As the sole director of this ongoing film that is your life, each one of your memories forms a single unit of investible currency into the budget. Invest wisely, generously and aggressively to develop the most awe-inspiring production that you can imagine.
And drink more water.
So, what was new this week in weird and wild?
Well to recap, Denver became the first city in US to completely decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms. Reports of boulders in undiscovered colors are predicted to skyrocket within the coming months.
The Rhode Island school district decided to stop serving hot lunches to kids who owe lunch money, and the decision was immediately reversed due to strong public backlash to lunch shaming. Between the policy’s swift retraction and the ongoing effort to manage school lunch debt, these events ultimately culminated in the term “lunch shaming” now being a real thing.
Six decades after the man who pocketed it emigrated to the states, a lost piece of Stonehenge that had been MIA for 60 years was finally returned to England. Naturally, the man who took it lives in Florida.
Pamela Anderson paid Julian Assange a visit in prison wearing a free speech blanket, calling him the world’s most innocent man. Tommy Lee may or may not have visited as well.
Uber and Lyft drivers held a strike to demand a $15 take-home pay guarantee. Meanwhile, other Uber and Lyft drivers who did not go on strike loved the extra money due to less competition.
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes expressed a desire to have the site broken up; as result, the remaining Facebook user base of far-removed family members aged 50 and up still don’t know what the hell is going on but reportedly still love both Minion memes and oversharing.
High 3-pointer count extraordinaire Steph Curry spoke unexpected words of defense for wife Ayesha Curry after she expressed her low DM count grievances. While Ms. Curry fanned the flames of controversy, Naomi Campbell brought a guy to Met Gala just to fan her dress. The rate paid per fan wave breeze was not publicly disclosed.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced the naming of their newborn son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Comedy writer Danny Baker of BBC became comedy writer Danny Baker formerly of BBC after ungraciously nicknaming Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor “the royal chimp”.
The majority responded with outrage and shock. 50% outrage at Barker’s insensitivity, a 25% shock at Baker’s stupidity, and another 25% shock from those left in the world who hadn’t realized that Meghan Markle is in fact not white.
Police raided a house in LA with well over 1,000 guns stockpiled by the owner, guaranteeing that the zombie apocalypse will now be 1000% less exciting in that neighborhood. At the same time, protesters against the start of a private police force at John Hopkins University were promptly arrested by the police in public.
In medical news, 2.4 million bottles of a generic drug for HIV prevention are planned for donation in 2020. And in a strike of karma strong enough to make 15 past lives cry at once, a Kentucky teenager who sued after being banned from school due to refusing chicken pox vaccination came down with the chicken pox.
Most importantly of all, this dog did not give a single damn.
Among the roller coaster of all these stories, one that struck me hardest of all was a story that likely flew under the radar for many compared to the others. It was a story about a barber paying kids to read books out loud while he cuts their hair.
Why did the story resonate with me so strongly? Well for starters, the article headline is just plain different. It’s something you see and just immediately “well dang, that right there’s a lil’ different! I’m gonna remember that for a minute.” You can’t help but nod at it. It’s a nice novel flavor in to mix things up in the infinite internet clickbait crayon box.
Now beyond all that, I like because it’s relevant. I think it’s relevant as hell to just about every single issue of human growth potential imaginable. Not human growth hormone, human spirit growth potential. Not just for lifting weight, but lifting personal challenges.
Read Between the Lines of Your Lifetime
Let’s make one thing clear beyond question: the barber’s simple read-out-loud program is basically a space and time-ripping spear that can pierce and explode at the same time to start new universes on impact. In a sense, it’s the alpha and and omega of all things perceivable. It’s powerful because of the fact that it’s a direct dive into the core of what is mindful. It’s immersion, self-initiated feedback, and an immediate reward for both.
A positive feedback loop from start to finish that leaves the child with threefold the benefits. Instead of just having a fresh cut, they’ve got a bit more change in their pocket and they’ve experienced a direct benefit from the effort of mindful attention: pay attention to the plot, receive a reward. It’s simple, and it’s the most flexible thing in the universe. Pay attention to your plot, receive infinite rewards. How could you define the aim of meditation more clearly than that?
Late last year, CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reported that meditation frequency had been on a skyrocketing rise throughout the nation. More than three times as many people meditated in 2017 compared to 2012.
Now then, just what is meditation again? Webster’s Dictionary defines it as something of a mental exercise/contemplation/reflection (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness.
The definition of meditation is simple enough, but who said it had to be done sitting completely still?
