I had a fantastic experience on the way to work today and I just thought I would share it with you.
My commute started as normal, with me listening to a podcast trying to better my life. I love Mark Manson, he’s got a lot to offer, really the reason I started doing these podcasts and websites in the first place which has now expanded into three or four different platforms. However, I finished up my podcast with him early and now had an additional 10 minutes to burn. I could start another podcast oh, I can listen to some music, I’ve got a couple audiobooks queued up but today I decided to try something different.
I just paused for a second and just sort of looked around the city as I was driving in. Now look, I don’t drive crazy, I am always looking around properly but I’ve been driving for a couple decades now and a lot of times things just sort of go on autopilot. You have heard me mention a million times about just becoming more aware of your surroundings.
Today I did.
And was amazed. The very first person I saw looks like a character out of a movie. He was a professor type: v-neck cardigan sweater with a trailing red loud Hawaiian print shirt on underneath. He had black Doc Marten boots and a pair of khakis. He was riding a little Vespa scooter I had a black helmet, perfectly round on his head. He was bent over this poor little scooter like a shrimp with a crook in his back that was amazing to behold. “Hawaiian Professor” as I instantly and automatically started thinking of him, was on the Frontage Road and I was on the freeway so I just kind of got to cruise past him 10 miles an hour faster than what he was going. This guy really just got me smiling.
I’m glad I saw that guy. He just seemed like a perfectly outlandish, stereotyped character.
Like if I was a writer for Sat. Night Live or The Simpsons cartoon and had to come up with a guy for the background. I don’t know what made him stand out to me but it just made me happy. I’m telling you, he would have made you happy too.
At the exact moment I started to think,”Now that’s fun, what a unique thing to see today, “ a car pulled into the freeway from the onramp. This piece of junk was swerving to-and-fro and heading right at me. Now I know this wasn’t a Fiat, or a Smart Car but for some reason my brain translated this car as one of the tiniest little cars I have ever seen. Stuffed into this car was a very angry looking large mama that was just Testifying to that poor soul that was on the other end of her speakerphone. She had on what I think was a shower curtain or possibly a Mumu in “flower print” and was wearing a shower cap. She was amazing to behold.
And not only was she yelling, she was shaking her finger at the windshield in a scolding gesture that I’m sure not only helps her make her point but also joggled great fear and trepidation to the poor individual that was unfortunate enough to be on the other end of that call.
What joy this brought me.
2 More characters in my life. I can use them in a story I’ll write someday. Characters.
Homer Simpson, Kramer, Uncle Cooter, George Jefferson, Khaleesi, Peter Griffin, Billy Madison: ChARACTERS. These guys and girls that entertain us from our TV’s and stereos.
These are the characters in your life. Just the name alone is enough to give you a complete visual and feel. The heroes, the villains, the extras and the first guys to get shot in action movies. Love them or hate them, it doesn’t make a difference to me. The fact is, we are entertained by them. The only issue I bring up for you is simly this:
They are the characters in your FAKE life. They are on TV and movies, they’re not real.
But fear nothing friends, for you have characters in your real life every bit as amazing, weird, screwed up and exciting as these guys. They might be a neighbor you can’t stand, the janitor at work with intricate decorations made out of paperclips, the friend that puts on a fake front at parties and facebook and makes her life seem soooo exciting or the cubicle mate that fakes how athletic they are despite being 300+ lbs.
The question I’ll pose to you then, fair and intelligent reader is this?
Why are your real-life characters annoying and miserable and bring you down but your fake-life characters are entertaining and enriching?
Why do we let our thoughts and feeling about the real people in our lives drive us nuts?
As you’ve by now realized if you have read any of my posts is that I live by a made-up set of rules and regulations called my “PILLARS OF LIFE.” These are fluid and ever changing but set a basic foundation of the universe to me. It allows stuff to make sense and adds doses of humor and relieves stress. I think on this stuff. I have thought all day on the two individuals I passed by today despite the fact that they all but matter fleeted through my existence.
I got to carry them with me all day. And they continually brought me a smile. And that’s enough.
The Characters in My Life principal can work for you. Get ready to have some fun with this.
Do you really think Kramer or heck, any of the characters from Seinfeld, would really be your friends in real life – Hell No! I wouldn’t want some city guy barging in whenever he wanted with insane plans and no conscience – yet I loved the show for him. This rule goes for any of the above-mentioned characters and all the others I haven’t included. They are the cast. They help make the show entertaining.
Now, step back a second in real life. Make the people in your life become your cast. The cast of your show in your universe. Its incredibly fun and your brain REALLY LOVES THIS! It just makes sense.
My characters MAKE the day more interesting and are fun to just sit back and watch. EVEN if they are trying to bring me or others down. It’s just good entertainment.
I know that the “Characters principal” is a major part in how I just keep loving coming to work every day. Puh, I met some characters today…and I will tomorrow. It takes stress and anxiety and flips it.
“Oh I can’t stand (insert person of choosing)” has morphed to “haha, I wonder what (same person) will do today. She be like cra-cra.” See how that works? I just went from despising her, to LOVING her! Now just like any show I have recurring characters that are frequently featured such as my friends and co-workers, I have small bit characters I may see revolve in and out at my kids soccer games and I have characters I’ll never know, they have no names, just the old lady that crashed into my cart at the grocery and yelled at me while shaking her fist in the air because she has nothing better to do in her life. It doesn’t get me down. It picks me up!
This may all seem like a small change and may feel even a bit lunatic but it is incredible how much it has changed my stress levels, tension and just bad Karma and bad thoughts as a whole. The world has enough negative and hate already. In the past, someone getting mad and aggressive at me would in turn make two of us mad, as I’d push back. Then I’d go home and take it out on my wife or kids as misery seems to be exponential… misery for all! -Now when one yells at me – I just have a little gleam of entertainment in my eye. Case closed!
I once had a lady whom I did not know come talk to me at a seminar. She asked me to sit in a chair and then immediately stuck an acupuncture needle in the top of my head. She said, “Its good to see you again James.” I told her, “Hey lady, I’ve never met you before and my name isn’t James, Its Chad.”
She looked confused. “You’re not James – you’re not suffering from Hemorrhoids?”
Me: “Nope and Nope, but thanks for Caring.”
There is no reason to despise the characters of your life – good or bad, they enrich the plot and keep you on your feet and stop you from being bored. Embrace it.
Enjoy YOUR show!
One thought on “The Characters In Your Life”
I could “see” the characters you described in your commute! I wonder what character you were in someone else’s commute that day?