I’ll sometimes ask questions a self-aware videogame character might ask to progress the story along. (…I was a character in a videogame…) Especially when there’s enough time for parting words, I like asking for advice. Along with the extra lives’s worth of experience, these are the most rewarding conversations, because when faced with the reality that we may never meet again, any pretenses are dropped, and we exchange unfiltered truths about ourselves and our realities.
How often do you meet new people? Not just regurgitating scripts during transactional interactions with humans, either, how often do you allow yourself open up so that new people can meet you? That does require the vulnerability of letting your guard down, inviting people to see your ego’s grit, and possibly getting hurt. “The Story” will focus on many people and encounters, centering around Trishna (left) and John (right), almost as guides through their world.
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (philosophical character-building!) WANNA SEE HOW JOHN AND TRISHNA MEET OTHER FICTIONAL CHARACTERS? AND HOW THIS ANALOGY WORKS WELL FOR MAKING NEW FRIENDS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
While there’s something to be said for playing life safely, when the opportunity strikes, jump up on life’s stage! Get outside your comfort zone! Even for just a minute. The experience will probably be uncomfortable, you might need to push through fatigue, or embarrass yourself. You might step in spilled beer, get bumped into harmlessly, or get your picture taken. You also might not get the best shot. That’s still better than no shot whatsoever!
“Don’t go to the dark side.” “I’ve been there. It’s not really fun. I’ve been trying my best ever since to not go back[1,2].” Since becoming sober nearly 5 years ago, most of my actions have been about making the world a better place. I’ll act selfishly sometimes to avoid going back to the dark side, otherwise, my actions mostly center around helping others: acting without judgement, lending a hand, or even just not being shitty.
I have hundreds of people to thank for guiding me along in my career. Every hiring manager, mentor, and deep professional conversation helped. Within those hundreds, I have a casual Top 50 of those who really helped advance me along. After a recent chance conversation at a thrift store with one of my Top 4 career contributors, I wanted to celebrate their contributions, to maybe inspire you as well. Their names are obscured by the TMNT crew:
In my last summer without obligations, between high school and college, I spent most of that innocent time writing a foundational element to “The Story” References stars John (left) as “everSOL the Valiant,” crash-lander on a strange planet that is driven to find his dearest friend “Trisha” (right). I forgot about References to become a salaryman. After rescuing it from this almost-lost disk, what’s available is online, unmodified. Let’s talk about my successful failure: References.
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (just recollections, regrets, reinforcements…) WANNA LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES TO BETTER IMPLEMENT YOUR BIGGEST IDEAS AND DREAMS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
Another 70 posts in the can! Compared to when I was first getting my footing with this website nearly 400 posts ago, things are coalescing now into a finely-tuned machine that seemingly spits out content daily. What if you told me then that I’d be spending an average of three hours daily writing, sometimes waking up at 3AM to write, all to chase my dreams? I’d say good! This dream is the only good fight there is:
Words mean nothing when you’re stressed out and longing for that familiar, harmful way to decompress. Even close to five years later, the numbness of having a drink or five is still ingrained in my psyche as the ideal evening. We must instead practice alternative actions. Since I don’t think as clearly in the evenings, after constantly confronting stress, I go to sleep early to subconsciously wade through that stress to arrive at actionable solutions.
Words mean nothing, which is funny coming from an individual that wants to be a professional writer. The problem with words is that people hide behind them. Instead of taking direct action, people instead hide behind implication and strict definitions. I’ve noticed the biggest factor determining whether someone will succeed or fail in their professional career depends not on what that person says, rather, what that person does. Here are five examples of my actions.
In ten years, how will writing change? I imagine, firstly, we’ll be able to write more efficiently. I wrote this thought on my smartphone while waiting for an oil change, this before entering thrift store, this after not finding anything, and returned to my computer for this final draft. That flexibility in 2008 would have been great! How might that look in 2028? Let’s ask ourselves, via this open letter, how we can build better writing tools!