It’s hard to drop what you’re doing and seize every interesting, potentially interesting, or secretly interesting opportunity that comes along. A decent rule of thumb might be to try to always seize the once in a lifetime chances. And if you’re not sure if it’s really once in a lifetime, but seems rare and maybe a little weird, you should probably go for it.

Too vague? Here’s a story about a diem I carped.

Working in academia has a fringe benefit of exposing you to a experts in a variety of disciplins. My colleague and I have spun our access to these interesting people into a podcast, and our very first guest was Dr. Mike Pascoe.

Here it is… you know… if you’re interested.

What you need to know from that episode is that I was invited to participate in a cadaver dissection so my department’s Google Glass could be tested in a teaching lab setting.

I am not interested in becoming a doctor. I don’t like blood and guts. When I was in middle school the fumes from the fetal pig we had to dissect made me sick. Basically what I’m trying to say is I am probably not the ideal person to perform this research.

But I did. And I’d do it again without hesitation. It was too unique an opportunity to pass up. In the weeks between agreeing to do this and actually doing it I had to keep telling myself I made the right decision. That I wasn’t going to puke and be embarrassed and look lame.

Finally I realized it didn’t matter if I puked (I didn’t) or looked lame (I may have?) What matters is that I saw an opportunity and I took it even though it was scary. Success wasn’t leaving the lab looking like a pro surgeon or even selling anyone on the merits of Google Glass (verdict is still out on that one).

Success is seizing the opportunity! Not puking was just a really nice bonus.

If you want to check out the (not particularly interesting and edited only insofar as I removed the talky bits) footage, here it is.