The Kazushi

The Candid Imbalance of Dan Walsh

Category: Meditations

Slay The Beast of Doubt

Where does doubt come from anyway?

I felt a heavy doubt last week. The efforts with which I was engaged weren’t working out how I envisioned. These might have only been short term hiccups, but I wondered about the future too. If I couldn’t get things to work now, how could I expect to get the larger, more complicated vision to work later? The future became muddled. And the harder it became to envision that success, the more doubt I felt. I wanted to slay this beast – the beast of doubt – and reclaim my clarity. But how? I don’t actually know what doubt is. How can I take up appropriate arms if I don’t know the beast? Is it scaled? Feathered? Does it creep, fly, swim, or run? Do I bait and trap or hunt it down on horseback like a fox?

If I wanted to resolve my doubts, I’d need to first discover the real nature of it.

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Growth and Changing Forms

Nothing can stay the same as it grows.

Physics won’t allow it.

Economics won’t allow it.

Only certain things, can be certain ways, at certain sizes.

As a company grows, the camaraderie is replaced by organizational processes and a conveyor belt of new hires. Everyone can no longer know everyone else.

Different sized companies require different business models.

For every type of animal there is an optimum size. Yet although Galileo demonstrated the contrary more than three hundred years ago, people still believe that if a flea were as large as a man it could jump a thousand feet into the air.

Elephants need stouter legs than mice.

Is it impossible to grow a small business into a large business and still keep everything that made the small version awesome?

Ideas Are Tangible

Ideas have this pesky reputation for being wispy, intangible things until someone executes on them. They’re not. Ideas take physical form as soon as someone thinks them. Neurons in the human brain connect, synapses form, and a complex network of thought is born. Just by thinking, the human brain is also creating.

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Dangerous Inner Dialogues

chat_bubble_dangerous_inner_dialogue

People aren’t crazy. They just talk to themselves too much. Everyone does it – even you – and you’re making your life harder than it needs to be.

I rerun situations in my head. Sometimes this helps me pick apart a problem and come to a better understanding. Maybe I see a solution I would have otherwise missed. This is great. It’s my go to method for solving difficult personal problems. But replaying situations on a constant loop can also lead to a dark place. Miseries become compounded, negativity starts to reverb, and reality fades into the distance. I have made some of the worst times in my life even worse by running a shitty inner dialogue on repeat in my head. I’ve also turned minor problems into full-blown conflicts by bouncing them around in the echo chamber of my mind. I don’t think I’m the only one. In fact, I think most of us do this, we just don’t realize it.

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Developing a Finish Habit

Everyone has little fears and personality traits that hold them back. Even the president. Even the pope. Even Richard Branson. I don’t know what their personal hurdles were, but I know I used to procrastinate a lot. I also used to avoid situations that were uncomfortable – like learning how to swim. These are both great ways to avoid ever accomplishing anything meaningful. I spent a large part of the last two years trying to overcome these habits, and overall I’d say it was time well spent. Time to move onto the next bad habit! But what is it?

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I Think I Used To Be An Asshole

I spent my early 20′s defining myself. I wasn’t trying to craft a persona, or anything silly like that, but I was trying to figure it all out. Every time I found an answer I checked it off my list of life’s mysteries and stuck with it. I thought I was figuring out who I was and discovering the right way to do things, but really I think I just became an asshole.

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How Does Shame Proliferate?

We discussed Daring Greatly on Saturday at the T&D Book Club.  An interesting question came up: If shame is so damaging, then how can it be so common?

We came up with three potential answers: it is effective in the short term, it is a legacy from before we became human, and it is very subtle.

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How Far is a Day?

If I wanted to visualize a timeline of my life, how long should it be? I don’t know when I will die, so my future should disappear into the horizon. But what about my past? I’m almost 30 now. How long is a 30-year timeline?

For a person of average height, the earth curves away out of view after only three miles. That means from sunrise to sunset, a day is 6 miles long. That makes a year 2,136 miles long, and 30 years is 64,080 miles. I can’t visualize that in my head, accept that it’s 2.57 times the circumference of Earth. I know the math isn’t right, but if  relative to my human perspective the sun can only go 6 miles in a day, then that’s a respectable distance for me.

How far is a day?

6 miles.

Everyone Gets Fired

When I was a bright-eyed graphic design student, I had the privilege to study under a professor named Chris Corwin. Most people mistook his South Carolinian twang and blunt, no bullshit attitude for him being an asshole. He wasn’t.

He often called out students for bad design-thought, and he wasn’t really worried whether or not this would offend anyone. This often made him the bearer of bad news, and caused many a student to undertake yet another sleepless night as they struggled to rework their project the night before the final critique.

He was like a forge. Everyone who was exposed to him became harder, stronger, a better designer – even if the experience wasn’t pleasant. We listened, because even if his words hurt, they came with good intentions. Read the rest of this entry »

Master of Death

Samurai Statue, Imperial Palace by Diana Schnuth

Excerpted from Hagakure:

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami was a great swodsman and teacher in the art to the Shogun of the time, Tokugawa Iyemitsu. One of the personal guards of the Shogun one day came to Tajima-no-kami wishing to be trained in fencing. The master said, “As I observe, you seem to be a master of fencing yourself; pray tell me to what school you belong, before we enter into the relationship of teacher and pupil.”

The guardsman said, “I am ashamed to confess that I have never learned the art.” Read the rest of this entry »