Tag Archives: Gravity

Escape From The Steep Gravity Well Of The Mediocre

This is one of those strange sorts of days here at Casa de Dude. By strange, I mean we’re having someone other than Barry or me step in and talk for a bit.

In this case, please welcome Shawn Anderson, author and speaker. Miss-ter Ann-der-son (heh heh heh) sent out an e-mail I quite enjoyed. Instead of adapting it for you dudes, I thought I’d just let the man himself do the talking since I liked what he had to say.

So, take it away, Shawn Anderson.

Wake-up alarm sounds. Hit snooze button. Steal ten minutes more sleep. Groan. Get coffee. Wake kids. Take shower. Get dressed. Yell at kids. Drive to work. Slump into chair. Check email. Check Facebook. Meet deadlines. Waste time chatting. Watch clock. Check Facebook again. Sneak out early. Wait in traffic. Get groceries. Chaperone kids. Shout about homework. Make dinner. Watch TV. Go to bed. Repeat.

Of course, there is no way this sounds familiar. Right? Maybe to our friends, but never to us. Not to worry…this is for them. (The friends.)

To help those “friends” who are stuck in a life rut, motivational guru Shawn Anderson shares three quick rut-escaping tips you can provide to those who need emergency advice and are living the same day over…and over…and over:

TIP #1: Quit living in Mediocreland.

Stuck on mediocrity? Well, look in the mirror at the person responsible. It’s you. You created your average-ness…and you can un-create it, too. Want out of the rut? Quit making excuses, quit pointing fingers, and quit waiting for a miracle to fly you out of Mediocreland. If you’re ever going to leave the world of average, you need to start creating the changes you seek. Cast a vision. Create a plan. Take massive action. Passive residents are not allowed to fly.

TIP #2: Don’t expect an overnight miracle.

It’s impossible to go from “ice cold” (in the rut) to “red hot” (out of the rut) overnight. Massive change just doesn’t happen that way. Don’t expect it. Do expect, though, that you can grow to “red hot” if you hold yourself accountable to take one step a day towards the changes you want in your life. Single steps daily add up to big changes eventually.

 

TIP #3: Don’t wait for perfect.

Waiting for the perfect scenario to unfold before making changes? Your reasons to wait before taking action might sound good in your head now. The problem is that five years down the road those same reasons will probably still exist…and you’ll probably still be in a rut.

Life is too short to wait for the stars to fall into perfect alignment before we take life action. Live and live now. Otherwise, waiting too long for the right risk-taking moment eventually leads to paralyzing fear…which leads to complacency…which leads to “I don’t care” acceptance.

The author of six motivational books, including A Better Life: An Inspiring Story About Starting Over and Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose, Shawn Anderson lives and breathes all things related to “going the extra mile” in order to live a life we love. Last year, Anderson’s Extra Mile America organization led 444 cities to declare 11/1/13 as “Extra Mile Day”… a day recognizing the capacity we each have to create positive change for ourselves, families, organizations and communities when we go the extra mile.

“My feeling is ‘we get one life’ so why ever choose to live it with anything less than our deepest passion and most ardent dedication? We create the life we live…one way or another,” Anderson says.

Shawn Anderson is a six-time author, keynote speaker and motivational success coach. His book titles include A Better Life: An Inspiring Story About Starting Over and Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose. For more information, visit www.ShawnAnderson.com.

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You Will Believe. . .

Superman can do anything, but the one thing he does that everybody wants to do is this: He flies.

The freedom he has to take off and just fly wherever he wants, whenever he wants. . . The ability to cruise the heavens and drift over the poor souls trapped at the bottom of Earth’s gravity well, forever anchored to the pedestrian and the heavy. . .

Flight, dudes. That’s what everyone loves about Superman, even before we come to understand the second-most amazing thing about him: He can do anything he wants, but he helps people because it’s the right thing to do.

Now, if you’ve seen the recent movie Man of Steel, you might be wondering who this Superman fellow is I’ve been talking about because it sure wasn’t like anyone in that movie.

And that’s true. I’ve spoken before about my loathing for Man of Steel. It’s a good homicidal superbeings slugging it out in the midst of planetwide destruction disaster porn, but it’s not a Superman movie.

I mean, Pa Kent? The moral backbone who makes Clark Kent into the man who would want to be Superman? Yeah, him. In this movie, do you know what his big moral lesson is?

