Learning Everything Except the Art of Learning

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NYC Alley

Acquaint yourself with your own ignorance. – Isaac Watts  Much is made of the tale of Icarus, the boy who flew too close to the Sun. But very few know about his cousin, Perdix. When Perdix was a young boy, he showed great promise as a student of the mechanical arts. His mother, desiring only […]

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This Is Not Your Practice Life

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Leave a mark that can’t erase neither space nor time. So when the director yells cut, I’ll be fine, I’m forever young. – Shawn Carter, Forever Young 2009 AD. Who can go up to heaven? Only the gods dwell forever. Men number their days. But even if I fall I will win fame. And fame lasts […]

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Buttering to the Edges

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Buttered Toast

A few months ago, Melissa and I decided to plant ourselves in the very misfit town of Asheville in North Carolina. As we nomad around the world in 1,880 days, the sceneries and seasons and cultures and people change, but one constant that we always maintain is our standing morning coffee date at the best café we can […]

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The Coincidence of Wants

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On the second Sunday of every month in Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park, the city sets up what residents call el Mercado de Trueque or the Barter Market. The concept is simple. Residents come with what they would consider rubbish, and they trade it in for locally grown produce from regional farmers. The economy assembled here is an […]

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Something in the Air

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Handstands on Dirt Roads

Cities are the baggage of the industrial era. George Gilder (famously prophesying the death of cities) __ In the late 19th century, Alfred Marshall, one of the fathers of modern economics, hypothesized that the reason Victorian furniture makers always set up shop near one another is because, as he put it, Proximity creates ‘something in the air’.  […]

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Good Enough

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AJ in his red shoes at Balancing Rock in Moab, Utah.

A few months ago I found myself standing at a bar in Azusa waiting for my morning double espresso at what has become one of my favorite coffee shops in the entire world. I stood there patiently, leaning on the counter, admiring the finger paint on the back of the black bar stools and the […]

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The Paralysis of Waiting

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Stop ... Standing Still

On this very day, 6 years ago, I left everything I had ever known – a successful career, a corner office, a compliant life. I left it all at the altar of what would have been a career changing promotion. Why? Because in one brief moment of audacity, I recognized that this Life was mine, […]

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Alternative History

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Sunrise

The glow of an early and rising Sun peaked over the horizon on the shores of Islamorada, and began to pepper the waves with radiance from the higher countries. And, for the first time in my life, it occurred to me, the world could have been a cold and dark place. My custom is to […]

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Do it Anyways

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It doesn’t take much to be the guy in the room who says no to everything. It’s not hard work to identify the general excitement behind a new idea or the momentum of a new direction and call out all the possible ways it could fail. Anybody can do that. Any three year old kid […]

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What I Learned while Running on the Shores of Siam

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AJ Leon standing with no shoes on the beach in Santa Barbara, California.

I’ve reconvened on my green bench, watching the tide inch ever nearer with each wave. In two hours, the shoreline will evaporate and be submerged into the blueish-green billows of the Gulf of Siam. I am completely cognizant that this should not be surprising nor delightful as it is a daily and common occurrence – […]

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