10 Minutes with UFO

I rode in Frank’s cab today. Time was going to be tight to make my train. And Frank’s car just happened to be there. Serendipity is a beautiful thing. As was our chat.

When he learned I go by my initials, he laughed while telling me that if he followed suit I should call him, UFO.

Uzoka Frank Okey.

Uzoka. It’s my last name. Sounds Japanese, but it’s from Africa.

Where is that? I asked.

I’m from Nigeria, he happily stated.

Uzoka (pronounced oh z’ahh kuh).
Okey (pronounced ‘okay’).

And people are never saying ‘okey’, the right way. But this name is actually okechukwu (okay chew koo), chuku meaning God.

We’re a very Christian country, Nigeria. Lots of names like this.

Okechukwu, God’s creation.
Ikechukwu (ee’kay chew koo) God’s power.
Obichukwu (obee chew koo), God’s heart as in heart warming.

One of my favorite questions to ask just about anybody is, “What should I know about _____________, if I don’t know anything about it.”

I asked UFO what I should know about Nigeria.

It’s a place with a large population. Used to be ruled by the British. A nice warm pleasant country that mismanages its resources. Oil is quite an important one of these resources. And there’s corruption.

But there’s good food. And good weather. People are friendly and can be very boisterous. Often ingenious, always looking for ways to make things better.

Frank mentioned the civil war in the late 60s between Christians and Muslims. And during that time the Christians (the minority group) built a submarine, with only basic tools, which helped to bring peace to the country.

He was proud about his people – people who take pride in making something special happen, with limited resources, in order to make things better.

There was much more to chat about with UFO, but our time was up. Amazing how much ground you can cover with someone in 10 minutes. We both went on our way with smiles on our faces after a few quality moments of sharing stories.

And it’s also amazing how easy it can be for a couple of strangers to share a warm, positive interaction that can make a world full of unidentified foreign objects – or others – feel just a bit smaller.

What was your last warm, positive interaction with a complete stranger? What did you share? What did you learn? How did you feel when you walked away?

Can’t remember? No worries. I bet you’ll have another chance for one of these conversations soon 😉

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I Have Enough Love in My Life, Thanks

“I have enough love in my life.”

Have you ever said that to someone?

Has anyone ever said that to you?

Have you ever heard anyone say that to someone else?

My Dad and I were chatting about this the other day and I’m still thinking about it today.

Many of us seek out, are interested in, get hurt by, have a hard time expressing, perhaps find ourselves regularly thinking about… love.

So why do we so often dismiss it when people genuinely show us that love?

Do we even realize this about ourselves?

Sometimes it’s even done in the smallest of ways in our daily interactions.

Here’s a small example. I know he’s reading and hope he won’t mind since this already started with him anyway. (Update: I checked, he doesn’t.)

My Dad made this comment on my post, All-Timers with Alzheimer’s.

Initial reaction – Dad! Why do you have to write stuff like that on my blog?! There’s no content. No discussion. Nothing useful, interesting, insightful, or productive about your comment.

But what if he was just showing his love?

Now, I’m not saying this is an open-invitation for him to write stuff like that all the time. Because I personally think it’s distracting and could detract from any point I’d like to make in a public forum.

Yes, I’d much rather he share the love in an email to me, or text, or phone call, or next time we see each other in person.

But instead of responding to love with anything but, why not choose to match love with love?

Sure, I could just as easily argue that he should understand me, he should know this is how I feel, and I definitely think we’ve had this conversation before so he should remember!

But the intention was a love-ly one. He’s just trying to share the love and all I have is to share negative energy back?

Maybe he just needs a reminder about why this might not be the ideal way you receive love. Why not a gentle reminder instead of a harsh one?

Wouldn’t you like someone to be gentle with you, especially if you were trying to share your love with them and unknowingly coming up a bit short?

When is your next chance to love on someone else? No need to wait to show reactive love, why not a little proactive love?

Say hello to a stranger. Hug an acquaintance.  Compliment someone on a meaningful exchange – be it someone at work or another regular interaction or exchange.

What’s the worst that could happen?

“Oh, I’m sorry, I have enough love in my life, thanks.”

My bet? That probably won’t happen.

Love,

MCK

—–

P.S. In sharing this post with my Dad before posting, what we realized through our conversation was that he wasn’t trying to comment on the blog at all! He’s not exactly the king of technology, so what he meant to be an email response to me, ended up being an email response that went straight to the comments section of the blog. Whooops! Just another reminder for me that conversations like these beat jumping to conclusions any day.

