Strength in Numbers

Whether it is the number of hours spent creating or how many finished pieces I have in inventory I can’t help but to think of how the theory of strength in numbers applies into the daily human experience. This thinking seems to have the ability to play into almost every facet of our existence. We apply it in many ways. We heal a heart by the number of tears and hours that pass. We gain self confidence by the number of pounds lost. We gain control by the number of days that pass of sobriety. We get strong by the number of miles ran.

Our investment of time spent in our family, friends, careers and ourselves is a direct reflection of strength in numbers. We conscientiously acknowledge this most of the time and are active in the application. Other times we seem to more subtly modify our behavior to achieve similar results perhaps even on a more sub conscience level. Conscience or not it is important for myself to be fully cognizant of the quality of the investment itself.

I have to remind myself that while it might be great to sell many pieces, receive tons of accolades, be frequently covered by the press none of these can be relied upon when you need a friend at three in the morning or when you need support to help you through when your world collapses. For me it is a matter of prioritizing and revisiting the matter frequently to accommodate the shifts that are always occurring. I also have to allow myself a margin of error with the knowledge that inevitably I will pursue counterproductive investments. So what is it that I will consistently dedicate myself to today? Well I can tell you this….I just want to make better choices.

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5 Responses to “Strength in Numbers”

  1. We all make bad decisions from time to time. But what defines us is how we respond….and keep moving forward. Love your writing (it makes my head hurt from thinking)

  2. Strength in numbers. What a thought provoking piece. I think that we as humans tend to quantify and justify by numbers that we achieve or amass. It is akin to the runner having a stopwatch and being able to check his or her progress, a meausring stick, if you will. we tend to assign achievement and importance by these numbers. Take the runner example a step further. Not only can the runner measure progress and track personal bests, but those times can be measured against course records, state records, best times that year, world records, etc. Let’s say that the runner has dedicated himself to the utmost of his or her ability and has achieved the best posibble results that he or she possibly can. Is the outcome any less impressive than, say, the world record holder? If the world record for the mile, currently 3:43 by Moroccan legend Hiccham El Gerrouj, is only halfway approched by this person, only reaching say, a 6 minute mile at best, is the time any less impressive? I guess it depends on the context. What if this person weighed over 300 pounds most of his adult life, smoked and drank, and rarely ever excersized beyond required gym classes in high school. Let’s say this person is 45 and had triple bypass surgery 2 years ago. Something woke up that person. For some reason, all of a sudden that person saw the value in life and chose to alter his diet, excersize more regulary, go on walks. All of a sudden, he began to feel better. Drinking. Stopped. Smoking, well, all habits don’t die over night, but at least he was trimming down from a pack and a half down to a half a pack. And with each passing day, he felt better. felt stronger. Intially, he could only walk once around the track. Eventually two laps. As he visited the track, he notice all of the other people jogging and running around the track on a frequent basis. He noticed the regulars, and they noticed him. They were beutiful, trim and fit. He admired their dedication. How he would love to be like that! They noticed him too. And they also noticed him. How cool, they thought. Here was this fat guy, how couldn’t run a lick, and yet here he was, day after day, walking around the track and just as dedicated as a pro athelete. Smiles and words of encouragement now were constantly passed to the “fat guy”. 6 months later, Joe (I have to give him a name at this point) runs his first lap. He no longer smokes, eats well, and weighs about 235 lbs. Surprisingly, he finds he has the energy to run one more, and another. Slow for sure, and his muscles ache, but his joints feel good. And he had a fluury of high fives from the “crew” at the track. He felt like an Olympian. “Joe, I have something for you” says one of the runners walking up to him. “What is it?” he replies. “It’s a stopwatch, Joe. Here, look at it. See the time? 11:37. You ran 4 laps just now. That is a mile. I timed you when I saw you start running. Now you will have this watch to time yourself and see how you are improving ech day. I am impressed and inspired by you!” Joe couldn’t believe his ears. “But you are such a fast runner. How could you possibly be inspired by me?” The other runner replied, ” Because Joe, you are here like clockwork. You have a dedication to your excersize routine that is amazing. I have days where I drag ass and don’t feel like comind down to the track. It would be so easy to take a day off, I say to myself. But then I remeber you. Shit, Joe is most certainly there, walking around the track. If anyone has an excuse, it’s him. And I find myself here day after day, motivated by the fact that if you can do it, so can I. You are my inspiration, Joe” Tears welled up in Joe’s eyes. He, an inspiration? He clutched the shiny new stopwatch in his hands… Throughout the summer he ran. And Ran. And ran. He waqs now on a first name basis with the other runners, even stretching out with them. That summer, he donned his first pair of shorts. He weighed 195. He posted the best time he ever would, at 6 minutes and 43 seconds. A far cry from the record by El Gerrouj, but a feat equal to reaching the summit of Mount Everest for Joe. He was now healthy and fit. He would never entirely erase the abuse and neglect he subjected hi life to over most of his life, but he had given himself a new lease on life. He enrolled in Community college and was able to get a management position at a Fitness club, of all places! He ran a support group for those struggling with diet and excersize and began to speak to small groups at community centers, fitness clubs, and churches. As word spread, he began to travel aound the country to speak to support groups. And 2 years later, he wrote his first book. He was happy. He had purpose in his life. Looking back, he realized that if he had not changed, he most likely would not be alive. What a journey. He still keeps that stopwatch in his office on his desk to serve as a reminder. Even the most common person can be a hero and inspiration to others.

    So how good does that 6 minute mile look now?

    Numbers, gotta lov’em.

  3. Howdy there,I discover that your weblog is very informative and helpful and we wonder if there can be a possibility of acquiring More articles like this on your site. If you willing to help us out, we would be willing to compensate you… Kind regards, David Pascanik

  4. A very great article. Well done. Very motivating!! Go on that way

  5. Nice post! You truly have a wonderful way of writing which I find captivating! I will definitely be bookmarking you and returning to your blog. In fact, your post reminded me about a strange thing that happened to me the other day. I’ll tell you about that later…

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