Myth of Productivity

My work of late has consisted of trying to develop a better attitude. And one thing holding me back is valuing the concept of grueling-work. “Why do that the easy way, when there’s a much harder way to do it!!!” See? That’s stupid. Yet that’s what my attitude boils down to: “Work harder, not smarter! And how dare you enjoy yourself!!!” That’s masochism, plain and simple.

I believed that frivolous activity was worth less than “productive” activity. Yet, I’ve noticed that the less “productive” I am, the easier life gets. It turns out that life is NOT a struggle unless YOU struggle against it. Productivity is a myth because you can’t actually produce anything of value. In other words, if everything’s pixels, ALL activity is frivolous.

In addition: either life gives it to you, or you don’t get it. Effort doesn’t guarantee outcomes i.e. planting seeds won’t always result in bountiful harvests. There’s a certain combination of conditions that must be met or else your fields won’t yield. You could work sun-up to sun-down and still get nothing. In order to receive what life provides, you have to play the game correctly.

In fact, “working hard” displays a fundamental misunderstanding of life. You’re assuming your tiny efforts amount to something significant. Yet you’re completely missing the point of how much life is doing for you while deluding yourself into believing YOU did it. But the most you can do is appreciatively accept what’s already provided.

Imagine you’re at a party. You walk over to the buffet-table and pile tons of food onto your plate. It gets so heavy that you’re starting to break a sweat. You struggle to maintain your balance as you find a seat — plus it’s a bit crowded so it takes a couple minutes. You sit down to eat and proceed to stuff yourself. Then you sit there gloating and boasting about how much effort and work you put-in to obtain and consume all that food. THAT is what patting yourself on the back for “all your hard work” is like. You simply partook of what was already there!! You did NOTHING.

So the better attitude is this: Thank you life for this amazing party. Wow, it really has everything I could want. There’s people to interact with, food to eat, chocolate cake especially, heck there’s even a pool to swim in! There’s tons of activities to keep me busy. I’m actually overwhelmed by the many choices. But don’t worry, I’ll try my hardest to have fun! I understand that my duty as a guest is to enjoy my time here. I also understand that I should focus on the activities I derive the most delight from. Thanks again!

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Being Yourself

As per usual, I was listening to Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations. In this one, Oprah herself was talking to an audience. Being that this is a simulated world, I believe people like Oprah are high-level players that come in with an insane skill-level. My friend has a natural ability in games for instance, and it’s frustrating to play against her because she easily wins and achieves all the objectives. Whereas my gameplay-style is dogged determination despite insurmountable odds, along with a clumsy progression.

Hm, I guess that’s how I play in real-life too. But anyway, Oprah’s point was this: Be yourself and be rewarded. That was her formula for success i.e. being herself — and this world rewarded her for it. That sounds right to me. Take War Robots for example: if you use a fast-dash minimally-armored robot as a heavy-hitting bruiser, you’re going to get smashed. Whereas if you use a tank-like bot to snag beacons, you’re going to be too slow. Characters are designed with certain attributes that must match the selected task.

For example, when I imagine myself, I picture “Hulk Hogan” ready to rain-down a leg-drop on my much weaker opponent as the power of Hulkamania surges through my veins. Yet, this is an absurd characterization that isn’t even close to the truth. I clearly didn’t get the dossier that explained my character’s strengths and weaknesses (okay, I ignored it). But that’s dumb because it’s not my character. I’m NOT physically intimidating NOR charismatic NOR do I light-up capacity-crowds with my limitless energy.

It’s like when Oprah tried to be a monotone-sounding news-anchor, it just didn’t work, it wasn’t her. It turns out, I’m not designed to effortlessly steamroll my way through obstacles like a Mack Truck. Oops, my bad. Although maybe my character IS supposed to be so clueless that he doesn’t realize he’s a chihuahua yapping at a pack of Rocky Mountain wolves — perhaps for comedic effect. That’s why it’s hard to “be yourself”, you’re not always sure what aspects are the “real” you.

But I think the “real” you is usually located slightly below the frenetic and easily-frightened ego. Oftentimes it takes quiet reflection and the power of meditation to get there. And luckily, Oprah provided some advice. The tasks you should engage with are those that produce “flow”, they get you “in the zone”, they cause you to lose track of time yet you remain energized, they’re things you could do for hours. And if you do these things, you too will receive the rewards life has to offer. Whereas if you do something unbefitting to your character? Suffering is the only possible result.

