Monday, October 10, 2011

Top Five Common Mistakes

Blogger hardworker said...

top 5 common mistakes next please"

The man in the van always aims to please his loyal public. Now, since it would be difficult to list the top 5 common mistakes made by everyone, I'm going to list my own top 5 mistakes. I'm a narcissist anyway and I'm only comfortable writing about myself. 
"I see the world through a small hole in a huge mirror," I once said.
But then I read that all artists have this affliction. There are two worlds they constantly juggle, the one that happens and the one they reflect on for later reflection. And I go out of my way to reflect ad-nauseaum because I think it will get me to think like Hermann Hesse. That is number 1 in my top five mistakes.
1. Intentionally reflecting/pondering about life in order to develop the self-reflective mastery as found in a Hermann Hesse novel. "If mental masturbation were an Olympic sport," someone once said to me, "You'd win the gold medal."

2. Falling in love with women who are totally indifferent to my love for them. This has caused me so many problems I could write a textbook on co-dependency and its pitfalls. The first chapter would be titled "You Aren't in Love With Anything but Your Own Ability to Arbitrarily Manufacture Unhealthy Dependencies"

3. Intentionally not using all the tools at my disposal because I want to "test my ability to adapt." This has only hindered my projects. If Survivor accepts me then this might turn out to be useful. Otherwise it was foolish. It's like I'm an engineer with a superiority complex and low self-esteem and a tight wallet.

4. I watched a program about a serial killer and the main point the investigators made was the killer had an impeccable ability to "compartmentalize" in the sense that his violent murder of a dozen strangers in his own town had no affect on his ability to live, go to church, raise kids. Homicidal tendencies are totally unrelated to this ability. I'd say that this compartmentalization skill is essential for soldiers, cops, doctors, actors and very important for the rest of us.  I must've been absent from class the day they taught it because I really can not separate any part of life into an isolated region in my mind. Whether I crimp wires to pins or play guitar, that activity will resonate with me for years or at least until it finds a permanent place in my ever-expanding worldview. Ex: I wanted to be a trapper in Alaska so I bought some rabbit jaw traps and set them with granola bait and a day or two later I went back and I had caught a Snowshoe Hare. Yeah, what a big hero I was. The animal had not been killed by the initial trap snapping and breaking his forelegs in half, so it had chewed its own legs off and then limped away on stumps a few yards and died. I skinned it and made a memorial hat of its fur. I kept one of his big snowshoe hind feet "for good luck" even as I considered the family of rabbits that depended on him to return with food that dark winter night and never saw him again.
This still weighs heavily on me and for that reason I would say it is a mistake that I can not put that in a box labeled "Oggy being dumb" and close the box and go to work as a pool cleaner or something. If there's a Hell then that bunny and his friends are waiting for me there. Maybe it isn't a "mistake"  to allow the weight of the imperfect world to weigh heavily upon my conscience, but it does. Or maybe it is my defense of this affliction that is the mistake which is related to #1.Or maybe...

5. I'll cop out and say this mistake is a combination of all the other 4. Is it called procrastination if you plan something out for so long that the original reason for planning has become obsolete? Or is that good planning? It took me so long to figure out how to attach screen material to my escape hatch that all the bugs in Labrador died. It took me so long to write the novel about the 68 Year World Championship drought of the Red Sox that they won a world championship after 86 years. But when I ultimately wrote the book I think it is basically what I wanted to write. Sometimes it is better to do things you are too dumb to know would be difficult. Because the chances are good you will actually figure out how to get them done rather than quit. But if you think about things too much and do some research and get informed then it's very easy to know too much and quit before even starting.

I think humanity owes its existence to young people having unprotected sex. Because once you grow up and realize the diseases and other consequences of bareback sex then your whole approach changes. If reproduction were left up to mature, sober adults then mankind would be extinct in one generation. Fortunately, like John Updike said, "New people keep showing up thinking the fun has just begun." In most cases it's better to be too dumb to know when to quit. Hell, the most fun I've had is when I didn't know what trouble I was getting myself into. So I guess my mistake is trying to be prepared.
These seem kind of generic. Maybe I was supposed to be more specific. I think this list is a work in progress.

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