No image today.

So, about those crates. Also, Socrates

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2014 has been the most uncertain, hardest, intense, and illuminating year of my life. And with a few hours to go, we’re not even done with it yet 😉

I have grown in ways I could not otherwise have imagined or anticipated.

And it’s been the best year of my life.

Some people live their entire lives, never having the opportunity to know themselves.

I felt like I’ve had a pretty good understanding of myself, for awhile.

But the past 19 months, and particularly these last 12 have enabled me to see much more of myself.

I was looking at a lot of surface stuff for far too long. Taking stock in what I thought I saw, rather than what was behind all of that. And asking and answering questions that didn’t matter.

It wasn’t until I started to give myself time and space to think, that I started making progress. And it wasn’t until I started to focus my writing, daily, that the speed at which I progressed increased multi-fold.

When I was in high school, this thing called the internet was all the rage. Thanks to email and AOL IM, my sister and I inadvertently produced more than our fair share of busy signals for people calling our house.

At the time I also started to write on a BBS/message board (hosted by the Section 2 Harrier site, created and moderated by a nice guy named Jon Broderick) that kept (and continues to keep – go Jon!) all cross country / track and field fans in our corner of New York State apprised of important news. It was also a very cool forum where some decided to talk trash. I took it as an opportunity to share ideas and reflect on things I was seeing, and I was exposed to a new way of developing meaningful relationships.

I have given credit for awhile now to email, instant messaging, and the section 2 harrier message board for helping me to develop my writing voice at that time.

The hours I poured into emails and online conversations enabled me to develop my identity and to engage in meaningful conversation with others.

Writing was my outlet to the world.

I finished out high school with a healthy understanding of myself, ready to move forward.

And I continued writing in the early days of college.

Until I slowly turned my priorities elsewhere.

Though a move back to America last year (May 2013) was a natural segue* into a return to regular writing dates. From the beginning, I came down with a serious case of “writer’s block” or was giving into my perfectionist tendencies in those early days back in America.

Maybe I should have accounted for that after a decade away of sharing writing like this with others?

It was then I realized I needed a new space to find my voice. Here, a new blog, seemed a worthy spot to do so.

Not long after my irregular blogging began, during my time at the East-West Center‘s Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) in Honolulu to close out 2013, we all had to put together a portfolio, a collection of mostly written reflections – thoughts about the past, present, and future. It was time to make something with a real timeline, deadline, and commitment. 4 months and 100 pages later, I was working off a bit of momentum.

But 2013 ended and 2014 began in the midst of uncertainty. Uncertainty doesn’t need to be a negative thing, and hindsight is 20/20, but much of my problem was my choosing fear over love.

Sure, it was masked by “uncertainty.” But I was still a bit uneasy about my identity. I was trying to please someone I loved, but how could I please her without communicating, without pleasing myself, and by not even being me – that guy she loved. I was going about it in all the wrong ways.

I knew there was a problem. Actually, I was drowning, but it looked like I was a pretty good swimmer.

I was doing my best to figure “it” out. And I was failing, miserably.

Ultimately it just looked like I was a problem that needed fixing, not there was a problem that we needed to fix.

It takes two to tango, but I’m not sure either of us really knew how, we didn’t really practice, and we had no teacher. I felt very alone. Maybe she did too?

I tried to reach out. But my message must not have gotten through to her. And her messages? Well, I wasn’t getting them either.

Missed messages like ships passing in the night?

I knew I couldn’t solve old problems in the same ways  and I thought I was doing everything that I could. But it wasn’t working so I had to keep trying.

I was lost, but I found trust in my notebook and bic pen. It went far beyond my regular note-taking, by taking notes of deeper thoughts and feelings and fleshing them out until I could better understand whatever was on my mind.

Writing was no longer an outlet to the world, but an inroad into my soul.

Have you visited lately? It’s a pretty deep place.

Terrible one-lines aside, these deep conversations that extended into the depths of my soul, mediated through writing, have been a significant reason why I’ve had an incredible year.

I’m sure it’s not for everyone. And it won’t necessarily help you in the same way it helped me. But at a time when I needed greater clarity, it was the writing that was there for me.

No person, no matter how close they were to me – my parents, my sister, my closest friends – could help me. This one I had to start on my own before I could get back to a place of confidence, a place of greater understanding, a place where I had regained my identity.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to hold yourself back. It harder to realize that you are usually the one doing the holding.

