“Smell this marker dad, it smells like rotten mushrooms and dirty potatoes.” My son Drake says as he shoves two terrible smelling markers under my nose.

Instead of saying, hey dad this marker smells terrible do not smell it he forces it under my nose!

Although the terrible smelling markers and repulsive tasting jelly beans are harmless the act of getting others to join in the pain points to a deep-seated human flaw. The flaw of pulling others down with us.

I did this thing and am suffering and I would like others to join the not-so-fun party with me. So I am going to bring others into this suffering with me. If I can’t be successful then neither can anybody else. If I can’t be happy than I am going to make sure others can’t either.

This is why we have to check ourselves and who we are hanging with. Now if it is all in good spirit and we are doing nothing more than strengthening our olfactory and gag-reflex limits than okay, but if we’re dealing with success in life then we need to pay closer attention.

Are the people you’re hanging with happy, supportive, and proud of your success EVEN WHEN IT IS GREAT THAN OR IN OPPOSITION TO THEIRS?

Are you happy and proud (Kvelling) for other people when they achieve success EVEN WHEN IT IS GREATER THAN OR IN OPPOSITION TO YOURS?

Below is a GREAT podcast of why becoming friends with your rivals makes you better!


Competition, even when zero-sum, where everybody is helping everybody else, it turns out, helps EVERYBODY achieve more. What a world we would live in, and just think of what we could accomplish together if everybody helped everybody else.

The end of the story is my boys ended by having me smell the berry smelling markers to wash the bad smell out of my sniffer and thus were simply including me in their fun and ensured I had “success” in the end. Thanks, boys.

Be wary of those who want or make you smell the “stinky markers” of life without ultimately ensuring your success.