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The Rules of the Game

Pre-dawn magic time once again on Buzzards Bay. Up early today, but not earliest this time. My brother-in-law, who owns a hardware store, was busy on his laptop in the kitchen as I headed out for the light show. A barge drifted past delivering oil to Boston. Yes, even on this Labor Day many people are hard at work keeping the world moving forward. And as I watch the rest of the world wake up, I’m pondering a few quotes on this Labor Day in the United States. This may be thought a day of rest for the common man, and I surely am that, but instead I contemplate the game of work, and the challenges that lie ahead.

“If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.” – Tony Gaskins

“You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.” – David Foster Wallace, Infinit Jest

“If you must play, decide on three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time.” – Chinese Proverb

“Too many people believe that everything must be pleasurable in life, which makes them constantly search for distractions and short-circuits the learning process.  The pain is a kind of challenge your mind presents – will you learn how to focus and move past the boredom, or like a child will you succumb to to the need for immediate pleasure and distraction?” – Robert Greene, Mastery

As I write, a crow lands atop a nearby tree, mocking me with its caw. The world owes us nothing, it lectured me, and it’s up to us to make something of ourselves. Pause, reflect, shift if you must, and move ahead. There’s only today after all.

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