Real value never exists at the surface. You must always, always, always dig. If you don’t have to work for it, it’s not worth anything.
I don’t want to be cool. I don’t care about showing off nice things. I want my wealth to be vast and hidden. I don’t want to be smart or clever, I want to be wise and cunning.
I met with my mentor today. He took me out to lunch. He’s only four or five years older than me, but he has a family and is financially free. No debt. He sets his work hours. He doesn’t owe a dime to anyone. Whether or not he’s professionally where I want to be is debatable, but he’s the ruler of his life and that’s the advice and wisdom I aim to glean from him. He’s always a great, genuine, caring, kind, and passionate human being. I need to surround myself with those people.
I want to work towards something, for someone. Not just myself. Whenever I think about “love” a passion wells up within me and I’m overtaken with an all consuming “will power”, with a concentrated focus to accomplish anything and everything. Nothing can stand in my way when I recall the desirous love I have within me. What is this love? Where does it come from? It’s seated in a place where memories merge with many people, but it focuses on a very specific person, or at least a very specific type of person: the type of person who commands me to be better than myself. Those people are all but the rarest.
I don’t want glitter and shimmer. I want weight. I want artistic craft. I want something worthwhile, something enduring, that lasts. It won’t be material.
The wisest people continually evaluate their influences. They maintain an acute self-awareness. It’s second nature, a natural habit.
Are my relationships healthy? Are those around me going where I want to go? Do they possess the values I admire in others? If not, get new friends. I have no oath to a friend other than to be the best I can be. If a friend ceases being the best to himself, he’s failed himself, and he’s failing me. He doesn’t have to be the best to me; only to himself. I need those people around me: people who are true to themselves. I get one life. I need to choose my friends wisely. Some people don’t even choose me. I choose them. For some reason I make up my mind that a certain person is going to be my friend forever. And I do whatever it takes so that they’re the best caliber person they can possibly be. And I do my best to be the best person I can be. In this way we lift each other towards our dreams.
“To forget one’s purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.” —Nietzsche
How true. How many people even have a purpose? How many people float on? Listless and idle. If you can’t see where you are going, you’ll never get there. And I’m not talking literally, I’m talking figuratively. You need to have an idea of where the finish line lies if you’re ever going to navigate across it. You need to know the name, or at least the location of the destination if you’re set on accomplishing anything in this life.
My purpose? To exert my influence onto the world by empowering others to empower themselves. I do not want anyone to think as I do. I want them to feel as I do, and think whatever they want. How do I feel? I am in love: with the world, with people, with myself, with possibility and potential. My time is limited and, as a result, so are my thoughts. This moment will not last forever. But feelings? Ah! They endure, in the hearts and minds of others. Ideas: feelings bursting with thought. Live with character and thoughts will blossom upon circumstance, upon command.
Are my friends good for me? Not really. I mean, they don’t want what I want. My dreams are too wild. Yes, too wild. How can I say that? Because no one has gone where I want to go. There is no existing map, no role model, no vanes pointing in the right direction. It is uncharted territory. And I’m willing to make the sacrifices I need to, the changes I need to, in order to accomplish these dreams. Because I know that my dreams will never happen any other way.
“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”
Most of my friends drift, like most people. They ride on habit. They cruise on custom, on convention. They never take real risk. They would prefer to stay comfortable, to reaffirm what they already believe. They would hate to be wrong. They would hate to fail. So they do things that justify themselves to themselves, and the change they experience is so subtle, so gentle. It’s almost no change at all.
I buck this lifestyle. There is no growth without change. If you want radical growth, you need radical change. Patience is good too, but never underestimate the power of change: changing friends, changing environments, changing interests, changing mindsets, changing lifestyles, habits, intensities, addictions, you name it. It will provide a renewed perspective, one that can open you up to unforeseen opportunity. Change breeds empathy because all change, all good and healthy change, brings a level of adversity that requires you to be greater than you’ve been before.
Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships.
Who wouldn’t agree with such sententious speak? It’s cliche. No one understands what it really means: figuring out which friendships are right is where the real wisdom lies. Most people read this quote and think “Ah yes! My friends are great! I choose such great friends!” and they never consider how mediocre their friends are, how mediocre they allow their friends to be. But this all depends on where you want to go. And that all depends on the quality of your dreams, or whether you dream at all, whether your aspirations ever take flight. Most people imitate, they mimic, and their lives reek of desperation, of mediocrity. Such poor dreams. Where is the defiance? Where is the boldness to pursue a higher calling?
Mirror neurons: these little bastards keep us behaving in ways incongruent to our deepest convictions. We simply reflect what other people are doing, and we feel so comfortable, like we fit in. We never realize how much injustice we’re doing to our dreams by socializing with people who aren’t going where we want to go.