You Can’t Convince Them
Convince: Cause someone to believe firmly in the truth of something.
I watched a lecture recently about how you cannot convince someone of anything they don’t want to believe. You can give people information, but there is nothing you can do to fully convince them of what you believe to be true if they do not want to be convinced. Hearing that allowed me to feel better about my life’s course. I believe in living and communicating in a way that allows others to find their truths instead of trying to force people to find mine. We all see the world from different eyes, so how am I supposed to convince you of what I think when I don’t know where you’re at, where you’ve been, or where you’re going.
The guy in the lecture pretty much said don’t waste your breath on convincing others. Because if you are getting to a place where you feel you need to “convince” them, you have already lost. For my band, I am not looking at convincing anyone to like my music or my message. Those that do DO and those that don’t DON’T. And that is ok. Same goes for my other careers, my way of life, my faith, and my everything.
Let’s not try to convince those that aren’t on the same page as us. Let’s live our life the way we feel we should live it and allows those that want to follow along to come with. Don’t worry about the rest. If what you believe is true, than that is enough. There is no use convincing others. If you are living your truths correctly, then the convincing will be done for you. You don’t have to say a word.
Later Never Comes
I am a workaholic. No doubt about it. And it’s starting to annoy me, because after a while, I have no idea what I am working towards.
I need to have more fun. I need to enjoy life more. People work “now” in order to enjoy life more “later”. But I’m thinking, if I get so into the habit of never having fun, then “later” will never come. I won’t ever enjoy life if I am working so hard in hopes of enjoying life someday. Doesn’t make sense. So… I am going to have fun this summer. I am going to go on tour with my band and spend the off-times on Cape Cod with friends and family. Not worrying about much. I wish I could leave my brain in Florida, because I know I will always be thinking, thinking, thinking; BUT I am going to try my hardest to put enjoyment before productivity. The last few months have taught me more about myself. And I have learned that I need to be around people to have fun. I am never the life of the party, so I need to be around those that are!
Zack, our guitarist, found a type of anxiety called “Paradoxical Anxiety”. It is when you get anxiety from things that are supposed to be fun and enjoyable. I find myself in that situation a lot. I am overanalyzing life. I am overanalyzing how to relax and enjoy myself. I am overanalyzing my career and myself!
So it’s time to start enjoying life now instead of hoping to later. Because, if waiting until later is your attitude, later never comes!
Write It Down
I’ve been fearing this. I’ve been holding back. Because I haven’t wanted to open up in a while. I’ve lost and I’ve changed and, from it, I feel quite lost. I haven’t tried to be the band guy in a while. I moved to another state. I worked on other things. I found love by accident, but managed to lose it before it was ever mine. And now I’m trying to keep busy but it’s been a different type of busy. Less focus and less clarity than usual. More autopilot.
I can usually explain myself better, but this time I can’t. I just know I need to write again, so this is my attempt. I’m going to look back at this post sometime and feel embarrassed that I put it up publicly, because it doesn’t make much sense. But that is ok. Sometimes you don’t have to make sense, you just have to be willing to open up again and write it down.
I’m in a current state of heart ache. A current state of not knowing what the next step is in my career. A current state of feeling out-of-place. But I live each day. I’m trying to diagnose the symptoms and causes of my attitude and my emotions. Wondering how much of it is biological, how much is due to my upbringing, and how much is do to my current environment. Nonetheless, I am always trying to move forward rather than backwards. Some people call it a “transition year”. I suppose that would be appropriate.
I keep looking at the clock like I have something to do tonight or some place to be. But I don’t. I am here, trying to open up, but doing a horrendous job! I wish I could be a more consistent person, be more emotionally stable, be more reliable, be more available. But I am not. Not sure if I am cut out to be all that I want to be. Not sure if I have the right qualities to lead. But people believe in me. Despite my shortcomings. I think that will be the only reason why any of it will come true.
A lot of good things are happening in my life. There have been so many opportunities, and good wishes, and wonderful people. I swear, I had the best month of my life not too long ago. I have just been looking at life through the wrong lens lately. I am confused. I have all of the resources to be happy and content, but I never seem to be able to capture those feelings fully. Contentment is the butterfly that is just on you long enough for you to notice it is there, and as soon as you do, it flies away.
Fix my heart. Fix my head. Give me some short term amnesia if need be. Or just a slap in the face followed by a, “You live an amazing life, now stop feeling so down.” Something. Give me something.
Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding
Right now I am in Florida working with my financial researcher friend. I always find myself feeling very calm and inspired when I’m down here.
We are currently reading a book right now about King Solomon from the Old Testament. He was the richest man in the world. He became king when he was 10. The story goes that when God asked him what he wanted, as the new ruler, all young Solomon wanted was wisdom and understanding so that he could rule his people correctly.
I’ve come to realize that that is really all I am seeking as well. Fame, fortune, status, and the like just don’t cut it for me. I mean, I’d probably accept them if they were given to me, but they aren’t my driving force. I really crave knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. And that is what I get when I work with my friend down here in Florida. We literally just read books and discuss their importance a lot of the time. It’s how I can gain more wisdom and understanding. Maybe that is why I feel so fulfilled here.
