Everest Base Camp - Gorak Shep - Nepal

For this week’s speedlink, we ponder some sage words of wisdom.

As much as I give my friend Bob Buskirk a hard time, we’ve both been able to make a living doing what we love, working for ourselves. In responding to people who “would love to do what you do,” he says the reason why they can’t is because they are lazy. Building your own business from the ground up is no easy task. It’s not just about hard either; you need to be determined and motivated enough to stick with it, even when you struggle to find any success in the early days.

Some goals have a practical purpose, like saving up to buy your first home. Other goals have much more to do with the journey than the destination. Gavin Aung Than recently featured an inspirational quote from George Mallory on precisely this topic, illustrating the point in beautiful Zen Pencils fashion. What is the use of climbing Mount Everest? It is of no use. You strive to summit the great mountain, because it’s there and not for a “a single bit of gold or silver.”

It is far too easy to say how things should be done when you are looking in from the outside. Things change very quickly when you’re in the thick of it all, as Bryan “Kzoodad” has learned. The parenting ideals he exclaimed before fatherhood have since been totally discarded. How many of you have succumbed to little white lies and the convenience of fast food? How many have given up on raising kids that are perfectly behaved and non-destructive?

An annual tradition for many children is to send a letter to Santa Claus in the North Pole, outlining the gifts they would like to receive. Leo Rosa Borges points out that we should write to Santa as grown-ups too. Even when you have no expectation of getting anything from Jolly Old Saint Nick, writing down your goals will help you achieve them and actually handwriting rather than typing on a keyboard can bolster your creativity.

And finally, we can glean some truly profound wisdom from the experience of Lucia Jang, a defector from North Korea who has since written about her escape to freedom. She was interviewed by Joseph Planta of The Commentary about her new book, Stars Between the Sun and Moon. Jang was joined by co-author Susan McClelland and translator Soohyun Nam. Fun side fact: I connected Joseph with Jeremy Lim to work out some technical aspects of the audio interview.