Las Vegas1 shouldn’t exist. The greater metro area houses over 2M people in the midst of a desert. The nights cool off to a balmy 95 degrees. Then, the sun comes up, and cranks the temperature up to 111 - as if a giant 6 year old places his giant magnifying glass between the city and the sun, just to see what will happen to the people below.

Peering through such a magnifying glass, one finds that residents have in fact, cultivated an extravagant city to fill the natural nothingness. The Hoover Dam provides more than enough water to flaunt Mother Nature’s arid offering. The city is full of lush, green golf courses and desert lakes with “Desert Shores.” Master-planned communities like Summerlin allow people to thrive in large, comfortable houses.

Further, if Vegas resolves to give Mother Nature’s limits a middle finger, it decides to point a second one toward the limits of human morality. Flashy buildings of Paradise serve a single, hedonistic purpose: entertainment. There’s no Eiffel Tour, only Le Casino.

Indeed, there’s something about harsh conditions, the challenges of life, that forces people to overcome them - let’s call it the Las Vegas mindset. When facing an obstacle, sometimes, one may ultimately end up not just coping with it but destroying it.

For example, counter-intuitively, not in spite of the heat, but because of it, one will be more comfortable inside an air-conditioned buliding in the midst of an inhospitable 117-degree Las Vegas day, than baking in a tiny apartment without AC on a 90 degree day in the usually-idyllic Palo Alto. The push against adversity ultimately ends up crushing complacency.

So, if one ever visits Vegas, and it’s 100+ degrees with air full of smoke, it feels natural and right to attack the limits and do what one should not: run a 5k around the equally bold project of the Desert Shores. Chase your dreams and then some, with the Las Vegas Mindset.

  1. rivatez@ insipired this post in part, with her article Viva Las Vegas?. ↩︎