Sometimes when you want water, you get sand instead.

Life throws a variety of curve balls. We can sit and sulk, or we can take risks and change our lives.


Water main cover in street. © Quinn McDonald 2014.

The idea of risk is usually far more appealing than the risk itself. When we think about risk, we almost always automatically think of failure. And we plan how we will survive the failure. How we will re-group afterwards. “Plan for the worst,” we say and then we are disappointed when it happens. Well, you did plan for it.

We rarely plan for big successes. Once you have asked yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Immediately ask yourself, “What’s the best that could happen?” Plan for that, too.

You create your own reality. Where you look is where you go. Make sure you include great scenery in your life.

–Quinn McDonald


15 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. You always pop up with the wise words when they are most apt,making me believe my own path of reality is working in good syncronisity with those on the level of my plane of existence. Reinforcement of random thought,timely quotes,the fact I even found my loverly Quinn when there are a zillion webites and blogs out there. Pete …I am with you on the flying car thing,by now I thought we would all be living in something that resembled the film Blade Runner. Quite relieved we are not there yet.x

  2. One of my favourite quotes attributed to Lao-tzu is, “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” How can you march toward success in any field if you have your eyes on failure? This theme of direction and risk, making the best of opportunities, keeps coming up again and again . . . I’m listening!

  3. I’m not so sure I really create my own reality, given the apparent lack of flying cars, hotels on the moon, space colonies on Mars and…well, at least Mars. You know, things any self-respecting reality would definitely have.

      • Maybe so, but while I could contribute to the engineering effort for these things — maybe — it’s not the same as a general dedication to advancement by the civilization I live in. The reality is, it seems to me, that I don’t really have that much of a role in creating the reality I inhabit. Can I contribute? Sure, and I do what I can. Do I “create it”? That seems to me like happy-talk nonsense.

        • OK, I’m not going to try to persuade you to be any different than you are. I like you the way you are. I believe that “truth” and “fact” and “reality” are all different things and that the “reality” we live in is one we create. That does not mean we are responsible for everything that happens; but the way we experience it is. The same thing can happen to two people and each one will experience it differently.

          • On the micro, localized, and personal level, I agree. Your personal experience is unique. But there is also reality, the majority of which no one person experiences at all — people collectively don’t experience most of it — and it’s quite a different thing from your personal experience. It would, of course, be great fun to, say, change the gravitational constant or make the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter exactly 3 — I’ll keep an eye on circles to see if you manage it! I believe circles might look more like hexagons. Hmmm, interesting problem; if pi is 3, would that result in one specific shape in place of the circle, which could not exist as we know it, or would the solution space contain a set of shapes?

          • Yes, I agree with you–the way I see it (and you are not required to agree, it’s more fun if you don’t) “reality” (however that is defined) happens, and how we interpret it gives us our own impression of it. Which is what we interpret as “truth.” Which is also different for each person.

          • You’re right, I don’t agree. Reality happens, we interpret it, have our own impression of it, and that gives us…our own impression of it. Truth is not that cheap, that easy, or that convenient. Everybody has personal impressions that are important to them, and these are not insignificant things. But while they are true, they are true in only a small, limited, personal way.

            Truth is a validation of correspondence; this matches that. Only I can really decide whether, for me, that tree is prettier than this poem, or whether, for me, trees are generally nicer than poems. I can express my experience and if I do a good job, if my expression matches my impression (ahem), then the correspondence is established — it’s true.

            There are also things that are true quite independent of me, of my impressions or experiences. It does not matter how I feel about gravity or whether I have any personal experience with a temperature of millions of degrees — it is true that every bit of matter (including me) is attracted to the earth to the same extent, and that the sun keeps things warm (except for New Hampshire in January, of course).

            It’s hard work to establish independent truths. They’re not personal, they’re not impressions, and that’s why they’re much, much more important.

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