Happy Thanksgiving 2023!

Happy Thanksgiving 2023!

I appreciate you all very much. Thank you.

Randy Cantrell

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Finding A Way, Not An Excuse

Finding A Way, Not An Excuse

The Reality Distortion Field. Guy “Bud” Tribble was Vice President of Software Technology at Apple Inc. As Apple was developing the first Macintosh computer in 1981, Bud used the term to describe Apple’s founder Steve Jobs. The term seems to have originated in a 1966 episode of Star Trek when it was used to describe how the aliens encountered by the crew of the starship Enterprise created their own new world through mental force.

It seems the great thinkers who are doers, like Steve Jobs, embrace (and enjoy) living in the reality distortion field of their own making. That is, they see things the rest of us don’t. Vivid imagination coupled with obsession drive produces the likes of Steve Jobs and Elon Musk.

Is it distortion though?

It is when compared to the current state. Coupling the term “reality” to it makes it seem as though it’s delusion. Something that’s inaccurate, or unreal. Not true to the reality. Like a photograph that’s distorted. Or the lenses in a pair of mis-prescribed glasses.

The achievements of self-driven maniacs to build great things, or to solve complex problems don’t seem to the result of delusion though. Rather, they seem to be imagined by people capable of seeing what the rest of us can’t. Yet.

“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.”   ― Aristotle

The madness is subjective. What appears as madness to one feels ordinary to another.

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”   ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

I think that term better conveys the truth, unreasonable. It’s less of a reality distortion field and more of an unreasonable – or beyond current reasoning – view of what is possible. It’s a reality bending field where the unreasonable man adapts or bends the current reality into a new, improved future reality. Then continues to do it over and over again.

Apple is introducing the iPhone 15. I’m currently producing today’s show on a 2023 Apple MacBook Pro. Nevermind that just this week Apple introduced some brand new MacBook Pro models. In 1984 I purchased the first Apple Macintosh computer. That was then. This is now. Not even Steve Jobs, in 2011 at the time of his death, could have imagined the current technology. Had he lived, he most certainly would have figured it out though – and who knows what bigger, better products may have emerged under the Apple brand name?

Steve Jobs died 12 years ago (October 5, 2011). Who knows what he may have imagined? Or what things he may have seen as persisted in trying to bend the present technology to fit his vision? It’s what unreasonable men do. Mostly, unreasonable people find a way, not an excuse.

We embrace different degrees and characteristics of unreasonableness as we navigate the various chapters of our life.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”  ― T.S. Eliot

How unreasonable are you? And in what ways – or about what things – are you unreasonable? Are they positive or destructive?

Some of the titans of innovation have been so focused on what they see and what they want that others around them pay a high price. Sometimes, it’s a price willingly paid. For example there are stories of high level employees of Apple and other high-performing companies where they burned out due to the intensity, pressure and elevated expectations. Opting for employment elsewhere, some experience boredom though because the pace is slower, the expectations lower and the strain much less difficult. In the absence of those things that burned them out they realized there was a void in their daily joy so they returned back to the company from which they resigned. Is that unreasonableness positive or destructive? Maybe both.

There are other stories of these mono-maniacs on a mission (Tom Peters coined that phrase in “In Search of Excellence”) who are incredibly accomplished at work, but miserable humans at home with family and friends. Unwilling, or unable to separate themselves from the pursuits they behave poorly in their private lives. In fact, many behave poorly professionally, but they often are able make that tyranny work for them inside the confines of their company. Armed with a lack of desire to be liked at work, they’re often unlikeable no matter where they go. Or no matter whom may be around them.

Again, an unreasonableness that is simultaneously positive and destructive. Positive in getting things done, even seemingly impossible things. Destructive in that the accomplishment takes a toll on relationships. The most unreasonable people don’t care though.

The hero worship desire may prompt us to apply benefit where no benefit is sought by the unreasonable person. We may ascribe the desire to solve some grand humane proble when the reality may be the unreasonable man is merely seeking to outrun a youthful shadow filled with angst, pain and suffering. A driven desire to be somebody special in order to prove an abusive mother or father wrong!

Perhaps the unreasonable person is simply driven to be rich and powerful. There may be nothing altruistic about their motives, but we may find it hard to fathom that somebody could be so driven for something so basic, so primal. Just as we hear said of every murder victim – “they were kind and helpful and loved by everybody” – we’re tempted to characterize the high-achieving unreasonable person as one who possessing a deep yearning to do good. History shows us that’s not accurate. And the kindest of murder victims was clearly not loved by everybody, especially their murderer.

Unreasonableness, like most things, isn’t an absolute. There are degrees and exceptions. On every extreme.

Awareness. Self-awareness. When it comes to our unreasonableness, our reasonableness and whether or not our conduct and behavior are helpful or harmful.

Lately, I’ve been focused on detrimental behavior. Mostly, my own, but also looking at all harmful conduct. What prompted most of this was the notions of struggle, adversity and suffering. Strength is improved by struggling to overcome or endure. In a word, it’s “resistance.” We grow and improve when we resist.

We weaken ourselves when we don’t.

Finding a way is about becoming an experienced warrior. Doing battle. It’s not about winning every battle, but it’s about fighting the fight and not losing so badly we’re unable to fight again.

