Monday, March 08, 2010

$2 and the beach is a great way to neutralize the burn of ambition

"It doesn't cost anything to go to the beach" - Anna Torv (the actress who plays a part on Fox's TV show Fringe)

Although this is a tiny stretch, it's pretty much in the ballpark. Especially in Chicago when it's warm.

A beach here is a great equalizer of sorts. Sure some guys might have taken a white Lamborghini to the beach ;) But anyone else that needs transport to a Chicago beach can get there for a $2 bus ride if they can't already walk.

Water and warm weather are crazy. They're like magic. For me, it's often where I can put ambition in check. Where I can find balance with my desire to always improve and become better.

Ambition is like a dangerous chemical.

It can be used to achieve great things. Brilliant chemical reactions. But it can also burn like an acid.

For some reason for me, and seemingly for many others, beaches of warm sand and water seem to bring us back to the now and remove us temporarily from our ambition. At the beach, again especially in Chicago, are all demographics, all ethnicities, all income levels and professions. All usually doing the same exact thing.

Enjoying a perfect moment.

I read the quote above on a trip to San Francisco last week. Coincidentally I got to spend some time just walking by water. The weather was a bit chilly and the water is always too cold to swim in, but still, the water has a way of providing calm.

I also got to visit a Japanese tea garden, where I found a splendid but tiny waterfall.

What is it about water? Especially running water and waves that does this for us? Again even this simple waterfall has the impact of bringing people back to the now.

That seems to be a big point of a Japenese tea garden. They even have these zig zag bridges which according to Wikipedia, are zig zagged to encourage you to pay very close attention to how you're walking across them. Because if you have your mind on something else, it's very easy to fall in the water they cross.

Hopefully, you have found the things that help you step back from your ambition. Afterall, even though we want to achieve more and get more and be better, in the end, we usually all enjoy pretty much the exact same things. And often those things are actually achievable today without having or doing much more than spending $2 on the bus.


*When it's winter in Chicago, you'll need to find something else :)

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