Don’t Give Up – Keep Going


Irrational Optimism

Personal struggle? Looking for a job? Hard time with the boss? Hard time with the employees? Hard time with the family? Just having a hard time?

Many people get depressed and look towards medication or other tools to help them just get a boost to adjust themselves.   Others turn towards drugs or alcohol.   Some turn to religion and self awareness or the oneness with the universe or G-d.

I can’t say what works best and I am not here to judge what people choose to do.   There are pretty difficult conversations here as well to consider.  What happens when people have had enough?   The pressure of life can zero in on a person and haunt a person to the point in which they feel cornered and they don’t want to live anymore.   Anxiety can take over and cause a spiral.

I find it personally fascinating that we shun death but then we entertain it at the same time.  Death is a good thing if it happens naturally though accident or cause but not if someone seeks to choose death.   I am not saying that people should hurt themselves.  I am simply stating that we live in a world of psychological complexity.

Drugs are bad, unless they are prescribed.   There have been times in my life that I felt hopeless and helpless.  It was painful because I felt that I was in a box and that I was limited on choices.   Look, I am lucky because there is always someone that appears from out of nowhere to help me pull it together.   No matter how alone I was and I promise there were times where I was very alone, someone managed to appear to help.   What worked for me on countless occasions was re-framing the situation and looking at the bigger picture.  For all the things that I did to help myself in the situation there were many things that I didn’t do.   I found myself focused on the difficulties and the complexity as opposed to the simple things at a higher level of abstraction.

For example,  a few months ago I was going through a difficult situation and many people were seeking to help me.  What I wanted was help in the form of an easy solution.   Most people couldn’t give that to me.   One person was able to help me re-frame the whole situation with two words “irrationally optimistic.”    He said, “look Howie,  you .. know how things are and you know how the world is, and yeah, things are tough and they don’t look great but that is you thinking too hard.”   He told me that I need to be irrational in this case.  Ok, no one wants to really be “irrational” but there is something to this.. if you think about how things work or appear to work in the world.

We think about G-d and the ideas of religion without proof and that is considered rational.  (nothing wrong with that) Is it rational?  Rational is logic, if this then that.  If that is the case we don’t really live rational lives, we live irrational lives with moments of rationality and we try to make things rational because we need to box things for them to make sense to us.  Fact is, things are more irrational than rational.   So, the advice that Frank gave me was the best advice I could get.   How could I rationalize my future by my actions without the full knowledge of the universe and all the variables and factors there in.

Dig Deep or Don’t

I really love the concept of The Kobayashi Maru.  For those who haven’t seen the concept, see below.  For those that know it, read below.

Kirk, took a position that “How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life.”   We can’t ignore how we feel about things and we can’t ignore the fact that every day can be our last.   Every moment could be our last.   Why should we take this time to worry of it as opposed to take the opportunity to do something we can enjoy.  Why must we face our own mortality to make the realization that we should engage actively in our own lives and not allow things to simply slip by us.

Kirk changed the game because he didn’t want to lose.  Why can’t we change the game?  I am not saying that we should seek to bond with machines or anything like Ray Kurzweil would suggest 2045 but I think we should dig deep when we have these feelings that plague us.

Digging deep means, allow ourselves to investigate our own reasons for suffering.  Allow ourselves to suffer to the extent that it matters.   Then from that point irrationally and without great reason seek and find optimism.

Watch that one.. and see if you can offset and be empathetic.  Is he rational?

It Won’t Always Work

Because of the.. and the.. and the…

Mama, the truck broke down and I was outta town..

Little curly died and my ice cream fried. 

I lost all of my brothers in the war of wars,

I got two feet but I can’t feel the floor. 

My wife left for a girl named Sue,

I had 10 dollars now I only got 2. 

I had a bunch a kids,  I can’t remember their names, 

One got fortune and some other got fame. 

I can’t remember who I am or where I am from, 

the world has gone crazy and I feel pretty dumb. 

(hahaha) It’s kind of funny because,  well .. you know..

We have plenty of reasons to feel sad and sorry and we can rationalize each of them.  These rationalizations don’t help us.  We have plenty of reasons to be afraid or to feel fear and allow this to consume us.   We have reasons and rational for both good and bad behavior but I say to you to throw out that reasoning.  Take moments to be irrationally optimistic and practice being irrationally optimistic.  What does this mean?  Take chances on things you may not have normally.  Go out of bounds and think out of the boundaries of your normal.  Be the authentic you and who gives a crap what other people think about it.

Love relentlessly think about moments, minutes and hours as opposed to days, weeks, months and years.   Know that there are people that do love you but moreover there are many that can love you.

Make the choice to keep up and keep going, don’t give up.