Monday, January 19, 2009

New Year’s Day YEAR, Part 3

The steady roar of the tractor pummeled my ears until I couldn’t hear it anymore. It was steady and consistent as I made my way down the field disking last year’s corn stubble into the ground. Disking was a fairly easy job, especially compared to cultivating where you had to watch and concentrate on the position of the tractor related to the crop or you would cut out the crop. With disking all I had to do was make sure the ends overlapped a bit and buzz down the field. But then it came, that slight change in the RPM of the engine. Before the change I wasn’t even registering the noise of the engine but the slightest change in RPM and I was at full attention. I looked behind me and saw corn stalks piling up in front of the disk instead of being chopped up by it. I raised the disk a bit and watched the disk eat the stalks like a shredder chewing paper.

All it took was an ever-so-slight change in RPM of the engine. The engine I didn’t consciously hear before the change. An anomaly jarred my brain back to attention.

While our brains are fantastically amazing they are also lazy. They will not “pay attention” to things that are the same, the usual, or the ordinary but they will JUMP to attention at things that are different, Unusual, or extra-ordinary. Don’t believe me? Don’t know what I am talking about? Tell me if you have experienced this:

You are calmly sleeping with crazy noise going on: partner snoring, fan, trains going by, TV on, etc; and then you hear a “click” of your front door. Tell me you don’t STARTLE awake. Or, you find yourself at work and don’t remember actually driving to work.

Or just maybe last year went by and you hardly even remember it. Nothing different happened, nothing new stopped you in your tracks or startled you, it was just another year that blew by without you even noticing. You lived it, you survived it, your brain filed it away and you were barely aware of it.

Let’s NOT do that again this year. Now there are things that will make your year memorable that are not necessarily good. Things like death, job loss, traumas, or relationship breakups. I would like to suggest a few things to make this year memorable in a positive way. Here’s my list (feel free to add to it):

- Skydive.
- Drive a NASCAR car at over 120 mph.
- Start your own company.
- Take a trip, NOT just a vacation to hang at a beach, visit the pyramids, the acropolis, the Great Wall, or Red Square.
- Go on a mission project of some kind for at least a week: build a hut, bring water to a village, work at a clinic, and play with kids who don’t speak your language.
- Become an expert at a new hobby.
- Start your own website.
- Write a book and self publish it.
- Fast (drink only water) one day a week and pick one week to fast the whole week (water plus vitamins).

I will guarantee that if you do these and add a few to it. Your new year will be memorable and your brain won’t be able to file it under a “boring” and “skip over” year.

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