Category Archives: Stuff I Need Help With

Maybe It’s Not a Popularity Contest

America's greatest president. Despite half of the country thinking he was an asshole AND having a civil-freaking-war break out on his watch. Maybe it's okay when people don't like you.

America’s greatest president. Despite half of the country thinking he was an asshole AND having a civil-freaking-war break out on his watch. Maybe it’s okay when people don’t like you.

I want everyone to like me and when they don’t I sometimes obsess about it.

I think I have it programmed into my mind somehow that the most important thing in life is whether people like you. When I take a hard look at my feelings and behavior, that’s the conclusion I come to.

I want people to like me so I try to be funny even though everyone laughs at different things.

I want people to like me so I try to be nice even though sometimes on the inside I want to kick them in the shin and insult their mothers before kicking them in the other shin.

I want people to like me so I don’t write about controversial things here, and I justify it by saying that I want to be someone who connects, rather than divides. Who participates in healing more than the tearing open of scars.

There are about 13,000 comments on this blog. About 7,000 of those are from readers, and the vast majority of them contain something nice about me.

It’s funny, because in real life when you read internet comments, it’s usually just racists and mean people rehashing political talking points like: “republitards hate women and black people and poor people!!” or “barack HUSSEIN obama is from kenya and is not real president!!” or my personal favorite: “your a moran.”

One of my biggest fears about taking my writing to a bigger platform is that a bunch of those people are going to say dickhead-ish things to me and I’m going to want them to like me, but they won’t. Ever.

I’ll probably stay awake all night thinking about them even though a really smart writer says that would be a good thing.

Despite getting overwhelmingly positive feedback (and that’s generally true for my personal life as well), I am capable of putting 95 percent of my focus on the 5 percent of people acting like cocks.

Sure, I’m a little insecure. Sure, I worry about what people think of me. Sure, I just want to be liked.

But I’m not 12 anymore and seldom act like it when I’m sober.

I know that I’m going to die and so is everyone else. I know it. And it just. doesn’t. matter.

It doesn’t matter!

Maybe I should write and say exactly what I think and feel. Exactly. Instead of being polite.

And maybe if people don’t like it, they can lick my balls.

When Bill Cosby wasn’t too busy drugging and raping women, he was saying insightful things, like: “I don’t know the key to success. But the key to failure is trying to please everybody. And also sexual assault. That’s another key to failure.”

(Half of that quote may or may not have been made up.)

The idea itself is important. That trying to please everyone doesn’t get you very far in life. Millions of people either love or hate Michael Moore. And Rush Limbaugh. And Bill Mahr. And Rachel Maddow. And Glenn Beck. And Chris Matthews. And Ann Coulter. Depending on their beliefs.

These are wildly successful political commentators and anyone with a penchant for (American) politics is going to know each person’s political bent immediately. That’s how strong (and controversial) these people’s personalities and ideas are.

Maybe it’s better to be that way?

I don’t know.

I never thought a non-Christian was going to convert to Christianity because of a screaming man holding a bible on a street corner pointing at them and yelling that they were going to hell unless they believed and behaved just like him. Who wouldn’t want to be like THAT guy!?

I never thought blowing up innocent civilians in Iraqi cafes or in American office towers was an effective way to convert people to Islam. You mean I’m not allowed to have sex here, but in Heaven, I get to have a 73-way!?!?

I never thought that smart-mouthed liberals like Mahr and Maddow were particularly good champions of social change, just like I never thought the fear-mongering and pompous tactics of conservatives like Beck and Coulter were an effective way of promoting family values and patriotism. I can barely stand the ones I AGREE with. It’s maddening.

I read something this morning. I’m not prepared to discuss it. But reading it made me question everything about my approach to life and writing. This idea that I need to always be careful about what I’m saying because I want everyone to like me and end up being a big pussy any time something controversial warrants discussion.

Life consists of issues about which not everyone agrees.

Americans used to shoot and stab one another by the thousands in open fields because they couldn’t agree on whether it was okay to enslave other humans.

Maybe sometimes you need to take a stand.

The point of sharing an idea is to put it out into the world in hopes that it, if well-conceived, will start getting kicked around other people’s heads and conversations and perhaps promote change of some kind.

Some people mean well. Others do not.

I mean well.

When I say I want to be a good man. Kind. Patient. Loving. Wise. I don’t mean “good,” like: “Oh yeah! Matt was a cool guy! He really liked beer and tequila and always made me laugh when he air humped inanimate objects at parties!”

I want to actually be good.

Maybe it doesn’t matter whether everyone likes me because A. I’m going to die, and B. We’re probably not going to meet anyway.

Maybe what is popular isn’t always right.

Maybe you really will fall for anything if you don’t stand for something.

And maybe now’s the time to figure out what that means.

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How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

habit loop

I was going to write a book.

I was going to get in the best physical condition of my adulthood.

I was going to maybe find a girlfriend.

Fail, fail, and more fail.

I wrote a third of a book. I worked out every day for a stretch and was feeling good and then let the holidays totally derail my efforts instead of maintaining a disciplined routine. I continued to be shy and cowardly out in the world and never met anyone I could realistically have a long-term relationship with for one reason or another.

It does make me a failure. But it doesn’t make me weird. About 92 out of 100 people failed to meet their New Year’s resolution goals in 2014.

That paltry 8% success rate is expected to continue in 2015.

Do you want to be the kind of person who fails to achieve their goals but takes solace in being a member of the overwhelming majority?

Or would you prefer to be a better version of yourself? The kind of person who says or aspires to do something, and then goes out, follows through, and does it?

A hundred years ago, nobody brushed their teeth every day like most of us do now in the United States.

Claude Hopkins was among the first admen to figure out that marketing isn’t all art. There’s a science component, too. One of his old business colleagues invented a toothpaste called Pepsodent. The friend asked Hopkins to build a national ad campaign for the product.

Selling toothpaste in the early 20th century was financial suicide. No one brushed their teeth. It was like trying to sell snow skis in Florida, or live fishing bait in the middle of the Sahara.

Despite the enormous challenge, Pepsodent was one of the best-known products on earth five years later and more than half of all Americans had begun brushing their teeth daily after a lifetime of never doing so.

Hopkins defined a problem and provided a solution.

He identified one of the most-important, most-overlooked phenomena in the human experience: The habit loop. 

