Maybe it was the hours I spent soaking this last week. Or maybe it’s the fact that I turned 30 that is making me feel a little bit like Jerry MaGuire at 2 in the morning writing a memo.  But every man deserves a Jerry memo-moment and this is my time. Was it a memo or a mission statement? I don’t care. It moved people. Well, it only moved Rene Zelwegger, but he ended up marrying her I think so it was moving. I turned the big 3-0 on Thursday and I think that’s the age where you can legally give advice. Did I mention I saw Jesus during my birthday soak? This is me looking at him.

IMG_2809[1]

He said something like “When a dying man asks for your help, extend thy dry hand with a soak.” I’m pretty sure that’s what he said but it was loud with the jets on, so I can’t be sure. Here’s my simple life advice and I promise you I had no religious guidance.

Relationships: Stop the chase.

If you’re obsessed with the pursuit, you won’t end up anywhere. I’ve been criticized in the past for being more interested in the chase than the catch.  The problem you’ll face is that in every “chase,” there comes an end. You’ll either be disappointed that he/she didn’t end up the way you expected, or you’ll find yourself bored that the mystery is over.  The problem with this mode of thinking is that the person you’re chasing becomes a means to an end. Avoid treating people like that. Expectations (in people, or elsewhere) are resentments waiting to happen. Don’t expect somebody is going to fulfill you or fill some existential void. That’s your job.

Work: Imagine if.

Most of us work for somebody. In the case that you are not your own boss, here are a few simple suggestions.  There’s two mental questions i ask myself  to “check” myself working. 1.) Imagine if you were being filmed throughout your work day. If I would be embarrassed if it was shown as a training video, then I’m not doing enough of the right thing. Doing the right thing all the time may be a pain in the ass and more tedious, but it means you don’t have to spend any time defending yourself or your actions. Always be able to defend what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. 2.) Imagine if you’re the boss and it’s your money. If you were the owner/boss, would you feel OK about paying me (or someone who did what I did) for the time I put in? It’s easy to get caught up thinking your paycheck comes from some magical kingdom that doesn’t have a real face. It’s somebody who is paying you. They don’t have to. The last thing is make yourself indispensable. If you add value to your job, company, whatever—you’ll do well and succeed. If you blend in and you’re just one of the many, you’re vulnerable and expendable.

Spirit: Screw fears, identify selfishness, and find purpose.

Almost every awkward or stupid thing I’ve ever done was rooted in some type of fear. Most of us know what we’re afraid of but not what to do about it. Personally, I’ve used two tactics to combat all fears: avoidance and wit. This has popped up in fears from asking somebody out to asking for more money at a job.  If I could avoid the fear, I would. If I could make a witty remark to undermine the fear, I would. This is deflection and it works very short-term. If you can’t walk through the fears then at least be open about what they are. Once you’ve accepted your flaws, nobody can use them against you. There’s an immense amount of freedom in understanding that.

The source of almost all pain and misery is in the mind. (Even physical pain: think about how quickly you get over banging your knee on something when nobody is home to witness it). Any past feelings of loneliness, insecurity, or general discontent are usually met with thoughts of who or what can make this go away (see: drunken booty-call text) No single material thing or person can fix that type of internal pain. It’s origins are in the mind and they’re only concerned with what I think I’m lacking. The remedy is to turn that internal microscope inside-out. The only way to get out of my head, is to place my concerns on another person.  It’s the only thing that I’ve uncovered that effectively helps me get out of my own way. It’s the reason people feel good about themselves when they volunteer and the reason most people in recovery stay sober. You can’t out-think crazy, selfish thoughts. They’re just so fast and overwhelming! But you can repeatedly act in a way that will change your way of thinking. 

And that’s it for now. People. Work. Spirit. If those three aspects of your life are running like a finely tuned hot tub, then I’m going to bet you’re happy as a clam.

happy clam

*No clue why clams were chosen as happy creatures. Not sure why the clam is so happy when clearly it just pissed itself and is standing in a pool of urine. Orange urine, too! He’s so happy though with that top-hat and cane. So happy that his eyebrows literally have jumped off his clam face and are hovering above. And judging by the position of his legs, I think his right knee is broken. But like I said, it’s all in your perspective. Or maybe he thinks he’s being filmed.