Whether it’s beliefs, behaviors, or certain actions that are self-limiting, we can do a number on ourselves often thinking that if external circumstances would change, things would be better.

How might you make a difference in the lives of those that matter to you by starting with yourself?

When will you set aside some time for a constructive and thoughtful conversation with yourself? Find that time and space to work out your thoughts? To rediscover – perhaps even discover – things about yourself you haven’t seen in awhile (or have never seen)?

What questions are important to think through? What questions should you be asking of yourself? What suggestions might be made?

Be the sounding board that you need the most. But remember, it will only work if you choose to be honest, to lay it all out there, and to lead with love, not fear.

When it comes to the things (or thing) that matters most right now to me, I’m certainly not out of the woods.

But these days I know myself more than ever before.

And, as a result, I’m much better prepared to deal with the uncertainty.

So, goodbye 2014. Thank you for being so good to me.

And 2015, I’m eager to see where we go together.

—–

*So, when segway came up as a misspelled word, I did a little investigating on how to write the word that I know to indicate something related to a transition. Apparently this word is an Italian derivative and thought pronounced “segway” is written “segue.” You can take a look here to see what some have to say about this.

Today’s photo comes from my personal collection – the notebook and the pen that started it all this year.

This notebook actually dates back to my first year at college. I gave up notebooks in favor of recycling wasted computer paper from the libraries to make homemade “notebooks.”

I thought it was about time to make sure this one went to good use. It served me well in the early writing days this year – from ideas to The Oliver Chronicles and beyond.

The Business of Relationships

JQA_With_Persevernce_Obstacles_Vanish

A friend recently lamented to me that she wished men could treat relationships like they would a business deal.

In business, is it common practice to talk nice with a potential business partner over the course of a few dates then vanish into thin air?

When you’re not interested in the deal, you’re honest and upfront about it. No need string anyone along.

Besides, stringing someone along in a business context, choosing to act without open and honest communication, could be bad for your reputation.

And future business.

The world is small, whose to say though today’s business deal didn’t work out, there isn’t an opportunity for other ways to collaborate down the line?

But my friend has encountered a number of guys who apparently aren’t in the business of open and honest communication.

What happened to meaningful cliches like honesty is the best policy? Or the truth will set you free?

I can’t blame her, though, in our relationships with the potential “one”, it’s easier to stick our heads in the sand or to run away than it is to be honest about how we feel and work through those challenges together.

I’ve done it. Actually, I’m a repeat offender.

This was actually what my 21 days of writing in November evolved into. It was the first time that I did not stick my head in the sand, or run away.

It was the first time I sat down with myself and faced my fears deep within myself for an extended period of time. It was not a one-off conversation, I made it my business for those three weeks. And I committed to making a habit of being vulnerable.

It was the first time I was able to be completely open and honest with the “one” about all my problems.

And trust me, I have a handful.

But as long as we’re being open and honest with each other, I know you do too. We all do.

I suppose the only thing that sets us apart are the people who are honest with themselves about their issues and those that aren’t.

But that’s too easy isn’t it?

Let’s step back for a second and re-think for a moment. How many types of us are there?

First, there’s the people who are honest with themselves AND with others about their issues. A rare breed.

I wonder how much of us actually reach this nirvanic level of self-awareness, self-understanding, and vulnerability?

Second, there’s the people who are honest with themselves, but may not be confident enough to share this with others.

Third, there are the people who know their issues, but may not have found all of them. Or maybe they have yet to realize just how those issues affect them.

This number three speaks most to me, that’s where I was earlier this year.

Fourth, there are the people who have figured themselves out, and everyone else out. It can be such a challenge to wait for others to figure themselves out. Life will be better when that happens.

Who did I miss?

So this friend of mine has been sending me these great articles on marriage that I’ve been totally digging.

The one that kept me up last night and has me still thinking today you can find here.

It’s an absolutely brilliant read, if you choose to read with an open mind.

Here’s the skinny (i.e. the first three reasons Why We Will Marry the Wrong Person):

One: We don’t understand ourselves

Two: We don’t understand other people

Three: We aren’t used to being happy

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

All of us are crazy in very particular ways. We’re distinctively neurotic, unbalanced and immature, but don’t know quite the details because no one ever encourages us too hard to find them out.

A good partnership is not so much one between two healthy people (there aren’t many of these on the planet), it’s one between two demented people who have had the skill or luck to find a non-threatening conscious accommodation between their relative insanities.

