“The Little I Know” 90

Excerpt from Ken McArthur’s story, “The Little I Know”

Destiny was having a very rough day.

Usually a poster child for success with a welcome look that made her smile contagious, Destiny wasn’t smiling on that dreary day. She was sitting in her pastor’s office, knowing the world had conspired to ruin her life at the sweet, young age of 27.

Success had come early to Destiny.

She was the girl to be with in high school, the young woman to watch in college and the rising star early in her business life. She didn’t even wait until the magic age of 30 to become the CEO of her own multi-million dollar company.

But now that was over.

Her partners had deceived her.

The IRS hounding her, bankruptcy was no relief and although the prosecutors had decided not to pursue criminal charges, the future looked empty of hope. Friends had fled and love was not in the air on that rainy afternoon. God had washed it down the storm drain with the rest of her life.

Destiny wasn’t looking for God as she turned to her pastor and said in a barely audible voice, “What am I supposed to do now? I don’t believe in anything.”

So the pastor turned to her and said, “I have a friend who started there. Would you like to meet him?”

And so it happened on a slightly sunnier day, Destiny found herself opening the door to a simple one room office in a quiet, older section of town.

She wasn’t impressed.

There was no receptionist. The only person in the room was sitting behind a large cluttered desk and surrounded by countless bookshelves and mementos of a lifetime.

He was a man in his 60s, maybe handsome in a past century Destiny thought. His clothes weren’t impressive, just jeans and a sweater and although the pastor had indicated she could learn something about life from meeting with this dropout from a past generation, she wasn’t too sure.

He certainly didn’t look too successful to her and more than anything Destiny wanted success.

His smile was welcoming though and so Destiny sat down in the comfortable chair across from him, her eyes wandering across the countless shelves of books and began with a simple question.

“So what do you know?”

“It’s funny that you should ask Destiny, because I don’t know much, but I did ask myself that very question many years ago.

Imagine a teenager, the son of a Presbyterian minister in a one stop light, Colorado town. His haircut close – the barber tells him he can never grow long hair because his is too thick and unruly – he has the thin, gawky, semi-pimply look of every teenage boy that you never wanted to be.

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and he’s lying on his bed in an upstairs bedroom of a house built long ago as a manse, probably occupied by a long line of pioneer ministers out in the wilds of the Southwest and now the breeding place of more ideas than one teenage boy can handle.

He looks across the room at the old dining room table, which convinced his parents he needs because any normal desk was never big enough to hold his ideas.

His eyes drift to the ham radio he uses to eavesdrop on the rest of the world.

As his eyes follow the antenna out of the window to the tree in the yard, his mind drifts in and out of focus as he wonders if there is anything he really knows is true.

Destiny, great ideas tend to come when you have no boundaries on your thinking. They’re scary because great ideas are — by definition — not normal. They’re different than run of the mill variety ideas. They just click.

In my teens no dreams existed which were beyond my reach or problems too great to solve.

I started with a clean slate.

As a teen nothing seemed above challenging and so I challenged everything.

I asked the questions, “What is the truth and does it have many faces? Is it unknowable?”

I began to doubt everything.

What if the world was nothing like I imagined it to be?

Did the world even exist? After all, dreams can seem as real as our daytime world.

Was there a God? How could I possibly know for sure? Was there anything which was undeniably true?

So I started from a blank slate and attempted to find something I knew to be absolutely true and found almost nothing.

In the unbounded and unconquered mind of a teenage boy there are no limits.

  • There might not be a God.
  • I might not be a person.
  • Other people might not exist.
  • The world might not exist.
  • Good might not be good.
  • Bad might not be bad.
  • One might not equal one.

It was pretty radical thinking for a teenage kid – or maybe completely common.

In fact, in all of my mental wandering that day, I only discovered one thing I was sure of beyond a doubt.

My single point of undisputed truth was a simple idea …

I exist.”

Destiny stared across the desk at Tom trying to see if he was putting her on. Tom looked deadly serious.

Was this the level of wisdom her pastor expected her to get?

“Are you kidding?”

“Of all the truth I know Destiny, the most profound fact of the little I know, is the little — I am.”

I know it sounds basic, but that’s the way life is. The important things are the simple ones.

Destiny, I worried about how little I knew too, so I was relieved in later years to discover I wasn’t the only person who thought this way.