The most common conception of meditation is that it’s something done while remaining entirely stationary, but that’s just a means to an end. The end is the mindset, not motionlessness.
The ultimate objective of all meditation isn’t just to become the best in the world at sitting still, it’s to achieve a state of mind that’s grounded like a pillar built on a perfectly stable foundation of the present. Upon this foundation, there’s no swaying into needless distracting thoughts about the past or anxious worries about the future.
Now take the idea of that perfectly founded mental “lock” on the present moment and put it alongside the state of constant, aggressive action instead of sitting still on the floor. Let’s say that instead of just sitting cross legged and focusing on the present moment for a more consciously grounded state of zen, you carry the strength of that zen with you while you’re working on the move.
I propose the notion that by putting all the recollections we’ve learned about our experiences in the past on autopilot, we can create an avatar of our own consciousness that independently meditates while you tackle your missions on the outside.
Just like the kids in that barber’s chair getting paid to read the books out loud, this automatic zen memory recall power achievable by reading the subtext of our own experiences out loud. Essentially, reading between the lines of your own experiences. It’s the gap you can bridge between what’s happened and what can happen if you get serious about making it actionable.
Optimistically Invest Those Past Experience Point Checks
Reading between the lines of the lifetime clearly calls for some serious memory tapping. Played any memory games lately? Used some fun facts in your memory banks to win a few brownie points for buffalo wing money at the pub? Well this ain’t about bar trivia.
Well actually, it is just a little bit like that. Only the fun facts are all about you and the money can be used to buy any and everything in the world you can get your hands on. Even if it can’t be bought. That’s the value of turning memory into currency for self-investment.
Plenty of people underestimate the cash they keep on hand. Not to say that they don’t understand exactly what they can do with it or whatever, but more like it’s just easy to forget how that cash really adds up. $2 there, $4 there, it’s like dust in the wind. Little drinks at the coffee shop or bar, micro-transactions for boosts in smartphone games, all kinds of things out there are designed to stop the sense of the money you have actually have being real money that matters. The same could be said of your memories.
Spending money on little unconscious purchases and letting the lessons of the past fade are both a bit like letting the faucet run all day for no reason. Then the bill comes and it’s like, oh fuck, this shit is real water. That’s the idea of recognizing what weight the little teachable moments we go through actually carry when they’re collected together in form of rewards and consequences.
Take every single experience you’ve had as a check. Every one of these experience checks be cashed in for a reward of the right value. Don’t dwell on the fact the checks exist by being sucked into traps like regret. Instead, acknowledge all that can be gained from the value that’s in reach due to what you’ve gained. You’ve earned the check through the effort of living, and now your future is that much more potentially abundant because of it.
Time to Production Completion: Your Excellence ETA
Of course, almost no worthwhile investment happens right away. It takes time to build up ROI. Some people like to describe the results of hard work as a series of lagging indicators. Those people are geniuses.
We’ve all heard the metaphor of the “pot of boiling water” and how vital it is not to watch it. Personally, I’m a bit more fond of the movie metaphor. And since Endgame came out pretty recently, let’s look at it from the frame of making a movie like the Avengers from script to credits.
Just like how most fast-paced action movies with tons of fight scenes, high-speed chases and explosions are actually extremely boring when in the process of being filmed.
All that monotonous set building, lighting adjustment, audio calibrating, and then take after take with no sound besides what the actors are saying and noise in the studio. And before that, think about the hours spent writing the script, proofreading it, editing it, formatting it.
And all the numbers that have to get crunched for production expenses, cast/crew payroll and filming location reservations. And then think about the hours of video editing in post-production that need to go into making just one scene ready for the final cut.
Over a thousand super fucking slow days and long nights of tedious and repetitive tasks that ultimately culminate in like 90 minutes of entertainment that the audience actually gets to see. That is the the time you invest into self-improvement compressed to a nutshell.
And honestly? The fact that the audience is only going to make up less than 1% of the planet that has eyes laid on you at any given moment in time really doesn’t matter in the slightest. What matters is that you’re satisfied by the show.
You are pleased with what all the time turning those memories into movie mastery come around to, and you do not mind doing it all over again for as many sequels as you can fit into your tenure as director.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu
This is why I specifically used the word invest in the title here and not cash them in. The distinction means a lot. To cash in the currency of your memories would be an immediate return in the short run, like a caveman understanding that he can’t impregnate fire and refraining from trying again.
In the long run, we’re talking about seeing the results of progress that culminate in constant application from constant previous lessons re-taught in multiple forms. You’ve got full creative control in this movie. Don’t let anybody else call the shots in the process unless they’re going to provide some real value to the vision.