Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Intermittent Part

One of the hazards of being an intermittent super-genius is the intermittent part. Creativity (along with happiness) seems to come in spurts and in my case, lately it seems like those spurts only appear when I'm mildly intoxicated and hanging out with a receptive, laughing group of people. Then, safety net in place, my mind takes bold leaps into the abyss of possibilities and returns with something amusing.

But most of the time, it wants to find comfort in things can't have right now, and that are possibly contradictory -- wanting a peaceful, sensible world of curious creative people working together, helping each other and others less fortunate, combined with a strange selfish desire to be famous, well-liked and wealthy. The former is only attainable in a small scale with lots of hard work, and the latter is something that's best when you're happy with yourself.

That's not always easy. Some of the things they tell you when you're not feeling happy about yourself (they being psychiatrists and friends) are don't compare yourself to others, set low expectations, follow your bliss, don't be too hard on yourself, focus on what you want or what actions you can take (vs. the things you can't control or trying to squelch the bad), smile, and don't forget to exercise.

I don't know about following your bliss -- my natural inclination would be just to nap, or walk around national parks all the time. I'd get nothing done at all, and would anyone pay me for that existence?

Difficult not to compare yourself to others. Friends and strangers have things you want -- houses, wives, children, cars, money, prestige, affection, free time. Sure, we can become desireless reeds like the Taoists suggest, but I'm not a vegetable, I seem to want more than water and sunshine. Besides, to get good at something, you must compare yourself to the best, not in terms of "My god, they're so much better than me. I suck." but more asking questions like "How do they do it and what do I need to practice?"

I've heard the Danish are the amongst the happiest people because they have low expectations. Victor Borgé was a creative genius, but other than him I'm not aware of successful Danes to admire. Claire Danes, maybe. She's cute.

Smiling is surprisingly difficult sometimes. I don't know if some stray botox entered my cheeks a while back or that somehow the feedback loop telling me "Ok, you're smiling" is stuck at "on" even I'm not smiling, but apparently I don't smile enough and am not realizing it.

Have to remember to enjoy what you have. That's certainly something I'm guilty of neglecting. Typically my brain is doing mental window shopping for the toys it lacks, yet when was the last time I used my scanner or watched that VHS tape of Robin Williams playing with dolphins?

Anyways, eventually the Super-genius part comes back, happiness returns (with groceries), coincidence and serendipity come over for dinner, and the five of you enjoy life as it was meant to be.

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posted by Brian at 3:43 AM


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