A New Year

It is somehow significant to me that each new year that I have experienced began in the middle of winter. And about the most exciting thing a person can do during this period of time is find a good book to read, clean the basement or take some time looking through the few seed catalogs that have made their way to your doorstep.

In other words, the nights are cold and long and the days are cold and short and the wood pile seems to shrink faster than what you would hope for.

I will have to admit that I often looked forward to winter and thought of it as a time of rest and renewal—a well deserved break from the busyness of spring and summer. It was a time to fix what was broken, pull out the paints and rekindle a hobby or two. Winter was also a time to find a few books to read.

This year I have already read almost two books and am considering the third. A friend of mine recommended I read a book by Malcolm Gladwell entitled “David And Goliath” which I burned through this past weekend on my Kindle Paperwhite.

In David and Goliath, Gladwell uncovers the hidden rules that shape the balance between the weak and the mighty, the powerful and the dispossessed–all in an attempt to demonstrate how fundamentally we misunderstand the true meaning of advantages and disadvantages.

For instance, did you know that many successful entrepreneurs are dyslexic yet used that condition to their advantage or that it is most often better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond when it comes to choosing a college to attend.

I think that what this boils down to is just as our bodies need exercise to stay in shape, our minds also need to be prodded along as well in order for us to maintain our health and interest in life. Gladwell is a good writer and has a tremendous talent for distilling facts and figures and serving up the stories behind these facts and studies.

I am currently reading another of his books “Outliers: The Story Of Success”. In it he shatters the myth of the self-made-man and lets us see that: “…they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot.”

Anyway, 2015 or not, these books have been just what the doctor ordered. I have slept better, had fascinating dreams and feel a purpose brewing that has eluded me for some time now.

My conclusion is that life events are not always as they seem and oftentimes the most obvious answer is not the most accurate—we have believed a lot of “Rockiesque” stories and have not taken the time to look beyond the shadows.

To some of us this revelation might be troubling, but to me, at present, this information is very liberating. I am once again a ship on the sea of life and enjoying the ride. Right now it is smooth sailing and even though there will be seasonal storms, this is the trip I was designed for from the beginning of time. Indeed, it is nice to know there are answers to many of the questions we still ponder—we just need to keep reading.

Enjoy your ride today.

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