Skip to content

Swaim School for Better Living: Wintering Well #8


Hello All,

Let’s get deep because winter can be deep. Or maybe you already know what I am about to explain in which case I am writing this for me.

This past Saturday I was lunching with my daughter at the local ski hill, Bogus Basin. We both love to ski and we both love the mountain. I had skied alone all morning until she was finished with her job in the ski school. We ski together for about an hour during this break and then we eat. Well the Winter Olympic Games were going on the big screen in the lodge and the Russians were playing the USA in hockey. I was warm and getting stiff and comfortable and contemplated watching the rest of the game and forgoing my afternoon ski. “Relax, you deserve it. It is cold and windy. The snow is great but so is being comfortable.” The battle was raging. Something passive vs. something active. Something real vs. something less real.

This may come as a surprise, but we have the ability to choose. And we have an infinite amount of things, experiences, detachments, engagements, entertainments, etc… to choose from. Will we choose something real or will we choose something less real? According to psychologist, Barry Swartz (TED Talk: Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice), the choices we have to make are so numerous, truly reaching infinity, that we often freeze up; we become immobilized, emotionally paralyzed. The freedom to choose has become a kind of trap. So we often take the easy road, or the known path, and often miss the adventure of living. Imagine having so many choices to make on a daily basis that you freeze up (that’s the Wintering Well part). Our grandparents would be blown away with the world we live in. According to Seth Godin (a great Blog to subscribe to BTW: Subscribe to Seth Godin’s Blog), our parents’ brains are 50x more crowded than their parents’. And we are 50x more crowded than our parents’. In the span of 3 generations, our brains are 2500x more crowded than our grandparents’. I won’t even do the math for our kids if this pace continues.

No wonder our hard drives are locked up.

No wonder inertia sets in.

No wonder we defer to the lowest energy state.

So a little advice:


Somehow I did. I got up out of my chair, stretched a little and went back out, leaving the Russians and Americans to sort things out. As soon as the cold air hit my face, I knew I had made a great decision. I had a blast. I made some spectacular ski turns (according to me); I saw some incredible views of the Central Idaho Mountains; I rode the chair lift with a 3rd grade girl named Gracie and it was one of the most delightful chats that I had all day. Wow, I could have been watching Hockey… ON TELEVISION! Choosing the real over the less real, proved to be the difference between having a good day, and having a great day.

So here is my suggestion:

Always go with the most real thing, and that means human interaction if possible. That means choosing engagement. That means leaving our phones and our TV’s and all the voices in our heads in our locker! Don’t get them out! Look for what is real and go that way. It makes all the difference in the world.



2 Join the Conversation

  1. Michael MacKinnon says
    Feb 22, 2018 at 2:37 PM

    Great reminder Dr. Kenny! Cant wait to get back to Idaho over spring break for a little bit of the 'more real'.

    • says
      Feb 22, 2018 at 8:29 AM

      We'll be waiting for you brother-man. It's all powder today at Bogus!

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

No Widgets
list location key: 18
sidebar name: blog_widget_area
sidebar query: SELECT option_name, option_value FROM wp_943_options WHERE option_name = 'sidebars_widgets' OR option_name LIKE 'widget_%'