I pulled out a few notebooks and books this morning as I felt re-energized about some topics that really grabbed my attention years ago. Not only did they just grab my attention, but they changed my perspective on life. Learning what I did was the first time that this life started to make sense for me. I absorbed a lot of the information and worked on implementing it into my day to day. My eyes were open and how I saw the world was through a new pair of lenses. Truly, nothing else seemed to matter, this seemed like the answer to everything I had been missing.
Then my phone rang, emails rolled in, work had fires that needed to be put out, I read another book, watched a movie, played a game, changed professions, then there was that whole “pandemic” thing. It all seems like a faint memory and one that’s kind of foggy if I’m being honest.
So how much really got absorbed? Well, considering it was about 40 pages of notes, a 300 page book, and other reading I really only flipped through… it has to be somewhere around ooooooooh 5% if my brain is really firing and if all the shiny objects in the room are hidden from my view. Look, I got a text message!
Some people really do memorize information better than others. I’m part of “the others.” What’s wild, is that I don’t think I’ve ever been intrinsically good at anything I’ve ever done. At no point in my life, do I have a memory of picking up something new and thinking, “I’m really good at this!” Martial arts? NOPE. Writing? LOL. Video games? Get real. Communicating? Anyone that knows me has heard me say “Words are hard.” Honestly, I envy those people that pick things up quickly. Not in some negative way, but like a “Damn, that would be cool to do… just once.” The only way I’ve gotten relatively decent at anything is by continuing to show up. Enjoying the process, knowing that nothing I ever do the first time will be good. Come to terms with it quickly and if it’s anything different, then it’s a nice surprise.
Although, it seems to be a double-edged sword for those people that can learn so quickly because they get bored just as quickly. They never seem to master anything, but just bounce from one hobby or craft to another. Nothing really sticks for long because they already “got it.”
This goes back to these books that I’ve read all of once or the seminars I’ve taken all of once – there’s still SO MUCH MORE to learn. So many times I’ve finished a book, put it down, ordered a new one to fill the void. Taken a seminar, drilled the techniques or filled the notebook, then walked away from it for years only to see it again and go, “OH YEAH” in a moment that might as well be a firm slap in the face. “I knew that!” Nope noooooooooo you didn’t! “Well, not me personally… but this guy I know. He and her GOT IT ON!” Nope nooooooooo they didn’t. “Yeah… but you could imagine what it’d be like.” Impulse is a bitch, I apologize.
Instead of learning the material, drilling my techniques, re-reading a book that would intensify my knowledge on a subject that interests me… I spent my time watching Billy Madison 300 times. Jesus H Christ that’s sad, but still hilarious.
Full Disclosure – At my worst… on my days off after I graduated high school, I used to find movies that I could rewatch, buy a large container of sweet and sour fried chicken, get a pound of Sour Patch Kids… and gorge. Ugh. Can’t believe I even have a working pancreas anymore. So now anyone that understands why I’m a health freak, it wasn’t always like this. But I’ll still fuck up a large pizza from time to time. Earned meals, not cheat meals.
Does depression come from a lack of fulfillment and creativity? Lack of purpose? Lack of goals? There wasn’t any real drive during the summer season before college. I suppose it was exactly that, right? Working nights at a restaurant, days at the beach, barely hitting the gym because “why exercise” when you’re not playing sports? Goddamn, what a mess I was. But practice forgiveness and all that jazz. Sitting around waiting for life to happen is never a way to live.
Rambling aside, if you’ve only read something once, practiced something one day… even forgiveness, how well do you know something? I only said I was grateful for this life once today, that’s not enough. The fact that I’m breathing, that I CAN go to the gym, that I have a car to drive, that I’m able to enjoy the sunshine… it should be practiced every few minutes.
“Practice makes perfect.”
Not entirely… PERFECT and CONSISTENT practice makes perfect. Some people use rubber bands on their wrists to remind themselves, some people use tattoos, some people use Post-it’s, some people use doorways (yes, every time they walk through a doorway it’s used as a reminder. I forget where I heard this concept, but I know I actually did. Doesn’t work for me, but to each their own). You have to figure out what works for you. Leave the book out so you read it, schedule some time to practice your movements/stretching, wake up early to practice your breathing (that one always gets me, but it’s important). Habit, routine, and reminders seem to be key for making that progress we want. Take action instead of thinking about what to do. Practicing anything is better than practicing nothing.
So before you order a new book, check the bookshelf and ask yourself, “Did I really squeeze these books for all they were worth? Is there more to learn from them? How well do I actually know them? What’s Veronica Vaughn up to these days?”