In fact, it turns out this kind of thinking changed the landscape of the way men thought many years ago.

Rene Descartes’s first wrote “Je pense donc je suis,” (“I think therefore I am”) in his Discourse on Method in 1637.

The Discourse on the Method is a philosophical and mathematical treatise which is one of the most influential works in the history of modern science and Descartes’ method gave a solid platform from which all modern natural sciences could evolve.

Descartes started his line of reasoning by doubting everything, so he could assess the world from a fresh perspective, clear of preconceived notions and he too came down to the same clear truth I accepted on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

I exist.”

“Well, I guess you have a point Tom.

Since I’m thinking, at least I know that I exist, so there is one little truth I can be completely sure of thanks to you and Descartes.

At least I know something.”

“Destiny, I can’t prove YOU exist (only you can do that), but if you are thinking about what I just said, then you exist too – and you know one more thing.

We can talk about that next time.

For right now, you have one undeniable truth.

If you are listening to me right now, then you know that you exist.

You can’t deny that.

So starting with one simple fact, “I exist” what else can you possibly know?

Not too much.

There are a few more things I’d like to share with you, but first I want you to let that simple fact soak into your being.

There is nothing more profound in this world than the one thing you know without a doubt.

What a gift to know that nothing can shake that certainty.

I exist.

Just take a day or two to think about that wonderful certainty and we can continue our conversation.

There’s not much I know, but of all the truth I know Destiny, the most profound fact of the little I know, is the little — I am.

UPDATE:  Click here to get the next part of the story!

If you me to finish this story, please comment below.

If you would like to work with me Click here and check out the New Impact Partnering Program.

You can be involved as little or as much as you like, but the one REQUIREMENT is that you have to WANT to work with me and this amazing family of remarkable people.

I ONLY want you to join us if this is a good fit for you, but if you think it IS, then I DEFINITELY want you there with this amazing family, building your business, enriching your life and expanding your reach.

Let’s go out there and make a difference.

All the best,

Ken McArthur


And more, more, more.

About Ken McArthur

Ken challenges us to realize we ALL have an impact – whether we want to or not – on thousands of people who we touch in our day-to-day lives by demonstrating that simple things make a HUGE difference. The popular host of a series of live events that bring together top-level marketers, entrepreneurs, business owners, corporations and non-profit organizations to create multi-million dollar joint venture relationships – he creates incredible, intense impact for product launches and multi-million dollar profits in surprisingly short timeframes. Regularly asked to speak at leading marketing events, he has managed product launches ranked in the top 400 sites on the Internet. Ken McArthur is also the creator of AffiliateShowcase.com, a pioneering affiliate program search engine and directory system and the founder of the MBS Internet Research Center, which conducted the world’s largest survey ever attempted on the subject of creating and launching successful information products. Not satisfied to concentrate entirely on large organizations, Ken also works with select individuals to help them create a decent living utilizing the power of the Internet. Ken was the official mentor for Sterling Valentine as he took his launch from ZERO to over $100,000 in less than 8 days. Ken and Sterling documented the process as a “proof of concept” for Info Product Blueprint a massive home study course that is the “bible” of info product creation. Ken offers top-level coaching and mentoring programs designed to help individuals, corporations and non-profit organizations reach masses of people using the techniques, tactics strategies and systems that he has developed specifically to help people spread their ideas, products and services around the globe.

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90 thoughts on ““The Little I Know”

  • adep31@comcast.net

    When I was growing up I always asked myself….”what am I here for…..why was I put on this earth?……family would ask me what I wanted to be and early on I would say….”I want to be Anthony (me)……how that ties in here, I’m not quite sure…..but I do know that I too exist…..and I like the idea of starting with a clean slate…..with a fresh perspective on life……the more I know…..the more I realize what I don’t know……..Anthony D

    • Anonymous

      That’s exactly what the story is about Anthony.  If you start with a completely clean slate, what do you really know …. not much, but there are a few things that you can be sure of and they make all the difference in the world.

  • Zna Trainer

    This is profound. Thanks, Ken. This is a must read for the world-wide winning wisdom seekers, thought leaders. I AM! We are, as now your message is resounding, resonating. To see more, curious to the core, it’s time to explore! 

