brain a very different story…in these five minutes.

Continue reading

3 leadership lessons I learned when things didn’t go well

I am rapidly approaching the end of a chapter of my professional life, and will be starting another very soon. In just a few more days, I’ll be turning in my keys, taking the weekend off, and starting fresh in a new role at a new company. I’m especially excited about this next chapter because I’m getting the chance to lead at a level that makes more sense for my skills, my temperament, and my life goals.

“And lo, the man went to his abode, and he cracked open one that was cold, for he was victorious in his hunt.” – Deuces Suckas

I have to say, for many reasons, this year (professionally) just didn’t go as planned. I made plenty of mistakes, made mistakes in the midst of bad timing, and kinda just never “clicked” in my environment. I battled, and I certainly improved every situation they thrust me into, but I’d be lying if I said it was a natural fit.

Continue reading

5 life lessons from locking myself out of my house

So, where I live, it’s 25 degrees outside…not so cold that you’re gonna die in 10 minutes, but certainly colder than the inside of my warm, comfortable apartment, which incidentally is where my keys resided tonight.

We were cleaning the bathroom, realized we forgot to buy bleach, and decided to pop over to the store to buy some. Coat? check. Hat? Yep. Car key? Of course.

Her: You have the house keys, right?

Me: No, I thought you had them.

Us: (in unison) SON OF A BITCH!

Continue reading

If I were you, you’d be way cooler.

Sorry I disappeared for a few days, I took a quick little trip to Charleston, South Carolina. If you haven’t been there, it’s worth checking out if you have time. Tons of history. Very friendly people. Good food.

I’m back now, and ready to get you all back up to speed with more awesome, unsolicited advice.

If you’ve been reading the last few posts on how to apologize effectively, you might have screwed up majorly and you’re now looking for some advice on how to fix it. Or maybe you think I’m awesome and have a crush on me

Either is an acceptable reason to read on.

Continue reading

If being right is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

If you’ve read the first three posts in this series, you’re ahead of the game, but if you haven’t, check out the first one here.

So we’ve talked a lot about how to apologize effectively, but we haven’t discussed why we apologize in the first place.

We apologize because we feel bad, because we want the other person’s love…and often, put simply:  because we feel like it’s the right thing to do.

Continue reading