Ten Things that Inspire the Sh*t Out of Me

1.) Death. We have a limited time on this earth: 77 years for a U.S.-born male. Realize that life is a ticking clock, and you've got a small window to make a big impact. 

2.) Fast cars. There's just no better physical manifestation of man's desire to be unreasonable in the pursuit of the unimportant. I'd like to go 200 mph. Check. How about 1.5g around a traffic cone? Check. Fast cars are confirmation that the frivolous is absolutely worth the effort. It'll put a smile on your face.

3.) Adaptive athletes. No arms? I'm lifting. No legs? I can run. You might have an excuse, but it's junk, and after you hang out with these guys, you'll realize it in short order. If you want something, anything, badly enough, there is never a reason not to get it done.

4.) Big data. I like the idea that nothing is unknowable. In that list, in that spreadsheet, in that mass of numbers, lies the answer. Whatever you want to know, it's there. Frame the question correctly, collect the data, find the answer.

5.) Premature action. In the absence of proof (which is nearly always), you need to take a guess and act. There is no clarification quite as potent as that engendered by action. Want to know what she'll say? Ask her. What happens if you try to ship barbells to Antigua? Do it. Can you snatch 200 lbs.? Give it a shot. 

6.) Learning. There is a school of thought that says if you don't know, hire an expert. Cute, if you've got the funds. I say figure it out. Want to create a website, but don't know how? Figure it out. Want to know how string theory impacts your attempts to time travel? Figure it out. 

7.) Airplane travel. You can leave wherever you are today, and be on the opposite side of the planet in less than 24 hours. If you don't like the view, go to the airport. You and a credit card can be in another land, with another culture, learning and thriving, abandoning or seeking, in incredibly short order. Our ability to fly is real, and it's incredible.

8.) Unconditional love. Rarely seen outside of puppies, but awesome as all get out. No matter what happens, I will be here for you. It's the stuff of legend, the stuff of heroism, the thing that gives us faith in humankind, in each other. The day I'm capable of offering unconditional love is the day I'll quit worrying about anything else.

9.) Skyscrapers, bridges, and trains. These physical embodiments of man's ability to create the sensational is a testament to dreams, a testament to the great power of cooperation. These monoliths are small glimpses at what can be accomplished when we dream big, and they serve as proof that there are those among us who refuse to think small.

10.) The Internet. Yep, I'm serious. Every person I know, including you, now has the ability to broadcast. Mass media is the egalitarian province of the people. Got something to say? Say it. If it's worth reading or watching, it will become a self-propagating force, migrating far beyond its intended reach. Realize the power of the keyboard, the mobile phone, the tablet, and strive to equal that power. Using the internet to troll for your own amusement is the equivalent of using a magic wand to heat up mac and cheese.

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