A Message by George Carlin: The Paradox of Our Time

A Message by George Carlin: The Paradox of Our Time

I read this “message” roughly once a year to remind myself of what matters most and to remain grounded as possible. It’s incisive and deeply profound. Enjoy, share, and reflect. Comedians are the smartest and most perceptive people on the planet, in my opinion, like creative polymath Jim Carrey. They see the truth, as displayed in the message below, and put a coat of humor on it to ease the delivery and bypass our mental biases.


A Message by George Carlin

The Paradox of Our Time

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space.
We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
The Story of the Mexican Fisherman

The Story of the Mexican Fisherman

Wait but why? For what purpose? Below is one of the greatest and most eloquent reminders to enjoy the process and perpetually ask yourself, “To what end?” If you’re solely focused on the future, with no appreciation for the present, you’re all success and no happiness. If you’re fully present with no regard for the future ever, you’re all happiness and no success. Life is a rigorous balancing act, and if you’re anything like me, you lack the latter – overemphasizing the future at the expense of your happiness and presence.

Don’t get swept away in the American mania. Delayed gratification in pursuit of a worthwhile goal is noble. Grinding yourself to the bone and transmuting yourself into a miserable wreck as you chase (probably) someone else’s dream is not.

“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.” – Jerzy Gregorek

Enjoy this short story and use it to add awareness to your direction, purported destination, and how you are managing the process.



The Story of the Mexican Fisherman

An American businessman was standing at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.

“How long it took you to catch them?” The American asked.

“Only a little while.” The Mexican replied.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The American then asked.

“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs.” The Mexican said.

“But,” The American then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”

“Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own can factory. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senor?”

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO (Initial Public Offering) and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions, senor? Then what?”

The American said slowly, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”



Parting Thoughts

Yesterday I got off a two-hour sales call that should’ve ended in half the time, and he didn’t purchase, meaning I lost and utterly wasted my time. But did I? In fact, I chose to keep the call going, knowing fairly well he was dead-on-arrival, because I was truly enjoying the process (/and his amusing squirrely ass). If you’re doing the right things in aggregate, why fret about the micro setbacks and self-perceived losses?

Easier said than done, but why not try to build this mindset? Even if you don’t give a damn about presence and happiness, and really only care about accomplishing your goals, this will still help you – high energy, optimistic people are more effective at life (don’t just take my word for it, read The Magic of Thinking Big).

Once you’ve rationalized that you will reach your end destination, if there is such a thing, you’re liberated to freely layer in mindfulness and appreciation along the way.

Find you motivator and make it happen. Mine is health. Gratitude and daily mindfulness = better health. The fact that it also allows me to be more productive and effective is simply a welcomed additional perk.

What’s your fish IPO and how are you faring in the process?

P.S. Though you’ve likely seen this, a highly recommend complement to The Story of the Mexican Fisherman: Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen

Top 3 Apps & Extensions To Instantly Give You More Time Back

Top 3 Apps & Extensions To Instantly Give You More Time Back

Unless you’re a complete Luddite, you’re probably spending a good portion of your day on the computer, phone, tablet, or any other addictive Apple-shaped device. If you’re anything like me (and for your sake, I really hope that answer’s no) then you get overly excited about any add-on, app, or extension that saves you time in any capacity – be it through blocking ads, speeding up recordings/videos, auto-filling, etc. This list will continue to grow, but for now I wanted to share with you a few low-cost or free apps or extensions that will give you an immediate return of your time.

Adblock for Youtube Extension

This free Chrome extension revolutionized the way I spend/waste time on Youtube: 100%  Youtube ad elimination. No more annoying retargeting ads chasing you from something you mistakenly glanced at a day before. No more Tai Lopez video ads haunting your consciousness. The wonderland of Youtube is now that much decluttered for you. Watch, learn, and motivate yourself, without the wasted time and distraction of paid ads.

Enounce

Enounce lets you speed up your videos to save time (or slow down if beed knee). Certain video hosting platforms like Youtube let you go up to 2x max speed, and other platforms don’t let you change the speed at all. Enounce lets you modify the video speed in increments of .10 up to 3x and beyond. Trying to drag yourself through an online training course a bit more quickly? Done.

TextExpander

TextExpander lets you quickly autofill anything of your choosing. You can use it for the easy wins that you type on a daily basis, like your email. It’s 100% customizable, so you could program “;em” to autofill <your-email>. Single words won’t be a landslide victory (although I’m lazy enough to consider those a great moral victory) so it’s better to use TextExpander for whole sentences or paragraphs. Is there any phrase or paragraph you frequently use in your job? How about, “Thank you Mr. Customer/Prospect for being kind enough to emphatically reject my initial offering/message. May I interest you in our second best offering? It’s slightly worse with these hardly noticeable differences.” My botched humor aside, you get the point: make it work for you. Identify anything you do manually on a repetitive basis, and automate it.

 

Simple, actionable, easy wins. Low cost and time to implement, yet high and enduring yield. What are your favorite time-saving apps and/or extensions?