I've gotten real comfortable with my weaknesses.
I can't plan things. I am overwhelmed at the grocery store. I don't appreciate nice things. I'm not getting any smarter.
In the great words of Popeye: "I am who I am."
But we live in a country where we are supposed to all be "moving up."
A better job. More money. A healthier diet. A thinner waistline. A bigger house. A nicer car. Up. Up. Up.
I've come to distrust this constant bettering.
I don't believe in it. I also believe it is actually coming to an end as the American normal state.
I believe it comes from the outside. Government, Church and Business. They are inciting this constant obsession with bettering ourselves.
It doesn't benefit us nearly as much as it benefits them.
They stir us into a frantic state of constant anxiety that we never have any time to actually ask ourselves what we truly want. What will truly bring us satisfaction?
Because when we make more money, government, business and church make more money. It all comes down to money. Just follow the money.
I was once walking down the street in a very wealthy Connecticut town just outside of New York City. A very handsome man got out of a very fancy car and looked at my wife like he was going to devour her. This was years ago. But his look burned into me. I've never seen a human look so hungry and predatorial in my life. He looked like a wolf in human form.
I wasn't angry at him. In fact, I was impressed by him. He looked like a guy that truly found his calling. He loved money. He loved the conquest. I'm quite sure he was a finance guy of some sort. He just looked perfectly in his element.
This is who everyone wants us to be. They all want us to be hungry and striving and on the hunt.
But the truth is, most people I have ever met are not nearly as money motivated and desirous of upward mobility as society has convinced us that we are.
Most people are overwhelmed by the pursuit.
They live paycheck to paycheck at the very end of their financial capabilities. We are all told, "Don't worry. Buy now. You'll make more money later."
We buy houses we can't afford. We lease cars we can't afford.
I believe it is an external force pushing us beyond our limits.
All studies show that Americans are not happy and are not living longer.
We've been tricked.
It all starts with the seemingly simple question: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
That's one of those questions that really has no answer. It's more of a feeling than a description.
"Um... I want to be a... ________________"
More often than not that answer isn't true.
We have a very limited understanding of all the things we can "be."
So we take the 50 possible options that we've heard of and then take all of our loves and passions and desires and plug them into one of those 50 things.
There is a guy I know who hires felons at his company. He is very successful. His business is putting liquids into bottles that spray. Another company sends him their liquid, like cologne, and he puts it into a spray bottle for them. I think over time he also expanded into putting labels on those bottles. This is a multi-generational business.
I saw on TV where a zoo has a full time artist who makes habitats for animals. They are phenomenal.
There are so many jobs in the world. We do ourselves no favors by saying I want to be "X".
I believe we would find much more happiness and satisfaction by not succumbing to being so confident about what we want to do for a living.
I believe we need to use less words and do more living.
We must experience things to find our true path.
Like a ball in a pinball machine. Go here. Go there. Go fast. Go slow. Go up. Go down. But just go.
The experience will guide you. Listen to your surroundings. Listen to the feelings within you.
Listen less to other people. They are often a distraction. As soon as someone tells you, "You should do this" you are probably being pulled in an unnatural direction.
I realize this is ironic advice. I'm telling you listen to me while also telling you to not listen to me.
But I'm not telling you to be a banker or an engineer or an accountant or an artist or a musician. I'm telling you to let all of that go.
Sit in a chair and wait for an inspiration to move you. Then quietly get up and move in that direction.
It will likely be a very faint and subtle feeling. It probably won't feel like much of anything. But that's how it will start. A weak, little flicker. Follow it!
When you say "I don't know" you will be taking the first step to truly knowing.
That is God talking to you. God is not outside of you. God is not even inside of you. God is you.
God is the thing that isn't your mom, your dad, me, your boss, your spouse. God is that barely perceptible light you can hardly see within you.
God almost never yells at you initially. There is too much outside noise for God to get through.
I know, for some of you, I probably ruined this whole "follow your dreams" post at the end by throwing in the word "God."
If I had a better word for it I would use it.
Just try to think of "God" as a connector of all things. I see God as this strange, unfathomable thing that ties us together with a galaxy, a star, a bird, an electron. We are all in this together. We are all moving in the same direction. We all need each other. We all are each other.
That is not even mystical. We are all born of star dust. That's physics.
Connectedness. That's a fundamental idea I'm trying to share. Connectedness instead of disconnectedness is how we solve all the world's problems.
The universe is not "this or that." The universe is: "This, that and the other thing."