Do It Anyway
One of the last things my father gave me was a quote from Mother Teresa. It’s something I can now live by in honor of him…
People are often unreasonable, irrational and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies;
If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you;
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten;
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
My dad passed away last weekend. I’m his sole heir. His only son. He never married. Legally, I am basically him now. It’s weird, I have gotten passed the shock and am accepting reality. I respect my dad more than ever now. All of his advice, his wisdom, his humor is flooding back into me now. If you have ever enjoyed a blog, song, or a conversation of mine, you have him to thank. He made me the man I am today.
As I am planning his memorial ceremonies and burial I have been thinking to myself, “I should be more stressed out about all of this. I am responsible for creating 3 separate ceremonies in 2 separate states honoring my father, I am responsible for informing everyone he’s ever known about it, and I am responsible for everything he owns.” This should be stressing me out more than it has. But through it all, I think of my dad sitting right next to me. If he was here making these decisions with me he’d simply say, “Do whatever you want son, I believe in you. Just do the best you can.” I tear up as I am even writing this because of how much I admired his calm attitude and his confidence in his son. My dad has made it very easy for me to do this. He was literally the calmest, most easy going guy I’ve ever known.
I’ve taken my dad’s death as a wake up call to really look at the great qualities he had and try to emulate them in myself. He’s not here physically anymore but for the rest of my life his voice will be in my head saying, “Do whatever you want, son, I believe in you. Just do the best you can.” That’s all he’s ever asked of me, to do the best I can. So I think for the rest of my life I will let the perfectionist in me go and accept what my dad always wanted, simply the best I can do. With that perception comes a new calm, a new peace in me. An easy going attitude to match my father’s. I may not do everything right, but I will try my best and be at peace doing it. Thanks dad for this new attitude, we’ll call it an early Christmas present.
Human beings have a tendency to slip into dark places. We are easily influenced and manipulated by people and things in order to try and fill a hole in our soul. Drugs, alcohol, porn, a knife, a broken relationship, an affair, drama, anything. Why do we get into this stuff? It helps keep us feeling like we are alive, like we matter, like we are in control. But truthfully, all those things strip control from us and leave us feeling empty.
Life is better when you protect yourself from these dark places. You want fulfillment? Don’t look for it in broken people, in a knife, or in a drink. It’s far better found in something bigger than anything or anyone physical. Euphoric feelings are short term, it takes a disciplined soul to abide by a peace in God that lasts a lifetime.
As odd as it sounds, schools teach us not to take risks. We need to write our papers in the right format, pick the write answers for the test, and do our projects on 3-panel poster boards. When you go outside the lines too far, you get punished. We are taught to cooperate and to follow along. We are rewarded for our intelligence. Creativity is usually forgotten about.
When you get older and start a career, it usually ends up the same way. You need to do your job the way it is set up for you. Don’t stray from the path. Don’t think you have a better plan, keep with the plan given to you.
Creativity is a talent and a type of intelligence that is overlooked too often. The imaginative people of the world create our future and the intelligent engineers build it. Everything man-made was “created”. Every movie you’ve ever seen, every song you’ve heard, every building you’ve passed by, every city you’ve been too, and every item you’ve ever used was created by a creative person for the sake of humanity. So is a high creative intelligence more important than a high IQ? I’m not sure, but I don’t think it’s any less important.
People and Energy
My friend told me recently that he read a book about energy and it said that everyone in your life either gives you energy or takes it away. After thinking about all of the people in my life, I thought that it is a very real observation. This “energy” refers to our vibe, or our happiness, or our passion. You know what I’m talking about, right?
There’s a quote from Adam Sandler that I truly love. Sandler said, “It’s important I surround myself with people who make me happy.” What a simple idea, but man is it a good one.
We strive to achieve. We strive to get to school or to get to work on time. We strive to do a lot of things. Those things would be easier for us to try for if we were surrounded by people that make us happy. One thing we should strive for is to surround ourselves with people who can give us energy. Who can make us happy. Who can build us up rather than break us down. Now that I am an adult, I get to fully choose who I want to spend my time with. I need to choose wisely to make sure I am with people that add energy to my life.
Believe me, I have people in my life that take away my energy. I don’t abandon them by any means, but I make a note to myself before I see them that they will probably take away some of my energy. By doing so, I am accepting the fact that they will drain some of me, but I will love them anyway.
In a world where money and power is everything, “goodwill” is often forgotten about.
Some people see school, work, and other life situations as “crabs in a bucket”. We are all just crawling over each other to get to the top. Relationships are not to be used for love and friendship, but for favors and backscratching (not literally, I think). You are to talk up to people above you, talk down to people below you, and brag about your accomplishments to the people next to you.
Sadly, this mentality can really get you places. It could very well give you what you want, if you desire power, compliance, money. But what if you want trust, respect, love, and grace? What mentality do you use to gain those things?
Goodwill is a business term used to explain the trust given to a person or a company. It is the reward for being a kind, consistent, honest person. It is the product of integrity. It is harder to earn, and easier to lose than money or power. It is the reason why your friend trusts you with their life. It is the reason why a family is willing to open up their doors to my band after a show at 1 am. It is loyalty.
Goodwill is overlooked because we focus so much on our worldly accomplishments that we forget that we have gained favor with the people around us. I have to stop in my tracks and think, “The name ‘Dave Place’ is still meaningless to the majority of the world. But for the few who know the name, they see an honest person trying to do good.” Keep honest, keep humble, keep working hard, keep kind; and people will know you for it. They will count on you, and they will believe in you. Goodwill is more important than the other rewards of the world.