    Better, more than BEFORE, my gratitude is in my attitude, altitude is a SOAR!

    Hear me ROAR: “I AM* WOMAN! ” {now singing to Helen Reddy’s song, my guitar playing to accompany me … } May you be cooled in the reality that YOU ARE! Stellar, star, you are by far the best! Zna

  • Donald Kubelka

    This reminds me a bit of my own philosophical musings. I’d like to see how the story goes, and whether it matches up to my own conclusions. Perhaps one day I’ll share my own story of  how those conclusions led to actions, and those actions to my own “destiny”. Meanwhile, you’ve got a great start on an engaging story.

  • Barry C. McLawhorn

    Hey Ken,

    I am mesmerized by your short story…not sure how to comment yet, but, I am dying to see the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey would say.


  • Richard Posner

    I find your story intriguing and for some reason I am drawn to reading Voltaire’s “Candide” as a reference point.  Candide is interesting because of the lightning pace.  Then I think of Kurt Vonegut in “Breakfast of Champions”, as another reference point for how some etchings might add force to the philosophical principles you seem to be hinting at.  Hope that is constructive to you, Ken.  If not, I apologize. 

  • Keith DeBolt

    Beautiful, Ken.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was one of those kids that could spend a great deal of time laying perfectly still  in the grass and simply “becoming” a part of all things- the breeze, the ants making their way across my body, the smell of the neighbors mowing the lawn, the sound of the small planes carving up the sky above me from the local airport… innately trying to find my place among all things. I suppose my thinking was that if I contributed nothing to the situation beyond just my physical presence, maybe I could get a clearer understanding of what my potential, my contributions, could mean.

    This was as fun and challenging to me as a game of baseball or a bike ride… I still go back to those simple, expanding moments at times when life gets a little too complicated and try to recall the feeling of simply BEING. Owning just that root truth: I am.

  • Shirley Young

    You always need to go to the inner core of your being before you can radiate outwardly.  Radiating from the inner core of your being will result in wholehearted smiles.  If you don’t travel to that inner destination in order to find it, your smiles become superficial and placating.
    The one little I am, truly isn’t so little as one might think of it as.  When you access this inner core your perspective on the world and all that is in it, changes.  From a person being dormant and numb evolves a person of true beauty and a feeling of being alive in the world, more aware of her surroundings and more firmly planted in the here and now.  To say I am, is saying I am not I was, I am not I will be, but I am.  I am here, in the present moment, at this present hour, absorbing and radiating rhythmically.  You have become a pulse.  Your own pulse.  At this moment, you should be able to hear and feel your heart beating.  This is THE moment.  It’s not so little, after all.

    • Anonymous

      Life is an adventure.  Filled with problems and danger for sure, but an adventure if we allow ourselves to see the wonder.

      Existing is no little thing for sure.  It’s at the core and that’s where we should start any adventure.

      Thanks for the input!

      All the best,


  • Anonymous

    Ken, I certainly want to hear the rest of the story.  Destiny has been a long time coming and I’m still preparing – your story is very thought provoking and encouraging for me to dig into more of the “who I am” and “why”. Thanks.

  • Val Spangler

    “Je pense …” is not enough! One must act … with focus. So easy to get lost in the gardens of opportunity.  How would John Galt do in a social media world?  What kind of thinking works in today’s world? “Je pense …” alone is not enough. The challenge and support of other striving minds can provide so much more than one’s thoughts alone. Two heads are better than one especially if one of those heads is Ken McArthur. “Je pense …” without action, focus, challenge and  support, without a system … is but idle thought.  How tiring such idle thought can be if still lost in the gardens of opportunity.  Je pense donc je suis … is but a start…    😉

  • Don Child

    I have a hard time getting past the fiction and poetry editor that I have been in the past (Aspen Anthology, Atlantic Review). Looking at the story from a literary point of view, I want substance. Destiny who? What does she look like? How does she feel about her life? I want to have her painted for me in a way that uses the senses. Who is she that she would go to a pastor for advice (and who is the pastor? show me, give me dialog that reveals character), rather than to her friends, to a bartender, to a husband, a sister, a mother … She is just a name, a placard, until she has earned my attention with her living character. At first, I thought she was maybe six years old, and I was surprised to learn that she was in her late 20’s.

