Second Star to the Right and Straight on `til Morning

Jim:    Oh, what a beautiful day to go sailing.  However, as Christopher Columbus said, you can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.  Should you be a person who has left shore or have an intention to do so, or perhaps – just right now, prefer to remain in the harbor, listen on.  However, as John Shedd said a ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are for.  If you stumbled onto this podcast, or are perhaps a previous listener, maybe suggested – and if you’ve entered into being a true believer, a convinced member living a life Fishing Without Bait and participating in your existence with full-impact mindfulness, we welcome you all.  We are not looking to help you find yourself.  We’re truly looking to help you create yourself.  We have a fully stocked laboratory of such ingredients as synchronicity and serendipity.  And, we do math.  We teach addition by subtraction.  So, as the title today suggests, sprinkle some pixie dust on yourself – which is made up of honesty, open-mindedness, and a willingness to try.  Welcome aboard – straight on to dawn!  Today as always, I’m joined by my good friend, co-host, and producer of this program, Mr. Mike.  Mr. Mike, in the last few podcasts – particularly the last one, we’ve been talking about having a direction sign on your bus of life.  Perhaps you’ve given a little bit more reflection on the sign on your bus.  

Mike:    I think I had said in the previous podcast that sign says the road to fun, right?  And, it’s a little bit more than that.  It’s a little bit more of fun with purpose.  So, I think I can refine that a little bit too – my bus, I’m still working around a word for that, because right now it’s fun and purpose and education and great stuff and cool, and I’m running out of space on the bus really.

Jim:    So, we’ve also discussed the passengers that we’re carrying on our bus, and having the ability to label and identify the ones that are purposeful, and ones we have no control over, and the ones we could let go.  However, first of all we have to learn how to determine a direction.  And, remember, we’re not looking to laser focus – we’re looking to aim.  Mike, have you read a lot of self-help books?

Mike:    I have a little bit.  A lot of the work kind of – how to get work done, and things like that – Rework; Crush It, by Gary Vaynerchuk.  Just very, kind of, motivational and think a different way about how you’re processing information in your life.

Jim:    Thinking a different way.

Mike:    Mm-hmm.

Jim:    Well, there are many people out there with the best of intentions that know how you should run your life, is there not?

Mike:    Indeed.  Everybody seems to have the answer for you, it seems, right?

Jim:    And, there are mentors, Mike.  So, tell me about some of the mentors that have been in your life – and mentors are wonderful.

Mike:    So, the mentors in my life have been the people that I see make something, grow something, develop something that they’re really passionate about.  And, that’s really the part that – again, kind of changes your thinking.  Not the I have to go to work because I have to.  I want to go to work because it’s something that’s fulfilling more than just paying the mortgage, right?

Jim:    And, again, mentors are wonderful.  And, they can guide you.  However, Mike, has anyone handcuffed themselves to you and dragged you across the goal line?

Mike:    No, no.  You have to become – not so much a follower of it, but at least you have to do the self-development.  And, it’s not up to that other person for you to succeed.

Jim:    Indeed.  So – and I hope I’m not dating myself a bit – you remember the movie The Matrix, and the character Morpheus?  So, he said in there sooner or later you’re going to realize, just like I did, there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.  And, again, Mike, that is action and effort.  And, perhaps – I’m not going to promise that this is going to be my last quote today – but, it’s by John Mason, and he said you were born an original, don’t die a copy.  So, when we’re talking about the direction sign on your bus, and the title of this podcast says straight on to dawn.  Well, what is dawn?  One of the first things in order to determine our direction – and listen to this carefully, are you trying to live up to others’ expectations?  I would like you to ponder that question.  Take some time.  Think of your goals, your aspirations, and your direction.  Is it being determined by someone else?  Is it being determined by the need for material goods?  Is it being determined by the ability to fit in to something where you perceive that you’d like to be?  Please examine that carefully.  Mike, have you ever changed careers?  Have you ever changed direction in your life?

Mike:    Oh, absolutely.

Jim:    Could you speak a little about that?

Mike:    I think I’ve spoken a few times on how I’ve gone from kind of an editor job to kind of a jack-of-all-trades and self-employed, self-starting business.  That’s been the real kind of shift for me.  Or even, I went to school for mostly web design and multi-media, and what did I end up into?  The thing I was actually kind of passionate about in getting a video job and kind of rediscovering oh no, that’s the thing I wanted to do.  And, it all informs what I do now.  

Jim:    So, could you share with us a little bit about the people, places, circumstances, events that caused you to change direction?

