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At work, our team is reading Daniel H. Pink’s book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. Pink believes timing is just as important as intelligence and personality. If we learn to master the science of timing, we will work smarter and live better. We’ll be better leaders and employees.

In the first chapter, Pink uses research to describe how our daily internal rhythms affect our mood, positivity, and decision-making skills. He shares one study about two sociologists from Cornell University (Michael Macy and Scott Golder) who used a computerized text-analysis program to study over 500 million tweets from millions of users around the world. Pink describes their findings:

Positive affect—language revealing that tweeters felt active, engaged, and hopeful—generally rose in the morning, plummeted in the afternoon, and climbed back up again in the early evening. Whether a tweeter was North American or Asian, Muslim or atheist, black or white or brown, didn’t matter. “The temporal affective patter is similarly shaped across disparate cultures and geographic locations,” they write. Nor did it matter whether people were tweeting on a Monday or a Thursday…Whether measured in a large, diverse country like the United States or a smaller, more homogenous country like the United Arab Emirates, the daily pattern remained weirdly similar (10).

A analysis of tweets is hardly conclusive, so Pink goes on to detail numerous studies that show how “all of us experience the day in three stages—a peak, a trough, and a rebound” (32). About 60-80 percent of people see their “analytic capacities peak in the late morning or around noon” (22). In the afternoon, we experience a dip in energy and alertness. Whereas, during “rebound” we excel at more creative or “insight work that requires less inhibition and resolve” (26). For the 20-40 percent of people who are Owls, this process is flipped—rebound (morning), a trough (afternoon), then a peak (evening and night).

Pink’s point? Know your rhythms. Plan your more difficult, analytical work for the morning.

In the afternoon, when you tend to feel less hopeful, energetic, and engaged, cram you schedule full of your easiest tasks (for me this is responding to emails). If you can help it, don’t schedule important work or business calls during a trough. Be a little more critical of what you say in conversations or what you decide to post online.

If you need a spark in creativity, the evening might help. That’s when I get my best ideas. If you’re an Owl, flip this schedule around. Creativity in the morning and analytical work at night.

We can’t always build our schedule around this peak, trough, and rebound cycle, but when we can it certainly helps.

Sometimes, I’ll read a book synopsis and wonder if the author started the project by hanging up a picture of me in their office. “It’s all for you, old chap,” they whisper while gently punching out prose. Some plots just feel like they were tailed specifically to my interests.

That’s certainly how I felt when I heard about Michel Faber’s The Book of Strange New Things. Faber includes most of what I love in a good novel. It’s a religious story (*nods head*) about a pastor (*pulls down glasses*) who becomes a missionary (*loud siren*) to aliens (*galaxy brain*). I mostly like the book and Faber’s greatest strength comes when developing the main character, Peter.

We soon learn that Peter was once a homeless drug addict who lied and stole to support his habit. Upon becoming a Christian, his life changed dramatically. He now shows just as much devotion to God and the Bible as he did to crack and heroin. Eventually, he’s chosen by a mysterious organization to proselytize a group of indigenous people on a planet named Oasis.

Here’s where Faber’s construction of Peter really rolls. While Peter is generally a kind, honorable man, we begin to wonder if his faith functions as a new sort of addiction. In other words, does he live for a spiritual high? Is his faith just a way for him to feel good about himself? Throughout the book, Peter borders on cliché. He responds to his wife’s troubles with words that amount to little more than “Trust God and everything is going to be fine.”

In one particularly emotional moment, Peter counsels a troubled co-worker by saying:

He [God] cares about us very much. So much that He became one of us. He took human form. Can you imagine that? The creator of everything, the shaper of galaxies, got Himself born as a human baby, and grew up in a lower-class family in a small village in the Middle East” (332).

Reading through the scene, it’s obvious that Peter botched his opportunity to provide comfort. There is a time to talk about the incarnation and there is a time to express empathy. Peter’s co-worker laughs off his awkward grab at a quick conversion.

Faber’s story is fascinating for a number of reasons. First, even though he’s an atheist, he manages to write about religion like an insider. He also doesn’t look to humiliate the faith or point the finger at people who believe it to be true.

Second, Faber seems to acknowledge the good within Christianity while also realizing the potential for it to be highjacked for selfish reasons. A look at Peter displays this much. How often do we follow the commands of Jesus not because we want to glorify him, but because it brings with it a hit of endorphins? (Doing good feels good, but is that our only motivation?) There’s the prosperity gospel (“Trust God and he’ll make you comfortable”) and then there’s the callous gospel (“Trust God and you don’t have a reason to be sad for more than a short period of time”). Like drugs, religion then becomes a way to escape from the real world (figuratively and literally in this book).

The Book of Strange New Things forced me, as a Christian, to consider the relationship between hopeful certainty and present pain. I know that one day God will set the world to rights, he’ll wipe away every tear. I also know that sometimes that makes me oblivious or apathetic to the pain around me. The story also considers how easy it is to view people as mere projects. I meet (and read) some people who have great theology, but ultimately lack the ability to express basic empathy to others around them. Certainty functions like a drug if we don’t handle it with care. Conversely, true love means something deeper, something more intrusive. Maybe that’s a line I’ll use again someplace. Love is intrusive. All of these ideas are rather beautifully—and with complication—explored in Faber’s book.

I’m making more of an effort to read good fiction. I haven’t always done this in the past, but I want it to happen with greater frequency now. I’m learning that great fiction (and art in general) “coats flesh to the bones of truth.”

I don’t even want to calculate how many days it’s been since I’ve last blogged—let alone blogged regularly.

If you used to follow, you might have wondered where I disappeared to. Well, let me explain. The last few years I’ve been:

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Details on my new book

Wade —  December 31, 2012 —  Comments

ImageEarlier this year, I sat reading a very good book. At that moment a thought crossed my mind, “It would look really great if I could put ‘author’ down on my resume.” There was one problem though, writing a book is hard work. It takes months, if not years to pen a quality narrative that others would be willing to read. Not to mention the countless hours of revisions and proof-reading. I honestly don’t have time for that. So I began to think about the easiest way I could achieve my dream, while still being as lazy as possible.

Then it hit me. I could collect some of my tweets and then just self-publish them as an ebook. It was through this epiphany that I present to you, “The Comes a Point in Being Dumb, That Only a Genius Could Do It.” This book is a collection of some of the brightest and dumbest tweets from my Twitter handle @WadeHance. They will make you laugh. They will make you cry…because you laughed so hard.

You can purchase this ebook on as a Kindle book file. Even if you don’t have a Kindle device, don’t fret! You can still read the book. Most smartphones and tablets (including the iPad and iPhone) can download the Kindle app which will allow you to read the ebooks you download from You can even read a Kindle book from your computer if you do not have a smartphone or tablet. No excuses people.

I would love for you all to check out my book. Just think of all the things you could use it for! Read it when you can’t sleep for instant relief. Use my jokes at office parties to make new friends. Sound smart by telling others that you’ve read a book in one day. The list is endless people.

But wait there’s more! For a limited time only, my book is FREE! Yes, absolutely FREE (that’s $0.99 worth of savings)! This deal won’t last long (3 days to be exact) so make sure to download it now. You can download the book here.

If you enjoy the book, make sure to share the news with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. I’ll be using the hashtag #dumbbook. Also, make sure to rate the book on

Thanks so much everyone and I hope you enjoy the book!

– Wade