    Same with Tom. What does the building look like that his office is in? Is the neighborhood noisy? Is Destiny comfortable walking down the street? Does the door squeek? What do the book shelves look like? Are they sagging? Are the books dusty, are the covers torn, are the leather-bound? (Voltaire could well be leather-bound). Of course being from Colorado, I want to know what the air smells like from Tom’s boyhood. Is the tree outside the boyhood window a cottonwood, a spruce, an aspen … 

    When I can paint a picture in my mind, when I know the characters as real people, then their epiphanies have deeper meaning to me.

  • Doc Williamson

    DesCartes was not as rigidly demanding of himself as I was when I took on this question.  I realized that “self” itself could be an illusion that was self-imposed on a segmented consciousness (or a “hive mind”, kind of like a cluster computer in today’s terms) possibly even a temporary and artificial separation from “the rest” as part of  the “experiment” of creating and exploring a particular set of rules for a universe.
    The next step in this progression was to realize that my own thinking is a set of patterns that were designed to conform to whatever “reality” this mind had been given to explore.   So-called “logic” was not necessarily a valid method of proof of anything, because it was simply a pattern that was self-consistent with the “experimental universe” of which my existence appeared to be a part.
    At this point you almost have to give up and go home, the logical journey has hit a wall, but the one thing that I concluded I was sure must exist is the theoretical concept of absolute emptiness, a vacuum in space, void of all things that appear to exist in this universe.  That means that since it is a theoretical concept, constructed in such a way that it cannot exist within the known universe, it must exist outside the known universe.   Therefore this void, this vacuum, this space of nothingness must exist, independent of physical universe in which I myself live, because it is an abstract concept, not dependent on any reality or externality other than the fact that I thought of it.
    NOTHING, as defined by my conceiving of it, does, in fact, EXIST.
    And since this “nothing” exists independent of me and my universe, the other thing I can conclude is that, I AM.  However loosely or ill-defined my understanding of myself, I exist: I AM.  
    So I arrive at the conclusion that there are two inescapable facts.  Nothing exists. And I AM.
    Thus the only two “knowables” are “nothing exists” and “I am”, from here we must recognize that there are no knowable boundaries of “I”, because we cannot know that I is not part of a collective, universal consciousness, or even an artificial concept conceived and created in much the same way as I created the theoretical concept of “nothing” in the abstract as a concept.  So “I am” encompasses everything that is not “nothing”.

    Thanks for everything, Ken.
    Stafford “Doc” Williamson

    • Anonymous

      Hey Doc,

      Thanks so much for your detailed comments. 

      Probably my feeble mind, but I’m not sure where you validated that nothing exists.  

      If you exist as part of something bigger, then just by being a subset you must exist.

      I’m fairly sure that if something exists it’s possible that nothing exists too.

      If you can conceive of something, then it’s possible that it exists, but conceiving a void doesn’t mean that a void exists.  It just means that the concept of a void exists.

      I’m still back to the simple fact that because I think, at least I exist. 

      If you can teach me why nothing must exist, I’m open to the idea.

      All the best,


      • Doc Williamson

        “Feeble mind” Ken?  It is my contention that the more we know, the more we realize how little we know.
        The idea I seem to have failed to convey is that the very idea of “self” MAY be a contrivance in the first place, and that all we can know about “self” is that it seems to be part of the “whole” of existence.  And indeed it appears that “self” is an artificial conceptual construct itself, because we have no proof that the “self” is less than the whole.  “I am” encompasses the whole of existence.  Indeed it was Yahweh’s revelation to Moses before the burning bush that Yahweh said, “I am, I am”, according to Moses’ report.

        Similarly, since “existence” is defined as “all that is”, thus no thing can “exist” that is outside of existence.  The fact is that “nothing” or nothingness, was constructed as an abstract concept to begin with, so it can only ever be a concept in the abstract world of ideas.  To say it doesn’t exist is only to say that we “don’t have one yet.”  You can say that there is no such thing as a Star Wars, anti-missile shield.  That may be true to the extent that we don’t have one that works … yet, but we have “had” one, one the Soviet Union considered very real and was a factor in the collapse of that regime.

        An idea is the most powerful thing in the universe that I know of.

        Stafford “Doc” Williamson


        • Anonymous

          Hey Doc,

          Couldn’t agree more on the “more we know, the more we realize how little we know” point.

