There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it. - Mary Wilson

The curse of the renaissance man II

Posted: November 7th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: | No Comments »

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So in part one we talked about why you and I are brilliant but not necessarily living up to our capability.  You may believe that now you must give up stuff you like, to work really hard at one thing.  This is not neccessarily the case, nor would you want it to be.

You can still be a mediocre guitar play and a Ferrari driver.  You can still paint and be an internet millionaire.  What you can’t do is spend 50 hours per week sending email and another 30 hours watching TV.  This is what most people do, and most people’s live quite frankly, suck.

Unfortunately you probably still have to go to work tomorrow.  That’s ok.  We’ll get to that.  But first we need motivation.

To make change you need a reason.  Without it nothing will happen.  You must decide what it is you want first.  This is your motivation, but it’s no easy task.  Answering the general question “what do you want?” is virtually impossible for most people, so to start with something easier.  What don’t you want?  What pisses you off?  What do you do each day that you don’t want to do?  What are you afraid of.

When I answer these questions I generally find that I want freedom.  I want to be able to choose what I do each day, when I get up, where I go, etc.  Most people in developed countries have very structured lives.  We go to school at the same time each day, eat lunch, go to work 5 days per week.  We watch the same shows on a schedule.  We don’t have to think about what we will do tomorrow, because it’s already been planned for us.  Most of the time it’s required.  Have you ever asked yourself “how much work do I want to do?” and then answered with “I’d like to work 8-5 and have an hour lunch each day.”  No?  No one wants to do this, yet somehow we’ve all agreed that it’s the best way to go.

Once we’re on a roll it get’s easier to figure out what it is you want.  Next up ask yourself what do you want to be.  Now this is not a career.  People are not managers, nor mechanics, nor accountants.  It’s vastly more complex but at the same time simpler than that.   When I ask what I want to be, the answer is simply “Jason Borne.”  I want to be a bad-ass.  I want to know how to do bad-ass things, speak several languages, help people, but at the same time break legs.  Perhaps Jason Borne is not you cup of tea, perhaps you want to know more, experience more.  Maybe you want to feed the starving children in Africa, while writing poetry.  That’s fine, but it brings us to the real question, what do you want to do?

Now take all that and know, not fear, but know that you will never do any of it, from the couch, from the office, or probably even in front of your computer.  Most things worth doing are done outside, or at least outside your house.

If you want to achieve anything you must first stop.  You must stop following the predefined schema for life.  You must decide to do or not to do, rather than going about life completing small predefined tasks like going to work, eating at 12:00, answering the phone, or mowing the lawn.  I must decide right now that mowing the lawn is the best use of my very very short time.  Will mowing the lawn put me any closer to speaking french, will it put me any closer to feeding the starving children, or will it just be another hour of my life gone forever.

Rocks stars never mow the lawn.  It’s not because they’re rich and have servants at their beck and call, but usually because there is no lawn and they don’t care about the lawn if they have one.  There lives are consumed with other things.  I used to read guitar magazine and one of the guys used to talk about what it was like coming off a tour.  People go into shock.  They can’t function.  Taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, they can’t handle it.  They quickly go insane.  A huge percentage of them can’t even drive a car.  Because they’ve done interesting things with their lives, the mundane is almost torture for them.

The first step on the road to living that capability is to take our structured life and add a single structured task to it.  It’s not much different that brushing your teeth or driving to work so it shouldn’t be shocking.  Simple take 1/2 hour each day, at a specific time, and don’t do anything.  Do this like it’s
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