How Did I End Up Here?


bus-lane2_636250051617305266Have you ever, in a sudden flash of insight, wondered how in the hell did I end up here? All of us had our youthful fantasies where we were playing professional baseball or were the star actor in a hit movie. However choppy or obscure, all of us entertained some vague notions of how life would be for us in the future. Then, the future got here and it wasn’t exactly what we expected. For many folks it turned into a nightmare from which they are now seeking an escape. How did it happen? How did we end up here?

The short answer is, you were the one driving the bus! The longer answer is a little more tricky. The life that you are living today is a composite sketch you first outlined and then refined through days, months and years of thinking certain thoughts. Yes, my friend, you were driving the bus. Oh, I know it didn’t seem like you were always driving the bus. If anything it seemed like you were sometimes navigating the bus through difficult and confusing circumstances. Many days perhaps you were anxiously driving the bus with a death grip on the wheel, fearful of how things were going to turn out. At other times, for a myriad of reasons, you let someone else drive your bus trusting them to get you to a good destination. For years maybe you were not even aware that you are supposed to drive your own bus and just hoped with the rest of the world that God would somehow drive your bus for you if you were good to people and weren’t too much of a dick or something… But no matter the reasons, even the compelling good reasons, you are responsible to drive your own bus and choose your own destinations!

I believe that we all, on occasions, find ourselves scratching our heads at how we turned out to be exactly like our fathers or suffer from the same issues as our mothers, though we swore we never would. We didn’t realize that the same crap that got to them would eventually get to us as well. In our youthful wisdom, we didn’t see it coming, just like they didn’t see it coming. In reality it wasn’t our propensity to fall for the same mistakes that defeated us or even inherited weaknesses in the gene pool that got us. What got us; what defeated us; what we failed to see was “it,” manipulating behind the scenes and causing us to drive our buses in the wrong damn direction! All that precious time we spent focusing on things we didn’t want, left us driving on a road we didn’t choose, leading to a destination we do not like. You want to know how you got here? This is how you got here! The sooner you decide to take your keys back the better.

Aside from the incessant and persistent manipulation and every other force that drives us away from our best lives, there is another far more subtle power at work, also based on fear but far less obvious. This perennial  flat tire to our happiness is the overworked and overused, insane, dishonest, “I have to please everyone else” mentality that seems noble but in reality is a cruelty afflicting both who you are and who you could ever hope to be! This slippery wrench in the works convinces you to make choices that aren’t really your choices in favor of playing it safe or protecting your family or whatever other bullshit you have been confessing to yourself to rationalize bad decisions and miserable circumstances. Your age, your income, your bad knees, your upbringing, your momma, your spouse all have nothing to do with your capacity; even your necessity to change your thoughts and slowly but surely change your life. You are no more stuck than the energy it takes to say so. None of us are ever truly mired in life’s circumstances, no matter how they present themselves. What we become stuck in is a wrong belief playing itself out over a thousand iterations. Change the flat tire!

How your life has played out thus far is a product of your own making and once you are finally able to own that, you can climb confidently back into the driver’s seat and chart a new course; one that you sought after on purpose. Refusing to own your part in this grand drama leaves you as the victim, pitifully wasting away your one short go-round, waiting for someone or something to change your scenario; change your course for you. No matter how bad things may have gotten for you, you still know what you enjoy, right? You still know what good looks and feels like, right? It may surprise you to know that God Himself, with all of His limitless power and ability, can only take you as far as you are willing to go. His job isn’t to drive you to your future destination. He made you the bus driver. Instead He can only encourage you through crazy blog-writers who have the audacity to repeat what His Word says, hopefully in ways that you can understand!

You think countless thoughts within the space of a day. Why not take a breath and find out what some of those thoughts are and then challenge them if they don’t fit the image of what you want for your life. Just because you thought a thought doesn’t make it true. Good bus drivers have to wrestle all of those unruly thoughts into submission and in doing so take over the wheel of their own ride.

However you got here to this moment in time only proves your history thus far. Your future is something you are planning for today by the thoughts you entertain the most. Recognize how big of a deal those little thoughts really are and work with the system people!

