Dont whistle while you pee

"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana" – Groucho Marx

On Rules and Games

You know those people that never seem to want to play by the rules?
“Aaah the rules suck, why can’t we just  XYZ!?!?”
But then, what is there to a game, if the rules can be bent?

A game of total freedom ceases to be a game and is just carnage and/or nothing, driven by greed, fear and laziness.

In studying law, I come upon all the rules that are (ideally) made up, to ensure a maximum amount of freedom for everyone, without restraining the freedom of others.

I think it is not the ultimate amount of freedom we should be seeking, but rather making intelligent, creative, and future oriented choices about choosing rules for our own lives, that forward the conversations and the games we play.

And we play games all the time. Be it getting an assignment done in time and up to par, or staying fit, or making music, or raising kids.
They are all basically games with certain, unbending rules to them and you can hate them or love them, but those are the rules.

We just tend to forget that they are games.

Being all grown up and serious now, we don’t treat them as games anymore but as serious matters and we get all tense and significant about it.

Playing games, as I’ve heard über-cool game researcher Dr. Jane McGonigal say recently, is basically self-inflicted suffering.
She uses Golf as an example. All you want is, basically, to put a ball into a hole in the ground. But not only do you use a silly stick to do it, you also go really really far away from that tiny tiny hole and there is sand and ponds and… You get the point.

Writing this article is a game and definitely a creative form of suffering, because I never know what to write, how to structure it or whether it’s gonna be of any use to anyone vs. being another useless hipster-soul-striptease.

It is not the ultimate amount of freedom, but rather choosing, what kind of gameful restrictions you want to put on yourself.

Another thing I’ve heard in a Landmark course is that you are always winning the games that you are playing.
The thing is to figure out what these games are.

So there is a whole bunch of rules that, in a way, restrict my freedom.
But then, on the other hand; what good is freedom, if I don’t put it to use? Freedom is there to be made use of.

So here is a bunch of rules (of course not all) that I currently live by:

Meditate for at least 20 minutes every day
Have a cold shower until I adapt to the temperature after every warm shower
write an article once a week
write a journal every night before bed with at least three things I’m grateful for that day.
touch it, complete it
do some sort of sports every day
Track all important aspects of my games in a daily spreadsheet

What rules do you live by? What games do you play?
What games do you win at, but would rather not?
(be a player)

Give it Away

Martin and Me

I am sitting on the bus from Berlin to Frankfurt and I am buzzing.
Buzzing with the joy and miracle that is my life.
Today, I’m totally and utterly and helplessly in love with my life and everything that it is and that it isn’t.
And damn it feels good to know that I still can.
Fall in love like that. Read the rest of this entry »

Trust in Allah, but…


pony by

Here’s a bedouin proverb my dad recites often (don’t whistle while you pee, as you might remember is one of his favourites too).

“Trust in Allah,
but don’t forget
to tie up your camel”

It’s one of my favourite proverbs because it illustrates so well, how we need to find a balance between our feelings and our mind.
Recently, listening to this massively inspiring talk by Mr. Alan Watts (you might recall his voice from this video)

I noticed, that for me the scale was heavily tipped towards tying up camels rather than trusting in Allah.
Save money, do your homework, give that guy another call, sell the car, floss regularly, look good, save the world…
Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t put yourself down.

I would like to elaborate a little bit more on the point from my last post, about how forcing things usually doesn’t turn out too well.

Laziness and fear are both words with a heavy, negative connotation.
So I felt like I needed to stress that point more, that they are not BAD, or WRONG or NEGATIVE. Like something to be avoided. They’re not.
That was not the point. Read the rest of this entry »

Fear and Lazyness

Puddy Tat in a graveyard in Sao Paolo

Which is the most universal human characteristic? Fear or laziness? asks Philosophy Professor Louis Mackey in Richard Linklaters’ Waking Life.

What do you think?

For myself I am pretty sure that, by nature,  I am more often fearful than lazy.
Just simple self expression can seem like such a daunting task at times.
Not to mention singing, or dancing, or talking to strangers, or writing stuff.

Fear in and of itself is not a bad thing. And neither is laziness. They both have their value and their function.
Fear can even be used as a compass in life. And a spot of laziness should be thoroughly enjoyed on a regular basis.

Read the rest of this entry »