Be Present

Be present. Have a bias for action – in the present.

That’s why you run with bulls in Pomplona rather than think about running with the bulls. That’s why you strap on the helmet and jump out of the plane rather than thinking about it.

Be present now. Be biased toward action right now – in this present moment.

A bias for action…

That’s why shit happens rather than not happening. But that is also why amazing things happen rather than not happening.

Thinking about stuff makes nothing happen. Doing stuff makes stuff happen.

So why this bias for inaction, oh man? Why this sitting around philosophizing while time passes and nothing happens.

Do you aspire to become mold? Is your highest hope in life to be a fungus that molders away there in your chair?

If not, then act.

Do something, anything. Make something happen. Be present.

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You have few resources? Bullshit. Make something happen with the whatever you do have.

You have no time? Bullshit. You have 168 hours a week. The exact same as everyone else who ever lived or ever will.

You don’t have the energy? Bullshit. You have the energy to do what you want.

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Remember the lesson – you get what you want. And that means that right now, right this minute, you are getting what you are wanting.

What you want right this minute is demonstrated by what you do and how you do it.

You have only this present moment. Be in this present moment. Make use of your body or you will lose it. Be present in your body right now.

For once you cease to be present in your body, you will cease to exist as you.

This is death.

line-dividers-clipart-11So in your body right now, do the things that are before you. Set your hand to doing and do it.

And in your doing, pay attention. Do it as best you can with all your attention and focus. Learn as you do and get better as you do.

Perhaps you will create something that will cause your name to be spoken about 500 years from now. But even if you do create such a work, you will be exist in a form that cannot feel pride in that work, except as pride in the work of someone who is no longer you.

line-dividers-clipart-11So do work now that you are proud of now so that now you can enjoy it and now you can relish it. Because once you are gone, there will be no more now.

There is only the work of the moment, only this present.

Be in your body however you must be. Be focused. Be present. Be real. Be honest.

Do not be conniving or convincing.

Be real.

Be present.

Be.

I am Don Quixote

11ABE7BK82Not the Don Quixote,
But definitely A Don Quixote.

On the backside of life.
I have accomplished little of note.
Obscure, unremarkable, unknown.
Yet I have dreams…
Impossibly bright, impossibly distant stars I have never come close to touching.

Quixote gives me hope,
Courage to keep dreaming, to keep reaching.
Quixote may have been crazy.
I don’t know. My opinion?
Decades of mere survival convinced him that reality wasn’t
All it was cracked up to be.

And so he donned his makeshift armor
Mounted his unimpressive steed
Found his muse in a common village girl and
Set out to live a life of raw, crackling adventure.

From a distance, he certainly seems mad.
Yet isn’t it Glorious Madness?

By the sheer power of his belief,
Quixote transformed and ennobled all he touched.
The common village girl became an Immortal Muse, Princess Dulcinea.
Windmills morphed into giants.
A mere donkey became a glorious Charger,
And a humble servant found himself squire to a great knight.

This life  of mine – closer to its end than its beginning – does not impress me.
And since my opinion is the only one that matters…

I wish that I had tilted at a few more windmills
That I had my own distant Dulcinea to whom I pledged my troth
That I had a nemesis with whom I jousted
And my very own Sancho Panza to shake his head in wonder at my folly.

I want to feel like I seized life by the collar, and shook it until the quarters fell out of its pockets.
(My god, it really is the things we don’t do that cause the most regret.)

I suspect Quixote regretted the pain of his wounds.
But did he regret his quest?

No.
No way.

He could not have regretted playing the fool…
Loving with a whole heart or
Riding into battle against a worthy foe.
Quixote he had a Star.
And a Star is – by definition – unreachable.

The beacon that taunted his quest also illumined his path.
(That’s some deep stuff right there.)

I mean, isn’t that Life?
This constant striving after something we never reach?
We desire so much more than we can grasp.
Even those who command great wealth
Yearn for something unnamed and unnameable.

If it is intrinsic to the soul of man
To yearn for more,
If unfulfilled yearning is our curse,
Then why not make it glorious?

Why not tempt death on the field of battle?
Why not endure terrible wounds from imaginary giants?
Why not make an utter fool of myself and be laughed at by sensible folk?
What difference will it make?
They will never touch their Stars either…

Does it pain them knowing their Star shines down, beckoning from above?
Or are they too dead inside to look up
To let their hearts be ravished by its beauty
And broken by its elusiveness?

I think I’d rather play the fool on a mule, tilting at windmills
Than be sensible and safe at home,
Never gazing in wonder and longing at the midnight sky.

I am Don Quixote.