Cue, Routine, Reward

That’s it. That’s the habit loop.

The cue? A dirty, smelly mouth with slimy, filmy teeth.

The routine (or solution)? Daily brushing with Pepsodent!

The reward? A clean, fresh mouth, with white, beautiful teeth that made you look better than other people.

Changed the whole world.

I’m reading a fantastic book called The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. I picked it up on a whim at an airport during my holiday travels.

The book explores the reasons why human beings do what we do. And it explains how habits guide so much of our behavior, effectively eliminating decision making from much of our daily activity.

It explains why you smoke and drink and exercise (or don’t exercise). It explains why Cinnabon stores are rarely located by other food vendors, why people with severe memory loss who can’t recognize their home can learn to walk around the block and find their way back, and why Alcoholics Anonymous has had so much success through the years helping people change unhealthy behavior.

We Don’t Really Quit Our Bad-Habit Urges

In some respects, they’re unstoppable.

The cue happens. And your brain requires the expected reward.

To achieve that reward, you will automatically turn to things that you know give you the reward. Smokers smoke. Alcoholics and addicts will drink or get a fix. Others will eat unhealthy foods or indulge in sexual urges or bite fingernails or whatever.

The key to stopping those unhealthy choices is to recognize what triggers the urges.

That’s your cue.

And if you’re mindful of the cue, your next task is to figure out an alternative to achieve that same reward.

Maybe it’s caffeine instead of nicotine. Maybe it’s a therapeutic conversation with a sponsor instead of a drink. It almost doesn’t matter so long as one understands there is always a trigger and always a reward the brain and body craves. The only thing that needs to be changed is the routine. And then we replace the bad with the good.

Once you do something enough times? It becomes automatic. Thoughtless. Easy.

And then everything changes.

Happy 2015

I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution even though researchers at the University of Scranton say people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t make them in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

But I also don’t like being cliché. I didn’t successfully quit smoking years ago because of a New Year’s resolution. I quit smoking because I didn’t want to die young and because I didn’t want my young son to believe smoking was okay based on what he observed his father doing.

But I don’t need the turn of the calendar to make positive changes because there are no advantages to waiting. I can start today. Right now, even.

I can work to stop biting my nails.

I can develop new time-management habits that would allow me to finish the book.

I can find new ways to engage my son and be a better father.

I can insert myself in new environments and situations that will allow me to meet more people and make more friends.

I can read more books.

I can exercise longer and harder and more frequently.

I can be more grateful.

I can think more.

I can ask better questions.

I can be quicker to apologize and forgive.

I can be more mindful of today and tell people I love how much I appreciate them while they’re still here to tell.

I can pray more.

I can love more.

I can give more.

I can be more.

The hunger and cravings are there. The rewards are felt when I indulge them.

But the routines fall short.

But they don’t have to.

And I don’t have to wait until later to do something about it.

And neither do you.

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Must Be This Old To Ride

Is she 19? Is she 35? Who can tell!?!?

Is she 19? Is she 35? Who can tell!?!?

I wasn’t particularly confident or unconfident when I was a kid.

But something changed mid-high school, and whatever social fears people sometimes feel mostly melted away for me. I was nice. I was smart. I was in excellent physical condition. And I had plenty of friends.

The only thing to be afraid of was bigger, tougher kids beating me up, but since I treated everyone pretty well, I never had to worry about stuff like that.

I was friendly and flirty with girls. Some liked me. But that’s not the important part of this story.

“What’s the important part of the story, Matt!?!?”

I never had a problem knowing how old a girl was.

When I was 16 or 17? I was never accidentally attracted to a 13-year-old or made the mistake of thinking a 26-year-old was my age.

You could just tell! You looked at a girl, and you knew whether it was age-appropriate to be interested in them.

That was an under-appreciated skill. 

Now? Not So Much        

And I’m a little confused about why.

In virtually every area of my life, with running fast for long periods of time being the notable exception, I am INFINITELY better now than I was 20 or so years ago. At what? Everything.

But you know what I’m not better at? Identifying a woman’s age.

This isn’t very important most of the time, but now that I’m a single guy again, this has been coming up.

I spent a while talking to a totally cute waitress at my favorite lunch spot today. One of my friends and I met her about a week ago, speculating early to mid-20s.

I just came out and asked her today how old she was because I’m a curious person.

You know what she said? Of course you don’t. She said: “I’m 19.”

Nineteen.

NINETEEN, people.

19!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This isn’t the first time this has happened.

And honestly? That’s scary. Frightening, even. Twenty years ago I could nail the age within a year or two every single time. Appropriateness was never in question.

But now? Holy shit. I repeat: holy shit. I can’t be chatting with teenagers(!!!) and thinking they might be of appropriate dating age.

CAN’T HAPPEN.

EVER.

I’m embarrassed. I’m so embarrassed I didn’t want to write about this. But then I remembered that if I’m experiencing something, then thousands of other people are, or have, too.

What’s my dating window? As a 35-year-old. It’s 25-42ish, right? That’s a 17-year margin for error!!!

I find this unsettling. And I feel a little dirty. And I’d like to know how this could happen.

Are female humans evolving whereby younger women look older than they did 20, 30, 40 years ago? Can that be part of it?

Or as we age, do we have a youthful image in our minds that makes us think or feel as if we’re younger than we are?

There is nothing about a 19-year-old girl that interests me. (No, not even THAT, gross person.) I hope you believe that because it’s true.

But I’d really like to know what’s wrong with my brain that I don’t just instinctively know how old someone is like I was able to in my youth.

I told my buddy this story over a text. He laughed at me, shared my surprise at her age, and said: “Must be this old to ride.”

Then I laughed. “Great headline. But I’m too embarrassed to write about this.”

“Just write it,” he said.

Fine. Dick.

*Publish*

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Doing What We Don’t Want To

kid doesn't want to

I sometimes want to punt my six-year-old when he says: “No. I’m not doing that.”

I’m a curious person. Always have been. If you’re asking me to do something, and I don’t want to do it, I want to know why I’m being forced to.

Why? Why am I doing this?

I really want reasons. Even if I think they’re bad ones, I like to understand why I’m being asked or told to do something.

Sometimes my parents or other authority figures would say: “Because I said so,” which is the biggest bullshit reason to do anything ever, said every enslaved human being in the history of the universe, and me.

