The Adventure

Live Your Story, Explore Your World

The Lessons of Zelda

This year marked the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda, my absolute favorite game series as a child.  It feels weird to me that Zelda is now a veteran in the relatively young medium of video games, and children are still discovering it for the first time 25 years later.  Here is my story of my time with Zelda, and what it taught me.

The Lessons of Legend of Zelda

It was 1988 in a Wal-Mart in the middle of midwestern nowhere that I first saw it, and was hooked at the title screen (in my defense, it had a sword on it and I was six years old).  Standing at the demo kiosk, I heard to the now classic theme music (click here to listen while you read) and could only wonder what adventure awaited when I pushed start.  Little did I know how the series and I would grow together and the many lessons it would teach me along the way.  I know we all remember this one, as it was in the first cave on the first screen.


What I Learned On My Last Trip Home

It’s December, though you wouldn’t know it here in North Carolina until you see all the Christmas decorations.  The snow-blanketed Christmases of my youth have been replaced by sunny and 50ºF.  I’m not complaining.   For my family (wife, dog, me) December means travel time — preparation, planning, packing, and I’m sure a whole host of other things beginning with a “p.”

This year I found myself reflecting on my trip home last December.  It wasn’t monumental or life-changing, but a few days after I returned to Carolina I felt compelled to write a list of things I learned during the trip home.  Some of them were real-world reinforcements of the blatantly obvious, some were things I knew but didn’t know, some hit me like a ton of bricks.  All were poignant.   Today I share that list with you.


Are You in the Arena?

Near the end of the year when I’m taking stock of how I spent my life over the past 12 months, it helps to have inspiration to see the big picture.  It is easy for me to get lost in the details and goals (especially ones not met), but remembering my mission and the why behind what I’m doing brings it back into perspective.

This excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt’s Citizenship in a Republic speech has always been both uplifting and motivating to me, I hope it will be to you as well.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.  [buy this as a poster]

The Future Belongs to Us


What does this mean to me?  

Devote yourself to something great, shed the cynicism of the world, don’t be afraid to begin, fail a time or two, learn from it, and build character.  Do these things next year and I promise your life will be different, mine has been.

What are you striving for?  Share in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Problem Solving, Shaving, and Sheldon Cooper

Have you ever been so stuck on solving a problem that no matter how much brain power you could muster the solution continued to elude you, frustrate you, and even drive you crazy?  Or you are searching for a new idea, and the more time spent on it the further it drifts away?  It seems like the quintessential rock and a hard place.  Let’s see how tv’s brilliant yet awkward physicist Dr. Sheldon Cooper (he’s not crazy, his mother had him tested) overcame this exact scenario with a little help from Albert Einstein, and then I’ll share what works for me.

Engaging the Superior Colliculus

The scene
: Sheldon Cooper has been up all night trying to solve a problem.  When we first see his struggle, he is attempting to engage the superior colliculus of his brain (I’ve done similar so-called brain strategies in times of desperation – they don’t work).  Three days and no sleep later he is still stuck when he has a breakthrough that will ultimately lead him to his solution.


What You Need to Know About Ear Infections

Moms and Dads, this ones for you.  Ear infections are the number one reason for antibiotic prescription in infants and young children, so what do you need to be aware of?  First, the average child under 2 years of age will have 2 ear infections per year.  Risk factors that increase the likelihood of ear infection include: daycare attendance, exposure to cigarette smoke, pacifier use beyond 10 months, and formula feeding.

Since it is likely that you and your child will experience this at some point, here is the best current information to keep in mind:

  • Most cases are viral, so antibiotics will be of no help.  Medical offices do not culture the ear fluid to determine if it is viral or bacterial.
  • A British Medical Journal study found that 17 children must be treated with antibiotics to prevent just one child from experiencing some pain.
    Del Mar C.  Are antibiotics indicated as initial treatment for children with acute otitis media?  British Medical Journal 1997; 314(7093): 1526-1529. 



How do we determine which way to go in our lives?  There is an innate understanding of a ‘master plan,’ but too often we feel unplugged, unaware of our place in it. Without discovery or pursuit of our role, our “destiny,” we tend to inflate ourselves up to feel bigger than we are – to try to feel important and meaningful in some way.  It is trying to fill a void by becoming narcissistic.

Plan and Perspective

I think that in discovering our place in God’s plan, we become humbled by how small we really are.  Thankfully, that liberates us from lying to ourselves through self-aggrandizing, and changes our perspective away from our conception of time [to eternity].