A fools preface (The more I learn, the less I know)
I have existed for a mere blink in the annals of history, a paltry 43 years as I write this in fact, but I have been through and have experienced a lot which leaned toward a certain understanding of life. Now, just as I have lived for a grain of sand in the desert of time, I wholly understand that what I know most, is that I know so little in the grand scheme of things. I am no great sage or wise man, nor do I pretend to be, but I am a human being who in my 43 years of life, has worn many hats, experienced many things, and has been many things to many people.
Through the dizzying heights and the very depths of despair, I have learned through introspection, retrospection, and viewing those experiences through various lenses. If I hadn’t learned and grown from an experience, it was time wasted, and the very first thing I have learned is that time is the single most important thing we have. Time is the truest currency, and our health dictates how rich an individual truly is, as money is only the valuation of our time.
I have seen so much life, so much joy, and love, and I have seen more death than many, so much suffering, and hate. I learn from everything, I glean as many lessons as I can even from the most mundane of experiences, in other words, I do not waste the little time I have on this planet. Just as I wouldn’t burn a pile of cash that could help the less fortunate, I wouldn’t throw away our most precious gift of time that so many would do anything for just a few more minutes of.
Through the best and worst of times, we can garner lessons, fragments, and tidbits of learned wisdom that only experience can offer us. Through struggle and adversity, through triumph and achievement, there are moments, sometimes incredibly fleeting moments, but there are moment, that offers us great insight if we dig deep enough. That is where the lessons I will present to you come from, my moments, my unwasted time, my deep delve into self-examination and examining situations under a microscope as an outside observer (even if they happened to me).
The more I learn about myself, the world around me, the people around me, the people I’ve never met… the more I realize how infinitesimally small my level of knowledge is. There is so much to learn and never enough time to learn it all, and what I have learned is that no matter how learned I become, it’s an iota of the world’s collective knowledge. If there is anything I have learned that I am certain of, it’s that I know nothing in the grand scheme of things.
So take this fool’s words with a grain of salt…
Time is money
The saying “Time is money,” is often viewed at its surface to mean that you should maximize your time towards worthy endeavors, but is that all? It could be taken to mean that you expect to get paid for the time spent not enjoying life, but again, is that all? As I mentioned in my preface, time is literally money, it’s a currency that we can spend and yet can rarely ever get back (that you medical science for the rare occurrences).
To waste time is to devalue it in most cases, but the biggest lesson here is to figure out what is a waste of time. Decompression is a necessity, in moderation sitting back with a book, a game, a movie, or the like is beneficial to keep a person on top of their game in life. Spending too much time doing those things is wasteful, but in moderation decompressing has many benefits.
Remember, jobs pay per hour, they give value to that hour of your life, time that you’ll never get back, so in all reality you’re not getting paid for work, you’re getting paid for your time. When you’re on your deathbed, how much would an extra hour of time be worth to you, another hour of time to spend with loved ones, or doing what you love?
Time is money can be seen to mean that your time has some intrinsic value to it, that your life has a value to it. The value of your time should be measured by you and you alone, not by a dollar amount, not by external validation, but by how you spend that time which gives it its value. This is why you shouldn’t waste your time, you should take everything in your life and place a value on it, prioritizing certain aspects of your life with a higher value than others.
Good and bad times should be learned from, examined and time you feel was wasted, can thus be turned into valuable time that taught you something of importance. Anything that causes you to learn and grow as a human being, is a high-value time to be examined and delved deeper into. If you learn from the situation, no matter what the situation is/was, then it has value to your life, and the time spent on it is not a waste.
Time spent with friends and family can be seen as nearly invaluable, so be sure to prioritize that time. While decompression is a must, social interaction is vital to mental health and overall wellbeing and is made even more special when it’s time spent with loved ones. You do not need to become an extrovert and rush out in a crowd making tons of friends, but just the act of going out once in a while, even with minimal interaction, is beneficial.
I think in terms of death a lot, morbid yes, beneficial, also yes. If you died tomorrow, are you going to be thinking about that overtime you didn’t work, that level in a game you didn’t beat, or will you be thinking of experiences, family, friends, places? That is where the true value of our time lies, in what forges those moments that we would so desperately cling to.
If time is money, each moment has a value attached to it and that value is dictated by the depth of the experience per the individual(s) involved. Even after the time has passed, its value can be reevaluated by looking deeper into it, examining it, and learning from it, increasing the value of even the worst of times. Never let time be wasted, the good, the bad, the times you were at your lowest and highest, learn and grow from it all!
Only a fool doubles down on 20
In blackjack, if you double down on your bet, you get another card, and seeing as how the goal is to get as close to 21, doing so while showing 20, is foolish. So, where is the lesson to be found in a gambling analogy? Life is a gamble, everything we do in life has ramifications that aren’t always apparent at the onset of our decisions. Even when we try to “play it safe,” in life, more often than not, unforeseen consequences to our actions and words can and do arise.
Sure, things might go flawlessly, but everything is a gamble in life, so unless the gamble is 100% worth it, you should reconsider, or at least think of all potentialities that the gamble may yield. What I mean by this is that you should make educated gambles and in everything you do and or say, you should do so in a positive way. Does what you say help or harm, does it have the possibility to harm, and is it worth saying or doing if it has the potential to harm others?
