Are You Your Worst Enemy?

I'm a Hindu God

I'm a Hindu God

I was talking to my closest friend. We were catching up on life and part of the conversation spilled over to our jobs. Both of us have followed through many, many creative endeavors throughout our lives that intersected in wanting to open up our own school that eventually led to writing, storytelling for me, same difference. He's now a father of the cutest little boy, married, and is in a thriving career, not writing anymore. He may continue later in life, but that's a story he'll have to fulfill. I'm still diligently writing.

He asked how my job was going, and I just told him it's just a job. I even forgot to tell him that I got promoted with a salary increase because I don't care about my corporate job title. I do care about having and earning more money, but since I don't flaunt it, nor am a big spender (yes, girls, I'm a cheap date), I don't really think about it.

Eh? Ehh? I can't hear ya boy

Eh? Ehh? I can't hear ya boy

"You're gonna be there for 50 years," he said.

I was taken aback by that comment, despite the fact that I hate the corporate world. But as a writer who is working on making it, I still have to pay the bills, earn money to go on dates, pay for gas and food on those dates. But most importantly, my job gives me the freedom to write without concerning myself on making it, which was the whole purpose in the first place.

I used to have a sales job selling mortgages, which I hated, and it sapped my energy and creativity.

I started doubting myself, my practices, my vision of a writing career, fame and fortune, seeing my name in big, bright hardback covers. In short, I questioned whether I was doing the right thing. Happening onto my current job, I had to decide whether to take it or not because it was a pretty significant pay cut.

At that point in my life, my longest stint at a single work place was two and half years. I've been in this job for eight. Eight? Almost 3,000 days. That's a tad bit more than two and a half years. Maybe my friend was right, as I spearhead toward my fifty year mark.

"What am I doing? I'm such a loser." I should quit writing and concentrate on moving up the corporate ladder.

I started scouring the Internet for inspirational voices, quotes, and whatnot to help me sort out the conflict within me. I then realized something that I had realized during my years mentoring children. There is no single way or technique for success. Even the meaning behind the word success is different for everyone. And I find joy not in my job, but in writing the story that has engulfed me for so many years. Despite how tired I may be, how much I love just vegetating, sleeping, and doing nothing, I find myself thinking, developing, writing even when I'm not in front of my computer. I came to this conclusion when I drifted off into nothingness, watching crap TV, and knew my path is just that. Mine.

Would I change anything right now? Nope.

So in your life, when you're not doing anything, or doing something mundane, where does your mind go? Follow it. Steve Jobs did. You may never know where it may lead you.

Stealing from Jobs

I’m an Apple fan. Call me a fanboy. Accuse me of drinking Kool-Aid, despite my vice for diet soda. What I love about Apple was Steve Jobs’ philosophy on life, summarized well in 2005 Stanford commencement address. Many Apple centric sites are writing articles about the man who died only a year ago, his legacy, how he changed the world. But I’d like to talk about his autobiography and what a sheep is. Many non-Apple fans call us sheep.

You callin' me sheep, sucka?

You callin' me sheep, sucka?

Sheep – a four-legged animal covered in wool.

I’ve never seen a sheep use an Apple product. Though, I have not seen every sheep in the world.

An article in Wired discussed whether the autobiography Walter Isaacson wrote on Steve Jobs could be used as a path to success and management.

This sticker adds 5 horse power

This sticker adds 5 horse power

I had bought the audio book, unabridged version, from audible.com. As I listened, my ego started to make links between the ways Jobs did things to how I did things. I think we all do this, try to make comparisons with great men and women to assure ourselves that we are somehow on the right path. I stopped myself and knew. I am no Steve Jobs. And no one else is either. I think of a boy in Uganda and know that no other boy in the world will be like that boy. As human beings, we are all different, individuals. That is our biggest strength as a species.

Shut the Fuck Up

Shut the Fuck Up

There’s an app called iTunes U. Basically, it has courses that you can take, a lot of it is free. There’s a section called Creative Writing: A Master Class. There are 10-15 minute snippets of audio/video from famous writers. I’d listened to Michael Crichton, John Irving, Khaled Hosseini. But the one that caught my ear was Sue Grafton, author of best selling mystery novels like “A” IS FOR ALIBI. She said about writing, “There is no path. There is no course you can take. It’s not gonna help if you go to an Ivy League school. It might not hurt you, but it’s not gonna do you any good.”

Now, I’m not playing down education. I certainly don’t want a dude off the street operating on me. But when it comes to paths to success, we rarely know how to get there. I think the important thing is to know where you are, the starting point, and where you want to end up. That way you’ll have a better idea of where you wanna go. Two points make a line, right? Math. It’s an Asian thang. But if you don’t know where you are, how can you know which direction to head? If you don’t know where you want to end up, then are you even asking the question? For most people, no.

After finishing Jobs’ autobiography, my take was success in any form has no prescription. There isn’t a right way nor a wrong way. Sometimes the wrong way will teach us lessons the right way can’t. But going the wrong way all the time won’t get us to where we want to be. If you want to follow Jobs’ path, then listen to your intuition. For that path is unique to you.

The Unbeaten Path

In my postAre You a Complainer,I ask the question, "Are you a complainer?"  Some of you may complain that the last sentence was a bit redundant.  My friend made a comment:  Odd that people would accept a habit that makes them feel miserable.  I think the reason may be people are comfortable.