          Much clearer for my “feeble mind” now Doc.



  • Willie Crawford

    Wow, very riveting Ken.

    When my mother first read my bio, she said, “I didn’t know
    that you could write so well.  That’s really nice!”

    What my mom said 🙂

    I’m looking forward to learning many life lessons from the
    rest of this book.


  • Alan Bechtold

    Ken — beautifully written and compelling. The story pulled me right in and kept me reading. I really like the idea of getting back to one fact you can know for certain, always. A pivot point for progress if ever I saw one! Definitely interested in hearing the rest of the story.

    • Anonymous

      Coming from a great story teller like you Alan, I’ll count that as high praise.  Hopefully, I’ll have something else to say we can both hang our hat on.

  • Anita Fiander

    Us humans, we do all the things we are suppose to do….and some of us…the things we are NOT suppose to do….Then we get older and hopefully wiser…I exist…I am…it is the simple things in life that keep us grounded, or we hope they do:)  Blank slates are an important part of growth….sometimes us humans, we have to start over…learn to crawl after we walk….I have been there…game changer for me :)…There is no “We” however in “I” and us humans need to find someone to serve….line it up with our values, passion and purpose….and we have the recipe for win-win-win 🙂 Great read and feel free to send me the next installment Ken:)

    • Anonymous

      Hey Dave,

      I’m interested in what things other than the mere fact that “I exist” can be absolutely known.

      Anything else you know for sure?

      Thanks for your input Dave.

      All the best,


      • Kennon Fort

        Wow Ken!  This response of yours to Chris here reminds me of an exercise I did a few times as a child.  Along with a few relatives, we each took turns telling a piece of a story that we created spontaneously.  None of us had any idea where the next person was going to take the story.  It was a fun activity of engaging others and using creativity.

  • SimplySenseCents

    A blank slate should always be a starting point, I look at it like this: If someone hands me say a business that is fully built and maintained by someone else I have nothing invested into it save a little money, which is fleeting!  But if I have nothing at all to start with and someone offers me an opportunity to LEARN how to build that same business myself from scratch, I have everything vested in it!  Just like I woke up this morning asking myself  “What is my life worth?” after long thinking I came to the conclusion “In and of itself nothing, but to someone else who is struggling with the same problems as I did, I can provide solutions!  Since I have overcame those obsticles already.”

  • Don Child

    “Cogito, ergo sum.” I too had a similar thought in the past, but my definition of “I” or “me” has changed. I thought it then, I think it now, and I will think it tomorrow, always in a different context. Therefore, an additional element has been added … the element of “time” or “duration” is something else that I know for sure, I just don’t know exactly how to define it.  

    And the element of “I” as a thinking observer has flaws. Go back to Plato’s allegory of the cave… is the observer seeing shadows dancing on the wall, or is there a light behind the observer that is causing his or her own shadow to be projected in front of the eyes? 

    Cartesian dualism creates egoism, with every viewpoint being a separate reality. But to anyone who has had a direct experience of unity consciousness (i.e. a mystical experience), there is no separation, and every molecule of the universe is made up of the same substance … a matrix of energy that is sometimes observed as “reality,” and is sometimes recognized as pure energy, love, divinity, ether, karma, etc.

    Yes, there are lots of places you could go with your story.

  • Harris Fellman

    Firstly, I love personal development books that use discovery stories like this. 

    Secondly, it’s nice to be reminded that I wasn’t alone in these thoughts (a little Descartes in college will quickly do that to ya). 

    Lastly, of COURSE I’m not alone in my thoughts. Since I may be the only thing that exists… it’s quite possible that some other part of my existence wrote this excerpt… 

    or perhaps we only find things that support what we already believe.

  • Janis Pettit

    Ken you always share such thoughtful and beautiful wisdom. I “think” you can go beyond Descartes. If we are spiritual beings having a human experience then thinking is part of the human experience. Is is an unstoppable (and sometimes annoying) brain function.

    Did you ever wonder who knows you’re thinking? How do you know? Who is the knower? Just breathe and you’ll know you exist. This puts you in a profound and peaceful place.

