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December 2005

Ambition comes from delusion

For me to find enough ambition to start a business, change careers, write a new song, write a new book...whatever...I find that my head must be filled with delusions.  I also find that, when a head full of delusions is behind these sorts of undertakings, the results are not so great.  Perhaps this is what Bright Eyes is talking about in one of his song lyrics, "Well ambition, I've found, can lead only to failure."

My 20's were full of delusions.  I chased dreams which I originally knew nothing about.  The results of my undertakings have always been different from what I had at first imagined.   But, because I chased dreams, my accomplishments (if oftentimes unintentional) were nonetheless significant.

At 30 years, my experiences vast, the gap between how I now see the world and the reality of the world is narrowing.  I no longer benefit from the luxury of delusional dreams.  I no longer waste effort or waste time.  But I don't do anything significant either.

How can I keep dreaming when I can so easily conjure up the likely outcome of my dreams? 

Finding controlled chaos

To look at life see the responsibilities it holds for you, the chores on your list, the commitments you have made, the inescapable reality of action and consequence...all within the context of time, aging, and death...must sometimes be left behind for the scarce moments of stimulation and excitement that are possible in anyone's life.  Finding ways to incorporate stimulation without allowing it to overcome you...occasionally finding controlled what keeps us young and alive.

Diet tip: eat great food all you want, lose weight and live longer

How can one even write about dieting or weight loss without sounding like a salesman or a schmuck?  You can't.  So for at least this one post I'm going to sound like a schmuck.

Here's diet advice you've never heard from the mass-media or from diet promotions...but I've found it to be common knowledge among the well educated and well-off: People who enjoy food the most aren't fat

The best way to achieve your ideal weight without dieting is to go on a quest to find better and better food.  Get snobby about it.  Constantly try new things.  Good food certainly isn't going to be found in chain restaurants, so try some local ethnic food: Thai, Greek, French, Italian...try sushi!   No excellent restaurants in your town?  Go on-line for recipes from the well-known chefs.  Search every corner of your grocery store shelves and find things you've never tried.  Don't buy what is cheap, buy what is high-quality and best-tasting.  Indulge in rich foods, sophisticated flavors, good wine, cheese, dark chocolate...include those ingredients in recipes that you've never bothered to search for and try to taste the difference. For god's sake, buy a bunch of spices and use, overuse them until your friends complain about how spicy your food is!  Go on a never-ending food quest and evolve into a food snob.

That's how I spent the past several years, and I know this works for a few reasons.  Now I'm a hopeless snob who turns my nose at anything that doesn't meet a certain standard.  That means I'm unable and unwilling to throw garbage down the hatch.  If great food can't be found, I don't really eat...or eat just enough so that I'm not starving.  When people are willing to eat just to get full...when they aren't in touch with flavors, textures...the beauty of dining...the only reason for eating is to get full.  Eating to get full isn't satisfying, so you eat more and more on a quest to become satisfied.

Aside from looking good and feeling healthy, of course food snobs live longer.  That's because our bodies were designed to crave and enjoy food that is good for us.  Corporations spend millions in R&D to fool our taste buds into liking cheep and low-quality to avoid name-brand junk food altogether and just buy the most natural, freshest food you can find and can afford.  Good food can always be found and always be made if you try hard enough.  And once you know better, you can't go back.