3 25 2015


7:36:05 AM: Dreamed I went to a poetry class where the topic involved a whole lot of rhyming, I wrote a story about mountain climbing. When I got there I had to take a medical exam which felt pretty strange. I got a shot and I had to drink large quantities of a slightly green tinted liquid. Then the next place I went I made friends with two men who lived together, a medical examiner and a community manager for Go. I told Michael, the community manager that I knew a friend, Neil, who worked at a game company using Go. I remember having a laptop that didn’t work very well, I had to remove a bunch of clear tape blocking the exhaust vent. It looked like an old IBM laptop. Chrome acted really annoying, I remember thinking that it seemed like a browser trying to become an OS because it had a built in music player and all this other bloat and I remember hating that it had autoupdate turned on. I remember some kind of car chase involving police and then finding out my friend had the mutant power to control vines with his arms. Some kind of mutants vs police game.

11:51:31 AM: On March 23rd Matt Huff learned how to run the macrocosmic orbit. Pretty cool. Since he learned about the 23 enigma he realized his birthday takes place on the 23rd, just like mine. Funny funny.

I consider the pattern “I can’t X” an error in thinking. One that I help my students overcome at DevBootcamp.

Let’s say I want to learn to juggle. I want to do it, and I’ve failed five times already. At this point, I don’t think “I can’t juggle”. Instead I think, “I haven’t juggled yet.”

Think about how I would scientifically prove I can’t juggle. I would have to test every possible permutation of situations in which I try to juggle and exhaustively demonstrate that under NO circumstance could I juggle. I can only prove that I can juggle.

To prove a statement like, “I can’t run five miles” I would have to try every single configuration of starting conditions and five mile tracks to prove that they all don’t work. In the course of trying such an experiment I will discover that I can run five miles. For example, if I have practiced for a while and the entire five miles went downhill.

If I wanted to prove a statement like “I can’t use the line ‘Hello, want to become my friend?’ to make a friend” I would have to literally use this line with every single person ever.

So remember. Not “I can’t learn math” but “I haven’t learned math yet”. Not “I don’t enjoy bluegrass” but “I haven’t enjoyed bluegrass yet”. Not “I can’t stand snakes” but “I haven’t withstood snakes yet”.

I never want to preclude myself from future possibilities. To do so limits me! Some limits serve us, granted. I gladly live within the self imposed limit “I can’t kill someone” and not “I haven’t killed someone yet”. But I urge us all to examine all the limits we have built and see if they really benefit us. I used to walk around in a prison constructed out of my own mental limitations, and it felt awful. “I can’t talk to strangers”, “I can’t have fun at parties”, “I can’t sing”, “I can’t dance”, “I can’t write well”, etc.

Think about what we can’t do, then think that we haven’t yetcan. Break free my friends.