No Whammies

I have that common conundrum of trying to figure out just who I am. The simplistic answer is: just be yourself and react naturally to life’s stimuli as stuff continually parades before you. But the problem with “being myself”, is that I very easily assume the role of a pessimistic hater, regularly predicting disaster and criticizing everything. That guy lives in a hopeless world where everything sucks — yuck. Because I don’t like the results of that attitude, I had to develop mindfulness, an awareness of what I was thinking and saying — so now when I catch myself being “that guy”, I stop.

But if I cut out a major portion of my personality, what am I left with? Who am I? I was very much motivated by fear, now what am I supposed to be driven by? I’m not sure what my ambitions are. I do have some ideas of how I’d like to live but I have no inspiration for how to proceed. It feels like I’m hanging out in a waiting room, in line to collect my lottery winnings — I know all the stuff I want to buy and the things I’d do with my time, but I’m just waiting for the check. A path by which I perform some physical act to attain those things isn’t appearing in my imagination.

So as I sit, I’m keeping busy, engaging in some hobbies with the limited resources I have. For instance, I’ve spent the last couple months building some small wood working projects and buying some relatively inexpensive tools. Beyond that, I browse real estate sites, shop for the things I’d buy when the money rolls in, and make “vision boards”. If you told me ten years ago that I’d be making a vision-board, I’d’ve called you an idiot. Now I’m “that guy” who dreams of ideal days and creates slide-show-based vision-boards of where I want to live.

I wouldn’t mind winning the actual lottery. I want to win the Lucky for Life lottery so I can tell people my job is “breathing”. The longer I live, the more I’m paid. I used to say, “there’s no reward for longevity” — now there really would be. That amuses me. Some people need assigned activities to keep busy — not me though. I’ve always been about autodidacticism and entertaining myself. It takes a certain personality to be able to live a life of leisure. My friend is quite capable of living a life-of-leisure too which is why we live in a mobile-home in a trailer-park I suppose.

But you know who wins the lottery? Trailer-park folk, that’s who. We’re just fulfilling the prophesy. “Oh, Patron Saint of the Lottery, I have fulfilled thy covenant by residing within the sacred single-wide. Now I pray thee to grant me thine fruits of triple cherries. Let thy coinage flow from thine silver vomiting orifice. May my pockets be ever widening as I humbly accept the gift I do not deserve yet receive with abundant appreciation. And may all who request such luck receive the jackpot they so desire.” I don’t consider myself lucky, perhaps I’ve just been saving it all for this one moment.

Hm, this feels like a Saturday post. Checking calendar… yep. I always write the strangest posts on Saturdays….

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Labor Day

An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Haphazard Historian.

Imagine that there are some people willing to enslave other people for their own gain. Well in fact no imagination is necessary, as we can browse the pages of history (or even current events) to know this to be the case. So we know people can, and will, exploit their fellow man for mere economic advantage.

We know there are some that would do all they can to get as close to slave-like conditions as possible, just to get a bit more. This being the case, what protects workers from such unrepentant greed? What protects those with little-power from hungry wolves waiting to feast?

Answer: the power of the herd, an unshakable union of fellow workers. Without this solidarity, workers are picked off one-by-one as each individual stays silent, threatened by the knowledge that he’ll be next should he utter complaint. Only as a solid whole, a single voice, can these workers hope to overcome the power of greed.

And so, this is the day we set aside as reminder of that ongoing struggle against greed. A greed so nefarious that man would kidnap his fellow man and force his labor, that man would employ children in perilous industry, that man would continuously shave as much as mathematically possible from wages — ever attempting to reach zero.

But it is not this selfishness we must focus on today, it is the unity that opposes it. Throughout history, the bulk of mankind has only ever shown a desire to pitch in, to contribute to community. He wants to work and do right by his neighbor. It is with this spirit, that mankind often bands together whenever foxes attempt to divvy him up.

As a collection of individuals, mankind can be divided. And, it often requires a bit of prodding before the sleeping giant of solidarity awakens to the threat of dismemberment. But in due time, and after much strain, he does wake, and those that dared divide him meet their end.