So, what are some things I do in which I lose track of time? Hmm. Watching shows/videos. Playing video-games. Talking to my friend. Writing blog posts. Shopping. Toying around with tools/gadgets. Problem-solving. Having discussions/debates. Hm, is that me in a nutshell? Well that doesn’t seem powerful at all, no wonder I chose to think of myself as a “Hulk Hogan” type. But there’s my problem: a distorted definition of power. I didn’t want to be some nerd that got his lunch-money stolen, I wanted to be the biggest baddest dude in the ring.

Yet if I think about power today, it’s Elon Musk I envision, not the Hulkster. Modern heroes are the titans of technology. The coolest things aren’t flying-elbows delivered by muscular-physiques, but handheld computers used in self-driving cars. Though to be fair, when I was a kid in the 80s, the WWF Superstars were the biggest thing around — computers and technology were barely there. It seems like I missed the window. I guess I should’ve studied to be an engineer. I guess… I guess I failed to heed my calling….

“He’s down! Ladies and gentleman, this doesn’t look good! Here comes the ref to lift his arm and check for consciousness — oh no, it’s just flopping back down to the mat. The ref is starting the three-count. One! Two! WAIT! What’s this?! The arm is lifting!! Ladies and gentleman, there it is! He’s up!! This is impossible!! And it’s a throw into the ropes! BOOM! A clothesline and his opponent is down! WHAT!? It’s a flying leg-drop!! ONE! TWO! THREE!! Ding! Ding! Ding! Unbelievable!!!!”

Remember: my gameplay-style is dogged determination despite insurmountable odds, along with a clumsy progression. So this is just par for the course. I don’t take the easy routes. I mean, I try to, but they don’t work — so I keep at it until I wear-down every obstacle in my path. It’s the power of erosion. Sandpaper-Man, with the ability to eventually wear away even the most powerful opponent over a very long period of time through abrasiveness and grit. Rub, rub, and awaaay!

Success and Happiness

What I’m currently observing amongst successful people, is that success i.e. the achievement of a large life goal, doesn’t bring happiness along with it. Success simply checks a to-do item off your list. Whereas the only way to achieve happiness, is through a positive attitude and an appreciation of life — that’s it, there’s no other means to get there.

So if happiness is my goal (which it is), I must pour my time and energy into the development of a positive attitude and the cultivation of an appreciation for life. I must become a happiness farmer, planting the positive while weeding out the negative.

And I can sense this is correct because I’ve found myself in semi-successful positions in the past where I simply couldn’t enjoy the situation. And even now that I live in a nice place and have a nice family, I tend to see what’s wrong instead of what’s right. I see what’s missing instead of what’s here.

And this is easy to conceptualize too: does the mere winning of a game equate to happiness? If that were the case, we could cheat our way to victory and be forever happy. But that’s not the case. The people that get the most out of games have a great attitude and take pleasure in the process of playing. The “ends” are pointless, it’s all about the “means”.

But Rich, haven’t you come to this conclusion at least one-hundred times in the past? Um. Yeah. But I believe life handicaps us Harrison Bergeron style. In other words, I’ll forget this concept again and again. But the good news is that I’ll also “discover” it again and again. Does any accumulation ever take place? I honestly don’t know — I can’t remember.

To summarize: success is meaningless unless you have a positive attitude to appreciate it. And if you don’t have the attitude, then work on developing it or you’ll be sorely disappointed when success arrives — it’ll be a hollow victory. True success therefore, is the attainment of an appreciation for life (some would call this Enlightenment).

Frequency Conduction

Why resign yourself to weakness? Is there not power flowing through you? Are you not literally the embodiment of electrical energy? Stop a moment in your acquiescence, and consider the minuscule feeling inside. A force that when focused on, flourishes. Know it as pure power, the potential energy that becomes. Use it against itself to induce weakness, and it will.

But allow creative frequencies to flow, and a world is born. A world comprised of wavelengths, bands of energy waiting to be conducted. You hold the antenna in your hand, orchestrating a composition of your own design. Lead and it follows. Become derelict in your duty: cacophony the consequence. Your world awaits its conductor.

Though you see yourself as pawn, a pawn reaching an end rank becomes whatever it wants. A piece initially constrained, yet full of potential. If you begin as slave, persevere to become master. The constraints you find yourself contained within, are of your own invention. Everything you see is the fantasy you’ve fabricated. You cannot not-create.

