I was going to name this, The Tim Ferriss Delusion, but do you know who he is? I wasn’t sure. There was a moment when I the envied people like Tim Ferriss. Those who make book writing and mega-blogging look easy. They are the gods and goddesses of the internet. There’s also another side. Well, I got perspective. And I used my smarts. People, don’t buy into the grand delusions and oversized egos of the overnight success stories. They will brainwash you and sell you the ocean. The truth can come out if you’ll let it. Oh…that was easy?
I stumbled across a podcast where one of my favorite bloggers gets rather harsh on air with the host. Penelope Trunk Calls Bullshit On Me. Yeah, that’s the title. She tells him he needs to define his goal. In my words, not hers, he is under the Tim Ferriss delusion.
We must structure a life that’s comfortable for us. Make it workable. What’s most important? It’s easy to let small things fill up space. I can waste more time trying to decide which picture to post at the top of each weekly blog entry than it takes to write the blog. That’s ridiculous. Rarely does it matter.
“The road to hell is paved by perfectionists working with grains of sand. Uh-oh… Missed a spot.” Sarah Ban Breathnach – Simple Abundance
If You Want It:
Write down your goals. Know what you want from the beginning. Let your family know. Tell your friends. Don’t be ashamed or hide it, unless they are going to sabotage you. Get help and support if you need it. When I was in my last writing sprint, http://nanowrimo.org/ helped me hit my goal. It was the crunch and the ideas of other people that helped.
Limit your resources. We use the elimination diet to find what’s causing our food allergies. In the same way, we can use a media elimination to find what’s disturbing our peace and equanimity. Whether it’s the news or social media, start dropping them.
Structure your time to put the extra projects you want to get done early in the day. I’ve been getting up at 5:00 A.M. to do my book editing. Silly? Well, it’s either then or wait until I come home in the evening. I tried doing that, and other obligations kept limiting my time. It was a hit and miss. I found I was sporting a ‘tude. Angry at the world is not a good look for me.
Nothing happens by mere thought alone. Sorry to all of The Secret lovers. Even Stephen King took a job. But he purposely chose one where he could write while he worked also. He was intentional. He had a goal. If you have time, I recommend listening to the podcast I mentioned above. Yes, it’s harsh. But there are some gold nuggets in there.
They say that if you believe you’re crazy, you probably aren’t And of course the opposite could be true. So from now on, I will walk up to complete strangers asking, “Are you crazy?” That way I know who around me has lost their marbles. It’s wise to know your surroundings.
2. Are others backing away from you?
Are they whispering? Telling you to calm down? Or just avoiding your space? First do the smell test. Armpits? Check. Breath? Check. Hair? Check. Look in the mirror to make sure there is no demon writing on your face or your eyes aren’t glowing red. After that, check the words that are coming out of your mouth? Are you talking nonstop? To yourself or to a live person? If you are talking to yourself, are you having a full conversation? Stand still. Perfectly motionless. Put your hand to your ear as if you have an earpiece. Turn your head to the side as if you are listening to someone. Smile at everyone as they pass by and nod. Wave. You’re not crazy. You’re talking on your miniature mobile. It’s tucked neatly inside your ear. This could be avoided next time by buying a cheap Bluetooth system. Put it on your ear and you are permanently on the phone. Important people do it all the time.
3. Is your life mundane?
This to me is the kicker. If you worry that you have lost your mind and are really locked away in some ward or nursing facility, here’s a sure way to tell. Is your life full of adventure? Always jetting off to some island retreat? Meeting with VIPs? Drinking bubbly at noon, when you’re not on some top-secret mission. If this is the case, you might be crazy. Otherwise, if your life is full of with laundry, grocery shopping, carpooling, data entry, and generally boring repetitive activities, then it’s safe to say you’re okay. You’ve passed the test. Or you’re in hell. Who among us would have an imaginary life that boring?
Pass the sanity test?
If I lose my mind and my sanity is ever in question, I do hope I find myself in a wonderland of sunshine and sand. Some sparkling beach is calling my name and my mission is to hold it down. Keep it company because it’s lonely. Beaches need love too. And who am I to question a calling from on high?
Usually when someone’s mind is gone, they become some religious figure and feel the need to fight the devil. That one I want to avoid. An endless fight against evil? Goodness. Even God probably wants to call a timeout on that war.
If I was to go crazy, I might be involved in some espionage, but I’d like to pick an interesting, seductive personality. I would be able to speak French, German, Italian, and Russian fluently. And of course I’d drive a fast car. I’d wear diamonds on my fingers and toes. My ears also.
Maybe I have gone crazy.
I think I’d like to talk to the aliens. I’ve always wondered about life on other planets and galaxies. It’s a big world out there or so it seems. Of course it’s possible it’s all an illusion and there is only us. We could be talking to ourselves when we send out those probes. Talking to ourselves? Do you think the others are ignoring us? Avoiding us? Do we stink? Glowing eyes?
Aha! We are the crazy planet. The people who rocket to the moon just to plant our flag. We are the people who fight over little strips of ground that could be covered up by the ocean in 20 or so years. No delusional personality disorders around here. No jockeying for status by proclaiming our country as being superior. Only a crazy person would need to argue over who owns the soil under their feet. It reminds me of children arguing over who mommy loves most.
Did I go too far? Don’t mind me, I’m just the crazy one.
Seriously though, delusional people are sure of their place. They aren’t easily swayed by the doubts of others. You can explain logically and even show them proof that what they believe false. They aren’t swayed by logic. They feel it deep within themselves.
So how do you know if you are crazy? Maybe we are all crazy. Maybe we are the delusions in the mind of a crazy god. I don’t know. It seems there is a fine line between true belief and delusion. Between confidence and illusions of grandeur. So I pray that if I ever do lose touch with my so-called reality, that I can create a reality that is enjoyable. Not one where the people in dark glasses and trench coats are following me. I don’t want to spend my fantasy hours hiding from an unreal villain.
I had a quick grasp of the secret to sanity, it had become the ability to hold the maximum of impossible combinations in one’s mind.-Norman Mailer
Is there a way to prevent madness? I’m going to try.
First by not taking myself and my beliefs so seriously. It seems counter-intuitive but it seems it is the way of insanity to get swept up in the big ideas of an unreal world. Maybe it’s because it gives us a purpose. We all need a reason to get out of bed in the morning. And most of our lives are mundane. Living is mundane. Unless you make it something interesting.
So my second way of preventing total delusion will be to Live! Take life and fill it with what makes me happy and makes me feel alive. I don’t want to wait until I lose my mind to visit a beautiful beach again. Maybe I should get some brochures and start learning a new language. Please God don’t let me forget how to live.
True sanity comes from being present in my NOW. Seeing the mundane and choosing to finish the laundry and buy the groceries. Watching a funny movie with friends and petting my cat even when she’s annoying.
One of the definitions of sanity is the ability to tell real from unreal. Soon we’ll need a new definition.-Alvin Toffler