As I write this I´m in the midst of a stressful situation.
I do not act like it is amazing this is happening. I did that for a lot of my life, but for whatever reason this world is meant to be tough. When so many things go right you don´t even notice, because it´s expected. However, people are not perfect. People make mistakes.
I read this book A Million Miles In A Thousand Years. In the nonfiction book a writer is approached by film makers who want to make a movie about his memoir. He starts entertaining them in his house as they write the screenplay for his life.
As they go through the book he wrote and they discuss the merits of different story types in screenplays the writer starts wondering, ¨huh, my life story movie would be much more entertaining if I had done this. ¨
He starts questioning himself as to why he doesn´t live his life like it´s a story. Why does he need some film makers discussing his autobiography for him to realize he is living in a creation of his choosing?
The greatest glimpses we can give into someone´s life is a book, where everything is created in your mind. Movies or television have more tools at their disposal, but are expensive to produce, and rely on hundreds of people to make. Even after all that work you have 2 hour movies and 20 hours in a TV series to show you a person´s life. They can see and hear the person in the tale, but that´s it.
But by random chance or through God´s will we´ve all been given this 50 to 100 year story. We can see, taste, touch, and intensely feel every emotion. The chances of you being alive at this exact moment as who you are is so far-fetched. Then you consider those chances within the totality of the universe and matter itself. Every day is a chance to do something memorable, something that adds value to your life´s chronicle. We are all literally living a story that has never been lived before. We´re beyond two hours, we are alive.
So the writer decides he wants his life stories to read like something he´d imagine in a book. Overweight, he decides to commit to a multi-day hike through the Peruvian mountains. Growing up fatherless he decides to track down his biological father. Bored with his life he decides to find meaning in creating a charitable program. And it goes on, and on. It´s all very inspiring.
But I can´t just read all of that and then go ¨oh but my life is nothing special, look at all this crap I have to deal with.¨ I have never watched a movie in my life where a guy woke up at 8, had his coffee, got to work at 9, left at 6, came home to watch TV at 7, and everything went perfectly. I have never seen that movie because that movie would suck. That would be boring. Of course, we all desire comfort and a routine we can depend on, but there needs to be some suspense. There needs to be goals, and something we are working up to every day. There needs to be personal development.
I have never read a book or seen a movie where someone grew without conflict. It never goes perfectly. Every biography you have ever seen or read on someone´s life, did it ever go swimmingly from start to finish? The losses we take and the spats we get into serve to push us over the edge, they get us over that hump.
Sometimes conflict arises in your life and it seems so horrible, but it’s what is needed to begin necessary change. A lot of people would have never found their true partner if their previous spouse hadn´t cheated on them. So many people wouldn´t have found a calling they enjoy greatly if they hadn´t been unjustly fired from a job first.
Of course, not every change is welcome. I doubt Hellen Keller would have chosen to be born that way, but if she hadn´t been we probably wouldn´t have had such an influential person in the world.
Not everyone is dealt the same hand in life, but if I´ve learned anything from poker it´s that that really matters the least. I know guys with a number of titles and tons of money who do nothing but bitch. I know kids in Costa Rica who had a really rough home life but are the happiest people in the world now – simply because they can study and live in their own apartment.
Our minds really are a muscle. I put crap into mine for a long time, and that was what I got out. If we dine on realistic frames of mind, eventually we will adjust to the world we are defining for ourselves. If we´re just constantly bereaved over the death of our unrealistic expectations then of course we´ll keep producing a vile mentality.
I´ve been feasting on anxiety and anger over something. I do that quite often. I try to adjust that diet as much as I can. I love gory historical fiction books like Aztec and TV shows like The Wire and Boardwalk Empire, but when I have a lot going on I read the Bible. I read about Ghandi´s life, and realize what a real man of integrity went through, and how my struggles are nothing. I read philosophy books I vibe with. I talk about what´s on my mind with people who can see it in a completely different light. Maybe they don´t know anything about poker, but they´re old enough to see where your story is headed. They’ve seen a few before, after all.
When I have to play a 10K tournament I don´t eat fried chicken and smoke blunts the night before, even if that´d be fun. I keep it clean now and eat light meals. I need my body to be functioning as best I can.
When you´re going through tougher times you can´t feed your mind junk food either.
I’m going to go read something useful. Maybe I’ll write more if I find something.
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