I'm having my head shaved to stand in solidarity with kids fighting cancer, but more importantly, to raise money to find cures. Please support me with a donation to the St. Baldrick's Foundation. This volunteer-driven charity funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government. Your gift will give hope to infants, children, teens and young adults fighting childhood cancers. So when I ask for your support, I'm really asking you to support these kids. BONUS: I'll photoshop either you or myself into any picture you like. Thank you! Click the picture of the geek above to donate.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long, healthy lives.
What makes the St. Baldrick’s Foundation unique?
We do one thing and we do it well: fund childhood cancer research. We take great care of the funds raised by our generousvolunteers and supporters to direct every possible dollar to carefully selected research grants. Whether it’s through our signature head-shaving events, partnerships or advocacy initiatives, our primary focus is to have the greatest impact for kids with cancer around the world.
Take a moment before reading on and draw a
picture of a person you love as best you can in 60 seconds. Then continue
reading this blog.
“Everything is ceremony in
the wild garden of childhood.”
We get comfortable in our mediocrity when we
grow old. We lose that wide-eyed wonder that molded us. We internalize life. We
grow older and learn how to be afraid. We replace our wonder and curiosity with
a need to imitate and emulate. A child, on the other hand, lives in life.
Children are an open nerve, feeling life. The way they perceive the world is
powerful and deep.But they're rarely
taught how rewarding it would be to keep that sense of wonder because adults encourage
them to leave it behind as they did. Our want for clear, tangible results took
precedence over the more critical process required to get better results, and
we became content with choosing from the diversity of ideas from those around
us. We lost our patience for discovery. We neglected the child within that is
patiently waiting for us to empower let it guide us. There is power in that simplicity.
We mistake childish perception as naïve or simplistic. On the contrary, there
is a deep purity to childish perception. We must begin to identify that
perception as qualified creative courage.
you ever looked at how a child draws a person? Many drawings I’ve seen were
rudimentary, consisting of a circle with two dots for eyes, a big smile for a mouth,
and arms and legs coming off the circle.They look a bit like this:
might find this drawing charming or cute, but I’m more curious of our opinion
of the process. Consider how we tend to judge artwork and apply that
consideration to this drawing. We may believe that this drawing is not a good representation
of what a person looks like, and we might conclude that its lack of
sophistication is due to the fact that a child drew it. But if you consider
that the child's intent was not to impress your notions of what a person should
look like, you may begin to see this drawing differently.
a moment to consider what a child sees when interacting with people. They look
into eyes, which are on the face. They speak from a mouth and hear from ears
that are also on the face. Everything they know and see of people is on the
face. Arms are there to bring food to the face and legs are there to get the
face from place to place. Satisfying the needs of others does not motivate
them. They are depicting their perception of what is important in the
illustration of a person. The torso does not define a person; what does are the
moments of engagement and tools used in those engagements. This is what is
missing from our perception, as we grow older. We begin to have a need to
impress others with the result of our search to communicate ideas in an
accepted format, but that limits us. We edit ourselves out of reaching our
creative need to find the wonderful. The richness of things we feel we can’t
express in an exceptional way. How many of us have had something wonderful to
share and not had the words to express them. Is it a lack of words or a
preserved notion that others may not understand our idea?
compare your drawing with this one. Did you express your love for the person
you drew freely? Or were you focusing on creating a factual illustration of
that person? There is no right or wrong way to illustrate. My goal is to make
you see your creative process in action. If you see ways to expand your
perception from this illustration and feel you may have stifled yourself, give
it another shot. Open yourself up fully in the illustration and express what
you feel. Nobody will see the drawing but you. Try your best to deprogram your
fears for a moment.
need to strive to see the world through younger eyes. We need to live with the
fearless sense of expression of a child. Stripping away the binding fear of
judgment will clear the path to innovative ways of seeing our creative
remember playing in the dirt as a child and suddenly having a deep moment of
clarity. Something triggered it — maybe the warmth of the sun on the back of my
neck as it peaked behind a cloud — and it woke me up. I suddenly could hear the
silence. I took pause for a moment and began to take inventory of the time. To
this day I can remember that feeling. I can see and smell the moist black earth
on my hands, hear the birds in the trees, and feel the slight sting on my
scratched up knees in the damp grass. I took notice of the fact that I was
young and loved by my parents and little sister. I allowed myself to be curious
of my future and wondered if I would still want to dig in the dirt when I grew
up. I was alone but not lonely. I was in tune in some strange way with my
can do this right now, no matter where you are. Take a moment now to put this
book down and make yourself aware of what is happening around you. Use all you
senses to capture this moment and encapsulate it in your memory. Stop reading,
put the book down and take in the moment. Make a mental note of what is
happening, right now. Consider what you are hearing, smelling or feeling on
your skin. Take it all in and let that take you to the next level of perception.
Follow you intuition. It doesn’t need to be a revelation. The act itself
becomes a simple revelation that will prove to be valuable at some point in
your life. So, again, take a moment now and...
tend to ignore intimacy with our own lives. There is real value in just paying
attention. The act of pausing our distractions and considering the moments creates
opportunities to see things that you may have missed that can lead you into new
discoveries. We often ignore moments that are filled with learning
opportunities, but when you pause, you cast a net into your life that has the
potential of capturing a new idea or realization; you create a chance to learn
something. Teaching and learning doesn’t only happen in a classroom or even
between people. Sometimes, just being aware is enough. We miss countless
learning opportunities in our everyday lives from just not paying attention.