The problem is that knowledge of our own neuroses is not at all easy to come by. It can take years and situations we have had no experience of. Prior to marriage, we’re rarely involved in dynamics that properly hold up a mirror to our disturbances. Whenever more casual relationships threaten to reveal the ‘difficult’ side of our natures, we tend to blame the partner – and call it a day. As for our friends, they predictably don’t care enough about us to have any motive to probe our real selves. They only want a nice evening out. Therefore, we end up blind to the awkward sides of our natures.

One of the greatest privileges of being on one’s own is the flattering illusion that one is, in truth, really quite an easy person to live with.

With such a poor level of understanding of our characters, no wonder we aren’t in any position to know who we should be looking out for.

This problem is compounded because other people are stuck at the same low level of self-knowledge as we are. However well-meaning they might be, they too are in no position to grasp, let alone inform us, of what is wrong with them. Naturally, we make a stab at trying to know them. We go and visit their families, perhaps the place they first went to school. We look at photos, we meet their friends. All this contributes to a sense we’ve done our homework. But it’s like a novice pilot assuming they can fly after sending a paper plane successfully around the room.

If the title wasn’t enough to reel me in, then I can definitely confirm I was hooked after the first line. And I couldn’t stop reading after reading why we don’t understand ourselves – or others.

But, please, before you go any further with what I have here, please open this up in a new tab and read from start to finish.

I wish I could say that anything I write beyond this point could match the level of, “How We End Up Marrying the Wrong People.”

I regret that might not be possible.

But I won’t stop without trying.

This selection got me back to thinking about my friend, business, relationships with the “one”, and the business of relationships.

Having learned much of what I know in business much like how I’ve learned the most important lessons in life – trial by fire – I’ve come to know that before we get too far into the conversation, the best business deals I’ve done include an early conversation about all the bad stuff that can, might, and/or will happen.

Funny, in romantic relationships we don’t want to touch this topic with a 100 foot pole.

And why not hit these challenges head on?

Knowing what I know now, this is probably one of the most informative and intimate conversations you can have with a potential “one” and could do incredible things for mutual understanding and empathy with such a proactive approach to problem solving.

I’m having a hard time imagining a conversation that could be more meaningful.

Even if we are super self-aware and think of ourselves as highly empathetic, it’s a lot easier to express empathy when you have more information than less.

It’s also a lot easier to express empathy while calm, cool, and collected rather than under stress and duress.

This may come natural to some of us, but I’ve only been able to improve through preparation and practice.

So if you haven’t already, Read This. And share it with someone that matters to you. I’ve already shared it with my family.

And now I’m sharing it with you.

I’m curious, what do you think?

—–

And if you’re already tired from reading, take a look at the video below (4:00), it’s almost (or equally) as excellent.

—–

This was my first time on The Book of Life site. I’ll definitely be back for a return visit some day, sooner than later.

At first I had a different picture in mind, but then I got to thinking about vanishing. I came upon this quote by John Quincy Adams from this page on Pinterest that seemed to put a twist on the relationship between patience and perseverance,  disappearing and vanishing.

The running away model of vanishing cannot hold a candle to how difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish when one is patient and perseveres with what and whom matters most to them.

21 days of writing taught me that. And it’s remarkable how the difficulties and obstacles of yesterday almost no longer seem relevant, even exist.

Think I’m crazy? Give it a try yourself. A true, concentrated effort. You might surprise yourself. I know I did.

Snapchat Founder and CEO, Evan Spiegel, Talk at Yale

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Thanks to an event hosted by the Yale Entrepreneurial Society and Yale Entrepreneur Magazine, Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat came to speak at Yale today.

Here are some of the things I found interesting.

What makes Snapchat different?

Snapchat is part of the conversation to use a photo as a communication tool vs. a documentation tool. Evan gets excited about the conversation to change the nature of what a good photograph is. Example – a fuzzy photo with the caption, “my phone is drunk.” Not a ‘good photo’ that would be found through regular filters, but becomes good with the snap and the chat are combined.

They wanted to go from people taking 1 photo per week to opening their camera 10x per day. How do we do that?

Communication is faster and more common than documentation. They want to continue to look at the camera as an interesting software tool beyond capture.

Is Snapchat the communication tool you use most?

Evan himself uses Snapchat, but text and phone are his top 2 go-to communication tools.

What was an advantage or disadvantage that came up with the company in LA?