Mike:    Initially getting back into video it was a little bit of well, this is the job that was available that a friend got me.  And, that was the only way I was getting a job at that point, right?  Because I was just consistently failing in getting one in the web design side.  I’m not a great designer.  Just not a great designer apparently.  Things that just kind of struck me and stuck in my head and still motivate me to this day.  In 2009 when everybody was having money problems, some jobs were cutting people, and I saw how things behaved – there was a guy named Alex Lindsay, who I’ve met personally on a couple of occasions, does some really great stuff.  Look him up if you’re into video.  He said something about listen, in the future we’re going to have to make our own jobs.  And, that is something that’s been stuck in the back of my head.  And, whenever I see somebody stuck, I’m like man, if you really want to get somewhere, you’ve got to make your own job these days.  Because that’s just where the world is if you want to get ahead.  

Jim:    So, once again, I’m going to refer back to our sailing example from a previous podcast.  And, for those of you who have ever sailed – or seen a sailing ship, again when the wind’s at our backs it’s full speed ahead, jolly times, good stuff.  However, the wind is not always blowing at our back.  Sometimes it blows in our face.  So, Mike, can a sailing ship sail against the wind?

Mike:    It can certainly try.

Jim:    Of course.  It tacks.  It shifts its sails.  So, here’s your first directions – your first suggestion on aiming:  There are only three (3) essentials.  You can read volumes of books if you choose, attend as many lectures as you want, buy as many videos as you need, and all I’m sharing with you is what worked in my life.  There are three (3) essentials.  And, again, you’ve heard them from me before.  They’re honesty, open-mindedness, and the willingness to try.  Mike, for you, what is honesty?  Mike, what would you call honesty?

Mike:    Honesty is just the truth, inside and out, and with other people.

Jim:    Sure.  And, again, we get back to the difference between judgments and choice.  Judgements are where you stand back and you weigh alternatives.  You use your mind.  You use your past experience, your observations.  And, judgments are against some type of standard.  However, choices are freely made by yourself.  It’s the next right thing.  Honesty’s a choice, and that means being honest with others – and most importantly, being honest with yourself.  And, Mike, open-mindedness.  Talk to me about that.

Mike:    To me, it’s being open to different ideas – being open to different options, being open to maybe having to make a change.  

Jim:    Indeed.  Open-mindedness is being willing rather than willful.  Willful is being judgmental.  Willful is not being honest.  Willful is having the expert’s mind.  And, remember, the expert’s mind is like a thoroughbred horse – a magnificent creature, however, with a singleness of focus, and wears blinders, being disengaged from life.  Open-mindedness is having the beginner’s mind.  And, again, we’ve showed an example of that in a previous blog about beginner’s mind – showing the astonishment and wonder of a child.  So, we move on to the willingness to try.  And, what would that mean to you, Mike?

Mike:    The willingness to accept you don’t have all the answers.

Jim:    Indeed.  So, Mike, when I first started this podcast – when I first had the conception, the intention, the idea – I ran it by a number of people, and some of them said to me what if you fail?  Do you have any idea what my response was, Mike?

Mike:    Then you fail, and you move on to the next thing.

Jim:    Exactly.  Exactly.  I said well then I fail. Then I will fail.  The willingness to try is the willingness to leave shore and simply have some courage.  And, remember, courage is simply the ability to deal with fear – not necessarily to conquer it, to use it as a vehicle, to use its power, to use that wind in your sails.  Pretty simple, Mike.  

Mike:    It seems so.  

Jim:    Indeed.  Honesty, open-mindedness, and a willingness to try.  These are the three (3) things that can help you create yourself.  However, to do that we have to remember where are we at?  And, what time is it?  And, isn’t this truly the essence of Fishing Without Bait?  When we truly explore the concepts of honesty, open-mindedness, and a willingness to try, we will emerge from that chrysalis and begin to spread our wings.  Expand in color from the black and white, and impact your life right here and right now.  Let’s avoid paralysis by analysis.  And, if you find yourself paralyzed – if you find yourself stuck, simply pull out these three (3) ingredients out of your backpack.  Almost always, it’s over-analysis.  It’s your dysregulated mind.  Step back.  Become that observer.  Label and describe your thoughts and feelings.  And, as promised in the previous podcast, we’re going to now be moving on to values, choices, and goals – further helping to clarify the direction where we’ve aimed.  And, we begin to identify the passengers we’re carrying, and begin to make our own purposeful impact on the world, on a neighbor, on a friend, on a stranger – by a smile, a small act of kindness, showing courtesy and respect to everyone we meet.  Respect yourself and respect others.  Be good to yourself.  Forgive someone today.  Forgive yourself.  Namaste.   

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