Why geniuses are so rare?
Lashing out at your fear

It can happen to you too | 839

[ 5 min read ]

My Author Journey, Monday, February 19, 2018

# 839 (countdown)

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Woke up 3:30 am. Call me crazy but this time is perfect for me to wake up. I think it’s best for my writing. That’s what I feel.

Important case of death happened again. Year after year.

A young person died of cancer and she was 40 years old. Roughly my age.

In spring last year, touched deeply by the death of a 30-year-old man, I wrote a post in which I pointed to the lunacy of those who think everything can be planned perfectly in their lives and that everything will go according to this plan.

We don’t know our future and we will never be able to know it. So how come most people conclude that their plan will pan out?

I’m talking about people who assumed they have ‘later’ and thus they decided that they will postpone the joy of living until later.

I don’t know anything about the lives and life choices of those two people who died of cancer to whom I’m referring in this piece of writing. They weren’t even my acquaintances. They were the loved ones of people I know. The husband, the father, the son, the grandson, the sibling, the uncle, the cousin. The wife, the mother, the daughter, the granddaughter, the sibling, the aunt, the cousin.

I’m talking about people in general.

They tell themselves (because that’s the advice they get from all those well-meaning and experienced adults) that right now it is important that they get a well-paying job (even if it’s a far cry from something they’d enjoy, even if they hate it), so that they can buy themselves a nice lifestyle, and they will really enjoy life in their 50s, 60s, 70s, or when they’ll no longer have to work.

They call lunatics people who want to enjoy life, do what they like doing, feel excited about and what they really care about each day, even if those people make very little money this way, even if they struggle.

And who are they (those who call lunatics the dreamers, the visionaries, the artists, the free spirits), if not a different breed of lunatics?

They think they’re so smart, that their plan couldn’t be better, that they are those reasonable, wise individuals. But that’s just a nice little story they told themselves to feel a little bit better despite the fact that they hate their job and are pissed that they need to work (their ideal plan would be to make a shitload of money so that they’d never have to work even a single day in their lives).

They think they’re so smart but they hate most of what they do.

They wish they could do something else but they’ve been brainwashed to believe that such move would be irresponsible. It’s too risky. Things might not go according to plan (I mean, how can you be sure?). There is a script for ambitious young people and it’s safer to follow that script.

They wish they could do something else but they think that they owe it to their parents (other members of their families) to provide them with a peace of mind and a sense of pride (because it’s the norm in their culture that children provide their families with those two things), and thus they’d feel like they failed them if they didn’t have those well-paying jobs and this “normal” lifestyle most of their high school or college peers have.

They wish they could do something else but they assumed (because they’ve been brainwashed to believe a lie) that in life you don’t have to enjoy what you do. That’s the most common approach to work people have, and thus most of us are likely to conclude that it’s the only right approach. We tell ourselves that work just sucks and we need to deal with this “fact”. It’s the belief we form in our heads that then leads to staying in a job you hate all your life and telling your kids the same bullshit story about work (teaching them the same approach/ passing it down to them).

Work fills a large part of our lives, and if you are climbing the wrong ladder it’s not a life well lived. It’s not a life well lived when you live only for the evenings in your cozy apartment in the best part of town, for weekends, summer holidays, a ski trip each winter, and those couple of days when you can avoid work (traditionally all sorts of religious or state holidays).

If you postpone the joy of living until later, or if you tell yourself over and over that work doesn’t need to be satisfying, rewarding, that its only purpose is to pay your bills (because traditionally that’s how people think) you will have lots of regrets as an old person. If you will have a chance to be an old person.

Joseph Trapanese’s music!!! Absolutely fantastic!

Hope my writing does to people at least half of what music like that by Joseph Trapanese can do to me. There is no greater win. That’s the ultimate success. Not the awards, not the titles, not the red carpets, not the private jets, not the bank accounts, but the awareness that what you did inspired even one person. That your work helped this one person. That through your work you made a difference in this person’s life. That’s always my hope when I write and share my stuff with people.

Recent listening to audio.

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (on YouTube). 30 min.

Recent movies watched.

The World of James Joyce: His Life & Work (on YouTube). Halfway through it.

The Lost Generation (on YouTube). Finished it.

The last speech of Ceausescu (on YouTube). Finished it.

Ernest Hemingway, Wrestling With Life (on YouTube). Finished it.

Ray Bradbury - Story of a Writer (on YouTube). Finished it.

My recent answers on Quora:

Answer to As a father, I am concerned that my son doesn't reach his full potential because he is too shy. What can I do?

Answer to Should I take a really good job offer even if it’s something I’m not passionate about?

Music for this writing session: Joseph Trapanese (various tracks on Spotify).