  • Amanda Risi

    Thank you for this wonderful story and introduction, Ken…

    You know, in subtle ways it
    reads as a page in the story of my own life… I waken, fresh, every
    morning, knowing little.. yet I know I exist  – studying Descartes in
    college in London possibly gave me that thought, years ago 🙂 …

    But Destiny, dear
    Destiny… knowing the fully evolved, flourishing flower that exists – inside my
    chosen company (name) – yet eludes me… Destiny Initiatives inspires me
    daily and yet.. its destiny is like a light that shines ahead of me, a great idea that’s not yet fully realized… ??

    Wondering if any of this makes any sense… feeling grateful for your story.

    Best wishes,

  • Joy Porter

    Like this… reminds me to be in the moment and breathe.   Seems I’m always living in the future… preparing websites and campaigns… getting this and that ready… overwhelmed with “to-do” lists.   Nice to have permission “to be”. 
    Yours Truly,
    I am

  • weswyatt

    I KNOW I exist!  Nobody else is stepping up to claim the big and bald vessel I roll in! 😉

    One of my favorite speakers – Dr. Myles Munroe – says you were meant to “Die Empy” (Go home having accomplished everything God put you here for.).  So now that Destiny knows she exists – I think she should find out WHY and get to work on dying empty.

    Thanks for including me Ken!  I KNOW two things.  You exist – and I’m proud to call you my friend!

    Have a DYNAMITE day and weekend!

  • Opportunity4u

    It´s very difficult to think that tragedy or hard times are ways to prove how great we are or how great we could be.
    However, no matter how difficult things are for us in a given moment, life is worth living. It might be a way for us to understand the power hidden in ourselves.

  • geoffnow

    Ken, “… on a slightly sunnier day, Destiny found herself opening the door to a
    simple one room office in a quiet, older section of town…”  This is the awakening beginning, because of  ‘slightly sunnier..’  Now your description of the 60-ish wise man is mirrored closely in my description of Dr Summerhill in my latest Kindle e-Book:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004OL2L2G/   preview avail, Geoff.  =  “The decrepit, even decadent old doctor of 40 years .. “

  • Robert Bridge

    The truth and knowing existence, sharing and bringing the storytelling back into family life to also identifying the age of such a talented girl. Existence as you emphasis and query here Ken is very good and as much as I may or may not ‘know nothing’ (spoke in a continental accent); looking forward to more of the story. Thank you kindly, please continue…

  • Matt Radin

    Since my near-death experience and miraculous series of supernatural revelations 20 years ago and since this agnostic Jewish litigator committed to become an obedient, born-again, blessed Peacemaker … I know that I don’t merely exist … I know that I have received the gift of eternal life and an obligation to spread His Love to as many people as I can during this brief stay on earth.  Otherwise, I only know what He choses to deposit in my thimble-sized brain …. for as long as He choses to leave it there. 

  • Sheron Archibald

    This is a very simple,realistic,yet very inspiring story  that have one pondering and thinking a lot.It gives one pause to question a lot of things that we take for granted.Unique but inspiring

  • Tracey Fieber

    Love this! Just yesterday I was speaking with my mentor about The Way, which is an extension of I Am and how we move forward. Great story, Ken!

  • Palma ferolano

    Thank you for letting me share your story, I do know that I exist because I am here, I dont know why or the reason for my existense.  I love the part that I know I am, I’m not a good or happy person anymore, I don’t smile anymore or laugh, sometimes I think I am already dead and God, if there is one, just keeps me here to show me how miserable you can be when you lose everything you loved, you just exist, motionless, thinking of how things could have been, would have been and should have been.  Its a permanent pergatory or hell if you prefer, its my punishment , maybe i was a murderer in my past life, so this IS my – I am.  I dont know if anyone else feels the way I do, but  I never thought my life would turn out like this,  knowing very little, but this is I – I AM

    • Anonymous


      If you are alive then you are touching people every day.  It’s the small things in life that matter. It’s YOUR choice how you touch them.  The smallest of kindnesses are the things that make the biggest difference and ANYONE can be kind and giving on ANY day, no matter what their circumstances.

      You make a difference whether you want to or not.  It’s your choice to have that difference be positive or negative.

      All the best,


  • federal student loans

    Like this… reminds me to be in the moment and breathe.   Seems I’m always living in the future… preparing web portals and campaigns… getting this and that ready… overwhelmed with “to-do” lists.   completely excellent to have permission “to be”.