Maybe and Rituals


If surviving the Roller Coaster Life requires something unshakeable inside us to point the way, would you say you:

  • a) are so busy vomiting from the ride that you can’t think straight
  • b) have a shaky compass that doesn’t always seem to point True North
  • c) have some great rituals, if only you would dust them off


I experienced each throughout my life, though retired A and B about a decade ago.

Some personal rituals remain dusty.

With Subtense and a previous startup, I witnessed and felt the full spectrum of blissful success paired with near immediate tragic challenge multiple times.

The first time, caught off guard, I stepped back emotionally to manage myself.

The second time I recognized the full spectrum swings are not just regular, they're common, near fundamental to startups.

Now I laugh when one side of the equation hits, taking the farmer's "maybe" approach. Disasters and victories hold less sway.

I also look for false summits and valleys to keep my perspective wide.

The Farmer's Horse

A farmer's horse ran away. That evening the neighbors gathered to commiserate with him since this was such bad luck.

He said, "Maybe."

The next day the horse returned, and brought with it six wild horses. The neighbors came exclaiming at his good fortune.

He said, "Maybe."

The following day, his son tried to saddle and ride one of the wild horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. Again the neighbors came to offer their sympathy for the misfortune.

He said, "Maybe."

The day after that, conscription officers came to the village to seize young men for the army, but because of the broken leg the farmer's son was rejected. When the neighbors came to say how fortunately everything had turned out.

He said, "Maybe."


Reduce my news diet. One of my inventions solves problems of human governance, and my ego (or whatever) digs witnessing the screaming crisis.

I'll timebox this to severely limit exposure.

Just realized my writing and publishing routine amped up.

Notes from Audio 1 - Work Life Balance
  • Work/Life Balance presupposes work and balance are in conflict.
  • Folks find themselves physically in one role thinking about the other, fractionally here, fractionally there.
  • Colanna uses service to recenter.

Notes from Audio 2 - 5 Fs
  • Faith - outside of egotism like travel to expand worldview)
  • Family/Friends
  • Fitness
  • Fun
  • Firm - company values, for example

  • Failure to achieve a goal does not humiliate. Attachment to the goal does.
  • Nice water and glass analogy. Neither is more important and the symbiosis creates full realization for either/both.
  • Get enough elders for your adventure. Elders say, it'll be alright.