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In the pause: Why we must take the time to study science history

If there is any lesson we can take from science history it’s this: the odds were never in our favor. It took an infinite number of circumstances to line up in a very specific way to make our existence possible. Pull out one of those evolutionary Jenga blocks and the very idea of humans comes crashing down. We survived by living in the now and adapting to constant change.

So how does this apply to our lives at this very moment? Somewhere deep within you there may be a dream you’re not pursuing for one simple reason: fear that the odds are against you. Stop thinking about the odds of success or failure, and just forge ahead. You’re already a true miracle; we all are. Don’t squander that gift. Give your very best in this and every moment. Stop trying to understand now and predict tomorrow. We can’t do either. We’re only able to understand life by looking backward.

History is and will always be our best teacher. Use its lessons. The sense in all of it will come later, with time and perspective. Your only job now is to live as well as you can. Stop trying to get it right, and just get it done.

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This week, the many different threads at my job started to connect. It’s immensely gratifying to learn a large and complex technology platform, all for the sake of bringing more art, theater, music, and dance to more people. The vertical learning curve is becoming a little less vertical. Or maybe I am just becoming a more adept climber.

This idea of scaling walls reminded me of this sign I saw a few months ago when I was shoulder-deep in my job search, including interviewing for my current job. I wasn’t sure what would happen in my search, or what I would do about what would happen when it did happen. (This is how my mind works. It’s in a constant state of whirring.) What I needed was a sign, so I asked for one as I made my way up Fifth Avenue from the New York Public Library to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That’s when I saw this sign in the North Face storefront: Walls are meant for climbing. And about 30 minutes later, I heard from my now current job that I was moving on to the next and final round. Less than a week later, they offered me the job.

It’s this sense of optimism, asking the Universe for guidance, and then opening our eyes and ears to take in the wisdom around us that we have to take with us everywhere we go, into every situation that we face. We may not always be successful though our odds dramatically increase when we can look at a wall not as a roadblock, but as a reason to smile. I got this. You got this. We all got this.

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