The way of Being Challenged

YoLoBloMo Lucky #13

“Playing sick. That is so hard to do. It has to be a total mental challenge, as well as the physical challenge.”
– Michael Jordan

The word “challenge” by itself won’t raise many eyebrows these days, but say “challenged”, with that “ed” at the end, and watch the ears perk up. Those are the PC sharks, and they smell blood.

Sorry, guys, nothing but empty calories for you here. I just used that title because… well read that first sentence again.

“The greater intellect one has, the more originality one finds in men. Ordinary persons find no difference between men.” – Blaise Pascal

Clearly, some seriously “ordinary persons” designed the public school systems, in the U.S. at least. There is no room for originality and “real” intellect. As a child, I happened to be fairly creative and intelligent what changed that?. Also, I did not agree with the concept of homework at all. My reasoning was, if you couldn’t teach it in the time allotted, I should not be punished for it. I had the idea that school was like a 9 – 5 job. Their time was theirs, and my time was mine. Plain and simple. My expression of my displeasure took the form of, for example, doing only the last three or four equations, out of 20, on a math homework assignment, explaining to the teacher that, logically, the hardest equations would be the last ones. If I could do those equations correctly, there was no reason to waste my time on the earlier ones. I did not get good marks in math… mostly due to, “Failed to turn in homework assignments on time.” Still seems reasonable to me. In fact, while I was in the Air Force, we had an emergency reprogram of the computers in all of the squadron’s jets – somewhere around 100, plus all the spares in storage, because a new Soviet radar threat had been identified god, you’re old. The normal process, as outlined in the emergency reprogramming plan, was to bring a computer in, test it to weed out bad computers, modify it, test it again, then send it out. I phoned the program manager in Washington DC and asked if all the computers were going to get new chips eventually anyway. He said of course they would. I asked, “Then why are we testing them before modifying them, when we can just modify them, then test them, set aside the bad ones for repair later and shove the good ones out the door?” Surprisingly, he agreed with me. I told the other shifts that the modified method was approved, but it was my idea, so they ignored it. In the end, my evening shift turned out more than twice the number of useable, reprogrammed computers than day shift and midnight shift combined. You’re welcome.

“The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Fact is, I did horribly in school. Looked like a complete moron simply because I was incapable of tolerating the tedium of the normal class environment. At the end of most days, if you asked me what had happened, I’d have no idea because, mentally, I wasn’t even there. I would “guess” a lot of the people reading this experienced something very similar.

But that’s not the point at all, you see, it’s not a guess, is it? It’s a well reasoned deduction based on my experience and my knowledge of the type of content herein. Let’s face it – I ain’t right… and I don’t mean “correct”. The people who read this regularly are going to have some similar quirks.

Ok. Bla, blah, blah… did a lot of wicked smart stuff that proves I’m wicked smart. When House, M.D. would start, someone would yell to me, “Hey, Ned, you’re on TV again!” Seriously, I’ve never taken Vicodin, that I know of, but otherwise, well, maybe I’m not quite as mean… most of the time… But life is all about the game. What game?

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
– Albert Einstein

It’s all a game! Or rather a series of games. No, not hahaha, isn’t this fun, games but games nevertheless, and every game has rules. If you learn the rules, you can play the game well. Can’t quite pick up on the rules of a particular game, you won’t succeed at that game, be it starting your car on a cold morning, or dealing with your significant other in the morning… oh yes, the rules for early morning are very different from the rest of the day. So you have to learn varying rules, but once you understand it’s all a matter of determining and working within the rules, life offers very few genuine surprises.

The thing is, people say I’m overly analytical, but I learned the rules for computer languages and being a computer consultant then, having taken one college level programming class, I was a successful software consultant for over 15 years. It was just another game to learn… and yes, by the way, I am overly analytical. In my home you had to be to come out even half sane.

The thing is, though, when you can talk to an expert in any given field for a few hours, then tell the company what is broken, that leaves very few challenges. Most people don’t like to hear this, but there are only so many personality types. Sure, they all have variations you need to learn, but you can know that person as a “Dave” or “Carol” within minutes, then you learn how their individual rules are modified.

Very few challenges, and very little that is truly original. Patterns and rules.

If you’re reading this, and are of a similar mind, you understand the joy of finding a real challenge. A “game” whose rules are not apparent within moments, where you find you are wrong more often than right. Most people don’t like to be wrong, but after 40-odd years of watching TV shows for 5 minutes, then describing the rest of the episode accurately, I can’t describe how important, fun, …and also, frustrating at times, finding that one challenge you just can’t quite wrap your head around is.

It’s Frickin’ Friday the 13th, bitches – Don’t be afraid, go challenge yourselves! Challenge someone else! And revel in the delight of the challenge!



About wned2012

Creative thinker & lover of laughter.
This entry was posted in ... and also, no cats., Better Living, Frickin' Friday, NaBloPoMo, Semi-Serious, Things and Stuff, YoLoBloMo and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The way of Being Challenged

  1. Jody says:

    This explains so much of my life.


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