My Brain Rickshaw


I like to picture myself as a machine, churning forward while burning a combination of calories, fatty tissue and expectations.

Utilizing laws like thermodynamics and making clever uses of the Earth’s own gravitational pull, I hurl my machinated body toward problems and with a whirrrrrr and a series of clicks, I begin to process them, rearranging metal beads on my internal abacus and spouting out a torrential downpour of printed paper containing mathematical ephemera, moderately inappropriate quotations and the occasional doodle of a chimpanzee.

But this mental metaphor isn’t quite right, because there is a power source present in everything that I do which doesn’t fit within the steam punk schema of an entrepreneurial mechanical turk.

Perhaps I’m more like a rickshaw, pulled by the most basic physical functions of a human being, but supplemented by gears and sprockets and education and Pareto Principle-like shortcuts.

As I softly pedal, using the least amount of energy I can possibly expend on such a task, my mental spokes spin faster and faster, and as a result of the machine on which I metaphorically perch, every unit of energy spent results in a drastically-increased amount of effort or ingenuity or imagination gained.

Yes, I think I could be okay being a rickshaw.

It doesn’t have the immense speed and maneuverability of a motorcycle, but it also doesn’t have the downsides: the pollution, the cost, the danger of an accident or fuel-ignition or just tipping over. It allows me to get where I’m going when I want to go there.

But more importantly — with little extra expenditure of energy — it also allows me to take several other people along for the ride.


  1. Wow, beautiful text, Colin! So thanks for taking us along for the ride. It’s been great and inspirational. Excited to see what’s to come!

  2. At the same time that I’ve become fiercely protective of my mental and creative energy of late, I’ve had, I think, an unfounded fear that my creativity will tap if I use too much of it. I know the opposite is true, but I’m still wondering, do you ever find it challenging to manage and maintain your mental/creative energy, Colin?

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