Take Calculated Risks

itemThis post is an elaboration of #5 from a list of things I learned early in life.


Some enjoy taking risks that are largely uncalculated. These people are usually called teenagers. As we grow older, we usually settle warmly into the predictable. I’d like to suggest that shaking up our comfort zones a bit more often will result in experiences that will be much appreciated later on in life. Charles Dubois said,

The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.

This is not operating on blind risk in which we ski down an unexamined slope at top speed. Blind risk has its own pleasures, but is not an optimal modus operandi for most of life’s larger domains.

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Rather Than Learning A Few Things Perfectly, Learn Many Things Well

itemThis post is an elaboration of #4 from a list of things I learned early in life.


First a disclaimer. I have an eccentric personality to a notable degree. This post may not apply to you. It is my enjoyment of risk, my lack of envy, my passion to learn, and a yearning for change that all converge into the extreme dilettantism I am promoting here.

Take the number of different types of jobs you’ve work for more than a year. Multiply that by the number of real hobbies you’ve pursued for more than a year. Multiply that by the number of relationships you’ve been in more than a year. Multiply that by the number of residences you’ve lived in. Divide all this by your age.

This is your dilettantian score. © Phil Stilwell 2009 ;)

Here’s the simplified formula.
({job types > 1y} x {hobbies > 1y} x {relationships > 1y} x {residences}) / {age}

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A Long Life And Its Joys

long lifeLife is long.

Not for everyone, but certainly for those who step away from the usual and expected.

Those who drop themselves in a current of change will soon lose count of the changes.

And each change stretches the memory of the series of dynamic selves ever longer until a year is a decade and a decade is forever.

I am everyday amused at the expressions of those to whom I reveal a former self quite disjointed from my current self: The disfunctionally shy and aimless boy, the sincere yet tormented young man of faith, the carpenter cowboy, the weaver of fantastical tales for my wide-eyed progeny, the euphoric academic late bloomer, the occupational dilettante, and now the curmudgeon-flavored connoisseur of the eccentric.
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One Evening In Tokyo

saxHere I sit a bar called A971 in the middle of tokyo at 3:15 in the morning at one of the four public computers they have here. I spent most of the day grading tests, but around 7:30 pm, I headed to Super Deluxe to watch my buddy Q do his voo-funkin’-doo with a band called The Conductors. There was a whole lot of rocking the bootie boat for 2 hours with the most excellent funk band in Tokyo at the helm. During the intermission I chatted with persons from Ireland, New Zealand, Romania, England, The Philippines and Japan on topics ranging from art to philosophy.

I then stopped by Heartland bar where I’ll have my art exhibit next week featuring nude photos of my buddy Justin and his pretty friend, and chatted with a few friends there.

From there I headed over to A971 where I met several interesting girls, then had some enjoyable conversations with 3 Swiss guys, a couple American guys, 2 British guys, an older Japanese adventurer, and 3 Indian guys as we all viewed and flirted with the softer attractions.
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