This is my 1,500th post on enlightened conflict.
That means I have written an estimated 2,026,749 words.
Those over 2 million words represent, and represented, my thoughts on … well … anything. I have always not wanted to do one thing and am happiest when I am everywhere at once. My site, my thoughts, my words … are a reflection of that basic thought.
“Whenever anyone has ever asked me ‘what is the one thing you want to do if you could only do one thing’ I have always answered with about 6 things.
I honestly want to do and be everywhere.
And it works for me.
Drives some people crazy.”
“How is it that one day life is orderly and you are content, a little cynical perhaps but on the whole just so, and then without warning you find the solid floor is a trapdoor and you are now in another place whose geography is uncertain and whose customs are strange?
Travelers at least have a choice. Those who set sail know that things will not be the same as at home.
Explorers are prepared.
But for us, who travel to cities of the interior by chance, there is no preparation.
We who are fluent find life is a foreign language.
Somewhere between the swamp and the mountains.
Somewhere between fear and sex.
Somewhere between God and the Devil passion is and the way there is sudden and the way back worse.
“Life isn’t divided into genres.
It’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel.
You know, with a bit of pornography if you’re lucky.”
I think I am now qualified to suggest after 4 years and 1500 posts that I have learned a shitload about not just me … but Life … by writing.
I think writing almost every day on whatever topic grabs you that day almost demands you grasp & grapple with many life lessons.
I would suggest in reflecting pragmatically, with some hindsight, on a variety of experiences <actual & observed> make you realize … “oh shit … I wish I’d done something very different” … is a common everyday experience.
I think in recognizing that it has permitted me to offer up some ‘life truths’ reflecting the overall complexity of Life in a world where ‘experts’ expound upon simplicity.
My blog is not in the Life lesson business … it is in the ‘thinking about Life’ business. And it has certainly been a ‘thinking about my Life & experiences’ business.
At 1500 I know I was reminded that in April 2010 I wrote something called “everywhere at once.”
I don’t want to do just one thing in Life.
And I don’t want to do just one thing well.
And I also believe that Life truths can be maddeningly contradictory as a reflection of some of the maddeningly contradictory complexities in Life.
What have I learned the most?
What is right today, even ‘now’, may not be right tomorrow … shit … it may not be right an hour later.
Life lessons fit right into that thought … what you do in that moment may not be what you would have done in a different moment.
And maybe that it what I have learned the most … it ain’t always about what you do <because more often than not you will not do exactly what you should do> … it is more about what you think.
And your attitude.
Some attitudes for Life thoughts.
– We are all in the selling business.
Maybe not ‘selling’ per se … but it behooves each and every one of us to hone our communication and rationale skills if you want to share a point of view.
Many people not in sales mistakenly believe they aren’t in sales.
In reality, if you work, live, or interact with others in any way you are always trying to communicate, if not convince, people to think about what you think <or how you think about something>.
That means you are in sales.
I am not suggesting everyone learn & practice sales techniques <that would be aggravating> but we should all at least recognize we are in the selling business <in Life & in business worlds>.
Sell or be sold … that may sound harsh but the world can be a harsh place if you don’t make a stand for what you think.
– We are all in the unlearning business.
Learning, enlightenment … we are always either unlearning or increasing knowledge.
“Our whole life is an Education — we are ‘ever-learning,’ every moment of time, everywhere, under all circumstances something is being added to the stock of our previous attainments.
Mind is always at work when once its operations commence.
All men are learners, whatever their occupation, in the palace, in the cottage, in the park, and in the field.
These are the laws stamped upon Humanity.”
Edward Paxton Hood
The more you learn, the more you unlearn and the more smarter about what is, or was, and will be … you become.
As for Unlearning?
Get used to that thought. Whether you decide to unlearn or not … it is gonna happen.
If you decide to not unlearn … well … oops … just stand there and watch your knowledge begin disappearing as new knowledge, new technology, new ways of doing things, new realities, or a thousand other new shit come along … all of which can unmake your knowledge … basically making it useless, ineffective or incorrect.
What do I know?
Make an active and concerted effort to continue learning and you will actively be ditching shit you thought you knew and replace it with new learning <that is called ‘unlearning’>.
This learning & unlearning thing is fraught with peril.
The internet makes both ongoing learning easier <through easy access to real experts, expert information and gobs of so much additional information your head may explode> … and more difficult because discerning useful, accurate and correct knowledge is harder than ever before <and many “experts” are not ‘real experts’ and have no clue what the fuck they are talking about>.
Unlearning is actually learning. Go figure. Suffice it to say your attitude with regard to Life improves significantly if you decide you are not in the learning business … but the unlearning business.
“As long as your ideas of what’s possible are limited by what’s actual, no other idea has a chance.”
Unlearning shit can make a difference in how you think … and, remember, your perspective can be a world of difference.
– We are all in the follower business <and yet that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be in the ‘think for yourself’ business>.
I will begin with the positive thought.
Think often and think differently.
Now the harsh truth.
We cannot all be leaders or in the lead … but that doesn’t mean you should always defer leadership possibilities or decline to put yourself in a leadership spot … in something at some point in time.
Pick your time and place if you want to lead.
But the majority of the time the majority of us are … well … following.
That sounds shitty but it really isn’t … and it comes with some perks.