I always try to give my son a reason for everything I ask of him. I’m accidentally a hypocrite sometimes, but I’m never intentionally one.

The house isn’t democratic. He gets his way the vast majority of the time because I don’t like to fight with him, but sometimes I need him to simply follow directions. He needs to learn to respect and obey the instructions of his parents, teachers, coaches, etc.

Why doesn’t he understand that all of these instructions are for his well being!?!?

I wonder how many times he has to drop food on his shirt or lap before my incessant reminders to eat over his plate or bowl will finally sink in.

He probably thinks I’m full of shit just like I thought my parents were full of shit because we all think we’re geniuses until we become adults and realize that we actually don’t know anything, never did, and that even really smart and successful people are part-time dumbasses too.

‘I Don’t Want to Go to School’

My son hasn’t said this yet. But he probably will.

Because school is sometimes stupid.

It is.

Not this early part my son is in. First grade is great. He’s really starting to figure out many things related to reading, writing and math, and I beam with pride every time I see his very capable little mind grasp a new concept or retain knowledge from a previous lesson.

But later? High school? College?

Let’s just say if you’re not doing something super-specific that requires specialty training and certification (Education, Law, Medical, Engineering, etc.) I feel like you learn very little of lasting value in school, academically.

I’m not saying EDUCATION is stupid. Education is amazing, and one of my many life regrets is not caring about learning when I was surrounded by academic resources and so many thought leaders, like I was in college.

For a guy like me? School is something you have to do in order to get a decent job. That’s it.

In fact, that’s REALLY the lesson of school: Learning how to complete projects you don’t want to complete and are not interested in by a certain deadline and to the judgement of others.

I didn’t crave knowledge when I was a student. I went to school because that’s what everyone else did! I wasn’t doing any thinking for myself back then.

Later, I craved a piece of paper that would tell hiring managers I graduated college, so they would think I was smart even though my diploma doesn’t prove my competence.

It’s more than possible I’m not giving my school years enough credit, but it really does seem as if everything valuable I’ve learned has been learned in the “real world” on subjects in which I am naturally interested.

Street smarts, if you will.

When I got divorced last year, my entire life fell apart, and I learned that falling apart emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, physically, financially is something that’s really important for human beings to not do.

But I never learned anything like that in school. I didn’t legitimately crave knowledge until after turning 30.

Because I read a lot about marketing principles, I know that if you give people reasons (even totally bogus ones!) for doing something, they are much more likely to comply with your request.

So when my son finally gets around to fighting us on going to school (hopefully he never does!) I want to be able to give him the reason why we make him go. The reason why it’s important for him to go.

What are the reasons why it’s important to go to school?

To learn how to get along with others? To follow directions? To learn a few basic things?

I’m sure a better advocate for the American education system could better answer that question. Near as I can tell, we send our children to school because we need them to be in a safe environment, and learning socialization skills and government-approved curriculum so us parents can go to work and help finance the government by earning money at a job and paying taxes.

I think they want our kids to learn enough to grow up and want to get a job so that they can help finance the government also, and have children that will also go to school and learn how to get a job they can pay taxes with.

It’s a little cynical. But it’s my most-honest answer.

I wonder how much of that I will ever say to my son. I’ll probably lie and say it’s to learn even though you really don’t learn much academically until you organically want to, and even though I never want to lie.

‘I Don’t Want to Go to Work’

I haven’t wanted to go to work dozens, maybe even hundreds of times.

But I almost always do go, even when I don’t feel like it. I have to pay for food and shelter. I have to pay for transportation. So my son and I can eat and sleep safely. So I can drive to and from my job that I need to pay for those three things.

People do things they don’t want to all the time.

We do it for our jobs.

We do it for our friends.

We do it for our children.

We do it for our spouses, partners, girlfriends/boyfriends, etc.

There’s nobility in sacrifice. In generosity. In inconvenience in the name of compromise, or serving others.

And those are important lessons I want to instill in my son. That I want to focus on when I’m muttering because I have to do something else I don’t feel like doing.

My favorite writer is James Altucher, and he writes so much about how he tries to never do things he doesn’t want to do.

It sucks? He doesn’t do it.

It makes him feel bad or uncomfortable? He doesn’t do it.

If people bring bad feelings or negativity into his life? He cuts them out.

It’s a little bit radical. But his point is easy enough to understand and get behind: Life is too short to spend most of it doing things we hate with people who make us feel bad.

Are these ideas irreconcilable?

Is it possible to live a life mostly doing things we want to with people who lift us up and make us feel good?

Or is this it?

Is the human experience always going to include inconvenience?

Living in cold, snowy places even when you don’t like the cold and snow?

Going to work in a cubicle, feeling unfulfilled, and financially limited by meager 3.7-percent raises once a year?

Always with chores and taxes and appointments and obligations we’d have no part of if real choice was involved?

I think maybe it is.

But then I think back to being a kid. Like my little man. So young still. So much to learn.

“No. I’m not doing that!”

Why doesn’t he realize it’s for his own good?

Maybe. Just maybe. There is more to life than this.

Maybe. Just maybe. We are where we’re supposed to be for reasons we can’t possibly understand right now.

Maybe. Just maybe. We’re being prepared for something greater.

Because we’re more than just water and bone.

Because we don’t have all the answers.

Because we sometimes have to do things we don’t want to.

But it’s really for our own good.

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The Underwear Problem

Pretty much this sort of thing.

Pretty much this sort of thing.

Sometimes I wear embarrassing underwear.

Each time I do, I’m gambling that no women are going to jump out of nowhere and tear my pants off, or that I’m not going to be in one of those multiple-hostage bank robberies where during the heist the bank robbers make everyone take their pants off.

I saw that in a movie once, so now I’m pretty sure all bank robberies involve hostages being forced to remove their pants.

I do not wear women’s underwear. I hope you weren’t thinking that. But I do sometimes neglect my laundry long enough where I get through all of my respectable boxers. And what’s left?

Novelty boxers that my mom enjoys sending me around the holidays for reasons I don’t understand.

M&Ms. The Bumble from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Nintendo Wii. SpongeBob SquarePants. Valentine’s Day-themed boxers with hearts all over them.

I have one pair of M&M boxers that say “Bring on the Chocolate” across the ass.

Those embarrass me the most. I don’t know why.

Sometimes I have a bunch of clean clothes folded in the laundry basket two floors away from me. The choice: Walk down to get some normal boxers? OR. Wear these random silk boxers with hearts all over them?

