Family is in town and I have once again been summoned to help them find their way through the autism maze. I don’t know them well, as is often the case with extended family, but I am always happy to help when I can. As we talk, I am reminded of my own misery in that I continue to make strides in a life I do not want -and- I continue to accept help to that end. I am not sure how I am fit to give this woman advise on how to help her autistic child progress when I am still not sitting on the throne of my own success.
If anything, these events are making me think about what I really want and how to achieve it. For the last two New Year’s, resolution wise, I had vowed I would think positive. Every morning, upon waking I would look at my reflection and say “By this time next year, I will be a millionaire.” I don’t need to be a millionaire, nor do I care that much about money, but I thought the mindset would propel me forward. It did, for a little while. With each month, my income improved slightly and I found myself acting more assertively when it came to getting proper pay for my services. It also pushed me to rebuild my website, narrow my expenses and improve my exposure by joining in on various forms of social media and scheduling more live events. I did grow, just not as much as I had hoped.
The problem, I have found, is no longer my state of mind, but my state of being. Your mind can believe that you can move mountains, but if the hands won’t carry the stones then your belief is futile. I realize that I need a motive to change my state of being. The phrase “this time next year” has given me hope, but it is an infinite deadline that I do not have to physically make happen. I have also managed to avoid admitting failure. Failure; there’s is a word we have made into a social black hole. When did we decide it was a bad thing to fail? Failure means we tried. Failure means we applied effort but found ways that are broken, inconsistent, ephemeral or impractical for our personal applications. We fear failure where we should really fear capitulation. Maybe what I have really done is found a fancy way to avoid taking action.
The act of fearing failure no longer seems rational, but I have to determine the source of my uncertainty. Given my infinitely geeky ways, I immediately think of the uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics which basically states it is impossible to measure the current position of a particle and the future motion of a particle at the same time. True, this only applies to particles small enough to be governed by quantum mechanics, but I think it could certainly shadow my own existence. Perhaps I was so busy measuring my current position in life that I was unable to properly predict the proper path to my future position. Or, maybe I was so fixated on my future progression, I forgot to measure my current position. Either way, I am left with two fixed points with no real solution on how to travel between them, so it is time to make a change.
If I dilute myself to a word problem, what I really have here is a distance problem, d=rt. This time, I know how far I want to go, distance (d), and I know how much time I want to use to get there (t). All I need now is to figure out how fast I need to move, or in this case how much work I need to do to achieve success (r). It becoming clear to me that 2012 will be the year of r. To solve for r, I will have to strip my goals of any financial limitations, personal strife or public criticism and funnel my goals into strict timelines, all which will collectively fit into a time period of 1 year. Please pass the Pepto Bismal.
Solving for r is going to push me into overdrive if I plan to complete all my tasks in one year. In order to be efficient, I think I am going to have to prioritize my smaller goals and categorize them into three main categories – Reset, Energize and Establish. Reset consists of actions that restore my financial life to a debt free status. (My debt is a status I entered recently following a divorce.) Energize consists of actions that increase my earning potential or my assets. Establish consists of actions that settle me into my final destination as a successful contributor to the entertainment industry residing in Southern California.
I will also have to embrace my failures more specifically so that I don’t repeat them. I think my mistake in the past has been thinking I had to achieve everything with no help in order to be independent. Maybe I do need to do things on my own to be independent, at least on the popular view of independence as the “I am my own island,” survivor crap, but it is a waste of energy to focus on this. Why would I work so hard to climb Mount Everest alone? The self-satisfaction of knowing I made the climb? That’s not for me. I know I can make the climb. I’d rather have someone to share the moment with. It seems to me that my best energy arises when my dreams come to reality with a little help from my friends. I will need to ask for and accept help before I lose control.
So, 2012 is the year of r. Maybe my goals this year are huge and possibly unreachable, to most people, but I don’t care. I would rather be a dreamer and fail, than be assuaged by realism.