I was thinking two days ago about my favourite topic – myself, and about the many pre-conceptions that lie in my subconscious colouring my perception on life and external realities. I know a lot of us like to think that we are objective and we see life like it really is. The truth is, very few of us ever do that. We usually live life through our lenses, we don’t see reality as it is, but the versions of it we create in our minds to understand the world and operate in it. But, a big part of being more conscious, aware and enlightened is knowing your own bias, your own lenses and being flexible enough to place and remove the lenses as you see fit.
So, one of my basic pre-conceptions is that I’m special. You see, I like to think that I’m different than most guys… and by different, I mean better. I like to think that I’m made up differently, that I see the world in a peculiar way. I like to think that I’m possibly more interesting, brooding, deep, intelligent, whatever. I don’t have the same paltry/trivial concerns and pre-occupations that most people have. I like to think that I’ve somewhat been enlightened. As I write this, I see the vast arrogance, ignorance and sheer vanity of that way of thought.
On one level, those preconceptions may be true. I do tend to read a bit more than the average person. I have little patience for small talk or inane online chatter or tweets. I spend a lot of time alone because I like to think…and design in solitude. But, you see, I’ve just highlighted a few things out of my many characteristics to support the argument that I am special or different. The objective truth is, I’m just like everyone else.
On the scale of 1 to Special, I’m not even that special. I’m probably somewhere near average. Some things I do well, many others I’m miserable at. I’m not an athlete; my numerous attempts at going to the gym regularly have all failed. Yet, I pay a monthly subscription. I’m not rich, I make enough to pay bills and buy a few things, that’s it. I used to have huge ideas and dreams to change the world. These days, most ideas don’t last the intense firing squad that is my frequent bouts of existentialist crisis. I hate to cook, I don’t eat well. I find it hard to love…fully. I lie to people, to myself. I’m really not that special, I’m just a guy. Some things I do well and those things I use to create my social persona, the person I want you to see.
Now, lying to everyone is one thing. Lying to yourself is far worse. So I realised, I’m not special. I’m just a guy. I’m intelligent yes, but that was honed by years of reading (serious books since I was 5), studying and motivation. I’m creative, I design well (I was taught how to draw at 7, I’ve been teaching myself design daily since 2007). I can talk well/MC well (I’ve been preaching, speaking to groups since I was 14). Sure, there is some level of innate talent, but none of it means squat without work. I don’t write this to bash myself or put myself down. I’m just saying, ‘I’m not special’. I have a lot of potential, just like you. But the only way that translates to external reality and tangible results is action…ruthless, consistent action. The world owes me no favours, I can’t take shit for granted. I have to work the ideas. I have to spend hours and hours designing. I have to meet people, network. I have to face my fears, face my dark side daily and conquer it. I have to work at it, until I push myself in whatever area just 1% past the norm, past the baseline. Even then I won’t be special. I’ll just be the guy that did it.