I always ask myself two questions:

1. Is a woman likely to take my pants off today? Yeah, probably not. Okay. These should work.

2. But wait!!! Am I going to a bank where I’m almost certainly going to be taken hostage along with 15 other people and be forced to take my pants off and just stand there while all the bank robbers, employees and other customers laugh at me??? Probably not! But I better run downstairs and get some regular ones just to be safe. If I don’t? I know I’m gambling. Someone might see!

The girl thing is totally scary.

Just imagine it.

Eyes locked. Fingers and lips touch. Just the right amount of teeth and tongue. This is totally going to happen.

Hearts racing. Bodies pulsing. Both people breathless as they lose themselves.

Buckles unbuckle.

Fasteners unfasten.

Zippers unzip.

A shirt flies off here.

A bra flies off there.

And then—whoosh!—pants off.

<insert vinyl record screech noise here>

And then she sees your SpongeBob SquarePants Christmas boxers.

Then she pulls out her phone and snaps a photo of you trying to hide your underwear and your erection.

Then she runs out of your house laughing hysterically.

Then she posts the photo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tags you in all of them and everyone laughs at you for the rest of your life because you wear SpongeBob SquarePants Christmas boxers EVERY DAY, apparently, and now no one will ever want you.

They’re all gonna laugh at you!

That could totally happen.

Which is why my boxers are a very respectable solid-color blue right now.

Whew. It’s probably gonna be a good day.

I dream up random crap all the time and then worry about it.

It’s really useful for things like protecting my little son from danger and driving safely.

But it’s mostly pretty debilitating like that one time when a few people in the United States contracted Ebola and I worried about a pandemic happening.

I used to think I was the only person that did this, but now I know even without asking that most people probably do it because we’re really not so different once you strip away all the stuff that doesn’t matter.

What Do You Mean You Don’t Have Attack Pants!?!?

My stepsister, who I don’t like calling “stepsister” because she’s family, had just picked up her and her husband’s bedroom.

As they were getting ready for bed, she noticed he’d set out a pair of pants in a spot she had JUST picked up.

“What the hell? I just put those pants away,” she said.

“Yeah, but I need these here,” he said. “Just in case.”

(I’m totally making up this dialogue, by the way, but the spirit of the conversation is absolutely accurate.)

“Just in case… of what?” she asked him.

“Just in case bad guys break into our house and attack us.”

She stood there looking at him.

“You mean, if bad guys break into the house, you want to have pants on hand to put on real quick before you fight them off? These pants—they’re your ‘Attack Pants’?”

And then they both just stood there laughing.

The next day, she asked me if I had Attack Pants. I don’t need specific Attack Pants, because I always have a couple pairs (pants too clean for laundry, but too dirty to be folded and put away) around and ready to throw on in an emergency.

I never thought about them in the sense of needing pants during middle-of-the-night combat. BUT. I have absolutely considered the possibility of fire.

Smokey. Frightening. Smoke detectors going off. Maybe my son would be there. He’s my only real priority. And maybe the fire is hot and raging. And maybe there’s no way to get downstairs and out the door safely. Maybe jumping out the window is the only way.

And maybe there’s no time to put on pants.

Maybe the entire neighborhood will gather outside and watch my house burn down. Maybe newspaper photographers will be there.

And I’d be standing there. Probably during winter so my penis would look smaller.

But no one would really care, because they’d be too distracted by my M&M boxers. Bring on the chocolate!

“Why does his underwear say that?” all my neighbors and the firefighters and the media would be wondering.

And then everyone would post the photos to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tag me in them and everyone would laugh at me for the rest of my life because I apparently wear silly M&M boxers with writing on the ass EVERY DAY, and now no one will ever want me.

They’re all gonna laugh at you!

Right?

That could totally happen.

Do any of you guys keep Attack Pants handy? Does anyone else wear bad underwear sometimes and worry about anyone seeing it? Do you also worry about really bizarre, arbitrary things that are highly unlikely to happen to anyone, ever?

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Now I Can Die in Peace

There will always be a higher mountain to climb.

There will always be a higher mountain to climb.

I root for professional sports teams in a city famous for not winning a championship in 50 years.

It’s almost statistically impossible to have a five-decade run of suckage like we’ve had in Cleveland, Ohio. That’s why sports fans in northeast Ohio collectively showcased the world’s largest erection in the history of sexual sports metaphors last summer when basketball star LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The return of James ignited a series of events that now have the Cavaliers as the odds-on favorite in Las Vegas to win the NBA title. Probably for the next five years.

Typical fans expect major injuries to crush all of our hopes and dreams.

Sensible fans simply hope this team built for dominance will deliver Cleveland its first major sports championship in five decades.

Fans like me engage in conversation about how many championships we might win.

I’m never satisfied.

With what? I don’t know. Everything?

My poor (at worst) to middle-class (at best) upbringing shouldn’t justify my high expectations. But I have them anyway.

This dissatisfaction would manifest itself in my youth as materialism. I wanted things. I had a lot of friends with infinitely more financial resources than my family did. There was no jealousy. Please don’t think that. But it did establish a standard in my mind. A standard of living which, if achieved, would seem to indicate you’ve “made it.”

Hardly anyone has money in college. So, when I started getting my full-time job paychecks from the newspaper after graduating, I felt like I made it.

I was living in an affluent beach town on Florida’s Gulf Coast, surrounded by boat owners, country club members and owners of prime real estate. I’d feed my lust for big houses and piles of cash by walking through multi-million-dollars homes on the weekends and dreaming of life in a place like that.

That’s the recipe for making a totally pleasant three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment three miles from the beach seem like a shitty place to live.

When we moved back to Ohio, we bought a house that would have cost three times as much in the town we’d just moved from. So it seemed awesome.

All it took was a job offer I was unable to accept that would have made me a lot of money to make my perfectly adequate house seem wholly not so.

I drive a new Jeep Grand Cherokee. But it’s not the Limited!!!

I have six televisions (and don’t even watch TV that much). But I need a new big-screen for my basement!!!

Everything is relative.

I might never have most of the things I want. But I could lose a whole bunch of things I already have and still always have everything I need.

Fortunately, my cravings are no longer material. I want to achieve a higher state of being. I want to walk a higher path.

I don’t seek things. I seek peace.