“Penalty of leadership: Leaders have to act differently than the others.”
Act differently … act the same … it doesn’t matter as long as you think and think often.
Most of us are simply smart followers in Life.
– We are all in the ‘playing the Life game’ business.
Play or be played.
Sounds harsh … well … it is not always harsh … but it can be if you are not careful.
Most of us don’t want to consider Life as a game … and even if we do … we balk at ‘playing this stupid game.’
But … like it or not … to quote Game of Thrones … “we never stop playing.”
Life is difficult for a variety of reasons but maybe the part that makes it the most difficult is that you cannot relax. Even if you stop playing the game, the game still goes on.
Quit balking … quit bitching … but don’t quit playing. You can affect the outcome of the game. Oh. You will affect the outcome of the game <whether you play or not>. Your actions, or inactions, affect the game.
If life is a game … you may as well play.
– We are all in the “light” business.
Suffice it to say … whatever movies try and depict and however many articles or books you read … darkness, or badness, is neither more focused nor stronger than light or goodness.
In fact I could argue based on my experiences that even a fragment of light or doing what is right & good has the power to overcome even the largest most solid sheen of dark & bad in the world.
Somewhere at some time you will need to put down your own doubts and thoughts of despair and fears of ‘what you perceive’ and put forth a little light … in other words ‘do something good’ or ‘do what is right’ <even in the face of all that suggests it will not matter> … because someone else will need it to get out of a hole or because they just need a glimmer of hope.
I can guarantee it will happen at least once in your Life if not several times.
“Whoa … Bruce … once in an entire Lifetime and you are suggesting we are in the ‘light’ business ??!!??”
You can train & prepare your entire Life just for that one moment … and you can be sure that one moment will create ripples and will echo in eternity.
Carry some light wherever you go. You will never know when you need it.
– We all have to decide whether we will carry the burden or just be burdened.
Being yourself is a burden.
It is ‘your weight.’ And no matter what anyone tells you … even if you accept yourself unequivocally … it is never as light as a feather. There is a weight associated with the choice to be yourself.
“Let people feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it.”
The weight of yourself is one you choose to carry <and how you carry it is another completely different thought> or one that slows you down as a burden.
This is one situation in which weight is not a bad thing. Maybe because losing it is bad. Lose the weight and you lose yourself. You only feel lighter because you have given a significant part of yourself away.
People make that choice.
I don’t understand why they make that choice but they do.
Oddly <maybe this is a paradox> while shedding the weight they actually are now burdened with that choice.
All I really know is that you choose to carry this burden or just be burdened by it.
Don’t let anyone tell you that the choice of ‘who am I going to be’ is easy … and don’t let anyone try and tell you that choice doesn’t entail some burden.
But this is good weight.
This is good burden.
Carry it … or just be burdened. Your choice.
– We all choose whether we want to follow a star or catch stars
This may sound esoteric or too philosophical … but it is actually grounded in some good ole pragmatism.
There are destination & objective people and there are roamers & collector people. I have come to appreciate multiple paths and destinations as well as differences and distinctness.
To me the sky is full of stars and I am happy with any of them … and all of them … whether they are bright or dull.
Some people’s DNA doesn’t work that way. They have to choose a star and aim for it. I admit I would be content gathering and catching as many as I can catch.
Chasing, gathering and catching stars is not for the faint of heart.
I have found because there really is no preparation for Life you just have to have the right attitude whichever ‘star objective’ you select.
Explorers are prepared. But for us, who travel to cities of the interior by chance, there is no preparation. We who are fluent find life is a foreign language.
The right attitude means accepting or the understanding you will be an explorer … whether you want to be or not … and you will constantly be placed in … well … places <situations> in which the language is foreign.
Despite all that … I continue to have a desire to be everywhere at once.
It can make like challenging … and rewarding … at the same time.
But I also believe that being everywhere at once gives you the opportunity to fight ignorance, despair and doubt dispensing a little bit of hope here & there.
And I like that.
And I also like it because this attitude gives me a home wherever I go … because there are stars everywhere.
“We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is.
We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes.”
I am not really sure where home is except maybe somewhere in my words & in my head.
It is a strange land and everyone speaks in a foreign language.
“We who are fluent find life is a foreign language.”
That is Life in my mind.
No real destination type home … it is everywhere at once … where you are constantly trying to learn the language.
Just as many people, if not more, find strength in home and being able to seek out one special star and dream & focus & strive & work using that star as a focal point.
The path to success and happiness is not just one … but many. And each path is distinct and different and lined with struggles and beauty.
I have come to appreciate any and all paths. I have come to appreciate different destinations.
But, suffice it to say, you either decide to follow a star or catch stars.
That concludes 1,500 and now I begin thinking about the other 50 or so thoughts already in my head aching to be written down.
I love being everywhere at once and Enlightened Conflict permits me to do so in a thoughtful way.
And, yet, as I think about it <and, yes, I did think about this particular post a lot> … while I am comfortable being everywhere at once … maybe it is because I have a lighthouse to guide me … that lighthouse remains, and will always remain, my grandfather.
Completely different temperamentally than I … different career wise than I … a completely different man than I … and, yet, he still remains character wise the destination I hope to reach one day.
The greatest man I have ever known ….
I will continue writing as long as people continue reading. And I will continue to write as if I am everywhere at once.