What’s Your Win?
What does “winning” mean to you? Have you won when you have achieved a certain external outcome, such as meeting certain metrics (number of dollars, hours on the clock) or getting another person to say “Yes” to you? Or are your wins purely subjective, having no concern for the numbers game and being based solely on something else entirely?
All I care about is taking the actions at the forefront of my consciousness. I don’t need to win friends and influence people (and that book is so terribly titled. If it wasn’t so famous it really should be renamed). I really can’t control what other people want from me or how they react to me or whether they like me or anything of that sort. As far as the stuff of physical reality goes, I have no control.
But I still have a lot of power. I can make choices. I can think. I can act. I can do what matters to me. And if I do that, then how can I lose? Maybe in other people’s eyes I will have lost. But I don’t know what they see anyway. I can’t know. I can ask, but I can never really know. I can merely imagine.
Here’s the point. If I can ship and take the actions that matter to me over and over again, then I’ll have lived the way that I wanted to. And that’s really all I need. That’s all that I care about.
It always comes back to this one basic lesson: Live for consciousness. The results in themselves don’t really matter. They’re just a way of continually exercising consciousness.
It’s actually really relieving to know that I don’t have that much control over external circumstances. I’m kind of glad I don’t. I don’t think that’s a reality I’d want to live in.
Why would I not want control over external circumstances? Doesn’t relative stability give me enough peace of mind to function?
Maybe I just don’t need it. Maybe it’s not really that important. The way I see it, as long as I do what I see that I have to do… That’s all that matters. That’s all that I need to sleep peacefully at night. I don’t need adulation or admiration or accolades or even physical security. The only “A” that matters to me is action.
Stay on the Edge
As long as I don’t need to win, I don’t see how I can lose. In fact, it’s much easier for me to “win” in the ways that I care about.
I don’t need people to pick me or want me or say yes to me or even understand me. For all I know, I might prefer that they didn’t do so a lot of the time, anyway. But that doesn’t really matter. All that does matter is that I act.
For instance, it’s really interesting to go into a conversation with someone and see that all the things that I thought were the point are not actually the point. How long I’ve been attracted to someone or whether they like me back-- these things are not the point. They don’t matter.
I would go so far as to say that the attraction itself does not matter, either. It isn’t some fragile thing that needs to be held safely and protected. It just is what it is. If it inspires me to take some certain action, then I do. The point isn’t whether I take that action and win. The point is simply that I do it, for the sake of my consciousness. For the sake of being alive.
In order to act in the ways that matter to me, I must stay on the edge. Stay in the flow of desire. Don’t try too hard to analyze what I should do—don’t be too quick to conclude or dismiss the possibilities.
Don’t “clamp down” reality. Stay on the edge. Do not push forward manically, yet never rest. The flow will restore you continually. If you stay on the edge, you will not care for rest. You will not need it.
Reality is both intelligent and elegant. It’s brilliant. When you let yourself stay in the flow of fearlessness, it’s hard to look back on what has happened and think anything but, You can’t write this stuff! Even if you could write it, it wouldn’t matter, because it wouldn’t have the same touch. It must be experienced. And it’s an amazing experience, indeed.
Especially when it comes to doing things you are quite scared to do, stay in your instincts and don’t think about the surface reality at all. Your logical mind will want try analyzing the situation and stopping you by telling you why this won’t work. Simply ignore it. Don’t be so quick to judge by appearances. At the beginning, whether it is a race or a difficult conversation with another person, it may look like you are doomed to fail. However, failure is guaranteed only if you give up at that point. If you just trust yourself and keep going, things will turn out far better than you expected.
This isn’t to say that you’ll suddenly be a God-like character capable of anything. The external outcomes aren’t the point. However, if you trust yourself continually (the part of you that knows you are safe—not the part that talks you down), you will be able to take the actions you desire to take, and that’s all you have control over anyway. Generally the outcomes are better with this approach, too, but if you think they are the point then you won’t be able to use this approach of self-trust in the first place.
Reality Cannot Fail
There’s a part of me gets really anxious. It says, Well shit, man, what am I going to do now?! It’s all over! I made all the closure. I’ll never see these people again. I’ll never do this thing again. So many loops are being closed at once. I’m going to be left with nothing—I’ll be floating through space. What the heck am I gonna do now?
Then there’s the other part of me that says, Do not conclude. Stay on the edge in every moment. You are not losing anything of substance anyway.
If I try to grasp that with my mind, it’s scary. I worry about never talking to certain people again and never doing certain things again and my logical mind wants to know how the heck I’m gonna make it… But I don’t need to address those things logically. In fact, it’s a lot easier to do the things I want to do when I don’t fall into analysis. With that mental RAM freed up, I can be present and actually take action, rather than twiddling my thumbs and thinking so damn much about it.
I love living this way. My logical brain can whine all day about how the heck it is going to survive. But it has been 20 years, and reality has not failed me yet. And if all that matters to me is doing the things I see I need to do, then I really don’t see how reality can fail me. Reality can NOT fail me. You know why? Because I don’t need it to be any particular way. If all I have to do is continually act and be gratified by that action, I don’t see why I have anything to worry about. I get the opportunities that I need. And I don’t need more than that. Why would I? Why would I need opportunities that I am not going to take anyway???
I could try to tell you what will happen in my future. I cannot give you a concrete play-by-play overview. That would be foolish.
It seems I always know basically what is going to happen, but I never know how it is going to happen. I never know when I’ll run into that person or exactly what words I’ll say to them or anything of that sort. I know, but experience is its own entity. It cannot be captured with a rope. It just is what it is.
I could tell you all of my current speculations and “knowings” about the future. But I cannot know the concrete. I can only know of my own consciousness. Even that is somewhat of a slippery character.
The logical mind loves closure. It loves to hang its hat on a hook and say, Ah… This is established now. Now I can rest.
But what do closure and certainty do for you? Squelch all possibilities, both desirable and undesirable? Give you permission to ride through the rest of your life lazily on a motored lawn chair? Save you from not doing anything stupid?
Your logical mind, when at the whim of your fears, loves to scream at you how stupid you are. It wants you to get that doing what you are trying to do is unnecessary, a bother to other people, and simply will not work. However, if you obey its words, you will never “get” what it is trying to tell you, because it will keep up this game. Even when you are living as conservatively and “safely” as possible, it will keep screaming at you. The only difference is that you will be far more limited by the screams of fear now than you were years ago. Whereas it previously curtailed you from having important, intimate conversations with other people, it now keeps you from saying, “Hi.”
This is the logical mind’s idea of closure—that It’s all over, it can’t be done, so let’s get the heck out of here so we can sit on our asses. It’s comforting because it gives you permission to fail—not failing by doing something wrong, but the failure of doing nothing at all. Closure allows you to stand still. It lets you conjure up a fairytale that you can tie up tightly in a neat little bow. It keeps you from trying again. It keeps you from growing.
Don’t get too attached to closure. I know it’s romantic, but it’s inaccurate. Nothing is ever really over- nothing is set in stone- until you are dead.
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