Stay Calm
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I write this post moments after an hour long massage. Though some get massages to relax, I get mine to temporarily “fix”, the damage I’ve done to my body over years of abusing it. After this massage, I will hopefully once again, be able to stand straight up, and without pain.

Upon entering the massage room, I wisely remembered to shut off my phone. The last thing I needed was to hear the phone vibrating on and off for an hour. I’ve never had much of an issue calming my body down. I trained myself to do it in high school and ever since I’ve been able to fall asleep in minutes, at almost any moment and any location. Staying relaxed, I found, was also crucial to my martial arts (a predominant cause to the aforementioned body damage). A relaxed body takes less punishment, expends less energy, and moves faster and with more agility.

Almost immediately following my massage I entered a Greek restaurant for some lunch and work prior to another appointment. I was tentative to enter because I was in such a peaceful and calm state. But, my stomach would not relent with its insistence that I get food and soon, and so I entered the restaurant. I noticed almost immediately that the music playing inside was virtually identical to the music playing during my massage, and yet, the place was anything but quiet and peaceful. It was instead, a bustling room as one might expect during a lunch rush. I attempted to stay calm, while I ordered, took my seat and, riskiest of all, checked my email.

After the flood of email came pouring in, all from only an hour offline, I managed to catch the sound of that calm music still playing amidst the chaos. It reminded me of the importance of staying calm in all situations. I would guess that most of us rarely get enough opportunities for a relaxing massage, a walk in the park, or whatever other calming activity may work best for us. We should do those more for sure, and I highly urge it for both introverts (we seek it naturally), but also to extroverts, who can often find themselves feeling edgy and uncomfortable in such stillness.

It is the calm mind that thinks clearer, faster and with more agility. It is the calm mind that can withstand the extreme forces and stresses we often find ourselves living within.

This was a lesson Bruce Lee, a hero of mine growing up, taught frequently. For example, he said:

Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.

Stay calm.

Never waste energy on worries or negative thoughts, all problems are brought into existence -drop them.

Stay calm.

I’m intense; crazy intense, but I do my best to be as calm as I can and try to hide the internal fire, so as not to scare the children. For whatever reason, everything I do falls into two categories: those I’m intensely passionate about, and those I’m not. There isn’t a lot of in between. I would bet that’s a common attribute of an entrepreneur. It has both pros and cons, but because of it, those of you who are like me, have to take special care to stay calm.

I analyze everything; overanalyze, and that by very definition, isn’t being calm. Thinking while someone else is talking to you? Not calm. Reading in between the lines? Not calm. Second guessing yourself? Also, not calm.

If you find yourself doing any of these, be aware that your mind is clouded and you are distracting yourself, and wasting time and energy. I’ve found that although my mind is capable of deep thinking, innovative problem solving, and seeing things that other’s don’t, it’s often the state of mind of being free from such thoughts (a true state of calmness) that results in the most brilliant discoveries and insights.

It is only through remaining calm that we can attain that laser-like focus, determination and perseverance needed to overcome the setbacks of life, both personal and within our startups.

What do you do to calm down and be alone with and without your thoughts? What could you do today, to bring calm to yourself and take a time out from the distractions and chaos of our high tech, whirling, beeping and buzzing society?

Specify the Ruby patch level in your RVM config files
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If you are using RVM, be sure to specify the patch level for the version of Ruby you want to use, in the .rvmrc file. On some of my apps I had it, and on others I didn’t. When I upgraded RVM to the latest earlier this week, and then CD’d into an app directory, my Mac terminal would close with no visible error message. This was the case for many of my Rails apps, but not all of them. Finally figured out, off a tip from Steve Pothoven (@pothoven), that it was crashing on the apps that didn’t specify the patch level. Once the patch level was specified, all were accessible again.

I prefer asynchronous communication!
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Coders have been using asynchronous communication for years, but now with our new methods of online communication, we are all enjoying its benefits. This is the perfect t-shirt for the way your inner geek prefers to communicate.

I had a blast working with my fellow Gauged2 teammate, Keith Burson, as he brought my slogan to life using his awe-inspiring design skills. Now we need your votes to get it printed!
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The Rocking Chair Scenario: The Test That May Change Your Life
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This may be the most important test you’ll ever take. It’s one question, and failing it will effect you for the rest of your life. It’s a test I’ve been giving to friends and workmates for the last 15 years. Unlike most tests, you can fail it today, and still pass the test in time. For the sake of yourself, do whatever it takes to pass the test. Please.

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My Next Adventure

As I referenced yesterday in my previous post, I have, after much consideration, decided to leave my role as CTO at Tour Wrist and move on to other things. I won’t review the reasoning here in detail, but will summarize, that I put my best efforts into that position for 8 months, and believe I helped provide a more solid technology platform they can build on for years to come, as well as provided some valuable input into their business plan. But in the end, the company culture simply wasn’t a fit with the way I think and work and problem solve. And when you aren’t able to be yourself, everything just feels off. It’s exhausting. When that happens its time to move on for the good of everyone involved.

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