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<meta name="description" content="When I was twenty-two, I lived alone on the Oregon coast for a year, just practicing, recording, dreaming, and going for long runs on the beach.">
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<div class="blogparent">from the book “<a href="/n">Hell Yeah or No</a>”:</div>
<h1>232 sand dollars</h1>
<small>2011-11-15</small>
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<p>
	When I was twenty-two, I lived alone on the Oregon coast for a year, just <a href="/15-years">practicing</a>, <a href="/music">recording</a>, <a href="/sammy-cahn">dreaming</a>, and going for long runs on the beach.
</p><p>
	I had been coming to this beach since I was a baby, and had spent hundreds of hours walking every bit of it.
	As a kid, the golden jackpot was to find an unbroken <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand_dollar">sand dollar</a> shell.
	It had happened maybe five times in my life.
</p><p>
	But that year I lived there, on a weekday afternoon when I had the whole beach to myself, I found one: an unbroken sand dollar.
	A few minutes later, I found another!
	Thirty seconds later, another, and another, and another!
	I carried them in my pocket at first, but found so many that I had to take off my shirt to use as a bag.
</p><p>
	By the time I got home I had collected 232 unbroken sand dollar shells.
	I put them all out in the sun to dry, amazed at my good luck.
	I bragged to my family.
	I tried to think of all the things I could do with 232 sand dollars.
</p><p>
	After two days the excitement wore off.
	I realized I was never going to do anything with them.
	Now it was just stupid for me to keep all of these sand dollars sitting there doing nothing.
<strong>
	The excitement was in finding them, not keeping them.
</strong>
</p><p>
	The next day was a big holiday so the beach was going to be filled with tourists.
	So at 6 a.m., I took all 232 sand dollars and went for a long walk on the beach — tossing them in the sand, one at a time, very spaced out, so all the tourist kids could find a few.
</p><p>
	As I was heading home, I got the quiet satisfaction of watching two kids scream with excitement at finding one.
</p><p>
	I hope I live my life like this.
</p>
<img src="/images/sanddollar.jpg" alt="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mistygarrick/268920605/" />

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© 2011 <a href="https://sive.rs/">Derek Sivers</a>.
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