Feb. 9th, 2007

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Jason sent me this comic this morning. I swear to all that we have actually had this same conversation. I believe it may have been a platypus though, not a mongoose.

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Anyone watch Oprah yesterday? She had all these people on talking about some DVD and book combo called "The Secret". Basically saying the whole universe is mind over matter, and that the secret to getting what you want is simply to visualize what you want and ask for it, believe that you will get it, and act in a manner that will promote your goals. And of course, the corresponding rule in this equation is that if you don't get what you want, that you must be blocking yourself by not truly believing. Everyone seems to be hailing this as some great accomplishment and startling, life-changing revelation. As far as I can figure, this is all a load of crap. That stuff is easy and obvious. If you know where you want to do, the "secret" is to just keep running that way. And thus, obviously, any steps you take that are in a different direction are going to take you further from your goal. Anyone should be able to see that without even looking that closely at the idea. It's not that their idea is wrong, it's just that it's so obvious I can't believe anyone would pay for it.

The "teachers" of this secret, and the people that are making a crapload of money off this DVD, are those "motivational speaker" types whose lives were the best examples they could come up with for "before" stories. I always wonder what happens to these people a couple of years down the road. One of them, for example, had already come to the brink of bankruptcy twice. I wonder a decade down the road, if he's not there again despite the boatload of money he's making today. I always wonder what is the difference between this kind of person, the kind that does the motivational speaking gig, and a con artist. They both make their money by telling you the stuff you want to hear.

Anyway, getting away from the hope for schadenfreude, it got me to thinking. In a way I'm sure they're right. Being successful is simply a matter of defining success and then striving for it. As "groundbreaking" as this secret is, I think they are missing the point entirely. The trick to having a successful life is not simply achieving goals, but on setting the right goals. The ones that will actually make you happy. Telling someone how to do something is relatively easy, whether it's getting out of debt, losing weight, or meeting people to date. Telling them or helping them to decide which of these goals will actually make them happy is a whole heck of a lot harder. The world is full of unhappy people with great accomplishments. If someone finds the secret to that little detail I'll buy.

So yeah, just me again whining that I have no idea where I want to go and what I want to do with myself. The reason I'm not moving forward is that I have no idea where I want to go. And as tempting as it is to just keep moving and give myself an illusion that I'm on my way towards something, I think I really need to pull over and check the map. Problem being I don't know how to read my own map. What kind of professional can help you chart a path for your life and help you find your passion?

In other news, had a little e-bay spree a few weeks ago. Never bought anything on e-bay before. Quite pleased with my first attempt. A little black Tripp NYC dress that fits like a glove. Smells a little funny though. Even Anna thinks it's a bit odd. She kept coming up, sniffing the dress, then sniffing my face or hands, as if to say "gee mom, that's something real funny you rolled in there". I'll post pics of the fab new dress later, in the meantime, for the curious, here's the link to the auction.


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