Thursday, July 31, 2008


We all have them. Moving around in life is nearly a necessity in order to grow and learn. Some moves are harder than others, and those difficult ones are usually the more satisfying changes we undertake. As they say, "If it were easy, everyone would do it". I think I have taken this quotation to its extreme. I actually aim to do difficult things because I believe that they will be more beneficial to me in the long run than doing something easier. My brother asked me the other night, "Why do you always have to make things so difficult on yourself? Why don't you seek to make things easy?" I had trouble answering his question, other than telling him that overcoming difficult obstacles is extremely satisfying for me. Not just overcoming them, but also coming up with a method to achieve whatever it is I may be aiming for.

At this point in my life I am one year out of college, and I want to write a book about my college experience, and what "learning" meant to me during my 6 years of undergraduate education. I want to include sports, social life, love, sexuality in the greater context of how your experience during adolescence will affect your life in years to come.

I have kept journals throughout my college years, and have written notebooks full of thoughts, feelings, ideas, events and conversations that deal with everything from depression and regret to God and success.

I want to cover the gambit, from top to bottom, and reveal what I think young people should focus on as they face what for many is a very turbulent and confusing time.

I have already begun to write chapters, my intro, and have outlined the rest, it's just a matter of putting it together now.

If anyone has leads to publishers/information on effective methods of getting published etc., I would really appreciate talking with you.

This is a very exciting time for me, it feels as though I am looking down the mountain for once, instead of up. Quite the transition.

Much love,

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Herzl Camp

In a previous post I stated that my first love was not for a person, but in fact, for dear old Herzl Camp. I was a camper there for 5 years and a staff member for 3 more. This past weekend, I returned to camp to visit and spend Shabbat in Webster, Wisconsin.

Nothing has changed. The events and spirit that had inspired me years ago still remain, just that the roles now have different faces. My campers of yesteryear are now staff members creating memories for the campers of today. I did a good amount of thinking during the weekend, and one thought that kept pervading all others was how fast time has gone by.

One of the greatest fears I have is not being remembered. For years, my motivation to be great was to be better than others in order to "establish"(and I do use this word lightly) myself in the hierarchy of life. Camp used to serve as a vehicle for me to leave my footprints in. The idea of being a Herzl Legend was always something of great meaning and worth to me, and was constantly something that I was striving for during my younger years. Rather than focusing on strengthening the bonds of friendship I had formed during my camper years, my attention shifted to being the legend that everyone would remember, thus solidifying my experience, and adding to the meaning of my life...or so I thought...

During my visit this weekend, I was reminded of how quickly all things fade. On my ride home, I was with a friend, and we spoke about this. I couldn't help but think further once I got home. How do we find meaning in our lives? Is being remembered by others fulfilling? Well, it can be, but I must add that it is an extremely dangerous way of living as well. Once we become dependent on others for our sense of meaning in life, we lose all meaning.

It reminds me of when I played for the Gophers. When I wasn't playing, no one cared. I was a nobody, and it didn't matter that I was working my ass off so that I could eventually play. Suddenly, once I was starting, I became an "inspiration" and a person to look up to, yet I hadn't changed at all. People only acknowledged me once I had attained something, but never praised what was truly worth praising, that being the sweat and tears that I put in in order to achieve that goal. I made a pact then that I would no longer listen to critics or fans, because they both come and go as swiftly as the wind flows, and thus neither can be relied upon. Ask any professional athlete, and they'll tell you the same thing. People never see what goes into athletics, only the performance, hence, when people praise athletes for their great accomplishments, there is never truly a feeling of satisfaction, because the wrong element is being looked up to.

So, why was being a camp legend never satisfying? For the same reason that athletes never feel satisfied by praise. Where does all this praise go to? The EGO, which happens to be the most destructive thing in our minds-the need to be better than others, the competitive drive that says, "If I out do him, then I will be a better person"-The truth could not be further from this primitive outlook. Rather than trying to beat people down, why don't we attempt to pick people up? I would guess it is because we are scared that people will become better than us, thus taking away from our personal legend, and leaving us with a feeling of uselessness, which once again is false. If you help someone, and they become better at whatever skill you are practicing, then you have taken your proper place in the universe by helping that person to reach their potential. That person may go on to be known for centuries, and you may not, or it may be the other way around, who knows? Does it matter who is known for longer? In 200,000 years, will people know who Jesus Christ was?

We all fade eventually. So how does one find meaning in our futile yet beautiful lives? I think we all have to add what we can every day. Help someone through a situation that you have already been through, provide someone the mental freedom by reminding them that they have a choice in all situations, and allow human evolution to occur as it will inevitably do, with or without you.

I do not fear being remembered any longer. Whether or not others view my life as a success is no longer important. If in my life work ONE PERSON is inspired to think, feel, or live more freely, then that is where I will find my meaning, and I can live with that. Given, I aim for more, yet this simple truth has saved me many a night, and I can only hope it will help some of you.

Much Love,

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


A few days ago I had my heart broken when I recorded a CD with some friends. We were just jamming out, free-styling, etc., but when I listened to the final edit, I hated what I heard. I immediately threw the CD away and swore to never sing again.

Needless to say, I am back singing. Perhaps it was the music, the time of day, but most likely it was me being too hard on myself. I need to learn to relax when it it comes to judging things. Then again, as my brother suggested, perhaps I need to hold all people to the same standards that I hold myself to.

Regardless which method of judgment is most beneficial to a person's life(I believe it is the latter), I have realized that the key to singing is not trying to sing. When I hated my voice on CD, it sounded strained and forced. The best singing(as described by my voice teacher in college) is done by those who simply speak, and add a tone, not by those who try to sing.

So, just let it happen with singing, yet with judgments be harsh and truthful. Fun stuff.

Much love,

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Yesterday I booked a plane ticket for NYC.

I expect to do and try everything I have ever wanted to do in that city. I am going to write, sing, act, play, announce, speak, paint, draw, host, and anything else that crosses my mind. I figure if there is one place to do it, NYC would be it. As Sinatra said, "If I can make it there, I'll make it, anywhere..." I am really excited about this. A little nervous, yes, but with all change comes a bit of nerves, and I've become accustomed to dealing with a little anxiety. The more I do, the more I discover how truly powerful the mind is.

It's easy to say, "yeah, the mind is powerful", but I am under the impression that very few ever actually experience what power lies in their synapses. Why this has not become a grand scientific study could be because not all people have the mental capability to reach such a plateau, thus those that do become hated on because they are different. This is when the mob gets angry and believes that the really powerful minds believe they are better than everyone else(which they might). It's no surprise the ultra-bright are also the ultra-modest(read:Bill Gates), if for no other reason than their own safety. Perhaps the "witches" that were burned in Salem had brains that fit this superior-power label, and thus the masses felt threatened. Just a thought...

Anyway, NYC is going to be a grand adventure. I am looking forward to exploring all that the greatest city in the world has to offer, and to giving everything I have to make it a better city. If you've never read the Alchemist, perhaps you should, but more importantly take this lesson. By constantly being mindful of improving yourself at every juncture, we unknowingly do the same for those around us. Try this, and you will be pleasantly surprised.

Much love,