But you’ve created a dissonance unpleasant to your own ears. Know that emptiness is the stage upon which creation commences. Clear the mind to begin anew. Start with what you know, which is nothing. Silence springs forth successful seeds. Potential-energy unleashes upon the infinite. Parts then align in harmony forming the symphonic whole, dawning the sound of something you love.

Lessons from Mom

These are some lessons I learned from my seventy-plus-year-old mother. That means these lessons are time-tested throughout an entire lifetime’s worth of livin’.

1. When in doubt, turn to drugs. Her drugs of choice have always been nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, and ibuprofen. Mind you, she consumes most of those in moderation, at least most of the time. If you notice, these are all performance-enhancing drugs, at least for her. The nicotine calms her nerves, the caffeine gets her goin’, the alcohol takes the edge off, and the ibuprofen puts her back in the game. So if not abused, and utilized effectively, do drugs.

2. Shop till you drop. Money can’t buy happiness? Bullsh*t, according to my mom. Money buys clothes, knickknacks, furniture, food, presents-for-people, cars, even houses — basically, it buys a good-time. But there’s a caveat here: buying on credit leads to a bad time. Credit is something my mother used and abused and it’s something that always caused her problems. For her the money was typically there, but not quite enough, so she turned to credit — which invited stress.

3. Spend unabashedly. My mother would spend all the money she could get her hands on and then feel guilty about it. Basically it was the family’s money, the money her husband generated from his business. So the lesson here is: spend the money while believing yourself justified in doing so — don’t waver like she did. She couldn’t stop herself from spending, so why tack on the guilt? She eventually found a life-hack, in that she felt less guilty if she worked a part-time job.

4. Kids come first — right after mom. My mother was both selfless and selfish at the same time. In other words, she always put the happiness of her children first, right after her own happiness. We went on family vacations to Disney World because of HER dream to go to Disneyland when she was a kid. We had great Christmases because SHE lacked great Christmases growing up. Despite their constant fighting, she stayed with our dad because SHE grew up without one. So the lesson here is: if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. If you must believe yourself a martyr, at least make sure that cross is comfortable.

My overly conservative way of living and lack-minded thinking have gotten me nowhere in life. Whereas my mom lives an abundant life — she has her dream home, has plenty of spending money, worked her dream job (part-time at Disney) — she’d even admit that she lived a great life. So why fight the obvious? Existence on Earth isn’t sneaking-by as a fuddy-duddy — it’s unrepentant carefree frolicking through the funhouse. In other words, don’t bother trying to save it up till the end, the good stuff is now — Enjoy!

All About Belief

I’ve been receiving this message lately: it’s not what you say or do — it’s how much you believe-in what you say or do. For example, if I say I love you but don’t really believe it, then so what, it’s just words wasting time. Whereas if I really mean it, then there’s a power issuing forth: love from my heart into yours — transcending mere words. You’re not reacting to simple sounds, but to an energy flowing through, from me to you.

Another example. If I type up a blog post and simply publish it with no greater belief behind it, then the post stops there. Done. But if I press publish with a greater intention behind it, all of a sudden ears are perking up, it’s reaching people, it’s finding and tickling their inner being. “Likes” and “Follows” light-up like the sun. I wasn’t just wasting-time rambling away, I was communicating with likeminded souls crying for connection.

This all implies a dream-like magical world by the way. A world ruled by intention not action — just like in the story books. For example, if I simply say “Lumos!”, so what — nothing happens. But if I’m a student of wizarding and I intend for my wand to start glowing, then it glows. For magic to happen, a wizard’s words must be backed by intent. And from what I’m sensing, that’s the same way it works in this world as well.

Think of a comedian for instance, he says something mundane and the audience erupts with laughter. If said by anyone else, no one cares — but because it was backed by intent, it had more power than just the sound waves carrying it along. Or think of any great performance where the audience was wowed, transfixed by the power of the performer — why was that performance any better than another? There’s something more than rote procedure at work here.

Another example: What if I’m attempting to start a business, going step by step without much passion behind it, just trying to get by. Are people going to say: “Wow look at him methodically following along that prescribed path! Just going-through-the-motions is a sure sign of success!” No. When someone is doing it right, people say: “Look at his determination! He’s got drive and passion! He really believes in what he’s doing — and by golly I bet he’s gonna get it!!”

