Accomplishments are hard to come by, harder to stay by, and hardest not to eventually fail by. On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everything drops to zero. Throughout my experiences in this life, I’ve come to see that there are two main types of ideas:
1.) An idea you have inside your head (IYH)
2.) An idea you share with others. (SWO)
Before we go further into the important differences between these two types of ideas, please note that an IYH can become an SWO at any time, but an SWO can *usually* never become an IYH again. Sharing thoughts with others creates an additional dimension of reality to a previously flat situation. (Anything) + People = Complexity.
Back when we were younger and most of us were smokers, each of us would take turns deciding that it was time to quit. Deciding to quit was the easy part, not because addiction is a motherfucker, but because it happened in our heads. Telling people about wanting to quit was next level shit that made a previously invisible struggle into something tangible, something measured and judged by others. Almost any plan that I’ve ever drummed up for myself has not included how to deal with other people’s reactions to the idea, a retrospectively gigantic mistake.
Most of us ye old smokers will not openly admit to this dark little secret, but it also applies to other shared goals, which leaves me with a certain kind of responsibility to let the cat out of the bag: we enjoyed watching each other fail. Have you ever looked into someone’s eyes as you tell them they you’re planning to quit smoking, get into shape, study foreign language, or any other thing of the like? Doubting eyes betray the encouraging words before they’re spoken. This, fiction or non, is a major motivational factor in my life. I generally try to be a few weeks into a new project before sharing it with others, that way there is a part of me that knows I’ve already at least somewhat succeeded.
This is all pretty much human nature though right? It seems like every good story starts out with people being told that they aren’t good enough to accomplish x, y, or z, but they reach for the stars and do it anyway. The biggest difference in my comparison is the presupposition that these things are being told to us by everyone and all the time via body language and other invisible markers. It’s far less sexy of a story to say that your dad told you to go capture the world, but the loose grip of a goodbye handshake dictated that his faith in me was nothing but a lie.
Most of the time, I am not wishing failure upon my loved ones, but it does definitely happen. I’m also not wishing failure upon most of my non-loved ones either, that would insinuate a level of care that just doesn’t exist most of the time. What I’m really trying to say through all of this is that sharing something personal with another human-being has the power to dramatically change that thing if you let it: be aware and plan accordingly!
I started writing this thing like a week ago, so it’s a bit scattered, but we can talk about it soon… soon enough anyway.