What kind of person posts a David Brooks column like it's a good thing?
All of the words of this ongoing journal exist in a series of Word documents, because this is a book. It's the longest book ever written, and that will ever be written. This isn't a blog. People call it a blog. Sometimes I call it a blog for convenience's sake. It's not my formal work. It's not "The Ghost and the Flame." It's not The Solution to the World's Problems. But it is a work and it is a book.
This morning I spent a couple hours organizing those Word documents, then I did a word count. We are presently at 2,913,000 words. At Halloweentime, when last I had checked, it was 2,700,000.
I've been working this morning on a story new story called, "Friendship Bracelet." Still a ways to go. But the journey is happening. Or what one could call the process.
There are some publishing people I was going to put up on here right now, but then I thought, you know what? Let them start Monday morning that way. I might change my mind. I mean, you never know.
I know someone who is a passive passenger in their own life. That's most people. And this person has asked me for "tips" for how they might reinvent themselves. This annoys me, because it would not be possible for me to cover this more extensively. I know this person will never change. People mostly don't. They are very much like leaves with some responsibilities that get done on account of where the wind takes them. That is, people will tend to what they have to tend to. They have to be at work by this time, so they're at work by that time. That's not coming from within. Their kid says, "I need help with this for school," they help the kid. But that doesn't come from within. In these two instances, here's what something coming from within would be like: Getting up an hour earlier each day and doing X, Y, and Z, because it makes me a smarter/better/healthier/more useful person. Or, thinking proactively about the kid and figuring out what could help him or her and also serve them well in the future and implementing that, introducing them to whatever, teaching them this thing, etc.
You will not change, reinvent yourself, or do anything of the kind without deciding that you're going to do just that and making changes and working towards those ends without let-up. Without daily, active conscious focus that this is what you're doing. Not back of the mind shit, but front and center of your brain. It entirely comes from within. Be a dick to yourself in your own head. "Get your ass in gear. Stop with your fucking excuses."
There's no magic pill on sale at the CVS next to the Centrum, there's no growth or reinvention via happenstance. If you want those things, you have to decide to be perpetually active in the pursuit of them.
Even when you go to things on the outside, the decision to do so came from within. In terms of what we're talking about. You don't fall into change, landing in it without trying to. It doesn't just happen. It doesn't come to you. It won't knock on your door.
People require that knock. Go out and knock on doors yourself. Go out and open doors. Doors that lead in and out of yourself. Doors that lead you to truth. Self-awareness. Other things and other people that can help you to help yourself facilitate your own growth.
People don't try. They're just there. They do what they have to do based on what comes to them. Other things do that dictating. The boss wants you there at eight, you're there at eight.
This kind of thing has to come from within. From personal recognition and choice. Then committed action. Effort. Policy. Your personal code of what you are committed to and how you will be. No tapping out, no time away from being this way and actively, thinking this way. Consciously pursuing what is a goal, the constant pursuit of which is also, paradoxically, its end--an end that is never reached. It has to be who you are and what you're about, every day.
But most people? They're just there. Which is so different than being here.