With the company based in LA, attracting top talent was a major concern and question for some on the team. It turned out to be a great filter, meaning the early team was mostly self-selecting folks, who were willing to leave their comforts to join a new family in LA, because they fully believed in the vision and wanted to be a part of it. The majority of the team is not originally from LA.

Why doesn’t Snapchat have groups?

1) Wanted people to feel included (i.e. not disincluded).
2) Wants Snapchat to be more representative of how your relationships change. Maybe you’re closer this week vs. last or vice-versa. Not locked into particular groups where you might not be comfortable with some of the people there.

On the question of Founders who fail as CEOs

Building a business is different than having a great idea. Need to work on both of these IF you want to do both jobs.

Fortunate to work with people who believe that making mistakes are a part of becoming a good CEO.

As Founders, set up a system from the beginning to ensure they could make mistakes and couldn’t get kicked out of their company.

—–

The photo above comes from today’s event. Evan is taking an Our Campus Story video (see Oct 17 announcement via the link). Everybody got a little excited.

Unwritten Rules

We all have the benefit of seeing things from our own perspective, even when we believe we take into account the perspectives of others.

Recently a friend and I found, halfway through a conversation, that we had some serious issues with the way the other approached a particular topic. What does it mean to have constructive dialogue, particularly when conflict arises?

We took a step back, talked about what we thought happened, and decided to write about it. What might that look like?

Well, here are the results, side by side.

Unwritten Rules

When was the last time you were in a two-way conversation and realized part-way through that you both felt bad?

I found myself in a conversation yesterday where I felt bad. The first reason was because I realized I had made the other person feel not listened to, and thus, not so great.

The second reason was because my conversation partner had chosen not to tell me I was answering a question that wasn’t meant to be answered. At least not by me. Which, feels as confusing as it sounds.

How often do you get frustrated at others for not following the rules you have established that others have yet to master? This, of course, assumes they have been previously exposed.

[That was a mouthful. Let’s try this again.]

How often do you get frustrated at others for not following the rules?

How were they taught the rules? Rather, how did they know the rules were rules? Are you invested in their understanding and mastery of these rules? Why does it matter?

The funny thing is, my conversation partner told me about the rules, or expectations, earlier in our conversation. Questions are quite important to her. And she feels strongly that some questions need time to be answered. (I would agree.)

She also feels strongly that some questions do not need an answer from you (i.e. if I bring up a question for discussion with you, I may not be asking you to answer the question, merely asking if I’m asking the right question).

She finds it important – actually, demands – that people accommodate questions and understand these differences. Also, she’s not big on rhetorical questions.

Granted, this is all taken out of context for you, as the reader. And if I was you, I might think this all to be a bit insane.

Actually, with all the context, I think this is a bit insane.

As I write, I can’t help but wonder how anyone would just ‘get this’ the first, or second, or maybe even third time around. The concept is clear, but complex without practice. Case in point, not long afterwards, a question was posed to me. And after quite some time, thanks to a slightly passive aggressive nudge, I realized I had been exploring and answering a question that was not meant for me to answer.

Was it my responsibility to know not to answer? Was it her responsibility to remind me of the rules when she realized what was happening – or to wait until it was over to teach me a lesson on the rules?

I’m searching for the right metaphor – would a referee in a sports match or game wait until the very end to call a foul?

To my friend’s credit, in our post game re-cap, she told me that she had let me continue answering the question well after she was ready to tell me I was not playing by the rules. She was curious if her desire to put rules on the conversation was limiting her from unexpectedly good results. But, in the end, she wanted what she wanted and we found ourselves in an unfortunate place where nobody won. I spent time thinking through a question I thought was important in the wrong way. My friend spent time listening – before she stopped listening – to something she wasn’t looking for.

But let’s get back to who was at fault. Who should take the responsibility in a situation like this one? What is one to do?

Have you heard of William Blake? He wrote a brilliant poem that I heard in yoga class the other day for the first time.

I felt angry towards my friend.
I told my wrath. My wrath did end.
I felt angry toward my foe.
I told him not. My wrath did grow.

When someone causes your feelings to go south, why do you hold it in? If they are intentionally doing what they are doing – that’s one thing. If they are unintentionally doing what they are doing, that’s another thing. How can they correct themselves if they don’t understand your rules?

As in any situation, without collective rule design, where everyone understands and is on the same page, chances are the rules will forever be yours, and little more. You will feel unbalanced and when your dancing partner realizes, s/he will feel unbalanced too. Is there anything better than a little extra communication to find the where you both meet in the middle?

