“What can I do that would make you happy?” the doctor said.
“The only thing is if, right now, you write me a check for a million dollars,” I said.
“And you think you’ll be happy then?”
“I KNOW I will be happy then,” I said.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “You’ll find something new to be miserable about.”
And he was right. I always needed more.
There was always a new trial by fire. And when you are burned, you can lose everything. Which I did and did and did and did.
I wanted to be a millionaire by 30 (didn’t happen).
I wanted to be a grandmaster of chess, maybe even World Champion (didn’t happen).
I wanted to be published novelist by 25 (didn’t happen after 4 solid attempts and thousands of hours of trying).
I wanted to be THE GUY to take Lori Byer’s virginity in 9th grade. There was zero chance that was happening. That was sort of laughable actually.
I wanted to be a billionaire by 40. Didn’t happen.
I wanted to be a successful hedge fund manager, writer, TV guy, dating website maker, book store worker, and many other things.
And everything I listed above, I TRIED. I had a business with 40 employees at age 30. I started hedge funds, wrote novels, screenplays, made dating sites.
And everything was a goddamn drag. “To be” anything is a fight, a goal. I’m tired of goals.
And ribbons. I’m tired of all the ribbons.
I felt I needed to master something in order to be loved.
Someone on a comment said yesterday that “life is significant and to not strive for perfection is to be mediocre.”
That is self-hurt. Not self-help.
Who made the rules on perfect?
Whenever you say “I want to be” means first (by definition), “I am not.” I don’t want to be a NOT.
I was taught I had to “pay my dues” or have a “trial by fire” or “10,000 hours”.
And then I was taught go to college, buy a house, fight for my life… for my whole life.
And then. And then…the ribbon. Perfection!
It turns out they were lying. It was a circus and I was the performer. I had to jump through hoops to get the prize.
Much more fun to sit in the audience. And to laugh at the clowns. But I had to figure out who the clowns were.
Clowns are very tricky you know. They are in disguise and wear a lot of makeup.
Can you find the clowns in your life?
And once I learned to laugh at the clowns, everything was like magic. Everything I ever wanted came true.