Five Things I've Learned
Let's start with the big ones, though all are important.
1. Life Is A Story Being Written in Real Time.
Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, the book called Life is a tragic comedy. Comedy because it is filled with joy and wonder and laughter, tragedy because it must end and intertwined between the two is an interplay between comedy and tragedy, for without loss there can be no gain, and without gain we have nothing to lose.
And sometimes the story is in your favour, sometimes it's against you, sometimes there's an intermission. We call this intermission boredom; those days we simply sit and do nothing or worry ourselves with what comes next.
Usually it's neither, simply more boredom. Occasionally we feel validated, like we've beaten the system. But you cannot beat that which you live within, you can only play on to find out how your story ends. This is freeing if you ask me, because it means that you don't have to destroy yourself figuring out what to do and what to say, simply by doing and saying something you are playing the game right.
Trust yourself. Trust your mind and heart equally and the truth or correct path will come.
2. Death Is None of Your Concern.
We worry too much about what happens next, and it’s only natural to. But what is next isn’t our concern. Whether it’s oblivion or whether it’s heaven, that which will survive into it, if anything does at all, is not you.
Whether we live a whole other existence, or whether you exist in a void, or you are reborn or none of the above, you’re you as you sit there in your chair right now, and that’s all that matters.
3. Everyone Is Playing the Purpose Game.
Look at your boss, what do you see? You probably see a man in a suit with a clean-shaven face and a voice of great authority. He earned that perception from his workers. When you look behind the curtain, though, you’ll see a man who’s got a great many shames, worries, concerns, perhaps family and relationship problems, any of which could destroy him if he lets them get out of control. In other words, your boss is human.
I am human, you are human. We all have a whole ton of hang-ups and some of them are so dangerous that they will kill us, like aggression or bias towards harmful substances, or an obsession with something deeply unhealthy, an event of the past that haunts us, etc. Recognising that everyone you know, including yourself, no, especially yourself is playing a game is very important.
When your boss is shitty to you, or when your wife/husband is an ass, recognise that we’re all broken, almost bald apes playing a game of pretend, pretending to be a husband and play that role, pretending to be a wife, pretending to be a good worker, pretending to be something more than we actually are.
What we actually are is often bitter little creatures, lost and confused and hoping to not starve. Now you can take this in an entirely negative way, or you can see it as I do, as the great equaliser of man, woman, and beast. We may wear suits and shave, but our worries are the same, our loves are the same, our needs are the same. Give yourself and your boss, your wife, etc. some credit, they’re all playing well enough so far.
And perhaps dishearteningly there is no way to stop playing the Purpose Game. Live on the mountains as a celibate in North Japan? You’re playing the Purpose Game. The only way to lose is by dying. The only way to win is to be remembered for what you’ve done, said or inspired others to do.
Remember that in every situation and remember, the most confident, well put together public speaker goes home and doubts him or herself and probably thinks they did an awful job, or worries about that one thing they forgot to mention which they think is absolutely essential that in reality, is not.
4. A Saying I Will and You Should Live By.
The saying goes: In a world of unicorns with horns made of plastic, a horse is worth its weight in gold.
5. Listen to Every Part of You as If You Were in Friendly Debate with Yourself.
Treat your internal dialogue like a board meeting about how to run the most important asset of the company: the company itself, aka, you. Give every doubt its air, interrogate it, question it, poke holes in it. Similarly, try to listen to those aspects of your being that would provide false-positive results in your life, those which feel good at the time but cost you greatly in the end.
Play it like a tug of war, perhaps visualise it that way too. You must give equal weight to ideas, especially ideas you are using to drive you forward in life, but only as far as they are valid, testable, or true. You’ve got to trim the fat and squash those ideas that would cause you harm. You are your own CEO, run yourself like the you’re worth a damn.
And that’s it. Thanks for reading.