Man With a Mission

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“Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” – Seneca

Alexander The Great had a mission, he wanted to conquer the world. We can attack or defend his motives, but this isn’t the goal here. The one thing we can be certain is that he had one clear purpose and he didn’t deflect from it. Only death stopped him.

In each part of our life, we have a mission: work, community, relationships, education, hobbies and the list goes on. Those missions are different from one individual to another. Some people will have only one mission, others will have more. There are no rules about that.

What are your missions? It’s important to ask the question. It’s the only way to have a clear picture. It’s the only way to know if what we do matter or not. Missions will evolve. Some will stay. Some will go. But, you need to know them.

Judgment Day

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My whole outlook on life is, never judge a book by its cover.Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Last week I was at home with my girlfriend. As usual, we were fighting over which movie we would watch. She suggested Paddington. My first reaction was:”It will be total shit“. After a few minutes I surrendered. We watched to whole thing. To my surprise…it was good. Nothing amazing, but good entertainment.

I remember when my brother was reading Game of Thrones.  He introduced me to the TV show right after the first episode was aired. I seriously thought it would be awful. I watch it and I was instantly sold. I’ve been a fan of the show ever since. I’ve read all five books of the series.

Why am I telling these little stories? Good question. As you can see, both these anecdotes as one thing in common: we make ignorant judgment. The same pattern repeat itself everywhere. This can go from people to cultures to ideas. We judge what we don’t know.

I could say that Winnipeg is a boring city (nothing personnal Winnipeggers). I’ve probably already said it in the past. The truth is that I’ve never set my foot there. I have no idea if it’s boring or not. In that case, I should simply shut my mouth. I could say that “it look boring“, but that I would need to see for myself to make a proper judgment.

The wise abstain from making judgment until he experience. That’s what we should aim for.

The Everlasting Rush

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“God made time, but man made haste.” Irish Proverb

You’ve probably identified Jason Statham on the picture above. That was from the movie Crank released in 2006. I don’t intend to do a review of that movie…don’t worry! Anyway, if you don’t know about it,  it’s just a popcorn flick to tune the brain at off. To shut the rush in our heads for one small moment. The movie is about Chev Chelios a mobster in Los Angeles. At the beginning of the movie he’s poisoned by a mafia boss for a reason that I forget. He will die in less than 24 hours. The poison affect Statham’s character slowly. With time it is making is heart become slower and slower until the fatal moment. His only way to survive and commit vengeance in the end, is to keep is heart pumping.

All options are considered. The character will take incredible amount of energy drinks, drinking red bull after red bull. Chelios will use drugs to speed is heart. He’ll even have sex in public. And yes…he will us booster cables on his tongue (or what is it in Crank 2? Nobody cares). You see the pattern? The movie goes at an incredible speed. Things are just moving too fast. It last an hour and half with non stop action. I know that the movie in itself doesn’t make sense at all. It’s purely fiction and hollywoodian. The point here is that our life is most likely the same as Jason Statham character. We don’t acknowledge it, but we are in a constant hurry. We finish item A, to start item B, before starting item C.  In other words, we do one thing to do the next. You brain always want the next thing, the new stuff or the new thrill. Your life is on booster cables non stop.

It’s something we tend to lose focus on. We forget about the haste of modern life. It’s just what it is. It’s normal. The rush will most likely only finish when we’ll be 6 feet under. It’s sad but true. I was trying to find where we went wrong. Where did we take the path to always be in a hurry? Most likely it’s not something that come from human nature. We see a lot of examples of cultures that don’t encourage that behavior. We can see that in the last 150 years, our relationship with time has change dramatically. The cause would be the rise of the machines. The industrial revolution. Remember Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Time? This is a great depiction of our modern relation with time. What is ironic is that we thought 60 or 70 years ago, that every work would be done by robots in the year 2000. You don’t have to take a time travel to ask the question, just ask your parents or grand parents.The idea was that robot would do all the work and that human would have all the time in the world. It seem we got in the opposite direction.

More technologies than ever and less time than ever. Instead of finding more time with technologies, we simply do more. We are in an era where time is scarce. The great depression of time. It’s already a start to know that we are part of the everlasting rush. But unlike the movie Crank, the clock will still race in 24 hours. We will still wake up and get some shit done. Probably at an incredible speed. We will cross every stuff on that god damn to-do list. Then, we’ll start again the next day. In truth, we are responsible for all of that. We are the creator of the everlasting rush. We are perpetuating it. And it will never end, unless we choose to. I could end here with crappy self-help stuff like “live in the moment”, “be simple” or “doing less”. I won’t, I just wanted to hit the nails. I don’t have magic pill for all of this. Napoleon Bonaparte is a better teacher than I am. I’ll let him finish. He said:Order marches with weighty and measured strides. Disorder is always in a hurry.The everlasting rush is disorder. Find the order and you’ll find the cure. It’s probably easier to say than to do.

The Perfect Story

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I’m always surprised when people are like, ‘I want to be just like Don Draper’. You want to be a miserable drunk? The outside looks great, the inside is rotten. – Jon Hamm

Everything always seem better elsewhere. The sun is always brighter far away. This is a common feeling that we have. We tend to look at others and compare ourselves. Others are always more lucky. Take a closer look and you’ll start seeing the misrepresentation of your thinking. 

Your friend Eric is a party animal. He’s always down to go out and drink. He’s the first to order more drinks and shooters. He seem to have so much fun. He’s the definition of cool. He get along well with all the people. Monday, Wednesday or Saturday? It doesn’t matter for him. Every day is the weekend. In reality, he’s an alcoholic. He’s constantly wearing a mask. He’s drinking to forget all his problems. He doesn’t want to look at the reality. He’s 32 years old in a dead-end job because he didn’t finish school and he doesn’t know where he’s going with is life.

Your girlfriend’s sister Anne is the definition of the perfect girl. She’s a hot blond, with a perfect ass and big round boobs. She’s hot, sexy and all your friends want her. The truth? She’s obsess about her look. She’s spending 12 hours a week in her local gym to keep her perfect ass. She keep a close and perfectionist look at her nutrition. Her boobs are fake. She’s thinking of getting them even bigger because she has a limiting belief that they are too small. She’s not comfortable with herself. All of this started because she think she’s ugly and too fat. Men’s attention is her fuel. Without it, she would fall into depression.

Your neighbor Sam is rich. He has a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S of the year and a crazy huge house. He’s always in expensive restaurants. He is making you jealous with his 20 000$ swimming pool. The reality? He’s dead broke. If he lose his job, he’s in total bankrupt. Is fortune is the result of loaded credit cards, bank loans and a mortgage that his choking him. By the way, the Porsche is paid weekly. He can’t sleep at night because of his money worries. Stress is eating him from inside. All you see about him is a mist. You don’t see the real situation behind your neighbor’s facade.

Your friend Dave is always bragging about how many girls he’s f*cking. He’s constantly saying that he’s the real deal, that every women want him. You see him living the great bachelor life. The reality? He fell that he was a looser in high school. He’s trying to get back at what he missed 10 years ago. He’s trying to prove himself that he can get all the girls he want. He want to show “them” how he became something else. He’s lonely, he would like to have a girlfriend, but he’s afraid of commitment.

You think these stories are exaggerations? Maybe they are, maybe not. Never forget that the grass is always greener on the other side. The perfect stories are most of the time not what you think they are. You would trade your life? You would be surprise in what you would get your shoes into. No humans are perfect. We all have our problems, even the last people you would think of. Perfect stories don’t exist.