People want the above picture.  A road that lights up that leads to their destination.

People will even follow a road like this, which I think reflects life a bit more.

But if you were the rock, which path would you follow?  The straight path?  The curvy one?  How about the third?

I was reading another writer's post, and they were talking about why writers write, knowing thechancesany kind of success is freakin' low.

Here's my view: Learn the lesson of the turtle.

I wrote The 7th Province and will continue to write the two books in this series and the prequels because some how for some reason these stories were given to me to write.  I write these posts because when I come across something that invokes a thought close to my heart, I write about it.

It is what it is cuz it ain't what it ain't.

Duh.

Despite the millions of books that are written each year, writing is the unbeaten path.

When I went to the San Francisco Writer's Conference, I talked to a lot of writers.  Many were published.  Many had written books.  But I was also surprised to find that many writers hadn't even begun.  Was it their destiny to write?  That's not for me to answer.  But it seems that those who write, write because they are inspired to.

God!  Here's that freakin' word 'inspire'.

That word invokes an internal meaning.  It's not 'outspire', which isn't even a word.  Nor is it perspire, which invokes strange odors.  But it's inspire.  In.

In The Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi asks Daniel to close his eyes and imagine a perfect picture of a bonsai tree.

Mr. Miyagi:  Wipe your mind clean.  Everything but the tree.  Nothing exists in whole world...only tree.  You got it?  Open eyes.  Remember picture?

Daniel-san:  Yeah.

Mr. Miyagi:  Make like picture.  Just trust the picture.

Daniel-san:  How do I know my picture's the right one?

Mr. Miyagi:  If come from inside you, always right one.

Do what you love, love what you do.

Are We Born for the Sole Purpose of Purpose?

Many have asked why we are here, why were are born. My personal philosophy is that the meaning of life is to be happy.  As children were happy.  We spit up, drool, pick our noses, crap, and we laugh about it.  Babies cry because they need something - changing, food, injury - but that's not sadness.

A lot of people who teach personal growth/spirituality state that we all are born with a purpose.   And they also say we know our paths since childhood, and it isn't until well intentioned adults impose their own view of what reality/practicality is that we veer off it.  Let's assume that's true.

So if you're in a job and you aren't doing well in it, despite how much and hard you try to do well, is it a sign that you need to change?

Or if you're with someone and everything is going well, the connection is there, the core values are there, is this the person you're meant to be with?

Your parents divorce, leaving you to play on your own because you don't feel like making friends.  You spend your time pretending, fantasizing, making characters, and gain the skill of story telling.  Should you story tell?  (Robin Williams)

What about you go to Hollywood and you audition like crazy.  You love acting, love the arts, love the the city of angels.  People say you're a great actress, but every single audition yields nothing.  When is enough enough?  Or is there a limit?

I do know signs are given to us.  I mean, if you're at a job and don't like it, ask yourself why?  If the reason is because you want something better, or the job holds no meaning, move on.  Right?

Or if you're with someone and everything seems to be working, then you would continue to see them.  Yeah?

And what about reality/practicality versus dreams.  Failure happens, but isn't it meant to help guide us like driving a car?  Veer too close to the curb, turn the wheel.  Hear your tire hit the middle road markers, adjust your wheel.  These things have lead me to become a writer.  Since I've made that decision and committed to completing a book, I've felt content.  I've even found myself not really wanting to buy things.  Not the way I used to anyways.

Tell me what you think?

Way of Success

People are always concerned with the ‘how’. How’re you going to do that? How are you going to lose all that weight? How are you going to be a big time movie star? How are you going to afford that expensive home? I’m struggling with this as I look to buy a house in CA. Yikes!

There’s nothing wrong with wondering how anything is going to happen. But most people are afraid to take the first step because they can’t envision every step of the way. A lot of personal growth guru’s say don’t worry about how to attain something. I never understood it until I researched J.K. Rowling. She’s always wanted to be a writer, to publish a book. Simple enough, right? From all the interviews I’ve read and heard, the one thing that she didn’t concern herself was the ‘how’. She had an inspiration, a vision of Harry Potter. From there, she took steps to develop the wizardry world. She wanted to build a foundation of what magic could and couldn’t do. Then she focused on the plot, focused on the goals of each character, thought out the massive back stories. What’d she do next? She began writing. Not rocket science.

For most writers, published or not, the publishing world is a mystery. Even literary agents who’ve worked in the industry for decades still don’t know exactly what makes a book a bestseller. But if you want to be a best selling author, then you must first write. Once you’re done, the next step is revise. Get outside help. Then revise again. Send out query letters, and so on and so forth.

Look at it from Tom Tom’s view, or any other GPS. Enter the starting point. Enter the destination. Tom Tom takes you from the starting point, tells you to drive a couple of miles. Once you get there, make a right at Main St. Drive three hundred yards, then turn left. It does this until you reach your destination.

Life works in the same manner. Know where you are. Know where you want to go. And proceed. The how will present itself. You’ll never see the whole map. It can be detrimental. You might miss a turn. You’ll never see more than a couple hundred yards in front of you. Don’t need to. Stay the course and know you’ll get there.

Most important of all, enjoy the ride. Why do anything if it’s not fun?