Cineas was an ancient Greek politician and a friend of King Pyrrhus of Epirus, considered one of the greatest generals in antiquity. After spending decades securing his own possessions, it was inevitable that the king would turn his attention toward the new powers of Rome and Carthage, to the west of Greece.
The story goes that Cineas tried to dissuade Pyrrhus from sailing to Italy and urged him to be satisfied with the possessions he already had. “Should the gods permit us to overcome them,” Cineas asked, “how will we profit from our victory?”
When I was a kid, I hated with a passion losing at any kind of game. It wasn’t easy to accept that I couldn’t roll the perfect number, hit the perfect shot, or play the perfect card every single time. These days, I still would much rather win than lose, but I’m not willing to win at all costs, and I’m happy when I know that I gave it my best shot. I see my six-year-old son struggle with things sometimes not going his way, and I pray he’ll have an easier time learning that lesson.
The great thing is to be found at one’s post as a child of God, living each day as though it were our last, but planning as though our world might last a hundred years.—C. S. Lewis (1898–1963)
If you can’t do great things, Mother Teresa used to say, do little things with great love. If you can’t do them with great love, do them with a little love. If you can’t do them with a little love, do them anyway.
—John Ortberg (b. 1957)
Okay, it’s not quite cleared as in “0 Items,” and I don’t ever expect that. In the past month, though, I’ve gone from a rather long-standing position of always having between 100 and 150 items in my inbox to having only between 7 and 30 at any given time—except, of course, when I open my mailbox for the first time each day and the mail floods in.
Last Christmas I was a few months into a new job. My new office was an hour from my home, my hours were from 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., and I worked on Saturdays. I was always exhausted and out of sync with everyone in my life. And I had to work on Christmas Day!
Do you ever feel like, in order to meet your own expectations and those of others, you’d have to work relentlessly, push through the tired, ignore the stress—and you still might come up short? The demands will always outweigh the resources. Just thinking about this is stressful, yet it is under exactly this stress that we spend most of our time.
For as long as I can remember, I never liked doing puzzles. Viewing thousands of sky-blue, nearly-identical little pieces scattered over a wooden table was enough to make my head feel dizzy. I couldn’t begin to figure out where to start.
Time is one thing that you can never get back again. The Bible talks about “redeeming the time” or “making the best use of the time.”1 That calls for some commitment to developing our time management skills.
The other day I read a very interesting article about the Feynman Technique, which promises to help you learn anything in four steps. It intrigued me, as I enjoy learning and jump at any opportunity to make the process easier. The article says that Feynman tried to always explain complex ideas in the simplest terms.1
One of my favorite games involves pulling things apart. It’s a high-risk game, as no matter how awesomely you’re doing, things can go wrong very quickly, and then it’s all over.
A game of Jenga begins with a tower of crisscrossing wooden blocks stacked on top of each other, three in one direction in each level, covered by three in the alternate direction in the next level, and so on.