Finding an excuse is looking for somebody or something to blame so we can avoid accepting responsibility. It’s about letting ourselves off the the accountability hook. Finding an excuse is avoiding the corner where the magic happens. That corner where we can back into and rid ourselves of all excuses. Where all the fuel for our excuses is extinguished. When we back ourselves into that corner we learn there’s only one way out. Forward.

But let’s avoid being confused…thinking all the answers are within ourselves. They’re not. God is the Creator. He’s God, we’re not. We need guidance through His Word. Do you want to learn more, then visit Let The Bible Speak, or In Thy Paths.

These choices are drastically different and they result in dramatically different outcomes.

We can spend our time finding excuses and we’ll find weakness, failure and inefficiency.

We can find a way and discover strength, resilience and success.

Randy Cantrell

P.S. Next Thursday is Thanksgiving! I hope it’s a happy and safe one for you and your family. I’ll be taking off the next couple of weeks. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy your family. Enjoy your friends.

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Living In Two Places: Is It A Path Toward Madness or Serenity?

Living In Two Places: Is It A Path Toward Madness or Serenity?

There’s a Chinese proverb that declares owning two houses is a path toward madness. That’s probably true, but I wouldn’t know. I’ve never owned two houses ’cause I’ve never been part of the rich and famous. 😉

I’m practical. And I’m not rich by American standards, but I’m extremely wealthy by global standards (and by my own measurements). I’m content with my life and grateful for every blessing – most of them are priceless any way!

From my practical viewpoint I’ve never quite understood folks who maintain multiple houses. Even the super rich. The exceptions are those folks who spend a lot of time in multiple places. Do the math and it just doesn’t make much sense to me. I remember reading about super rich who own homes all over the world. This particular article mentioned how many days each owner was at any given house. Outside of their primary residence, most spent mere days at the other places. At most. Some admitted they had not visited some of their houses in over a year. Yet, these houses – admittedly mansions each and every one – had hundreds of thousands invested annually just to maintain them. Given that you can rent anything from a single bedroom to a mansion, I just haven’t figured out the economic sense of that kind of home ownership. But it’s their money and I respect their right to do what they want with their own money. I don’t get a vote. I don’t want a vote, but I would like to understand. Could be it’s far more satisfying to claim ownership of all those houses.

At a more common level may be people who have a primary house, then some vacation house. Years ago I first encountered somebody up lived in a northern state. They’d talk about going to “the cabin” on a weekend. I had visions of some nice getaway place in a remote area. Maybe on a lake. Certainly in some woods. Turns out they had a very small place in a more touristy area that was by a lake. I never saw it in person, but pictures of it showed it was a very modest little 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom house built decades ago. They had purchased it for under $50,000 many years ago and the annual cost was as close to nothing as you could probably get. They’d go visit this place each month, sometimes more. Rather than plan annual vacations they had decided – years earlier – to invest in a single place they felt they could enjoy year after year. That made sense to me.

I know some other folks who invested in a vacation place they weren’t able to visit more than a couple of times a year, but it was a place where they hoped to retire one day. As the years rolled on, the property value increased proving they had made a smart purchase by buying it when they could afford it. In some cases, the cost of living in some of these places escalated beyond their reach and they found it better to sell. Sure, they made a handsome profit, but that retirement goal was completely wrecked. In other cases, the property value went up but the people could still afford to cash out of their primary residence to retire to what was once their vacation house.

Having a second place to go – a place to get away to – appeals to many of us. Maybe it’s fully an American thing to own a second place versus being able to rent a place. Calling it our own certainly feels differently. But it can feel badly if it’s too expensive or too much work.

Sometimes the things that seem awesome turn out to become a big nightmare. Here’s an article by Financial Samurai, Reasons Why You Should Not Buy A Vacation Property.” You’ll find lots of online information and many horror stories. I’m sure for some, it works out magnificently, but it deserves sober thought and an awareness of what could go wrong.

But I’m not here to tell anybody what to do. Rather, I’m going to share what we’re doing and then you can figure out what lessons might benefit you.

Randy Cantrell

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The scenery will make for a great backdrop. Plus, there are many places I’d like you to see.
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Someone To Divide It With

Someone To Divide It With

To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with. —Mark Twain

Rhonda and I went on our first date on July 2, 1975. On January 2, 1978 we were married. This coming January 2, 2024 will mark our 46th anniversary.

Today, let’s talk about marriage. More accurately, let’s just dip our toe in the water of conversation about marriage.

Enjoy this old Vince Gill song about old love.

YouTube player

Randy Cantrell

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I plan to start vlogging from Hot Springs Village, Arkansas because the place is spectacular.
The scenery will make for a great backdrop. Plus, there are many places I’d like you to see.
To help, click the link (or the image below) to donate
Sweetwater Gift Certificates (use RandyCantrell [at] gmail [dot] com).
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Old Age And Experience Need A USB Port

Old Age And Experience Need A USB Port

So we can take full advantage of what they know. Their insights, experience and wisdom need to be more easily passed on.

Randy Cantrell

Please tell a friend about the podcast!

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Help Me Reach My $1,000 Goal

I plan to start vlogging from Hot Springs Village, Arkansas because the place is spectacular.
The scenery will make for a great backdrop. Plus, there are many places I’d like you to see.
To help, click the link (or the image below) to donate
Sweetwater Gift Certificates (use RandyCantrell [at] gmail [dot] com).
Thank you!

You Can Support Me

Old Age And Experience Need A USB Port Read More »

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