Pioneer

​Michael Gollin
July 2016

I am lost in a strange land between life and death.

My body rebels. 

My mind resists. 

I know the destination.

It is unavoidable.

The question I confront is how will I get there and when.

Most people don’t even recognize that this land exists.

But some admire me just for being here.

I am a pioneer.

I can’t use my hands or legs and I can’t talk or eat or breathe without a ventilator.

But I will find my way in the end.

New E-dition of My Book

 
Innovation Life Love: Reflections on Mortality
Now Downloadable from Amazon

Innovation Life Love: Reflections on Mortality is now available as an ebook on Amazon.com. Author Michael Gollin  was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2012 and began blogging about his experiences and philosophy, forming the basis of the 262-page book.
 
Innovation Life Love offers insight into the unusual challenge of knowing one’s ultimate fate of progressive paralysis and deciding to make the most of every day. “In my personal and professional life as patent attorney, author, professor, and non-profit entrepreneur,” Gollin writes, “I’ve tried to be a productive member of all my communities: family, friends, work, home, country, and planet. When I was diagnosed with ALS, I was dragged into a terrifying new situation, but I realized how lucky I’ve been in life, and I quickly resolved to make the best of the situation. It has been surprisingly liberating to explore this uncharted territory.” In it, he confronts death head-on, contemplating dead wildlife and evolution in the Galapagos and feeling echoes of his ancestors in the Lithuanian woods where they were murdered.
 
Innovation
Innovation Life Love was adapted from Gollin’s writings—poetry, essays, photographs, and speeches—that have appeared on his blog, innovationlifelove.org. Gollin also authored  Driving Innovation: Intellectual Property Strategies for a Dynamic World (2008), available in hardback, paperback, and Kindle versions on Amazon.com). With Innovation Life Love, Gollin demonstrates how he has applied creativity and problem-solving skills to the physical, technological and emotional challenges he confronts every day.  

Life and Love
Insights into the meaning of life are thrown into sharp relief by the prospect of one’s own death, according to Gollin, who is compelled by love to pass on what he has learned and experienced in life. He succinctly answers questions about life, setting goals, and making decisions. He invites us to appreciate the beauty of nature by sharing a rafting trip down the New River and a hike the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu. Readers worldwide have been inspired by Gollin’s wisdom, courage, and optimism in the face of devastating physical illness.

Innovation Life Love Availability
Innovation Life Love is available for immediate download for $5 at Amazon.com. The print version is available on Amazon.com for $14. Read more about Michael Gollin on Amazon.com, his blog site, and at the Venable LLP website.
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For more information, contact:

innovationlifelove@gmail.com
For more information on Innovation Life Love:
Innovationlifelove.org
Amazon.com website.

Purpose

Purpose
Michael Gollin
January 2016

To live

To be comfortable.

To relate closely with loved ones, family and close friends.

To be happy.
To cause happiness.  
To interact with  interesting people.

To amuse
To give
To inspire??
To be an example of how one can behave in adversity.

To publish.
To help clients and colleagues.
To teach.
To advise.
To witness.

To say. Thank you, I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, I forgive you, and goodbye.”

Facing Death to Take Charge of Life

Facing Death to Take Charge of Life
Michael Gollin

What are the most important questions when we and loved ones face serious illness? The article below sums up the inquiries succinctly.

From The New York Times
Seeking a ‘Beautiful Death’
Before making an advance directive, talk with your doctor and your caregiver about just how far end-of-life care should go at the cost of comfort.
http://nyti.ms/1z01Vn3

The kinds of questions doctors should be asking:

■ What gives your life meaning and joy?

■ What are your biggest fears and concerns?

■ What are you looking forward to?

■ What goals are most important to you now?

■ What trade-offs or sacrifices are you willing to make to achieve those goals?

Everyone can answer these questions although based on personal experience they become more directly relevant and therefore less frightening when you have a serious disease or are older.

The book Being Mortal, by excellent writer and surgeon, Atul Gawande, tackles these issues in a very personal and comprehensible way. Our late in life decisions should be driven by our humanity, not the health industry imperatives. Key questions include the following.
What do you understand about your disease?
What are your priorities for your remaining time?

There was a TV show about this book.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/being-mortal/

I found the book more helpful. For example, I have made it known that I don’t want 911, ambulance, and emergency room treatment. Maybe for a broken bone, but otherwise I can be treated at home for ALS and my ventilation better than at an ER, if treatment is viable, and avoid massive discomfort and dislocation. I have rushed to the doctor in my own wheelchair in our van and returned home the same way to live my life as best as I can. I’m fortunate in that sense.

Everyone will face their health fate however they can. But it helps if a loved one or doctor or nurse asks the right questions.

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Answering My Son’s Questions- Part 1: How to Start A Career

Answering My Son’s Questions- Part 1: How to Start A Career

Michael Gollin (with help from Max Gollin)

Follow curiosity, find a way to serve others, consider various jobs that fit, research pay, competition, and long-term advancement prospects. List jobs you might like, then choose those that have reasonable prospects for success. You will always do something you like if you do this, instead of choosing a high-paying job at the outset or something you like that doesn’t allow success. Meet people in the area and see if you like them and their values.

Choose options that tend to open doors and lead to various follow-up jobs rather than dead-end jobs.  The modern career may look a lot different from mine, which only had one major jump or three. My career went from bio to law, patent law to environmental, and gradually back to IP law.

I chose science because it expands boundaries of knowledge and can improve lives, but can be used for ill effects too, like pollution and war. It has lots of cool equipment and smart people. Law is the alternative to anarchy and hunger.  Lawyers serve clients and the law.  I help the law promote innovation and help my clients be rewarded for creative work.  Smart and creative people are my regular colleagues and clients.

But I write, lecture, teach, and have had many hobbies beyond patent law. If you remain curious, keep learning, find ways to serve that you feel good doing, and maintain a network and support group of like-minded people, you will discover your career or it will discover you.

Editor’s note: this is part of a series of advice letters my dad wrote for me in September 2014 when I asked him for some guidance on the big things in life –Max