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16 From Zero to New Life in 184 Words

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Life in 184 Words | Breakthrough Ideas

Above is one of my favorite photos taken in Rhode Island; Alec, Mason, Josh, and Norman are from left to right. They often take a long bus ride to visit me but rarely are they all together at once. We were walking home after we left a restaurant near the southern end of the East Bay Bike Path.

The restaurant is more than 14 miles away from Ifeanyi Landing, a stone’s throw away from the other end of the bike trail. Chapter 6, Sharpening the Blade of Your Mind, of the book Thumoslang on the Run (OTR), also known as The Guide to Thumoslang, explains the location’s origin. Our group refers to the book simply as OTR.

In the evening on the same day, Lyonel, a friend of Alec’s, came by for the second meeting with me eleven days after we first met. In the first meeting, he wanted to co-write a book with me. In the second meeting, we also agreed to do a podcast together. The following snapshot came from a five-minute mock podcast we produced at the time.

On the previous day, Mason and Josh got me to First Beach in Newport for the evening. That was when I took the following photo.

While we were on the bus home, I shared with Mason the following image minutes after I received it from Alec. Alec suggested we use it as the background for OTR’s cover. Minutes later, Mason and Alec talked on the phone about the image.

While wandering around Providence by myself, hours before we met up and went to the beach, I asked two random girls to take a picture of me. We were in front of a flock of Canadian geese with a bridge and three smokestacks in the background. I expected them to wait until I walked closer to the bird and turned around before they snapped my camera. Instead, they took several pictures even while I was walking toward the geese. The following photo resulted; I did not notice it until the day following my second meeting with Lyonel.

“Alec, I like this photo so much. I thought of the following as a tagline for it: His 184 Words Changed the World,” I said as I showed Alec the photo I discovered on my smartphone minutes ago. “The thought inspired me to suggest a new title for OTR: Zero to New Life in 184 Words.”

Life in 184 Words,” said Alec.

“Wow, thank you; I like it,” I was happy. “You’ve just shortened my proposed title.”

“It’s sexier,” Alec gave a quick explanation.

“Agree,” said Nick. “Can you put the title on the back cover using this photo as its background image?”

“Yes,” agreed Alec. “I’ll do the same for the title page.”

“Wonderful,” said Nick. “I will ask someone to produce a painting such that when you place the book upside down, you can see a matching between its back cover and the painting or its print on your wall.”

That was when I had a new title for Thumoslang on the Run (OTR). It is “Life in 184 Words.”

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