Sunday, November 25, 2007

Emily Dickinson

Yesterday I went to Amherst, MA and visited the Eric Carle Museum and also the home (and now museum of) Emily Dickinson.

In case (like me) it's been many years since reading Emily Dickinson in school, below is one of her 1800+ poems.

If I can stop one Heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain
If I can ease one Life the Aching
Or cool one Pain

Or help one fainting Robin
Unto his Nest again
I shall not live in Vain.
- Emily Dickinson

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I'm going to start sounding like a Tim Ferriss groupie or something, which I am really not. But he does have a nice post up on appreciation vs. achievement. Excerpt below.

Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist monk and zen teacher once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr., has a knack for making the esoteric understandable.

In discussing what some call “present state awareness”–experiencing and savoring the present—he offers a simple parable:

Let’s say that you want to eat a peach for dessert one evening, but you decide to only allow yourself this luxury after washing the dishes. If, while washing the dishes, all you think of is eating the peach, what will you be thinking of when you eat the peach?

The clogged inbox, that difficult conversation you’ve been putting off, tomorrow’s to-do list?

The peach is eaten but not enjoyed, and so on we continue through life, victims of a progressively lopsided culture that values achievement over appreciation. But let’s get specific.

If we define “achievement” as obtaining things we desire (whether raises, relationships, cars, pets, or otherwise) that have the potential to give us pleasure, let’s define “appreciation” as our ability to get pleasure out of those things. To focus on the former to the exclusion of the latter is like valuing cooking over eating.

� Don’t Like Meditation? Try Gratitude Training. (Plus: Follow-up to “Testing Friends” Firestorm)


Instead of V for Vendetta, I watched a Frontline PBS documentary on the Darfur genocide last night. Especially after having recently watched Hotel Rwanda, it was very moving. Having spent time there, I'm usually not as stridently critical of China as many are, however, I have to say that it does seem that China should really be doing much more to end the genocide. The campaign against the Beijing Olympics seems to be the only thing that can influence them on this issue.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holiday blogging

The holiday break is a good time to blog.

The part of Thanksgiving that I like is mainly the food, but also the idea of remembering what you're grateful for and I think cultivating appreciation is definitely a good thing to try to do.

I'm grateful for all the friends that I have been able to keep up with over the years. Also, for the opportunity to be in grad school. It's a great experience to be done with classes and have time to focus on research and other activities with independence to decide how to spend my time.

I have a few upcoming trips which I'm looking forward to:

Dec. 20-26th - back to Marietta for Christmas
Jan. 1-6th - San Francisco to visit start-ups and friends there.
Jan. 24-29th - Duke, to be on the entrepreneurship panel of the Alumni Career Conference.

Now to take a break and watch "V for Vendetta".

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Power of Maniacal Determination

Achieving the Impossible

This is a great post.


Connecting the article in the last post and the link to the happiness article above I ask the simple question:

What kind of life would an obsession with finding/generating real happiness create?

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Bright Atlanta, originally uploaded by Nrbelex.

I'm headed to GA Tech this weekend for a conference there. Apparently Atlanta is having a bad drought so I'm going to stick a bottle of water in my checked bag to try to help them out a bit. :)