One of those guys

May 20, 2013

After mentioning it in yesterday’s post, I ended up watching Talking Funny again, because I couldn’t resist. It’s one of those shows that reveals new insights every time you watch it, even if the idea of doing stand up comedy fills you with stomach-roiling terror. I know it does for me.

In the special, Jerry and Louis talk about why they wanted to become comedians. They talked about how there were these groups of comedians in the cities they started out in – New York for Jerry, Boston for Louis – and how they wanted to be like those guys. For Jerry, success on the stage didn’t even matter, because as soon as he got up there the very first time, he was one of those guys. He was a comedian.

In deciding what to do with your time, it’s useful to consider what guys (or gals) you want to be like. What do you want to be able to identify yourself as?

For me, it’s an author. For some of my friends its an accountant, or a programmer, or an entrepreneur, or a house renovator. My brother wanted to be the father of a large family, and fortunately his wife was happy to oblige.

Sometimes I think it’s more instructive to think not about what you want to do, but about who you want to be. Once you know the identity that would make you the happiest – as unrealistic or silly as it may be – it’s much easier to trace a line from where you are to the future you desire. Just think – in an ideal world, what would you want to introduce yourself as?

Now go make that a reality.

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By Stephen W. Gee

Author of Wage Slave Rebellion, Freelance Heroics, and about two good blog posts out of a hundred.

3 Comments

  1. Reply

    Zen

    Once you know the identity that would make you the happiest – as unrealistic or silly as it may be – it’s much easier to trace a line from where you are to the future you desire.

    Indeed. What could you do in life that would resonate the most with the core of your very being, your nature- you true identity? It must be noted however that a prerequisite to being able to do this though is possessing a level of self-understanding that is high enough to actually know what kind of person you are. Some people go their entire lives without ever truly knowing themselves- and by projection they never find out what they truly want to do or be known as either. A few attain it through sheer luck, but for most, self-understanding is attained through experience and introspection. In order to know themselves people must first broaden their horizons- don’t be afraid of trying new things and after doing something for the first time sit back and reflect on if and how the activity resonated with you.

    as unrealistic or silly as it may be…Now go make that a reality.

    This is what I love about you Stilts. You’re a dreamer, like me. Capax infiniti- we can do anything we put our minds, efforts and hearts to! Dreamers are the weavers of reality- what is a “visionary” but a dreamer who pursued his dream to fruition?

    1. Reply

      Stilts

      True. Introspection I think is the key, but where I think most people trip up is when they (deep down) know the answer, but won’t allow themselves to seriously consider it. For a long time I resisted putting my full effort towards becoming an author, but every time I try to pursue other career opportunities I always half-ass it. I just don’t care. Finally, I couldn’t hold back anymore.

      In a way, both that and your point about being a dreamer are related. It’s like that old George Bernard Shaw quote:

      The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

      What are dreamers but unreasonable men (and women) who refuse to adapt to the world, and instead force it to adapt to the visions in their mind?

      Silly it may be, but damn if it isn’t fun : )

  2. Reply

    Zen

    Silly it may be, but damn if it isn’t fun : )

    Hey, the fun’s what makes life worth living…; )

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