10 reasons to be thankful for living in the present

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Do you ever feel that you were born in the wrong century?

I do. That’s why I love historical fiction.

Back then, it seems, there were none of the problems that exist these days.

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Why do you live?

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I was excited when Timothy Ferriss recently came out with his third book, “The Four Hour Chef.” His goal in each book is to deconstruct one aspect of life (work, fitness, learning languages, cooking…;) in order to learn it faster, master it, and spend time on what he values most.

Ferris’ train of thought goes like this:

-Why do we learn and work? To get money.

-Why do we want money? To buy things we want.

-Why do we buy things? To get experiences.

According to his reason, life is based on getting the experiences we want. I think these can be…

-Travel, not be stuck at home.

-A job I love, not one I dread.

-Joy and pride from my purchases, not jealousy over what I don’t have.

-Time with people I love, not being alone.

I would add one final aspect to all this. Why do we want experiences? For the memories.

When I am old and incapacitated, I want to lie in my comatose state thinking of all that I experienced. I want to dream of my family and friends, the people I’ve influenced for the better, and the goals I’ve accomplished, and how I’ve done my part to make others’ worlds better. Those are the memories I live for.

5 things you should never try

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Here are five experiences that I tried that make me who I am today. If you don’t want to end up like me, never do these. Never:

1. Try out for the long distance track team

-In high school my dad made me join the track team. When the coach asked me what I like to do, I told him, “Well, I like to read.”

-2 miles means 8 times around the track—do you feel dizzy yet?

2. Write a novel

-If you don’t finish it, you feel like a quitter.

-If you do finish it, you feel like you have just begun. Here comes the editing, marketing, and the need for another go at it.

3. Ask your wife if a flower is necessary for Valentine’s Day.

-Woops!

4. Volunteer at church

-You may know how this works. If you volunteer as a teenager, especially for Sunday School, you will have to remain the teacher until you are teaching the grandchildren of the first class.

5. Eat a chicken foot

-Not the leg, not the thigh—but the yellow part that holds the bird off the ground. The scaly part with claws. It tastes like chicken skin. Something to brag about, perhaps, but not a delicacy.

Each of these un-recommended activities (which I actually do recommend, except number 3) help you expand your horizons, make more memories, and improve your ability to sympathize and relate to others. So, try something that you think is impossible or strange and let me know about it.

Disclaimer–this is all sarcastic. Please don’t think I’m against Sunday school!