I’m intellectually capable of understanding that contentment and happiness come not from attainable things, but from within.

Even still. I want more.

Desire is Full of Endless Distances

That was the headline of marketing genius and prolific writer Seth Godin’s blog post today. I read it three times and hugged myself because sometimes that’s how much I love things I read.

Here it is:

“Just one more level on this game, she says. Once I get to level 68, I’ll be done.

Just one more tweak to the car, they beg. Once we bump up the mileage, we’ll be done.

Just one more lotion, she asks. Once I put that on, my skin will be perfect and I’ll be done.

Of course, the result isn’t the point. The mileage or the ranking or slightly more alabaster or ebony isn’t the point. The point is the longing.

Desire can’t be sated, because if it is, the longing disappears and then we’ve failed, because desire is the state we seek.

We’ve expanded our desire for ever more human connection into a never-ceasing parade of physical and social desires as well. Amplified by marketers and enabled by commerce, we race down the endless road faster and faster, at greater and greater expense. The worst thing of all would be if we actually arrived at perfect, because if we did, we would extinguish the very thing that drives us.

We want the wanting.”

Seth’s usually (always?) right. I think he’s a genius and a master of asking the right questions.

And I agree with him here.

There’s something tragic about it, too. About a life lived chasing and climbing and chasing and climbing… and never arriving, OR getting there and thinking: Shit. Now what?

I’m skinnier. But not skinny enough.

I’m stronger. But not strong enough.

I’m smarter. But not smart enough.

I’m a better man than I used to be. But I’m not good enough. And I’m now realizing I probably never will be.

Maybe I’ll never have my Rocky Balboa moment. Maybe I’ll never conquer all of my personal battles or achieve all my goals.

And there is something inherently dissatisfying about that. But it’s also honest.

And the truth is: I want the wanting.

I want to chase after the things that move me, even if it amounts to nothing more than a cat chasing its tail.

Because what the hell else am I going to do?

I want things. Things I may never have. Things that, if I acquire, might lose their appeal and have me looking longingly toward other things.

I choose to embrace the tragic purity of climbing and chasing knowing I may never arrive at my destination. That the Browns may never win a championship. That I may never have my dream home. That I may always feel like I have a bunch of growing to do.

We’re human. The real beauty is in the trying.

There. Now, I can die in peace.

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You’re Not Supposed to Laugh at That

This is pretty much exactly what I'm talking about.

This is pretty much exactly what I’m talking about.

I was the only adult in the introductory Cub Scouts meeting without a child present.

“Which one is your son?”

“I’m sorry, he’s not here. He’s at karate with his mom tonight,” I said.

“Oh, I see.” But I could tell he really meant: “Yeah, right! You just want to Jerry Sandusky our kids! Pervert!”

Whatever, virgin.

I wasn’t there to be sold on Cub Scouts. We’d already decided to sign our six-year-old up. I was just there for the paperwork.

But the Cub Scouts leaders were laying it on thick, sharing anecdotes about how great the experience is instead of letting what is a totally worthwhile children’s activity sell itself. In fact, Public Service Announcement, Boy Scouts of America People: If you really want to grow your brand, stop having guys who have never had sex before and have the personality of C-SPAN be your public speakers.

Chlorophyll? More like BOREophyll. Right?

I came to the meeting intent on signing up, and an Eagle Scout damn near convinced me I’d made a mistake. He was like the Bizarro Billy Mays, talking me out of doing something I already wanted to do, one shitty selling point at a time.

Then one of the mom leaders started talking. She has three boys and they’re all in Boy Scouts, and it’s A-MAY-ZING!!!

She shared personal anecdotes. Camping stories. And then something bad happened.

All I heard was: “Blah blah blah blah blah, and then the boys pitch their own tents. Blah blah blah blah, pitching tents, blah blah blah. And blah blah blah Boy Scouts stuff blah, it’s so great seeing the boys pitching a tent.”

And then I made eye contact with the only male Cub Scouts leader in the room who might have had sex before, and I lost it.

I snorted a little.

A few tears streamed down my face.

And I had to just stare at the ground for a few minutes to keep my shit together.

I’ve always known it. But this felt like a defining moment for me. The guy without the kid at the Cub Scouts meeting laughing by himself because an awkward Scout Mom kept using the phrase: “Pitching a tent.” (Which for the uninitiated, is a popular phrase to describe a clothed male erection.)

I’m a 35-year-old child.

And maybe I always will be.

Tell Me, Big Puberty Guy

I was in fifth grade when I met my friend who would eventually be my college roommate for four years and the best man in my wedding.

But before we were rocking college keg parties and standing up for one another at our respective weddings, we were grade-school kids doing whatever grade-school kids did in 1989.

Two of those things were: sex education and puberty.

And despite neither of us being particularly advanced on the maturity side, we took to calling boys slow to develop physically “Big Puberty Guys.”

So, like, a kid with a lot of peach fuzz and super-young-looking features? Big Puberty Guy.

I was sort of a Big Puberty Guy. And still pretty much am because I lack the physical ability to grow a beard. I seriously only shave every two or three days. On day two, I look like 5 O’Clock Shadow Guy, and on day three, I look like Dirty-Hippie Neck Hair Trying But Failing To Grow A Beard Guy. It’s the opposite of hot.

In 1988 a little-known new wave synthpop band (that sounded British but wasn’t) named Information Society had a hit called “What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy).”

The hook went like this:

I want to know

What you’re thinking

There are some things you can’t hide

I want to know

What you’re feeling

Tell me what’s on your mind

And for reasons I can’t explain, my friend and I changed the second stanza for the Big Puberty Guy theme song:

I want to know

What you’re thinking

There are some things you can’t hide

I want to know

How you’re maturing

Tell me, Big Puberty Guy

To the surprise of music aficionados worldwide, we DID NOT win a Grammy for songwriting that year.

The Mike Holmgren Beej

Two things you need to know:

  1. Mike Holmgren is a 60-something-year-old former NFL coach and executive famous for winning the Super Bowl in Green Bay during the Brett Favre era. I’m a Cleveland Browns fan, and for a short while, he was running my favorite football team. He has a pretty solid mustache.
  2. Beej = blow job.

One of my very best friends—someone I’ve known since first grade and think of as family—is a successful attorney and my son’s godfather.

