Showing posts with label life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

Imposter Syndrome

 All my adult life I played in a stage production called “My Working Life”. At work I wore a uniform (costume) and acted according to a script (the expectations of the job/my employers). I wasn’t me at work, I was a character in a play which earned me money that was used to enjoy my real life. In fact I took great pains not to mix my professional and private lives. I don’t party with coworkers or make friends with them. I seldom if ever bring work home with me. I avoid discussing my job when I’m not at work. My two lives are wholly separate. It’s a matter of compartmentalization.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


I suppose I really ought to quit smoking. But I bought a carton of smokes last week and I've still got 6 packs left. Besides, smoking's my muse, it ignites my brain cells.

Smoking gives you cancer. You could get lung cancer, even brain cancer. Cancer's a horrible, shitty, deadly disease. 

If I quit now I'm leaving 6 packs of cigarettes unsmoked, unappreciated. They don't let you return those things to the store you know. 

It could be those 6 packs that push you over the edge and give you cancer. You'll die a terrible, miserable death. Your hair will fall out. Oh wait, OK, your beard will fall out. You'll have to lie in a hospital bed all day. You hate that. And there isn't really a cure, so you'll linger in pain and sadness until the day you die.

But if I quit now I'm out 20 bucks. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Learning from regret

Recently I read a quotation that encouraged us to live without regret. It implied that regretting past mistakes was unprofitable and only served to depress us and make life less enjoyable. 

I confess to harboring many regrets about my life. 

All but one of them I can and do usually sublimate in my daily life. I intellectually understand that I can't go back and correct past mistakes, but emotionally the desire to do so is ever-present. Regretting past behaviors or words can be emotionally crippling. It's important to me to examine my regrets in an attempt to learn from them and adapt my future actions based on what I learn, but not allow my regrets to damage me emotionally. I make every effort to deal with them intellectually rather than emotionally. 

This week I was reflecting on some of the events in my life I especially regret and came to a realization I'd missed before.

Most of the events in my life I regret, either the commission of or the outcome of, relate to decisions I made about the course of my life. I've made several lousy decisions about my future. Had I chosen to travel a different path my life would have taken a completely different route, and possibly a more pleasing and beneficial one. The realization I came to is that I tend to prefer little or no change to my external world when things are going well, or at least well enough, because I live more in my head than I do in the reality around me. I don't want to be bothered by adapting to changes in my external life if I can avoid them. When I do make changes in my external reality I tend to give those changes too little thought, I don't spend enough time to consider the effects of those changes on my life. I don't take my external reality seriously enough.

If I ignored my regrets I wouldn't have had this revelation, I would continue to make the same mistakes in the future. With this understanding I can give more consideration to my future. I now appreciate the need to spend more time and thought on what effects my decisions will have on my external life, and in turn have on my happiness and peace of mind. I can avoid more regrets down the road. 

No doubt we need to keep a handle on our regrets so that they don't cause us to freeze in our tracks, unable to make any decision at all lest we do something we may later regret. But it's beneficial to our self-knowledge to examine dispassionately our past actions, especially those we later came to regret. We need to learn from them in order to assure that the decisions we make in the future are more sound and thought-out. We can only avoid committing actions in the future we'll later regret if we know what we've regretted doing in the past and why we made those decisions.

Friday, November 04, 2011

10 Commandments for Atheism

A lot of people enjoy Penn and Teller's magic, but not that many realize that Penn is an outspoken atheist. While not every atheist, or every theist for that matter, will agree with his take on the 10 Commandments, they are worth considering.
Penn Jillette's "10 Commandments for Atheism," a list he created and turned into the best-selling book God, No! after Glenn Beck asked him to come up with a list of moral dictates for non-believers. Here they are:
1. The highest ideals are human intelligence, creativity and love. Respect these above all.

2. Do not put things or even ideas above other human beings. (Let's scream at each other about Kindle versus iPad, solar versus nuclear, Republican versus Libertarian, Garth Brooks versus Sun Ra— but when your house is on fire, I'll be there to help.)

3. Say what you mean, even when talking to yourself. (What used to be an oath to (G)od is now quite simply respecting yourself.)

4. Put aside some time to rest and think. (If you're religious, that might be the Sabbath; if you're a Vegas magician, that'll be the day with the lowest grosses.)

5. Be there for your family. Love your parents, your partner, and your children. (Love is deeper than honor, and parents matter, but so do spouse and children.)

6. Respect and protect all human life. (Many believe that "Thou shalt not kill" only refers to people in the same tribe. I say it's all human life.)

7. Keep your promises. (If you can't be sexually exclusive to your spouse, don't make that deal.)

8. Don't steal. (This includes magic tricks and jokes — you know who you are!)

9. Don't lie. (You know, unless you're doing magic tricks and it's part of your job. Does that make it OK for politicians, too?)

10. Don't waste too much time wishing, hoping, and being envious; it'll make you bugnutty.