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My Master Plan

This is the beginning of the fulfillment of the promises I made to myself.

No one thinks I’ll actually accomplish any of this anyway, so I may as well just share what I’m planning to do with my life.

As I have pretty thoroughly treaded and retreaded over written form and video, when my cousin and childhood best friend suddenly died in a car accident in 2018, my entire world was shaken. I looked at myself and life in a completely new way. After the grieving period and two years of depression had begun to subside, I dedicated myself to becoming everything I had always dreamed of becoming. Doing all I had dreamed of doing. And in 2022, my plans were (for the most part) laid out and I began my first step in that direction. This is phase one.

Everything begins with identity. Who am I? That’s what I’ve set out to discover. As I’m discovering, I’m sharing here, and on my YouTube channel. I’ll share more next week.

“Passion Wakes Me Up”…?

Motivational speaker Eric Thomas made this phrase famous, “I don’t need no alarm clock! My passion wakes me up!” And I wonder if this is as powerful a truth as it seems to be to all of the people I see reposting it and putting it in their Instagram bios. I’ll tell you right now, if my alarm clock doesn’t wake me up, I’m not waking up for a very long time. I hear a lot of people talking about waking up with purpose, hitting the ground running every morning. Words like “hustle” and slogans like “rise and grind,” “I work while the competition sleeps,” and all the other overachieving sentiments propagated by fitness influencers and entrepreneurs flooding the internet. I’m no Dwayne Johnson or Grant Cardone, but as I’m just barely beginning to develop the building blocks of my business life, I wonder not what will be the most epic or explosive, but…what will be most sustainable?

And I’ll tell you something else. Sleep isn’t as much of a hindrance to my passion as it is a passion itself, the more sleep evades me due to my work.

Joking aside, I’ve never experienced enthusiasm for anything that lasted an entire work week. I can’t remember even having such fervor for anything an entire day. I’ve never been able to hold attention for that long. I’m going to want to eat at some point. Walk around. Look at something other than a computer screen for a few minutes. I need to divert my attention elsewhere. Of course, like everyone, I will have sudden bursts of energy and creativity. I have been “in the zone” many times and felt like I was building incredible momentum. But eventually the momentum veers, decays. I have to do something else. So my question to myself is, am I lacking passion? Or is this idea of an insatiable drive actually lacking total reality? Do the extremely high achievers ever feel what I feel? Or is it possible for me to feel what they feel? Which end of this spectrum has the most genuine existence? Are the “hardest workers in the room” fronting for some reason? Are they trying to motivate themselves? Or are they really obsessed to the point of literally not needing an alarm clock because their passion for their career, mission, assignment, wakes them up every morning, and they cannot wait to continue achieving? Are they only expressing the highlights of their process, like a Rocky movie workout montage? Or are they genuinely wired to be consumed with accomplishment? And if they really are this way, is it possible for me to become that way? I have glimpsed passion but I have never lived in passion. When I wake up, all I think is that I would much rather not be awake. And then it takes me a good hour into the process of getting ready for the day to even begin thinking about the events and tasks ahead of me for the day. Am I lazy? Am I merely sleep deprived? Let me know what you think.

I’m Gonna Go Ahead And Call It

One of my favorite content creators is Patrick Bet-David and his business YouTube channel, “Valuetainment.” In one of his videos for business planning, he said that every year should have a name. I don’t have a business to make a business plan for, but he said the plan should spill over into every area of life…so I’m spilling.

Nothing I had in mind for 2020 really happened the way I’d imagined. 2021 was just a year of daily holding my breath, waiting to see what would happen next. But as I started looking toward 2022, I knew I couldn’t let another year just begin and end. I started planning, writing, erasing, sleeping, dreaming, rewriting, repeating. What would be my big goals for the year? I had already decided to start up a vlog, but I wanted a big idea, something that I can apply to the whole of my life. My first concept for the label I was going to give 2022 was “The Year Of Small Beginnings.” That sounded good. The vlog, my millionth attempt at getting in better shape, finally waking up early every day…maybe “The Year Of Slow Progress?” Slow is better than nothing, right?

Then I happened to run into some dear friends of mine that I hadn’t seen in years. Our greetings were somber. Our exchanges were low energy. Throughout my teenage years, these friends and I had been through a lot together. We had been (as cliche as it is) very much like family. Perhaps this unenthusiastic reunion of ours was not a rejection of that decades-long closeness, but instead, because of the safety we felt with each other to express genuine emotion. Whatever the case, I was and still am bothered by the interaction. These were people I love so dearly. There were very few laughs between us, very little hope shared or expressed. I would “update” them on my uneventful life, with all the family and friends that had either passed away or gotten sick and immobile, the weirdness of daily routines with masks and politicized medicine, they would share the struggles they were facing during all of this and the losses they had had. We just kind of wallowed in the dreariness of our lives.

I got home and started thinking about that very pitiful conversation with my dear friends, all the other increasingly frequent negative updates about the health of so many of my loved ones, and the growing chaos in the outside world. So I went back to my document on my computer, my “business plan.” I finally knew the name I should give 2022.

Even though there’s no doubt some things will be unfortunate, miserable, and maybe even terrible this year, even though bad news will continue either in my personal life or on the national or global stage, even though sickness, pain, and death will likely remain major players this year, I have decided that no matter what comes at me, my goal, my big idea that I will apply to the whole of my life, my title, my label…I’m determined to make 2022, “The Year Of Spreading Joy.”

How? I’m not sure exactly. My initial reaction to myself in my head is to think I need to pay off someone’s mortgage or cure cancer. But maybe if I begin by looking at my work day tomorrow as an opportunity to execute this vision for the year, with a smile, bringing breakfast to my coworkers, being interested in people who don’t make it a habit to be particularly interesting, going out of my way to compliment someone, maybe…just maybe…by the time 2022 comes to an end, I’ll look back and see that by actively seeking opportunities to spread joy in all the little moments eventually added up to a pretty joyful year.

So here’s to spreading joy!