We’re both football fans, though we root for different teams. And we often talk football whenever we catch up on the phone or visit one another. We sometimes discuss potential or hypothetical trades to gauge the other’s interest in acquiring players or draft picks, or to evaluate whether we think a particular trade is equitable.

Sometimes, when you’re on the fence about whether to make an NFL trade, one team (or in this case, just our hypothetical imaginations) will require a pot sweetener to seal the deal. Traditionally, an extra player or draft pick.

So, my friend (my son’s godfather—the man we selected from the entire pool of humanity—who I love very much in totally non-homosexual ways—as a spiritual guide for our child) invented the Mike Holmgren Beej® to be the ultimate pot sweetener.

Him: “Okay. So, would you be willing to trade the 4th pick in the draft, the 22nd pick in the draft, and a first rounder next year to the St. Louis Rams so you can trade up to draft Robert Griffin III?”

Me: “Three first rounders is pretty steep, man. I don’t know.”

Him: “Okay. What if I toss in a Mike Holmgren Beej®?”

Me: “Hmmm. With or without the mustache?”

Him: “With. Obviously.”

Me: “Sold.”

The Heaven Bones

Just to prove that we DO actually have a spiritual foundation and value our Catholic roots, we (mostly him) also created The Heaven Bones™.

What’s a Heaven Bone, you ask? Good question.

First, you either believe in an afterlife, are open to the possibility, or don’t believe in one at all. Given what I think I understand about energy, combined with my Catholic upbringing, the concept of “Heaven” is one that’s been with me from a very young age.

The premise of Heaven, if you don’t know, is that it’s eternal paradise. A place with only love and good things. No sadness. No anger. No hatred. No evil. And it lasts FOREVER. The concept of eternity (even GOOD eternity) has always scared the piss out of me.

“Who gives a shit, Matt!?!? WTF is a Heaven Bone???”

Right.

So, Heaven Bones.

Essentially, it’s having sex with people you always wanted to have sex with on Earth but didn’t or couldn’t.

So, that girl or guy you dated in high school that you fantasized about, but just weren’t ready at the time?

That friend or co-worker or old flame or friend’s sibling that was always off-limits?

In heaven, you can Heaven Bone™ them! (Theoretically.)

“But, Matt!!! What if you want to Heaven Bone someone, but they don’t want to Heaven Bone you back???”

Another great question! Glad you asked.

We also invented for your heaven-boning pleasure, the Heaven Bone Clones©.

An EXACT heaven-produced Xeroxed replica of the person you want to heaven bone.

You never thought about this before, right? And now you’re nodding, freaking pumped because you totally want to bang <insert person or clone here> for eternity. With NO consequences. Everyone will be cool with it! Because it’s heaven.

It’s going to be rad. Heaven Bones.

And if you didn’t already want to go to heaven, now you’re at least thinking about wanting to be there and will now be a better person moving forward. You’re welcome.

Why Do I Want to Laugh When I’m Not Supposed To?

I don’t know.

I just know that I do.

When I was a kid, I always looked around at all the adults and looked forward to being one, because then I’d finally have it all figured out and I wouldn’t have to worry or be afraid of anything anymore because I’d be mature and smart and wise and brave and ready for anything.

But then I just kept growing up. Aging. Staying alive.

And the longer I stay alive, the less I’m sure of.

The longer I’m around, the more I realize that we’re all, in many ways, that same person we were snickering in the back of our fifth-grade classrooms.

In a lot of ways, I have grown up. In a lot of ways, I am ready to take on the world around me when life calls for it.

But in ways I never expected, I’m still, just, me.

Just a kid causing a little bit of mischief in the back of the room and snorting at dick-and-fart jokes and throwing out a “That’s what she said” whenever it’s appropriate (which is often).

I’m sure some people frown at what they perceive to be childishishness on my part. In a corporate office meeting, I’m the odds-on favorite to crack up during someone’s presentation because of eye contact with one of my fellow childlike counterparts.

I’ll say it again: I’m a 35-year-old child. And maybe I always will be.

“What would it take to get you to grow up, Matt?”

I don’t know. Something major.

“A Mike Holmgren Beej?”

Hmmm. With or without the mustache?

“With. Obviously.”

Sold.

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Breaking the Cycle

Routine keeps us grinding our wheels. New things keep us growing.

Routine keeps us grinding our wheels. New things keep us growing.

Sometimes I am so comfortable in my routine that I get physical anxiety when I’m about to do anything out of the ordinary.

Sometimes I am so comfortable in my routine that I get used to things no human should ever be “used” to.

Tangible things.

Like a cluttered kitchen. Piles of laundry. A non-functioning garage door opener.

And other things.

Like a boring social life. Subpar physical fitness. A messy spiritual life.

Is that routine? I might call it a rut.

You can almost trick yourself into thinking it’s okay. It was one of my favorite things about being married. Accountability.

Accountability motivates me to exercise. To keep my life in order. To quickly and efficiently take care of things that need tended to.

After some emotional ups and downs (mostly downs) following my divorce last year, I have found myself in something of a rut for many months.

A mostly uneventful life full of disorganization and a complete lack of fulfillment in every imaginable area.

Maybe it’s depression. Maybe it’s some psychological condition that makes me crave routine even when the routine is shitty, simply because it feels “safe.”

The only way to break the cycle is to do something different.

The Reset Button

My parents divorced before my fifth birthday and lived 500 miles apart from each other. I lived with my mom in Ohio and visited my dad in Illinois throughout my school breaks.

It was like having two lives. Two very distinct lives where things felt and were different in both places.

I was in school. Changing teachers. Changing classrooms. Playing sports. Growing. Learning.

I was surrounded by friends every day and experiencing all of the growing pains school children do.

But more than that, I was always experiencing huge changes in scenery.

I was always hitting the reset button. Each school break. Each new semester. Each new year.

Minus the long-distance, back-and-forth parent thing, I suspect most of us felt this way during our school years.

The rhythm of life, full of constant change.

Then adulthood comes.

I’m not sure when. People say 18. Especially 18 year olds. But we all know that’s not true.

I felt like an adult when I moved away to college. But I wasn’t.

I felt like an adult when I was put in charge of my college newspaper. But I wasn’t.

I felt like an adult when I moved a thousand miles away from everything I ever knew and loved after graduating and getting my first news reporting job. But I wasn’t.

Surely I was an adult when I got married at 25. When I bought my first house a year or so later.

