I'm Not Much But I'm All I Think About

Jim:    Ah, good evening.  I’m hoping that your battery is charged.  But, we’re going to be talking about your life – not necessarily battery life.  We’re going to be talking about are you online or offline.  However, we’re going to be talking about that in a different context.  We’re going to be talking about are you offline with your authentic self.  Or are you online?  Are you tuned in or are you tuned out?  Can you disconnect from the things that don’t matter and really connect with yourself?  Yes, my friends, you’ve reached Fishing Without Bait.  You’ve reached our universe.  You’ve reached a place where we encourage you to go down the rabbit hole.  We encourage you to question everything.  We encourage you to live your life with full-impact mindfulness – to dive into your life.  To expect the unexpected.  Welcome.  Join us as we continue our journey.  Follow the sound of my voice.  And, today as always, I’m joined by my good friend, co-host, and producer of this program – Mr. Mike.  Mr. Mike, talk about online and offline, we’ve banged heads about this particular subject a number of times.

Mike:    Oh absolutely.  And, through my travels I run into that ick – getting stuck in a hotel room when I’m trying to get some work done, and depending on the online that just isn’t there.  What do you do at that point?

Jim:    What do you do?  Yes, that’s an interesting question.  And, this is when when you’re offline with the technology world, can you be online with yourself?  Do you even know how?

Mike:    It is definitely a case where – when forced to do that, what do you do?  Do you complain?  Do you scramble to find that wifi hotspot somewhere?  A Starbucks or something in the wilderness?  Or, do you take stock and kind of – as you say, kind of look at yourself?

Jim:    Again, do we know how to connect ourselves?  So, we did a previous podcast – I believe it was Episode 80 for those who would like to tune in.  And, that’s called Who’s With You?  Who are you carrying with you?  What memories are you carrying with you?  Who are you connecting with?  Are you online or offline with yourself?  Remember, how often do we check our battery levels in our phone?  In our computer?  In our tablet?  In most of these devices, and how often do you check your own life?

Mike:    Absolutely.  There’s been, especially this week, a lot of talk about that addictive nature of us looking at our phones – how many times, and how those are designed for us to want to look at those.  But, why aren’t we addicted to looking at ourselves?

Jim:    That’s a good question.  And, that’s one of the objects of Fishing Without Bait.  That’s one of the objects of full-impact mindfulness – is not only to fully impact others’ lives, but to fully-impact yourself.  So, I saw a cartoon recently, Mike, where this young lady was sitting across from the table with another young man.  The young man was engrossed in his phone.  And, the caption was Do you want me to tape your phone to my forehead so I can at least pretend that you are looking at me?  What do you make of that, Mike?

Mike:    That’s definitely one of the situations you see a lot.  Again, people don’t know – or tend not to kind of communicate with each other outside of those, outside of these devices.

Jim:    So, it’s my perspective that a lot of this technology has turned us into voyeuristic narcissists.  I keep thinking of a friend of mine who laughingly says this often when he talks about ego.  He says I’m not much, but I’m all I think about.  And, I’m just wondering whether that particular topic is more true than not.  

Mike:    Isn’t that a little bit of the catch-22 that keeps us from thinking about ourselves, because maybe we want to be selfless, but then we don’t take that stock because of that.

Jim:    However, when we’re constantly looking for validation from others, or we’re looking at really a voyeuristic attitude when we’re exploring all these social media sites to see what other people are doing, are we being sorry for ourselves?  Remember we talked about serial apologizers.  We talked about being a codebreaker in Episode 73 – creating a code.  Creating that special place that is just you.  We talked about identity thieves, did we not, Mike?  

Mike:    Yeah.  Absolutely.  Allowing others and other devices and other situations to take who you are.

Jim:    So, remember, Mike – what we’re talking about is not necessarily finding ourselves.  We’re talking about creating ourselves.  And, in order to create ourselves we have to take stock and inventory of ourselves.  So, quite often when I’m with people I’ll ask them well, what attracted to you to your partner?  What initially attracted you?  And, what keeps you with them?  They can give me definitive explanations of what that person is and what keeps them with them.  What are their attributes.  What their personality is like.  However, when I turn the tables, Mike, and I say well, that person sounds great.  They sound awesome.  And, what is an awesome person like that doing with you?  Many times the people are just at a loss for words.  They’re flabbergasted because nobody’s ever asked them that question before.  

Mike:    Isn’t there so many that are caught up in that, too?  Because they’re like this person is completely going to leave me because – why are they with me?  

Jim:    Sure.  And, this is a challenge that we’ve put out to people before, Mike.  And, remember, these are challenge podcasts.  I’ve often asked people – in order to create that code for themselves I ask them to write a profile of themselves.  Not necessarily, Mike, what they have to offer to other people, it’s what are the requirements for another individual to be with you.  Quite often during job interviews – let’s use that for an example – one of the question is why should we hire you?  What do you have to offer this company?  And, at one time in my life I was in a position where I was able to interview people and do these type of give-and-takes.  And, quite often – of course a standard question will be well, give me some reasons that this company should hire you?  A few times – very rarely – this individual would look at me and say however, tell me what you can do for me?  Tell me what this company has for me.  Why should I be interested in working for this company?  And, every single time, Mike, I would stop and say now, you have my attention.  So, what we want to do – remember we’ve been conditioned by the dominant culture.  So, one of the primary purposes of Fishing Without Bait is a lifetime without definitive expectations.  Remember when we talked about guilt, Mike?  We talk about healthy guilt and we talk about unhealthy guilt.  We talk about unhealthy guilt is trying to live up to the unreasonable expectations of yourself or others.  And, often that is imposed by the dominant culture.  And, the dominant culture is the one that you choose yourself to immerse yourself in.  Remember that word – choice.  It’s something that you can certainly choose.  So, the idea of Fishing Without Bait is to walk through the world with that beginner’s mind – to peel away some of that social conditioning.  Have some unstructured thought.  Take some chances and go down those rabbit holes.  I challenge everyone out there to do that.  We keep exploring the concept of your authentic self.  We keep exploring that concept of connecting the dots.  If you remember back a few podcasts ago – when we did a series of podcasts on connecting the dots.  We want to connect those dots with your authentic self.  So, if you need to connect the dots with your authentic self, where are you?  Who’s with you? Episode 80.  Who is with you?  Who is that person with you?  If you look back and look back at yourself this morning, Mike, when – if you ate breakfast or you performed some activity.  Be the observer behind that thinker and say who was that person?  Who is it?  It’s those who want to go back into ancient history.  So, to do some real time traveling you can go back into our previous podcasts where we did a number of them concerning Alice in Wonderland theme.  When Alice commented to the Mad Hatter I’m not the person I was this morning. And, the Mad Hatter’s reply was I certainly hope not.  Our hope that everyone out there is a constantly – and has a constantly transformational state.  To be flexible and molding into your environment.  Transform your environment.  Your thoughts and your choices transform your environment.  The power of choice is the most powerful gift you have.  Until then, my friends, do a kindness for yourself.  Do a kindness for another.  Fish Without Bait.  I dare you.