As workers ourselves, it is our duty to keep an open ear for this call to solidarity — for it is in our best interest, and the interest of industry itself. Fruitful commerce requires a fruitful workforce who in turn become prosperous customers. Industry itself is not the enemy, there’s simply some greed that needs weeding out. And we must all be on the lookout.

Well-crafted Elle

elle-office

This is a picture of my darling wife Elle in her new office. It’s a small walk-in closet with a folding-chair and a folding-tray for the desk. I am documenting her meager beginnings as an Internet-influencer and entrepreneur.

In but a brief time for instance, she amassed over 25,000 followers on Instagram by posting beautiful pictures of the local landscape. She really has quite the eye for photography. The lens through which she sees the world can be a rosy one, and she’s able to capture this view in her photos.

Unfortunately though, she stopped caring about that account and moved onto something new. It was either playing Seabeard or watching The Great British Bakeoff, I’m not sure which distraction it was this time. That’s the trouble you see, her talent erupts like a mighty volcano spewing bright magma in all directions, causing heads to turn and stare, only to fizzle-out as the lava quickly cools into motionless mud-like glops stuck to the side of a once shapely mountain.

Sometimes she’ll chastise me for my lack of success. I think she’s just angry at herself and takes it out on me though. I don’t really care about my own success, I’m not very competitive nor do I have much drive to prove myself. But in an attempt to please her, I try to do things that might lead to success — although they usually don’t amount to much.

Even if I was successful, I don’t think she’d be satisfied until she found her own creative outlet. I, on the other hand, can be satisfied just sitting in a small room all day. One day I imagine she’ll find her niche and success will come pouring in. I see myself as part of her support system, keeping things well-balanced.

She’ll often get in moods where she imagines burning bridges to all pre-existing relationships, ours included, but I suppose that’s part of her artist’s temperament (it’s actually PMS, but she hates when I mention that). Her creativity does tend to follow a monthly cycle by the way. Spurts of motivation in the beginning until an eventual crash at the end followed by a month of rest and distraction.

I write all this, dear diary, because sometimes it’s tough to be criticized for days at a time by a loved one. Of course I try to tell her all the tips and tricks of happiness, many I learned from her, but they are of no use to someone in a mischievous mood. So around and around we go, the sun rises and the sun sets. The cycle continues, spring follows winter and sure enough bloom-time will come again.

Success Status

It’s been almost a year now since I began a quest for success. Yet, there’s no visible change. Nothing about my surroundings seems any different than ten months ago. But internally, I’ve demolished the idea of a material world within my mind. This particular philosophical foundation allows me to see success as a condition readily accomplished.

What does success and belief have to do with one another? To be successful, one must be able to accept the premise and possibility of success. Previously I had little use for the concept, as I have very little drive for external accomplishment. But experimentally I set success as a goal. And now I hold an adequate belief.

I perused a handful of books whose subject-matter involved the attainment of success. I was somewhat surprised by how much they focused on the mental component. Success seemed more about belief than actual activity. And this carried through to even the business oriented books. So I set as my task the building of a belief system that allowed for dreams to come true.

And yes I’m skeptical of the snake-oil aspect of success advice. But there’s no wasted effort here, as I’ve enjoyed this foray into a belief system that allows a limitlessness to life. For a few years now I’ve been moving further away from my pessimistic origins and these concepts fit right in with that journey.

Additionally, as part of the experiment, I want to determine how much influence I have over life — is existence more of a pre-scripted movie or an open-ended game. And if influenceable, by how much and in what form. I want to see if belief really does translate into physical manifestation as so many claim.

As far as what’s next, I’ll continue waiting with hopeful anticipation. Sources seem to say we should not incessantly focus on our goal, but lay the groundwork and just let it happen. I have an idea in mind and I’m open to accepting it. Now the ball’s in life’s court, I’m ready to receive.

