I wanted to be a millionaire by 30 (didn’t happen)
I wanted to be a grandmaster of chess, maybe even World Champion (didn’t happen)
I wanted to be published novelist by 25 (didn’t happen after 4 solid attempts and thousands of hours of trying)
I wanted to be THE GUY to take Lori Byer’s virginity in 8th grade. There was zero chance that was happening. And I lied, stole, cheated to try and get there but nothing. NOTHING.
I wanted to be a billionaire by 40 didn’t happen. (might not happen by 80 either).
I wanted to be a successful hedge fund manager, writer, dating site maker, book store worker, and many other things.
I had it all outlined out.
And everything I listed above, I TRIED. Even Lori Byers. I studied chess ten hours a day. I had a business with 40 employees at age 30. I started hedge funds, wrote novels, made dating sites. Nothing.
And everything was a goddamn drag. “To be” anything is a fight, a goal, a road, a hike up a steep mountain with 500 lbs of weight on your back, The Iliad of journeys with dragons and sea monsters and storms and you still get there and everything ‘s screwed up because you left for so many years just like Ulysses did.
For just one day try not to conjugate “to be” and follow it with something. “I am an entrepreneur”. “I am in love with so-and-so”. “I am a writer”.
Someone on a comment said yesterday that “life is significant and to not strive for perfection is to be mediocre.”
My question is: So what? Do I need to be “something perfect” to be happy. To live a full life? (I originally accidentally wrote: “to lie a full life”. Maybe more apt).
Everything that involves “I want to be” means first, “I am not.” Stop with the “not”.
Then I have to go on an adventure. I have to go on the yellow brick road. I have to fight the wicked witch. I want to be a guy with a heart. A guy with courage. But I have to kill two witches to get there. I have to stick to the gold road or I’ll die. I’ll be tortured and scared and cry and be lonely.And at the end of the yellow brick road what is there? A placebo. A fake magician. A man who can’t even pull a rabbit out of a hat. Then more pain and suffering. Disappointment. Horrible disappointment.
In other words, “to be” [Insert something else] sucks.
Stop fighting all the battles of the world. The person who left that comment is right: LIFE IS significant. But ONLY RIGHT NOW it’s significant. Not tomorrow. Not only after you achieve your goals. Not only after you can say “I am a [Insert Goal]”
Forget being the most, the best, the most perfect, the greatest of this, the most of that. All of those things are fine and they might happen and there’s nothing wrong with doing what you enjoy. If you enjoy something go for it. That’s pleasure. Particularly if you start from a sense of balance and happiness. A sense that I feel can be achieved with the daily practice I outline. Then, when you wake up from all that pleasure, you might find you are the best.
But when you say “I am a [Insert]” it means you almost killed yourself. You fought to the death. You were wounded.
You don’t need to have something extra to be perfect. “I am” Right Now. I am perfect right now. Life is significant at this very moment.
And I am. I am Me.
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