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Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Good Stuff- The Sunday Collage

I've been tinkering around with the blog a little. I hope you like the new layout.

Today is Superbowl Sunday. In the old days, back when I was running the show, I ditched our annual office Christmas Party in lieu of the Superbowl party. There was a lot of drinking, gambling, and debauchery during those parties and somehow all of that- seemed far more appropriate for a football game. These days, I keep my debauchery to a minimum.

Earlier this week, Carl Icahn had a live interview with some enemy of his on CNBC. It lasted nearly 15 minutes with Icahn spewing all kinds of ego, nastiness, and profanity on network television. Picking right over happy and looking like an idiot in the process.

Yesterday was also the 2nd year anniversary of the death of a close, personal friend of mine.

I am going to try and spin this all together.

I get a little reflective when this time of the year rolls around. I remember how it was and what it was like. Today, this amounts to a consciousness that is fully aware of my self centered ego and fear, an unrelenting commitment to always choose happy instead of right, and gratitude. With that in place- I can appreciate the good stuff.

I lucked out.

You'll note that all of those things are intangible and emotional things. I never understood the importance of them. Like many of you, I fell for all of the standard marketing that bombards us all. Education, career, status, acclaim... money, material things, family. Maybe God- in eighth position.

The stuff that really mattered had always eluded me.

You have to be willing to be a little honest when you write. Nothing good ever happens if all you are willing to write is the same old regurgitated and safe crap that everyone else writes. So here goes...

I couldn't fully appreciate the things that mattered until I was in a position of rational consciousness where I no longer worried about "what's in it for me?" I actually think about others- often before satisfying my own needs. I still fear things but I understand the difference between what is rational fear and what is not. I don't let irrational fears run my life, force my decisions, or cause me to render my opinions on how you should be living your life. I am aware of all of that insanity.

I pick happy rather than right most of the time. I can't even remember the last time I had an argument. Often I just shut my mouth- even when people are clearly and obviously wrong- simply because I no longer find anything worthy of arguing about. All that ever happens- is someone gets their feelings hurt- and sometimes that's me. I have a steadfast commitment to being happy. For many years, far too many years, I picked right over happy. It's a miserable way to live- the debate club way- living each day with a set of battle plans in your head. I was always ready to argue anytime someone disagreed with me or failed to meet some imaginary expectations that I had secretly hidden in my walnut sized brain.

I am grateful. I have had a good life. I have my little shack, my motorcycle, a few bucks, and reasonably good health. My family are all still dwelling on the topside. I am grateful for a whole litany of things.  I do not dwell on incessant wanting. This incessant wanting has ruined our culture. We have forgotten to be grateful for what we have- while becoming depressed and sometimes angry for the things we cannot get. That has become a real sickness in our society... where too much is never enough.

So I have had a great re-arranging in my life.

Some of the the things that I thought were important in my life are no longer very important to me. Things that I had never thought about- are now important to me.

All of this was made possible when I realized that the biggest obstacle to receiving the good stuff was me. It had always been me. I could never have fully appreciated the things that I have now- family, health, God- without regaining consciousness, picking happy over right, finding a little humility and gratitude. Armed with those things, I have found that the things that matter most aren't graduate degrees, promotions, acclaim and awards, big bank accounts, or any of that materialistic stuff that our culture lies to us about, day after day. That stuff has it's place, somewhere far below being present, happy, and grateful.

We can't all be Carl Icahn acting like a baby on network television. Thank, God.

Take the Ravens and the four points. I think they might win outright. (please do not remind me of that Notre Dame pick, it still haunts me)


Fredd said...

Brian: picking happy over right works out for most of us, most of the time.

Unless you are a parent. Not to nit-pick your late in life gem, but ignoring bad behavior on the part of your child simply because you don't want the aggravation, conflict and tumult that will certainly come your way in the short run, things will ultimately make you unhappy in the long run.

Avoiding arguments when you know you are right, sure. Like arguing with liberals if you are a conservative. No minds are changed, what's the point.

Happy over right: sometimes you are compelled to do right, rather than remain happy. This was something I learned later on in life.

Good Samaraitans almost always choose right over happy, wouldn't you agree, Brian?

Or, perhaps I am simply missing your point, maybe with your happy over right philosophy you are saying in other words to not sweat the small stuff. Then I would agree wholeheartedly that you are way better off choosing happy over right.

For what it's worth.

Anonymous said...

When I was young and stupid, as opposed to now being older and hopefully less stupid, I admired intelligence over kindness. I still admire intelligence, but if given a choice between the two, I'll choose kindness any day, especially when intelligence so often seems to be lacking a heart. It seems the further along I go, the less I care about so many things I used to think were important. Vanity, ego and pride. What is is with that crap? So somebody wins an argument. Then what?

Good post, Brian.

Brian said...


I am glad you point that out because you have nailed one of the exceptions to the happy over right rule.

When raising kids and modeling appropriate behavior, you certainly have a duty to show them right from wrong. But I do think at some point, long after they are grown up- it's time to quit nagging on them. The work is over. It's back to picking happy over right.

I am glad you brought that up. Thanks for swinging by.

Thanks also go out to anon....