P.S. But what if you’re completely wrong in your interpretation and approach? I am sincere in my effort and authentic to my self, so if that’s wrong, then I don’t wanna be right. Plus I really have no other interests at this time, there’s essentially no opportunity cost to consider. And if nothing comes of this, that’s still a result in the experiment and a lesson learnt.

Hopefulness, it should be remembered, is a good feeling. Whether wishes come to pass doesn’t really matter, as the optimistic anticipation of their fruition is oftentimes better than the actual result.

Discovering Ourselves

My friend has a super-power. She remembers people’s names as well as tidbits about their lives. She has a gentle demeanor that puts people at ease. She listens with interest and regularly recalls facts brought up earlier in the conversation. Her reactions are considerate and nonjudgemental. Because of all this, people tend to adore her. She does this all effortlessly. I lack even the slightest bit of this ability, so it stands out to me.

Because it comes so naturally, she never recognized this ability as special. It’s difficult to see our own talent because to us it’s nothing extraordinary, it’s easy and everyday. And due to our ignorance, we have no inkling to apply our gift. It’s like a cat that never realizes what his claws are for, so he mopes around hoping to get fed instead of utilizing his innate hunting skill.

By not practicing our gift we wander aimlessly through life. A natural artist will often sit doodling until some outsider exclaims “Hey, you’re really good at drawing!” To her, it was nothing special until someone pointed out her exceptional ability. Singers are often recognized in the same manner. “Hey, you can really sing!” But for many, talent lies deeper below the surface.

Life is a bit silly in the sense that we’re all provided with certain exceptional abilities yet we need to discover what they are. And oftentimes we have to rely on others to tell us. We’re often shocked at people’s reactions and lack confidence in these abilities. But it’s in our interest to heed these hints and establish a faith in our ability while practicing what we do best — whatever it may be.

Summary of Success

The world is malleable — you can alter it.
Don’t accept preexisting definitions of life.
Define life in a way that feels right to you.
There are no limitations but those you accept.
Everything achieved began as a dream.

Describe and visualize what you want to achieve.
Believe in the certainty of your vision.
Replace unhelpful thoughts with constructive ones.
Ponder with positivity, accept only supportive reasons.
The mind defines reality. The mind can be controlled.

Refuse fear. Ignore weakness. Imagine strength.
For every decision, just choose and commit.
Focus on the destination, not the forks.
Travel daily toward your destination.
Accept assistance, provide assistance.

Exert until it works.
Find reasons that maintain motivation.
Look for and follow examples.
Practice perfect outcomes with your thoughts.
Believe in the limitlessness of life.

A focused mind brings forth the fruits of life.

Notes on Success

The world is malleable, and you have the ability to alter it.
Your life is not a static story written by others, but a dynamic adventure told by you.
Do not define your life by the worldview of pessimistic minds that lack creativity.
Define life in a way that feels right, and create the character you will become.
Those things once thought impossible began as ideas in the mind.

Picture what you want to achieve and who you want to become.
Vividly visualize details of success, enough to evoke feeling.
Convince yourself of the certainty of these outcomes.
Observe and evaluate your thoughts, replacing the unhelpful with the constructive.
Practice perfection in the mind.

Know with certainty that you can achieve your goal.
Do something daily that gets you there.
See success in the mind, visualizing the result — reinforce regularly.
Develop a reason that maintains your motivation.
Follow the path of others already there.

Focus, maintain unwavering certainty of vision.
Believe in the limitlessness of life.
Decide decisively, trust, do, don’t hesitate.
Decisiveness brings about intensity of focus.
With limited data, no decision is perfect, just choose and commit.

Refuse fear.
Ponder with positivity, accept only supportive reasons.
Ignore weakness, imagine strength.
Persistence, try until it works.
Accept assistance, provide assistance.

Achievement begins with belief.
You have the ability to influence and direct your mind.
Your thoughts define reality.
See a clear picture of what you want.
Become familiar with success via visualization.

Write down a description of your success.
There are no limitations but those you accept.
Practice focusing your mind, this is mental discipline.
The fruits of life are a product of mental discipline.
The ills of life result from a lack of mental discipline.