I try to affect the world in a positive way, empower others, uplift others, I try to be who I needed when I was down, for other people, even when they aren’t down. In that, I reduce the potential for the gamble to go wrong or have a negative effect on my interactions with others and I build rapport much easier. In my work as a therapist, building rapport is paramount to helping others, without it, I’d have a lack of trust in what I say and the treatments I give.
Another way to look at life’s many gambles is to see the potential for the good and bad in every situation and to weigh the pros and cons thereof. If there is more potential for cons, it’s a dangerous gamble and should probably be avoided, but remember, no matter if the pros far outweigh them, the cons are still a possibility. Having the knowledge that anything can go wrong in a given situation protects you from being crushed if it does. Maintaining no exact expectations and keeping the potentiality for good or ill in the back of your mind, will keep you from being let down.
Gambling in any way shape or form can be positive or negative in its outcome and just about everything in life is a gamble, even meeting new people. We meet a lot of people in life, some turn into family, some even turn into significant others, but on the reverse some turn into life lessons. In this instance, gambling on meeting new people often has a bigger reward than risk, however, you should always prepare for the potentiality of both. I like to look for the good in everyone I meet, I like to think the best of everyone and give them the benefit of the doubt, but I am not naive.
If a situation turns negative, regardless of the situation, do not double down on it, try to fix it as best you can, and move on from it. Oftentimes when something we really wanted to go right, goes south, we double down on it and inevitably it becomes nearly consuming and the negative begins to outweigh the original positive we’d desired.
Literally, everything we do in life is a gamble, it holds the potential for positive or negative ramifications and at times, can be positive to one and negative to another. Some gambles we take can be neither positive nor negative, instead could resemble varying shades of grey, borderline one or the other. Regardless of how a situation turns, we can learn from it, grow from it, and become better because of it, and in this capacity, even a negative gamble, can have some semblance of a positive outcome in the end.
We win, or we learn… you only lose when you accept it as a loss!
Time to leave high school behind you
I interact with a lot of people on a day-to-day basis, mainly due to being well known in music and art, known for my past, and who I am today, and known for my published works as well. I have thousands of followers on Twitter and even more on Facebook, so I see and interact with many individuals on a daily schedule. While I don’t live my life online, social media is time well spent for me as I meet art buyers, new therapy clients, new friends, and fans from across the globe.
Oh the petty arguments, the name-calling, the cliques, the people afraid to be themselves, the people afraid of being wrong in the face of facts (cognitive dissonance), the attention-starved, the jocks acting jockish, ahhh high social media school. Facebook high and Twitter high… you’ll even see people arguing over which social media high school is better. The funny part is, those attending the social media high schools are mostly adults, some well into their twilight years.
…all joking aside, the above is not too far off from the truth!
Every time I log onto any social media I am heartened and disheartened, heartened by the love I receive from my followers and fans and disheartened by the fact I see so many humans and so little humanity. People quite literally treat others with contempt for being friends, or a follower of someone they don’t like. I see arguments that immediately harken back to recess or lunchroom “beefs,” between grown adults, who inevitably call one another names because they have differing opinions.
I have seen groups of followers clique up, ignore people, talk poorly about others and even verbally attack others…
Girl 1: “Like, Jessica is such trash,”
Girl 2: “omg and did you see her revealing picture… total trash,”
Guy: “Let’s go comment on what a skank she is on her picture,”
Both Girls: “Okay!”
Exactly like that… only it isn’t high school, they aren’t teens, they are 30 years old and older!
I don’t go onto social media, to not be sociable with people, to harass or judge people, to hate people who think differently than me… I go on there to hear different opinions, to absorb others’ thoughts, and to help those who are having a rough time.
People act like this because they lack maturity, and almost always lack any control over their own lives, so they seek control over others’ emotions via social media. Social media has connected the whole of humanity, while simultaneously disconnecting us from our own humanity. I go on social media and promote my work, talk to fans and friends, but I don’t live there, I don’t allow myself to get sucked into believing that it is the real world.
If there is any greater destroyer of human class, civility, and dignity than social media, I haven’t found it!
The number one lesson I learned from social media is to limit my time in social media, don’t fall into the trapping of the high school mentality there, and live, genuinely live life outside of it. People wonder what’s causing the uptick in suicides among young adults, look no further than social media and the interactions a large swath of humanity consider “normal.”
The person they hate is in the mirror
People will judge you, it doesn’t matter your race, nationality, sexuality, gender, the color of your hair, how you dress, how you speak, people are going to judge you… it is not a reflection of/on you, it is a reflection on them!
People judge others and dislike in others, what they have and dislike in themselves, that’s in fact, how they know they dislike it. Do you like Pizza? How do you know you like/dislike it? You had to have tried it, experienced it to know that you like or dislike something, this is exactly how people know what they like or dislike in others.
When people judge me, and they do so quite often, I pay them no attention, nor do I respond to them, as their judgments are not really meant for me. People often hate others based solely on their superficial judgments and social constructs, oftentimes it is their own fears and ignorance of other people, cultures, nationalities, et cetera that leads them to their hate. So, their judgment and hate are truly self-focused and self-inflicted.
Never allow someone who dislikes you for any reason, to live rent-free in your head, don’t give them the space or a second thought. Their words and anger are a reflection of them, not you!
Yes, it is difficult to ignore the ignorant, but your response is what they desire, your response fuels them in their beliefs. They want their fears justified, they want you to be offended, to act out because otherwise, they have to face the fact that their beliefs are unjustified and false.