Wow. All this text over one crazy conversation, eh? How about you? What are the toned-down examples of this in your life?

Deconstructing Ideas

This year I was lucky enough to get a chance to explore a subject often on my mind: people talking. That’s how I labeled the subject in my head, and it’s simple enough because it’s in my head, entangled with context, memories, feelings and past stories. Written down, or uttered outside my own head, it seems deceptively simple. People Talking.

By “people”, I had meant the people I know. Asians. Indonesians. People in their 20’s. Those who have a lot in their minds, sometimes with a lot to say, sometimes with very few.

By “talking”, I had meant “interaction”, which I later understood are two elements of a formula. Talking + Interaction = Dialogue. A talk without interaction is a monologue. Interaction without talking is nonverbal connection.

And because fascination with improvement is not the same as perfectionism, the types of Dialogues that I found interesting to explore are then scoped down to Constructive Dialogue.

If I’ve done a proper job explaining the term, you should be able to reinterpret this using *your* context, memories, feelings, etc. You may then feel like this idea is better labeled with another term, like “debate”, “chats”, or “intellectual discourse”, or “civic / political engagement”. All these definitions are accurate in their own rights, and I am genuinely looking forward to discussing these labels with anyone who wants to hash this out. It’s literally what I’ve been trying to do in the last 3 months: to start a conversation about conversations.

Anyway, the labels I’ve mentioned are what most people mention as alternative terms for Constructive Dialogue. But what about Arguments? I don’t mean argumentation in a debate setting, I mean confrontational, emotional argumentation. A fight, if you must. Is that considered constructive dialogue?

My first thought was this: Arguments are dialogues with intense emotions. My second thought was: man, arguments are the very definition of destructive dialogue. They literally break things – people, confidence, integrity, relationships, characters. How would you possibly see arguments as a constructive dialogue?

It’s not completely clear, but I’m thinking of the old saying: fights are healthy. We’re supposed to have them. It shows the relationship is working. I wish somebody can explain what this means. When I get into an argument, with anyone, I often feel crappy for a long time after. How is this healthy? Maybe it’s healthy if the people involved can manage their emotions. But if that’s the case, an argument is no longer a dialogue with intense emotions. Then again, though we are all told to manage our emotions better, what would humanity be like without anger, or tears, or screams? Can we honestly say it would be a better world?

Maybe for my next project, I should start a fight about fights.

Auto Communication

I’ve never been much of a driver. From the beginning, I was not in a rush to get my license. I learned for functional purposes.

When moving from point A to point B, I generally prefer to be a passenger whenever possible. Be it by plane, train, or automobile, I enjoy time spent on the road, traveling alone, surrounded by strangers. On the road is where I do some of my best thinking. It’s right up there with the thinking I do while washing dishes or folding laundry.

If we were having this conversation a year ago, I might have told you I hate driving. But with more time spent behind the wheel over the past year – for functional purposes – I’ve seen the finer sides of driving, and appreciate it for the different type of quality time it provides for me, myself, and I.

While on a 2+ hour drive just yesterday, I got to thinking about driving as one of the most solitary social activities I know.

There’s something about the focused solitude of driving, especially when driving for distance. Yet there is a slightly interesting social aspect. On the one hand you’re completely cut off from everyone else – at least verbally – yet everybody’s in it together.

As drivers, we don’t talk, but we do interact. It starts with the car we drive – the color, shape, and make – to how we change lanes, the speed at which we drive, the way we maneuver with more cars around, and how we accommodate others. This all contributes to our driving personality or attitude, a reflection of us. Naturally, this may fluctuate and even change over time.

I had an interesting conversation with someone today, who told me how her driving job changed her. With a significant influx in alone time, she had a great opportunity to think and reflect. With more frequent and longer stretches behind the wheel, she more closely observed how others drove and  how she drove, which led her to consider, “what kind of a driver am I?”

She was not aggressive and thought of herself as a rather courteous driver. But after she started driving for a living she chose to be more proactively courteous. Why be that driver when she could be even more go with the flow?

So what kind of driver are you? Beyond getting from A to B, what does does driving do for you? And what does your driving communicate about you to others?

Why Are We Friends?

You’re so weird. And I’m so glad we’re friends.

Do you have at least one person in your life that is so different from you, you can hardly believe you are friends? How did you meet them? What have they meant to you through the course of your relationship? How and why have you stayed friends? What do they mean to you today?

And what do you mean to them?