But it doesn’t seem that way now.

I think our thirties—on paper—are our best years. I describe it as being the best combination of having youth and money. I hope most people feel that way and are living accordingly.

That’s not how it worked out for me.

All of the really shitty things that have happened to me in my life happened after turning 30. And now five years later, it’s hard for me to remember what it felt like when everything was good.

And that’s got me thinking that maybe there’s no age that grants us adulthood.

That it’s more a right of passage that comes about when life starts throwing challenges your way and there’s no one there to save you anymore.

For some people, that happens as children.

For others, it never happens.

For me, I’m still in the transition. Right now. Still trying to figure it all out.

Still learning how to save myself.

Still climbing toward adulthood.

I took my first non-family visit trip in more than two years this past week. A nice trip west to Reno, Nev. with a visit to Lake Tahoe in northern California sprinkled in there. I had never been there before.

I liked both places very much for different reasons.

The important part is that it was somewhere different. It was something different.

A gorgeous hotel room for a week. Reminding me to get my house in order.

A great week at the poker tables. Reminding me to reconnect with a passion from my past.

A week outside the monotony of my daily life. Reminding me to live.

Because I forget sometimes.

I forget to live.

By not inviting friends over. By not getting out and meeting people. By not engaging in outdoor activities I love. By not trying enough new things.

By not writing.

I’m a creature of habit. I think many people are. Especially men.

But I think living can be a habit, too. And breaking the habit of not doing so has to be a priority.

I think the rut—the cycle of monotony we often find ourselves in—can be replaced by the rhythm of life.

It all starts by choosing to do something different.

Maybe just one little thing.

Maybe even right now.

To really feel alive.

To break the cycle.

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Misunderstood: The Rule of Thirds

Billions. More people than we can even imagine. And, given the opportunity, they will love you. We should focus on them.

Billions. More people than we can even imagine. And, given the opportunity, they will love you. We should focus on them.

My younger sister, a talented musician and vocalist, is afraid to write and share original music because she’s afraid of rejection.

“What if people think it’s bad?” she said, when I pressed her on why she’s not writing new material.

A Grammy-winning musician who teaches at the university she planned to attend after high school was making promises to her.

He was going to assemble the finest musicians he knew to play her music in studio.

He was going to get her studio time in Los Angeles and a record deal.

He was going to do all kinds of things for her.

Open doors. Grant opportunity.

But then he didn’t. He didn’t do any of the things he said he was going to do. And now my sister feels like she failed. Because the gatekeeper didn’t hold up his end of the bargain. Because she’s waiting for permission to create her art.

“You don’t need permission to make what you love,” I told her. “Make it and share it. Good art will always be found and shared.”

You can see the doubt. The fear.

It’s the same look I have when I make excuses for… anything. It’s because I’m afraid too. It’s because I don’t know whether I’m good enough.

At writing. At work. At being a father. At being someone’s romantic partner.

“Have you heard of the Rule of Thirds?” I asked her.

She hadn’t.

As I explained it, I realized that the Rule of Thirds applies to more than just art.

That all of us are misunderstood. By someone. By our partners. By our parents. By our children. By our friends. By our co-workers. By our supporters. By our critics.

We Are All Misunderstood

By someone.

It’s because we’re the only species of which I’m aware in which two of us can look at the exact same thing and describe it completely differently.

Did she leave him for someone else? Or did he drive her into the arms of another?

Is that same-sex couple’s union an abomination? Or an example of love and courage in its purest form?

Was that deadly attack an act of terrorism—of pure evil? Or an instance of patriotism and the pursuit of justice?

Sometimes it can be as simple as words on a page. One sentence.

Without visual cues. Without tone of voice. Without knowing how the other person felt when they wrote the sentence, we apply how we’re feeling in a particular moment to fill in the knowledge gap. To apply meaning (that’s probably only correct a third of the time) to the sentence.

Relationships break over this type of misunderstanding all the time.

The Rule of Thirds

The rule exists to help artists understand and deal with criticism, but I really think we all need it as people to understand that the world does not see us as we see ourselves. Sometimes, that’s good. Othertimes, it’s bad.

Here’s the rule:

With anything you do or create, one third of people will love it (or you); one third will hate it (or you), and the remaining third won’t care at all.

This is an idea worth embracing, because there are a lot of people out there like me who aren’t very thick-skinned and who have an unhealthy desire to be liked and accepted by everyone.

I might get 40 nice comments on a post, but once in a while someone will let me have it, and I tend to focus on, and feel shitty about, that one comment. Should I ever expand beyond the WordPress bubble, I imagine this will get infinitely worse.

Most people I meet and know seem to like me. Maybe they mean it. Maybe they are being fake. I guess I don’t care as long as they don’t make me feel bad.

But there are others who clearly don’t like me.

Why does this person over here think I’m so nice and makes me feel cared for and respected, while this other person makes me feel like the lowest form of pond scum imaginable?

There are people who think I’m a shitty writer.

Why do these people over here think I’m special and talented while these other people think I’m worthless?

Should we spend our time trying to convince all the people who don’t like, respect or appreciate us, that they’re wrong?

That seems like a colossal waste of energy.

Because the truth is that one third of people are always going to think you suck. Let them.

Another third won’t pay any attention at all. I don’t pay attention to all kinds of things. How can I fault them for that?

Then there’s that last group.

The people who save our lives.

Make Things For One Person (Or 2.4 Billion)

In your artistic pursuits, everyone has one raving fan.

In your life, you have the equivalent of that.

So, maybe we need to be making things for that person. Living for that person.

Maybe we should be making things for the third in our corner. Maybe we should be living for those people.

There are people in my life who think I walk on water. People who tell me I’m their favorite writer. People who think I’m smart and kind and worth something.

Why not live for them? Why not write for them?

People will doubt us. Hate us. Tell us that we think, feel and do things that we actually do not think, feel or do.

People will tell us we’re bad.

That our work has no merit.

That we’re not good enough.

That our honest efforts toward love, friendship, and living a life geared toward constant improvement is something else entirely. That it’s dishonest. That it’s selfish.

We all have critics. Sometimes, harsh ones.

People who will never change their minds. Because they won’t. Or because they can’t.

The results are the same either way.

I know I can’t please everyone. Even people I really want to.

My best isn’t good enough.

It never will be.

And that’s just going to have to be okay.

