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Brain Reboot in 2013

line Brain Reboot in 2013

If you are a human, you’ve probably discovered that reaching your BIG PICTURE year end goals/resolutions (whatever you want to call them) are not that easy.  If you are not a human…Salutations, brethren.

The fact of the matter is that the things that we intend to happen often times wont work out exactly how we expect them to.  However, I’ve learned in the past year that if you are open to interpretation and adaptation you can still achieve what you have set out to.

The Tornado

I dedicated the year 2o13 to ‘education’.  I expected to further my professional knowledge depth by taking extra-curricular classes and staying more diligent in my required daily industry research.  Knowing my shortcomings, deeply rooted in procrastination, I signed up for an online business class with Coursera in January.  January, as to not wind up crunching a years worth of agenda into late November.  Already I had felt accomplished.

After falling behind within in week 1, not completing the required study materials in week 2, and deciding that staring at my monitor was not a well matched learning procedure in week 3;  I became discouraged.  The required means of studying (sitting in front of a monitor after sitting in front of a monitor for 8 hours) just didn’t spark any solid resolve out of me.   I wanted to get better through study, I just couldn’t push through the distractions.  My birthday came and went, and per usual, I reflected on my lifetime of accomplishments.  As the perfect storm brewed of underlying frustration and discouragement and a typical birthday reflection period,  I regressed.  I crawled into a hole emotionally and productively.  Feeling beaten professionally, my personal life began to suffer.  I caught myself caring less and less about my future, people, and the routine of it all.  My unavoidable mental conversations went something to the tune of ‘I’m now 34 years old, I’ve accomplished none of the things I’ve set out to, I’ve wasted time, I’m too good for my current professional state, the light is nowhere visible in this tunnel, and I’m no longer attractive to my significant other.’

All triggered because I failed at taking an online class (a free one, mind you).  

The spiral struck like a tornado, and took me to a place I never expected or wanted to be, much like a real tornado might.

I needed to be fixed, and I needed it FAST.  My year, and more importantly, my life was being turned on it’s head by an unwarranted case of the blues.   After a few hard and pressing conversations with my girlfriend, I decided that it was no longer solely within my capacity to tear down the obstacles that I had created for myself.

The BIG Shakeup

Sometime in June, I received recommendation from my Doctor to seek counseling from a Narrative Therapist.  Narrative therapy, unlike the regular Freudian stuff, is a more non-blaming, non-diagnosis type that just picks up on the issues as they occur today and seeks to show you the reality of them out from behind the veil of false perceptions.  I’m not an expert, that’s just how I’d interpret it.

Unwavered by the social stigma for seeking such guidance I began to go regularly and the real education of 2013 began.

My interest in peer comparison, material objects, unreasonable expectations, and aging fear all began to slowly melt away with every hour long session.  Other interests began bubbling up within me and surfaced.  I built myself a desk in June, an undertaking I have never come close to tackling previously…

Desk DIY

For me, the concept of building a desk meant more than just taking raw material and turning it into usable furniture.  It was a transformative project.  Over 35 hours, I planned, learned, and overcame obstacles to invigorate a sense of pride that I hadn’t felt in a while.  It was life affirming.

Later in the same month, I impulsively began taking Improv Comedy classes.  As early as 6th grade, I can remember idolizing stand up comics and even professing that I would one day become one.  Why not give it a go 20+ years later?

Improv has a really liberating effect that I can barely explain.  If you’re not familiar, it is a discipline of comedy that is delivered with no prior preparation of material and is driven by audience participation.  Yes, just like ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’

One of the most important lessons in Improv is to develop a trust of your own instincts.  If you attempt to write lines for yourself in your head, or pre-determine things you will do and/or say, you will be frustrated.   It won’t go as well as you hope it will, and not until you clear your mind and make yourself exceptionally present can you shine brightest.   It’s about listening, being attentive, and reacting with clarity of mind.

In August, I developed a new brainstorming strategy founded on principles I’ve had for years but never pieced together.  It’s been received so well by my professional peers that It’s leading to exciting new business opportunities in 2014 (already rolling).  Any connection to Improv there?  You’d better believe it, sweet cheeks.

At the close now of 2013, I realize that though I’m nowhere near where I expected to be; not only have I achieved my goal of ‘education’ but far exceeded the desired outcome. When I fell off track, I tried something completely different.  I’m lucky enough to have been open to those opportunities.

FTW, 2014!

In September, I began to feel ‘right’ again.  I made amends with the universe and started to understand and enjoy myself (by the help of Therapy and Improv) in a way that I haven’t previously.    The time was as right as ever to get engaged and seal the commitment to my then girlfriend, now fiance, that I had set for earlier in the year:  That I would fix me and in turn fix us.  In 2014 we’ll do the wedding thing.

In February of 2014, if all holds suit, I will be performing Improv on stage in front of a live audience as a culmination of my six months of studying it.  I plan to make Improv a part of my history in 2014 and continue to honor it as a craft.

January 2014 will be a kickoff for a new business partnership that is rooted by already successful peers that believe in me and have unbelievable vision.

My brain is different, better, rebooted…


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2 comments

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  1. Sandy Redman

    BRAVO! It takes a very enlightened man to make changes to better life. Im very proud of you.

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  2. marcia

    You are very talented, funny and a great writer. Look forward to following this career move!

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