Archive for January 21st, 2012

Today I finished reading “The Runner And The Path“, by Dean Ottati (2002).  This is another of the $2 books I’ve picked up at Half-Price Books on the outside rack.  I bought it on the strength of 1) it’s about running; 2) the author/runner lives locally (in Walnut Creek); and, 3) from the inside the cover notes the book came across as quasi-philosophical.  The book is all three and more. 

The author is an account manager (an “executive”) in a technology company.  Feeling a bit out of shape, he takes up running as a hobby and discovers that over time, it shows him an entirely new side of himself which he never made time to observe before.  The author learns (between running and talking with his running friends) to listen to his own heart.  Not the the physical heart beating away in his chest, but the heart beating away in his soul.

The book is a mild indictment of corporate America, because the author ultimately decides (after his review,) that he doesn’t always want to be fighting on the corporate ladder and that there is more to life than “just” more – more money, more authority, more stuff.  The author does admit he has been lucky and he’s fortunate enough to be in a position to back off of the rat race so his conclusions “ring” true, however, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hope for the non-executives (regular workers) or those who can’t step off the ladder.

Other than those minor comments, I found the book to be very enjoyable – like talking with a new acquaintance whom you discover you have a lot in common with.  The authors writing style, even when he lapses into philosophy, is conversational and therefore a quick read.  And he does have a way with words, which means you’ll be seeing quotes from this book from time to time.

All in all, I recommend the book for those who have never really looked up from their “path” to see where it is actually taking them.

Finally, I must admit I kept waiting for a reference to Frost’s “The Road Not Taken“, but it never came.  An opportunity missed by the author…


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There is no sorrow like a love denied
Nor any joy like love that has its will.

—  Richard Hovey
from: “The Marriage of Guenevere

[This short verse reminded me of the song “I Love” by Tom T. Hall.  You can click through to find the lyrics or go to it via the Poems tab.  The reminder was not so much about sorrow or love of another (as, I think, implied by the verse) as much as about the joy that simple love can bring.  —  KMAB]

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If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people.  But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that.  Just by lengthening the time horizon, you can engage in endeavors that you could never otherwise pursue.  At Amazon we like things to work in five to seven years.  We’re willing to plant seeds, let them grow—and we’re very stubborn.  We say we’re stubborn on vision and flexible on details.

—  Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
from the article: “Jeff Bezos Owns the Web in More Ways Than You Think”  written by Steven Levy in the December 2011 issue of Wired Magazine.

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