By the way, I’m glad you got here… 😉

Just some good thoughts.

 

 

How to Be Unhappy…


There are many things you can do to make yourself perennially unhappy. Unhappiness isn’t something for amateurs to mess around with as it takes a serious daily commitment. So, if you really want to win at the game of losing, then this blog is for you!

If I wanted to be unhappy, I would start my day out past the time I wanted to get up, laying in the bed thinking about all of the things I did wrong yesterday. I would mentally rehearse where and how I went astray. I would berate myself for how fat I had gotten and question whether or not my hair was thinning. Then I would hop out of bed with barely enough time to get ready for work. Because I didn’t give myself enough time, lots of things would go wrong and end up making me late. Where’s my damn blue tie???

On my commute I would feel agitated and distressed. I would pretend like the highway was mine and speed along cursing other drivers having the audacity to get into my lane and not go at the speed I dictated. Up ahead there is a car in the fast lane going less than the speed limit, so I get as close to their bumper as I can without actually hitting them and cuss them out in their rear view mirror! They flip me off in response to my behavior and I fly into a blinding rage. Just as I calm down, I notice someone was trying to merge next to me, so I speed up and tailgate the car in front of me, to make sure the bastards couldn’t get in, no matter what.

Once I got to work late, I would head into the office with a sour, foul attitude. Mentally, I would point out which staff were ugly; which ones were fat and which were ones were just plain stupid! When one of my co-workers came into my office, I would spend almost half an hour discussing how incompetent the leadership were followed by some juicy gossip about one of the employees. Later in the morning at the staff meeting, I would sit quietly at the table mentally comparing myself to the other leaders. I would lament on why I couldn’t speak as intelligently as Bill and get angry over why everyone always laughs at Steve’s silly jokes. I would literally grit my teeth anytime someone said something complimentary to the boss, effin, brown-nosers!

After lunch, I would dedicate myself to screwing around until the ‘already too long’ day was over. I would Facebook and Instagram, followed by a healthy dose of Amazon shopping. Hey, the stupid work can wait until tomorrow! Someone would call over to check on something I promised to get done, but I would explain in a highly frustrated tone why I didn’t have enough time to accomplish things!

After another long commute, filled with slow traffic and my usual railings and flip-outs, I would get home and immediately dump a load of mental garbage on my family. I would corner my wife’s ear and complain and fuss until dinner time. At dinner I would be sure to point out anything that wasn’t quite cooked correctly. (I mean she needs to know if the chicken is dry, right?) Then, after having a few drinks to unwind, I would pick a fight with her and begin to extol how I unhappy I am with my life. I wouldn’t take any responsibility for any of this because none of it is my own fault. If she didn’t treat me the way she did, I could have been somebody! In fact, I never seem to catch a break like other people. I don’t have enough money to do what I need to do and I’m ten times smarter than the wealthy people I know. And, that’s not my damn fault either. The cards have been stacked against me.

I wake up on the couch several hours later angry with myself for my behavior earlier. I pour myself into bed ready to begin the cycle anew tomorrow. I cannot wait for the weekend, when I can finally do what I want to do. But until then, everything sucks, everyone sucks and I guess deep down, I suck!

As I lay in bed trying to fall back asleep, I begin to question all of the decisions and choices I’ve made in my life. I fantasize about how things might have been if I married this person and moved to this state. I don’t consider any of the good things I have accomplished because it doesn’t matter as I could have done so much more! I know I’m deeply frustrated but it just doesn’t seem like there is anything I can do about it! I remember the other day when some guy tried to talk with me about God, but I don’t need that religion bullshit! I mean what could God do to help me with my crappy life? Doesn’t He have big things to deal with like world peace and the starving people? I begin to drift off to sleep, exhausted and sad…

This ladies and gentleman is how you make a career of being unhappy. Don’t take any responsibility for anything and for goodness sakes don’t change what you have been thinking and doing. And if by chance, there comes a point in your life when you want to choose happiness, then simply choose the opposite of this! 😉

It’s your life…

Just some good thoughts…eventually.