My good friend Kevin sent this beautiful piece by Seneca this morning.
Whilst reading Mr Money Moustache some months ago, I found this post which introduced me Seneca and the Stoics. A pretty good band name right there.
Seems that I learned this all by myself years ago as a child, and certainly again and again as a young man. Anybody who really knows me usually sums me up with being a persistent and tenacious man as part of the descriptors. Part of that drive comes from negative visualisation.
I always thought I was a wack job for being so driven and mostly tried to stifle this incredible drive by suffering from the tall poppy syndrome. You can only imagine what opposite forces of such strength resulted in. People would often shake their head in disbelief and imagined madness when seeing how I refused to give up (including my instructors in the army as a 17yr old) and I have lost many friends who tried to keep up doing certain feats. I miss you Trevor – a lot. And I miss some other people who are best not to mention now for fear of reprisal.
As an older man now in his mid 40’s, I am reaching peace with this drive, and giving up on fear of being a tall poppy on certain things. I’m starting (baby steps) to see it as a real strength and wonderful skill set to possess and as I do that, something interesting is happening:
Giving up portions of the many things I’ve done in life (and succeeded in wonderfully) because they all direct to one simple purpose. I need time to put that purpose into words, but the basis of it all is minimalism and being genuinely happy when I actually have very little physical goods. In that state, still a veritable wealth of goods compared to some people in Africa I’ve met and seen, but an absolute pittance to my new found North American counterparts.
Its all about finding your own path isnt it? Because I think that may be all that matters – peoples opinions will disappear, peoples pressures will change and wither, and in the middle of the night at 2am even with someone beside you, who is really with you, inside of yourself, besides you and your thoughts? A Spiritual being? I’ve never met or heard of anyone who operates solely from a spiritual source of energy because we’re all just humans after all, with all of our failures and qualms and quirks. So, really, we’re pretty much alone in this world in ourselves, and its only a spiritual connection that can really bind to an outside source.
Or maybe I’ve been hurt by love just too much.