“… he keeps himself busy. His is the hyperactivity of the heroic depressive. He ferried himself past one vortex of melancholy after another by means of an astonishing spread of enthusiasms.”
– from “The Volcano Lover” by Susan Sontag
I’m scheduled to give a presentation to my colleagues tomorrow. Right now I feel fine about the prospect but if experience is anything to go by then I fully expect nerves to kick in at around one hour before the presentation is to start. Everyday, I sit around the desk with these people and yet when I’m before them, publicly so to speak, my heart races, there’s static in my flow and I lose the thread when the doubting Thomases start firing questions even before I’m done talking.
But why does it matter that my presentation goes well where “goes well” is interpreted strictly as others swallowing my story whole? Is it because the world expects me to be able to sell sand to the desert dweller? Aren’t the shelves in our bookshops lined with self-help books that promise to turn any man into the supreme salesman? Don’t I want to be a “winner”? I admit that being called a loser is not an attractive prospect.
Now being a highly educated and intelligent man, I think I can recognise easily when I’m being sold ice in the middle of a snow storm! Why do i think others are too blind to see likewise? Anyway, what will I do with the divine power to convince without fail? Oh yes, become successful, get rich, have sex with anyone (everyone) I want, be famous and if time permits do some good in the world. I would be truly happy. But isn’t this just foolishness? I can’t control what another person believes. That’s their affair. Nature did not give me the power to convince people at my will and if I get upset and suffer because others won’t come round to my point of view then that’s my affair.
I need another approach for tomorrow. I should stick entirely to what is within my power and ability: what I say and how I say it. That I can do with utmost confidence. As to how my colleagues respond or process that information, that is entirely within their domain and outside mine.
Sleep deeply. Wake bright-eyed. Coffee. Shower. Breakfast. Work. Accomplish something!. Light meals. Happy laughs. Avoid chocolate. Or muffins. Or pistachio biscuits. Or the news. Gym sweat. Books! Brain food. Gorge. Blog. Share. Skype with baby. Me happy! Sofa. Bed early. Perhaps today?
:why we say Yes when we mean No
:why we defer to ideas and people that are plain silly
:why we acquiesce when we should stand our ground
:what makes us define who we are by the work we do
:what compels us to tread the road most traveled
:what becomes the great regret when life comes to a stop
:necessary or desirable
We are what we have come to be and not the life we dream. When we have lived and have lived life vigorously, then and only then would we deserve our place in the epic story of humankind.
Poop less. Earn more. Save more. Live smarter. Dress sharper. Live braver. Eat better. Drink wisely. Dream in colour. Live in magic. Laugh more. Worry less. Think different. Think big. Embrace success. Return to ju jitsu. Take boxing lessons (or Kung Fu). Dance sublimely. And wickedly. Question everything. Read people. Fake it. Sweat it but don’t show it. Be savvy, politically. Trust but verify. Be assertive. Speak imaginatively. Listen discerningly. Think thoroughly. Think through. Consider everything three steps ahead. Read precociously (a bit late for that so), read prolifically. Travel. Pinch myself, I’m ALIVE! It won’t be this way forever. I’ve been lucky. Take nothing for granted. Share love. Share goodness. Live creatively. Inhale the wondrous universe. One day it will be gone and I’ve been lucky to see it. Refuse lies. Refute myths. Eyes wide open – see the world as it is and not as I saw it. Shit happens. So does stuff. Lady Luck does not discriminate so grab my share of breaks. Work smarter. Much smarter. Be humble. Flee hubris. Fuck assholes up. Be kind to the loving. Sleep well. Exercise unfailingly (there’s an Olympian god in there somewhere). Feed the brain its favourite drug, glucose. And adrenaline. Live life on the edge but inside the rim. Relax. Meditate. Recuperate. Seek these three: great health, wisdom and love. That’s true wealth for ya. [After comes the base kind, lord knows I’ve worked hard enough]. And if I die, die happy and peacefully.