bird poops on plum branch

buster


Buster Benson

No advice column.


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
nightmares, jerks, failure, hello
bird poops on plum branch
buster
I haven't been able to sleep well at night. I just have a series of anxiety nightmares and often end up obsessing about some potential problem about McLeod. The kinds of problems that during the day are still there (like, how will the bar look, where will the benches go?), but which aren't as saturated with worry as they are at night. It's because I have my slow fearful brain on at night, the one that is afraid of things and that wants everything to be safe and warm and nice.

The waking me is different though. It thinks crazy things. I'm becoming really conscious of my different ways of thinking, and how each way of thinking is like a jacket which I can put on or take off as necessary. Except when sleeping. I've been reading the new Emotion Machine by Marvin Minsky (one of my heroes even though people say he's a jerk... but maybe all my heroes are jerks). Maybe being a jerk is the only option if you don't want to be a liar and a manipulator. Don't jerks just tell it like it is? While everyone else is sparing feelings and letting things fall apart? What is a jerk?

The waking me is different though. It thinks nightmares are good, because they do the digging into your deepest fears and throw the dirt into your face. And dirt in your face is better than dirt in your deepest fears where they are protected and hidden and will eat you alive when you're not ready. I'm ready right now to face big fears, like making a waste out of life, like putting my reputation on the line, like being 100% invested in a project and trying really hard.

Because it's like this. What is the thing that makes us fail?

1. The thing is too difficult
2. We didn't try
3. We didn't know what we were trying to succeed at
4. We didn't have to succeed

I think it's usually number 4. Though, number 3 is a big one too. I bet it's almost never number 1. Anyway, the secret behind getting things done is creating situations where big things have to get done. And though it's a bit counter-intuitive to do, I think the way to do that is to make big bold bets. Extraordinary problems. And then to build up momentum by doing things just because they are difficult. Because, it turns out, almost nothing has to be done. People won't be disappointed in you if you don't succeed big.

I'm running a half-marathon this weekend as mental practice for opening the bar. If I can run a half-marathon without training, I can open a bar/gallery/lifestyle without experience. So much about life is about making things up. Doing things because you can. Being your best self. For laughs. For wtfs. Going for broke. Being in it to win it. Not dilly-dallying. Etc. A million times. And the funny thing is that there is no payoff. But there doesn't need to be, it is all for its own sake. The lifestyle is its own reward. And really, if you think about it, any option where the payoff is something other than the cost itself is flawed. Things don't lead from one to another... if what you have right now isn't enough, it's not going to lead anywhere that you couldn't go right now without waiting. That doesn't make sense but it seems true in my brain.

I've been asking myself these questions:

* How hard is life?
* What gives me nightmares?
* What am I striving for most right now? And how hard am I striving?
* What is the most I want, and how much do I want it?
* When's the last time I did something I didn't think I could do?
* When's the last time I did something that other people didn't think I could do?
* What things keep me safe? What are my fallbacks when things fail? What if they fail? How long could I survive without those things?
* How bad is complete failure?

What I'm sort of realizing is that you can't completely fail if you've gambled everything. As long as you keep your dignity and self-respect, and gamble everything in the right spirit, and don't take advantage of people, and don't sabotage yourself or others, but really really really try to do something you really really really want to do, the only thing you can do is win.

Every time I go to the gym I get a little manic. Manicness is a way of thinking. Fear is another way of thinking. Indecision and wishy-washiness are another thinking. Each are self-fulfilling in their own way. The universe in a drop of water, etc. Hello. What do you think?

  • 1
would you like a vermouth & dry?

i think this is an awesome post, that's what i think.

I think your thinkings are immensely useful for me.

I was in a thing recently where I kept trying to explain to people about failing big, failing gracefully ... I don't know if anyone understood me, but it's something I've been trying to keep in mind.

In any case, it's always nice when people who think good solid complex thoughts are also a little crazy. Or vice versa? Which comes first?

I think you have to be a little crazy... because the main thing your brain needs to let go of is the need for security. And our sleeping and tired brains definitely want security by default. So that part has to be a little broken to think about failing beautifully and striving for something ridiculously awesome.

I think this is a terrific post. Haven't been around in awhile and it's nice to come by lj and be rewarded with this. =) Good luck/break a leg/ give it all ya got/etc. with the bar!!

  • 1
?

Log in

No account? Create an account