There are about 7.25 billion people on this planet. One third of them are going to think I’m a stupid asshole. One third of them will never, ever care, no matter what I’m doing.

But that last third?

They’re going to love me.

They’re going to love you.

That’s 2.4 billion people.

People who will think you’re amazing just the way you are.

People who believe we’re more than what we think we are.

Wow. 2.4 billion.

That’s a lot of people to reach.

We better get started.

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The Missing Motivation

MotivationPeople think I’m a good person, but really I’m not.

I don’t mean that I’m bad, like I hurt people and do evil things.

I mean I’m bad, like, I’m bad at being a person. I even say that a lot which probably doesn’t help because we tend to be whatever we say and think we are.

And that right there is exactly my point. Exactly.

For the most part, I know precisely what I could be doing to make my life better.

While some people fumble through life because they’re ignorant and lack resources and support and education, I’m a different animal entirely.

I’m reasonably well-informed about many things and am a huge proponent of “best practices” in every imaginable area of life.

I’m always spouting examples while standing on soapboxes because I can talk a big game when I don’t actually have to put in any work or suffer the consequences of being wrong.

I’m always wondering why the City of Cleveland can’t take cues from Chicago as to how to properly develop lakefront property.

I’m always wondering why the American education system can’t take cues from all of the other countries with vastly superior academic (and economic) results and borrow all of the good ideas and put them into practice here.

In other words, for almost every imaginable subject, someone has taken the time to figure out a really effective way of doing something.

And it’s almost always in a book or on the internet. And if it’s not? Great! That means there’s a huge opportunity there to fill that content gap and help other people solve problems or excel in that particular niche.

Almost always in 2014, the information is there. Someone really smart has figured out a really effective way to overcome <insert random problem here> and now you can benefit from their trial-and-error and do things with better results than flying blind.

So, what’s my excuse?

The Table Analogy

I love the table analogy because it’s so easy to visualize and understand.

Your life is like a table.

Your life’s foundation has four pillars—like legs on a table. Not only do the legs need to be long enough, strong enough, and sturdy enough. But they also must all be equally balanced, or else your life is going to wobble and be shitty and annoying and you’re going to have to temporarily wedge a piece of junk under the short leg to stay level and functional.

Everything good and bad in life ultimately comes down to health. If you’re not healthy, nothing else matters. It’s a lesson you don’t learn until you’re unhealthy or are close to someone who becomes sick or injured.

Problems at work and in your relationships and with money stop mattering when you think you might die.

The four legs: 

Mental health (Read, talk, think, learn)

Physical health (Good overall health, physical fitness)

Spiritual health (Peace, gratitude, forgiveness)

Emotional health (Love yourself, balance in your meaningful relationships)

People think they want money. Love (even though many people are merely craving feelings of infatuation and lust). Success, in whatever ways they define it in their individual pursuits.

I submit that those things are nice and are inevitable byproducts of succeeding in balancing their life table.

People really just want contentment.

Happiness.

The world could be blowing up around us, and if we had enough dopamine (the chemical that makes us feel happy) rocking our brains, everything would seem great.

I know these things.

I know that if I take steps to exercise my mind. To bring my body to maximum health and peak performance. To achieve spiritual peace. And find emotional equilibrium in my various relationships.

That I will feel something akin to happiness. To peace. To contentment. To balance.

So, what am I waiting for?

The Things that Motivate Us

I think it’s different for everyone.

I cleaned and (sort of) organized my home office desk for the first time since April 2013 yesterday because I’m going to have some family visiting for the rest of the week and it was getting embarrassing.

I like to exercise my mind to have things to think about, talk about and write about.

I like to be physically fit so girls won’t think I’m ugly.

I like to be spiritually balanced because it makes me feel safer and stronger.

I like to be emotionally level because I never knew what it was like to NOT feel that way until a couple years ago, and it totally jacked me up and I haven’t been the same since.

When I was married, I did almost everything for my wife, and later, for my wife and son.

She probably doesn’t know that.

She probably doesn’t realize that almost every single thing I did for the 12-plus years we were together, was because we were together.

Sure, I did some shitty, selfish things. The kind of things I do now just because there’s no one around to convince me otherwise.

I wanted to be smart because I wanted her to be proud of me.

I wanted to look good so she would like to be seen in public together and not be disgusted in bed with me.

I wanted to be spiritually whole so that she could have a spiritual partner and anchor as we dealt with life’s ups and downs together.

I was emotionally level, naturally. It’s REALLY shocking when that goes away for the first time and you don’t know what that looks or feels like.

When your partner leaves, all that motivation—all that purpose for existing—goes away, too.

And it can really jack you up when you’re wired like me.

I talk a big game. A big game about self improvement and who I want to be and how I’m always working hard to be that guy.

But, really?

I’m not.

I’m not working hard.

I’m being lazy. I’m letting depression (if that’s what it is—I don’t feel sad, I just feel nothing) win. And then I’m sitting around asking rhetorical questions about why I still feel a bit shitty all these months later.

Surprise, asshole. It’s not magic.

It’s not.

It’s not magic.

Happiness, if that’s a word you’re comfortable using, is not a destination. So many people think that if X, Y and Z happen, then they will finally be happy. You know, the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

I love to talk about pursuing happiness. And I do, symbolically, feel like that’s what we all should be doing. That the primary goal of our lives is to BE and FEEL happy and then help everyone around us be and feel the same.

But the truth is, happiness isn’t a place.

Happiness isn’t a destination.

Rather, happiness is a path. A state of being.

Like love, it’s something we choose. Today. Right this second.

“I’m happy.”

Maybe you don’t feel happy. I don’t. But maybe that’s because I don’t act grateful. Maybe that’s because I don’t exercise my mind and work harder to achieve my goals. Maybe that’s because I’m not in very good physical shape and it makes me feel physically and psychologically shittier than I could and should feel. Maybe that’s because I’m not living up to the spiritual ideals I profess to hold dear.

Maybe it’s because my table is totally wobbly and shitty.

Maybe if I did all those things, emotional balance would come.

And maybe if I got my life table balanced, all of the other things, like love and money would fall into place.

Maybe waiting around for something to happen is really just a life sentence of always waiting around for something to happen.

Doing what I’m doing? Not working.

So tomorrow we try something new.

But what if there is no tomorrow?

Right.

Okay.

Right now, we try something new.

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