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Paddle

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Everything happens fast anymore, between twitter, facebook, cell phones, On Demand cable. Why would a technologist need to slow down? Shouldn’t I be speeding up, adding ram or another screen right now?

No… You shouldn’t. A sniper can only be at peak awareness for but so long, some military guides have it down to 30 minutes of good focus. So how long can you stay plugged into the matrix of modern life operating on all fronts without a little recharge?

I Talked about the method behind the paddle on The CaffiNation, but I didn’t talk out the madness. When things get rough in work the very act of whittling is calming. Go to quick and you cut yourself. Go to slow and nothing happens.

Like life, as soon as you understand that there is only one speed you can live, stuff starts to settle down. I have found a couple of different ways to slow my ever racing brain down. Whittling just happens to be the latest.

When I was young my grandfather would take me fishing, some of the best times in my life. The only thing I ever remember him criticizing me about was my lack of patience, but tell that to an 8 year old. He said the fish would come if you learn patience. He was right. Fishing was practice for learning to slow down to the speed of things you cannot control. It was, and is also the most relaxing thing I can imaging doing.

Same goes for whittling you need to take small pieces away to reveal the shape hidden within the block of wood. Take too big of a piece and the whole piece changes dramatically (Never say ruined, but that is a story for a different time) take too small and you won’t see any progress.

Now I whittle while I fish, but this is probably pushing the envelope. How do you slow down yourself to the speed of life.

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