is an uncomfortable question for some. How many times have you taken the time
to revel in your own genius? Very often when we have just used a lifetime of
deductive reasoning to solve a major problem we don’t give ourselves the credit
we deserve. We forget to give ourselves credit for those times we perform at
our best when reasoning and problem solving. Think back on a time when you
evaluated your options and came up with a solution that surprised you and those
around you. At that moment, you had an opportunity to learn something through
an active awareness of your action. If you begin to realize that your process
of discovery and development isn’t an accident and that you can actively
participate in its development by just acknowledging it’s existence, you might
begin to come up with these surprising solutions more often and more quickly.
overlook the fact that we are always our own best teacher. We only learn what
we want to learn at any given time. Knowledge is a suggestion. We decide its
value. Living within our moments is very important and it’s easy to take our
own greatness for granted. It’s natural to be humble, but the truth is we are
all amazing. Even the simplest example of deductive reasoning has the potential
of growing into a breakthrough that can change your life.
way to create a moment is to strike up a conversation with a stranger. If I’m
waiting in line or sitting in a place within talking distance, I’ll try to find
a reason to interact with another person. When was the last time someone you
didn’t know showed true interest in you and your ideas without an agenda?
People tend to dig deep when this happens. It’s a gift of chance for them, and
if you’re lucky, many times this gift leads to a fascinating discussion filled
with life lessons and interesting revelations. In a world filled with
narcissistic distractions, it’s sometimes difficult to make time for other
perceptions influence and inspired by a life foreign to your own. Every
question you have acts as bait for potentially powerful data that could be used
to decode a life mystery.
qualified data is important to the quality of our creative resolutions. We
create opportunities to be inspired when we pay attention to our own actions.
The feeling of inspiration we get is not given to us. We make a choice. We
decide what is inspiring. Learning to inspire yourself can become addicting.
You begin to seek out possibilities and exploring new ideas that at one time
may have discouraged you. Anything you can do to stimulate your natural need of
inspiration is valuable. Take every opportunity that comes your way, but more
importantly, create those opportunities and always remember to experience
yourself in that moment.
It may not seem like it at
times, but all of us have managed to figure out how to use the most complicated technology in the known universe. The human mind is the
only tool we have that truly matters. It controls our perception, memory,
abstract thought, complex behavior, and consciousness. We still don’t
understand it. But understanding it isn’t as important as learning how to use
it, just as you don’t need to know everything about how a violin works to
“On average, each of the 100 billion neurons in your
head has about 1000 connections with other neurons, creating a huge network of
about 100 trillion synapses. Like a computer network built from one hundred
trillion transistors, each representing a “bit” of information depending on
whether it is “on” or “off.”
Adding up all possible combinations of 100 billion
neurons firing or not, the number of potential states of that neuronal network
is approximately 10 to the millionth power: one followed by a million zeros.”
of that the next time you allow these “bits” to manifest themselves into the
notion that you can’t do something. Ignore it and get back to work. I’m pretty
sure your brain can handle it.
complexity of our intellectual capacity is evident when we dream. While asleep,
we experience a story that we perceive as real. It’s as though we are watching
a movie played out before us and we are part of that story. We are the actors,
directors, set designers, producers, etc. We play every part, yet at the same
time, we are the audience, experiencing every moment as if it’s the first time
we have ever seen it. We are startled by the sudden turn of events in the very
nightmare we authored. How is this possible? How are we capable of creating
ideas that inspire us to consider other ideas? We have a dualism in our
creative perception that allows us to reach ideas beyond our expectations, yet we
treat our creativity as a novelty. It is true that we are influenced and react
to idea presented to us, but are we influenced by or reacting to only a
selected few of them? Are we auditing potential? If so, why? And are those
a lifetime, we gather data and discover our own perceptions. When we become
aware of our perceptions, it's almost as if we're learning about them from
another source. We are, in essence, leading ourselves into other discoveries
and opportunities. Our conscious mind has an amazing capacity to realize
possibility but we tend to only scratch the surface. We are capable, through
sheer will, to create and discover many potential outcomes simultaneously.
world is your backyard. Take time to realize those moments when you dig into your own intellectual dirt.
Some days I get hooked on an idea that I can’t shake. I like
to dive into metaphoric concepts and see where they take me sometimes. It’s a
big part of my creative process.
I began to think of the sea. I think that the ocean is a
pretty commonly used metaphor for life. It’s vast and deep, full of danger and
beauty; stormy at times, and calm at times.The ocean looks beautiful from a far but can be terrifying when you find
yourself treading water in it all alone. The symbolism is endless. So I began
to consider as many correlations between life and the ocean as possible.
I began to go further now and consider how we as people fit
into this metaphor. What relationship do we have with the ocean? How do we
navigate through it?
Man learned how to build a boat. Boats shelter us from the
dangers of the ocean. Boats can be steered and controlled. We are safe in our
boat. We fill the boat with everything we need to be comfortable. We can
control its course within a system that is uncontrollable. Our boat is our most
Or is it?
I began to feel something different and unexpected in regard
to the boat concept, but Instead of ignoring this subconscious glitch in my
logical progression into the metaphor. I chose to consider it even further. The
boat began to feel stifling. Smothering in a way, keeping us from the ocean we
cant escape. It shelters us from the dangers in the ocean but also keeps us
from its beauty. I began to see the boat we sit in as a representation of our
fears and pain. We sit in it and make our way through life. We are confortable
with it because it is familiar. It represents our limitations. We keep it as
strong as possible to protect us through the hard storms and unknown dangers
within our lives. If life gets too big or too rough, and begins to overtake our
boat we begin to panic and try to find way to keep the boat from sinking. We
are afraid to tread water. We don’t know if we have the stamina to cope with
it. It would require a willingness to move with the flow of the ocean. We are
exposed to all of the oceans secrets and must be ready and strong enough to
I believe I have a boat. I’d like to think that I leave it
behind at times and explore a bit. I will make more of an effort to become a
stronger swimmer regardless.