Our society is built around intent-of-action, not blindly following recipes. In other words, the path to success is not comprised of a sequence of steps, it’s comprised of strong belief underlying an intended outcome. For example, if you want to learn the guitar, you don’t just follow some steps, after which you’re successfully playing the guitar. No. You have to believe in the outcome “I’m a guitar player!” and then the pathway fills in before you.

“WHAT!!?? Now you’ve gone too far! This is crazy-talk!!” Listen, I’ve been there, I actually tried to learn guitar through a methodical method — it didn’t work. Whereas my friend, who is all about belief and optimism-of-outcome is a much better guitar-player than I am even though we started at the same time. It’s like that old saying, “it’s not the gift, it’s the thought that counts.” Well the same goes for everything else apparently, it’s not what you specifically say or do, it’s your underlying intent that counts.

Okay, here’s another example: haiku. How is it possible that a poem so short could evoke emotion? It’s not saying nearly enough, yet some reader somewhere is affected by those few words. So perhaps it wasn’t the words or their arrangement, but something else that’s being transmitted — perhaps the author had the intent to evoke a response from whoever read his haiku. And maybe some reader had the intent to receive meaning from something he read. That’s where the magic happens.

And if you’re like me, and this is news to you, then guess what? You and success probably aren’t best buddies. But here’s the good news: success is a really great guy and he’s inviting you to the party. How do you get in? Belief, baby! You have to believe your way in. Believe in an outcome and the pathway to success manifests before your eyes. That’s it — and it’s the ONLY way in. Hey don’t forget to enjoy yourself… it’s a party after all.

The Art of Delusion

The message I’ve been receiving lately, is that success is the result of plowing through with our desired belief no matter what — even to the point of seeming delusional.

For example, if I have a six-year-old blog that has a minimal amount of followers and a low amount of likes per post, I’m not supposed to presume the logical conclusion of: I’m uninteresting, or a poor communicator, or a bad writer — no, I must imagine myself as an amazingly awesome blogger, just a bit under-appreciated at the moment.

I shouldn’t seek to see facts as evidence of failure. For example, a small subscriber count could simply be due to a lack of marketing on my part, and have nothing to do with the quality of content. And a low amount of likes per post could be due to a feeling of intimidation on the part of the reader, so overwhelmed by the power of my words.

But Rich, that really does sound delusional. Well yeah, that’s what I thought. But may I remind you who the current president is. Delusion is what works in this particular world. And if you aren’t aware already, this world is only a simulated reality — and “unrelenting belief” seems to be the way in which we can program desired outcomes.

All you have to do to prove this to yourself is think of a musical artist that you absolutely abhor — how can someone so untalented reach a level of such fame and fortune? Delusion, plain and simple. They believed themselves successful from the get-go despite the constant naysayers and haters — all the way up to when their dream came true.

Why do you think successful artists always say: “Just follow your dreams!!” Because it works — it worked for them. Chance is not a thing, and if it was we’d all be dead from random accidents, diseases, disasters, etc. — but we’re not, we’re here living within a fulfillment generator, we’re like children on a playground playing pretend.

But in this world, when Billy mumbles weird rap lyrics into a mic, and he remains determined about how great he is (despite lacking any natural talent) — it literally works. Through relentless belief in his dream, Billy becomes the rap-god he always imagined. That doesn’t happen in a chance-based world, that happens in a dream world.

It’s not talent, but delusion that determines success. Again, think about who the leader of the free-world is right now. So the question becomes: why aren’t you having all that fun? Because you don’t believe strongly in anything, do you. And we know that to be true or else you’d be successful! Duh!

So here’s the deal… based on how life actually seems to work, not on how you’re guessing it works, you need to pick a desired outcome, then believe the heck out of it. Whereas if you allow pessimism to infiltrate your thoughts, then that’s exactly what you’ll receive: a whole heap of nothing, because that’s what you believe in.

You’ve got nothing to lose in this scenario and everything to gain. THIS is the way in which successful people think and believe, I’ve watched countless interviews, always trying to glean their underlying belief system. It’s ALWAYS unrelenting faith in their own success that sees them through — fear and doubt couldn’t stop them.

In conclusion, if you’re not busy believing that you’re currently on a path to success, then you won’t be. Your wish comes true either way — so why not believe in success instead? You don’t know how the world works or else you’d be living a successful life right now. Accept your ignorance and start listening to the people that have had their dreams fulfilled. And their advice is always this: follow your dreams. It’s not: doubt your dreams. It’s FOLLOW them.