I’ve sat down many times to write something out. Something about life, something about Second Life, something about coming back or not coming back. Nothing seemed to feel right. Then I listened to a video last night, one from an actor I’m personally quite fond of, Matthew McConaughey. It made a lot of sense, so instead of writing something that I’m not sure of, I’m going to share what he had to say. What he said can apply to all of us and I hope going into 2019 we all take a bit of it forward. I’ll link to it at the bottom of the post, but read it, listen to it, understand it.
“We’ve all got two wolves in a suit, a good one and a bad one, and they both want to eat. The best I can tell we just got to feed that good one a little more than the other one.
Happiness is an emotional response to an outcome. If I win I will be happy if I don’t I won’t. It’s an if-then cause-and-effect quid pro quo standard that we cannot sustain because we immediately raise it every time we attain it. See happiness, happiness demands a certain outcome. It is result reliant and I say if happiness is what you’re after then you’re gonna be let down frequently and you’re gonna be unhappy much of your time.
Joy though, joy’s a different thing it’s something else. Joy is not a choice it’s not a response to some result. It’s a constant. joy is the feeling that we have from doing what we are fashioned to do, no matter the outcome. Now personally as an actor I started enjoying my work living and literally being more happy when I stopped trying to make the daily labor a means to a certain end. For example I need this film to be a box-office success, you know I need my performance to be acknowledged, I need the respect of my peers. All those are reasonable aspirations, but the truth is as soon as the work, the daily making of the movie, the doing of the deed became the reward in itself, for me I got more box-office more accolades and respect than I ever had before.
See joy is always in process, it’s under construction, it is in constant approach alive and well in the doing of what we’re fashioned to do and enjoying it. The easiest way to dissect success is through gratitude. Giving thanks for that which we do have, for what is working, appreciating the simple things we sometimes take for granted. We give thanks for these things and that gratitude reciprocates, creating more to be thankful for it’s really simple and it works.
Now I’m not saying being in denial of your failures. No we can learn from them too but only if we look at them constructively. As a means to reveal what we are good at, what we can get better at what we do succeed at. Life’s a verb, we try our best we don’t always do our best and since we are the architects of our own lives let’s study the habits the practices the routines that we have that lead to and feed our success. Our joy, our honest pain, our laughter, our earned tears. Let’s dissect that and give thanks for those things and when we do that guess what happens? We get better at them and we have more to dissect.
It’s a get-rich-quick on the Internet, riches 15 minutes of fame world that we live in and we see it every day but we all want to succeed right? So the question that we’ve got to ask ourselves is what success is to us, what success is to you? Is it more money? That’s fine I got nothing against money. Maybe it’s a healthy family? Maybe it’s a happy marriage? Maybe it’s to help others to be famous, to be spiritually sound, to leave the world a little bit better place than you found it.
Continue to ask yourself that question. Now your answer may change over time and that’s fine but do yourself this favor. Whatever your answer is don’t choose anything that will jeopardize your soul.
Prioritize who you are, who you want to be, and don’t spend time with anything that antagonizes your character. Don’t drink the kool-aid man, it tastes sweet but you will get cavities tomorrow. Alright, life is not a popularity contest. Be brave, take the hill, but first answer that question “what’s my hill?”
Well for me it’s a measurement of five things. We got fatherhood, we got being a good husband, we got my health (mind, body, and spirit), we got career, and we got friendships. These are what’s important to me in my life right now. Because I want to keep all five in healthy shape and I know that if I don’t take care of them, if I don’t keep up maintenance on them, one of them is gonna get weak man. It’s gonna dip too deep into the debit section, it’s gonna go bankrupt, it’s gonna get sick, die even. So first we have to define success for ourselves and then we have to put in the work to maintain it. Take that daily tally, tend our garden keep the things that are important to us in good shape.
Defining ourselves by what we are not is the first step that leads us to really knowing who we are. You know that group of friends that you hang out with that really might not bring out the best in you. You know they gossip too much or they’re kind of shady they really aren’t gonna be there for you in a pinch. Or how about that bar that we keep going to that we always seem to have the worst hangover from. Or that computer screen right, the computer screen that keeps giving us an excuse not to get out of the house and engage with the world and get some real human interaction. I bet that food that we keep eating and stuff to taste so good going down makes us feel like crap the next week we feel lethargic and we keep putting on weight.
