#1045 What’s 1 + 1?

Well… Whaddya Say?

In our last +1, we had fun with the ultimate riddles of life—from skunks and giraffes to watches and pearls.

And… The answer to pretty much all of life’s riddles?


After Emerson gave me that answer to the hero-virtue riddle, we went to visit the ladies in the bath to tell mommy about his answer.

Which, of course, led to a whole ‘nother round of riddles.

Today we’re going to talk about the riddle I got from Ellen Langer—the “mother of mindfulness” research and the creator of the “psychology of possibility.”

In our interview, she asked me this little riddle…

Ellen: “What’s 1 + 1?”

… Before we carry on, whaddya think? What’s 1 + 1? …

Got it? Awesome.

Now, back to the show…

Ellen: “What’s 1 + 1?”
Me: “Uhhh…”

(The quick look inside my head in that moment: “I know the answer can’t be 2 but…” “Hmmmm…” Insert thought from Part X: “Well! At least we’re filming this so I’ll look ridiculous!” Quick reply by Optimus: “That wasn’t helpful Part X. Just have fun and answer the question, B.” ← Yes, all of that happened in the span of a couple seconds. lol)

Me: “Uhh… 2?”
Ellen: “Nope. The right answer is ‘It depends.'”

Then Ellen (in full Professor Langer mode) proceeded to school me on the importance of mindfully approaching life and its challenges.

If you’re adding two of the Arabic numeral “1”s together, she explained, the answer is 2.


If you’re putting two pieces of gum together, the answer is 1.

And, as we discussed in the Joov-light powered bathroom the other night, if you’re putting two “1”s right next to each other, the answer is “11”. Put a sperm and an egg together and you get one baby (or maybe two!).

You get the idea…


That’s Today’s +1.

If you feel so inspired, have fun riddling your friends and family as we remember to approach life a little more mindfully.


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