“Clark, it’s okay to let people die if it will make your life easier.”

Yeah, that’s some good ethics there, Pa. Great job. And don’t even get me started on the whole snapper of an ending. Really. Don’t.

In fact. . .

Let’s all take a breath here. (And by all, I mean, of course, me.) Breathe in the oxygen, breathe out the negativity.

Ahhh. Much better.

So. Back to the premise of the post.

Superman, the real Superman, can fly. It’s so fundamental to his overall physical description that it formed the tag line for his first solo live-action film, with Christopher Reeve.

“You will believe a man can fly.” And we did.

A flying man is never not awesome. Just ask any two-year-old kid. In fact, just ask this two-year-old kid. You’ll see what I mean.

Be prepared to overdose on cuteness for the next couple of minutes.


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Dude Review: Dhalgren By Samuel R. Delaney

Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pinchon is one of the most difficult books I’ve ever tried to read. There are those who compare it to Ulysses by James Joyce in that the path does not follow a very linear narrative and the reader must work to even come close to understanding what’s going on.

I, however, am not one of those who compares those two books. To me, Gravity’s Rainbow most closely resembles (in spirit, alone, certainly not in plot or character) Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delaney.

Samuel R Delaney is one of the greatest living masters of the science-fiction novel, having written award-winning stories like Babel-17 and Dhalgren.
The man can certainly rock a beard, yeah?

One of American science fiction’s greatest living writers, Delaney has created masterwork after masterwork, each more controversial than the last, each examining racial, sexual and personal identity and how each relates to the outer society.

Often described as the most literary of science-fiction writers, Delaney isn’t fascinated by the economic impact that instantaneous, inexpensive teleportation would create. Instead, he’d rather look at the different ways in which the new technology allows men and women to indulge their more. . . slippery. . . impulses.

A man fascinated by the mechanics of the physical act of sex and the emotional aspects of love and hate, Delaney is one of those rare authors who can define or create a genre simply by going ahead and writing whatever the heck is in his head that day.

I’ve long meant to go back and try and read Dhalgren again, having run up against a brick wall the last time I attempted a read through. (Hey, I was in my teens and a callow youth. Gimme a break.)

So imagine my joy when I found out that I could get one of the first electronic copies of Dhalgren, made available through the good folks at NetGalley, which is a place where publishers can give out advance copies of their book in return for an honest review.

I got the book and the review is coming in just a second. After this, in fact. A quick plug that Dhalgren  and eight other Delaney classics are now available for the first time as electronic books, including the Nebula Award­-winning Babel-17, as well as Delany¹s Hugo Award-winning literary memoir, The Motion of Light in Water,  from online booksellers all over the world.

So. Dhalgren. This was a difficult read when I was younger. That, at least, hasn’t changed. Full of digressive runs and almost stream-of-consciousness narration, Dhalgren tells the story of the Kid, a mostly unknown ambisexual man, with very little memory of his past or his identity, recently arrived in the city of Bellona.

Bellona is located in the geographic center of the United States. The book opens some time after an unspecified . . . something happens that drives away most of the citizens of the city, leaving behind only madmen, criminals, the deliriously inane and the Kid.

As with so many young people, the Kid is searching for answers to the perennial questions of “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” and “What’s the point of it all?” Who, at one time or another, hasn’t asked those questions?

It’s possibly one reason that this book has such a demented pull on the minds of so many people. Despite the difficulty in reading this dense, interweaving narrative, there’s something about it that keeps drawing me back to it.

I did get through the end, although it wasn’t easy and I know I didn’t get from the book everything I should. The last part of the book consisted of “found texts,” excerpts from other texts, the equivalent of footnotes and other variations on traditional narrative take away whatever sense of temporal progress that had been gained earlier.

Dhalgren is without a doubt one of the most ambitious books published in many, many years. And, while I’m ready to admit to you dudes that it could be just me, I’ve the feeling that Delaney might have reached for something a bit to far for him to grasp this time.

Still, it’s not like I felt my time wrestling with Dhalgren was wasted. It wasn’t. I eventually made my way through Gravity’s Rainbow and managed to learn a bit about it with each attempt.

I have a feeling Dhalgren is going to be my next literary obsession, a book that I will return to and do battle with, over the next few years. It is a battle I anticipate with a great deal of excitement.

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