Well those people, those places, those things, stop giving them your time and energy just don’t go there. I mean put them down and when you do this when you do put them down when you quit going there and you quit giving them your time you inadvertently find yourself spending more time and in more places that are healthy for you. That bring you more joy. Why? Because you just eliminated the who’s, the wheres, the what’s, the whens that were keeping you from your identity.
Look trust me too many options, I promise you this too many options will make a tyrant of us all. Alright so get rid of the excess, the wasted time. Decrease your options. If you do this you will have accidentally, almost innocently put it in front of you what is important to you by process of elimination. Knowing who we are is hard, it’s hard so give yourself a break. Eliminate who you are not first and you’re gonna find yourself where you need to be.
Make voluntary obligations. I’m talking about the ones that we make with ourselves, with our God, with our own consciousness. I’m talking about the you versus you obligations. We have to have them. Now again these are not societal laws and expectations that we acknowledge and endow for anyone other than ourselves. These are faith-based obligations that we make on our own. These are not the lowered insurance rates for a good driving record. You will not be fined, to be put in jail if you do not gratify these obligations I speak of. No one else governs these but you. They are your secrets with yourself. Your own private counsel, personal protocols. And while nobody throws you a party when you abide by them, no one’s going to arrest you when you break them either except yourself.
An honest man’s pillow is his peace of mind and when you lay down on that pillow at night no matter who’s in your bed we all sleep alone. These are your personal jiminy crickets and there are not enough cops in the entire world to police them, it’s on you. It’s on you.
We do our best when our destinations are beyond the measurement. When our reach continually exceeds our grasp, and when we have immortal finish lines, and when we do this the race is never over, the journey has no port, the adventure never ends because we are always on the way. So do this. Do this and let them, let somebody else come up and tap you on the shoulder and say “hey you scored.” Let them run up and tap you on the show and say “man you won.” Let them come tell you “you can go home now.” Let them say “I love you too.” Let them say “thank you.” Take the lid off the man-made roofs that we put above ourselves and always play like an underdog.”
I don’t know where my journey will take me this time around or for how long it will be. We’ll see where the dice land when all is said and done but keep everything said above in mind. I feel better just thinking about it. Here’s to a new year and maybe a new you.
Pose: RKPoses_Cody_1 ~ Keon Xenga
Head: CATWA HEAD Victor [SL Neck] v3.2 ~ Catwa Clip
Head Applier: Clef de Peau.Clef de Peau.Oscar T4 [CATWA] ~ Marcopol Oh
Hair: lock&tuft – frank v1 ~ AlyxxBanks Resident
Hairbase: Stealthic – Male Hairbase ~ Stealthic Resident
Brows: IDTTY Faces – CATWA Appliers [Heavy Eyebrows] ~ Melissa Hindrabar
Ears: [MANDALA] STEKING_Ears_Season5 – Kikunosuke Eel
Eyes: AG. Luster Eyes ~ Kendra Parfort
Beard: GA EG – Magnificent [MF] Victor Bento Hipster Stache & Beard Medium – Night ~ ElleEtGance Resident
Body: Slink Physique MALE Mesh Body V2.06 ~ Siddean Munro
Body Applier: Clef de Peau.Body Tight T4 ~ Marcopol Oh
Hands: Slink Hands – Dynamic ~ Siddean Munro
Feet: Slink Avatar Enhancement Feet Male Flat ~ Siddean Munro
Tattoo: DAPPA – Wrath Tattoo ~ KarlosGuerrero Resident
Jacket: [Deadwool] Hart jacket – Slink – all colors ~ Masa Plympton
Pants: [Deadwool] Hart trousers – Slink – no break – all colors ~ Masa Plympton
Shoes: [Deadwool] Oxford shoes – Slink – all colors ~ Masa Plympton
Backdrop: /anxiety/ Chicago backdrop ~ Migrainepill Resident