When I came to, I was buck naked on the floor of a shower, getting hosed down by two correctional officers. I say that now but at the time I had no clue what was going on or where I was. All I remembered was being awake for 9 days, a high-speed chase, escaping a predator, and totaling a vehicle that wasn’t mine. I was trying to explain to the arresting officer, shirtless in a field in the middle of nowhere, that this was all a big misunderstanding. “I’m here filming a documentary about Donald Trump.” All this, while the totaled car was smoking on the side of the road. “Say no more,” said officer Jones. That’s when the handcuffs went on.
A week earlier I had flown out to Indiana for a change of scenery in an attempt to right the ship that was my life. Clearly, I had miscalculated how that would work out.
I sat there in the cell trying to figure out which part of my plan had failed. What circumstance, specifically, had caused this circus show. Did I pick the wrong state? Bad batch of speed? Stay up for too long? Shouldn’t have done that sedative while driving? Was I really there to film a documentary about The Donald? Probably not.
As I scratched my head, I started to realize that for a guy with a whole lot of brilliant plans and resolutions, they seemed to fail a lot. I would love to tell you that was my moment of clarity, but unfortunately it wasn’t. It wouldn’t be until a couple years later that I discovered the truth and “happiness” I had been searching for.
Please don’t use this story as a reason to not relate. I know…not everyone gets the opportunity to be a resident of the Decatur County Jail but stay with me.
My whole adult life I had been trying to seek that level of happiness I thought I had been screwed out of. What had I done to deserve that feeling of discontent, sadness, loneliness, and restlessness? Instead of addressing it, I distracted myself with drugs, money, and unhealthy relationships.
My life looked like an unstable heart monitor, moments of joy followed by sudden plunges of misery and internal conflict. Of course, I didn’t tell anyone this because, God forbid, I look weak or vulnerable. Nor could I imagine that anyone could help me with this problem because I thought I was different. How could someone else come up with a better plan for me than…well, me?
What I hadn’t realized is that I had missed a huge piece of the puzzle.
I had a flawed perception of what “happiness” really was. There’re tons of people, like me, that associate happiness with the imagery that movies, Instagram, and fiction books portray. Basically, we’ve been getting fucked from the start. The ideas I used to harbor about a romantic relationship, material object, or anything else I acquired in the material world making me happy, were a lie. The concept of happiness being sustainable is a lie.
Contentment is what I was searching for. Contentment is a congruent line with fulfillment. Unlike a heart monitor, where the peaks are happiness and the lows are morbid self-reflection. We tend to think that when we aren’t at the peak, something must be wrong.
I can tell you that for myself, the reason I was so unhappy is because my sole purpose was seeking “happiness”. Which, in and of itself, is selfish. When my plans and resolutions would fail, I would stew over how the plan had failed and feel sorry for myself. Which, by definition, is self-pity. During this whole cycle all I was thinking about was myself. I was so selfish that I couldn’t see it. Never had it occurred to me that self-centeredness was at the core of my failure.
I tried to fill that void with “more” of anything. Still, nothing could satisfy that thirst.
I am a firm believer that what you put out into this world is sure to come back to you. My revelation occurred when I got myself into a position to be helpful to others. I changed my actions and eventually the way I thought and the perception I had, changed with it. Where the body goes, the mind will follow. The more I concerned myself with what I could pack into the stream of life, the better the quality of my life became.
Whenever I feel I’m not getting something I deserve, I know something is missing. Gratitude. The key to the kingdom. I’ve been told gratitude is an action and I would agree with that. It was the feeling I received after giving myself, freely, to someone else’s aid combined with the acknowledgement of where I came from and the recognition that I now had the ability to give it back and be helpful.
Finally, the missing ingredient that could satiate the unquenchable thirst of the void.
It all started with a small strive towards open mindedness. If you don’t try something different, nothing will change. You will be stuck in the perpetual cycle of average, where life is comfortably uncomfortable. This isn’t for everyone. Some people are just naturally this way and others have to work for it. It’s the journey that builds your character and molds you into the person you want to be. Staying open minded is a growing process. It’s taking a pass on “good enough.”
I don’t ever want to try and convince myself when I’m 99 years old (hopefully) that my life was “good enough” or accept the fallacy that life and circumstance had the ability to dictate my freedom and happiness. I don’t want to regret “playing it smart” or not saying what I mean out of fear that people might not agree with it or think differently of me. I want to rest easy knowing I took chances, tried new things, and had a hell of a time doing it.
Being content is a personal responsibility contingent upon willingness to continually grow both mentally and spiritually. Two necessary tools needed for growth are open mindedness and self-awareness. There is no finish line to growth, just a marathon of life and the open mindedness and awareness we bring to it. The pathway to being content is built on the perception of our simulation and what we did to make it better for ourselves, our family, and our neighbor. Not what we were able to take from it to mask some form of insecurity.
Serving others and a purpose larger than yourself is the most forgotten virtue of our time. Everyone has the ability to give something incredible back, but many refuse unless it has a selfish motive or personal gain attached to it. In a world where personal achievement is valued over personal relationships, the person who took nothing, gave back, and received everything has found abundance.
I want you to buy into yourself.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can completely change everything and start living a life beyond your imagination, then you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re hesitant and skeptical, then I’m absolutely positive you’ve also come to the right person.
You don’t have to take my word for it, I’ll let you take a test drive and then you can decide whether or not you’re sold on me.