We all want to be happy.
Easier said than done. For many years I was basically happy, but I was also living a life with a continuous underlying angst and unrest.
I was either fretting about the past. Reliving moments over and over in my mind. I would scald myself for being stupid, irresponsible, or undisciplined.
Or, I was too often living in the future. As soon as I achieve this level of income I’ll be happy. Or, when this (or that) occurs then I’ll be really able to enjoy myself.
So too much of my conscious (or really my unconscious) thinking was either in the past or the future. I was not very good at living in the present.
Being Forrest Gump for 15 years taught me a lot of important skills and life lessons. But the single most important thing I learned was this: To be successful – and have fun – while performing as Mr. Gump for 5 straight hours, 3-days per week was I had to show up in a good mood. I had to be rested, well hydrated, and nourished. In other words, I had to be 100% fully present.
During my 10+ years in Montana I learned a lot of new skills and important life lessons. But the single most important thing I learned was this: The only thing I can control is my thoughts, actions, and the way I interact with others. Everything else (e.g. economy, other people, weather, and so forth) are things that I have absolutely no control. Boy was that at times really frustrating! Things that historically annoyed me suddenly started to be OK. I started to gain control over myself – and my life – that previously felt like a roller coaster. I was learning to live in the moment. I was learning to control my thoughts. My consciousness.
With the new ability to be present, I started to ask myself, “what kind of life would I like to live?”
And as I started to focus on the life I wanted, I began to behave in a manner that would make that possible.
Things that used to annoy and frustrate me no longer did.
Things that used to seem really important no longer felt so.
Things I used to do routinely to sabotage my mindset and physical health suddenly became apparent. And diminished.
Beliefs from my upbringing and historical past were suddenly allowed to be questioned. Some beliefs were rejected, some no longer felt necessary, while many just dissolved and faded away.
Right and wrong, good and bad, and all the sharp contrasts and judgements that I regularly would make became exhausting ? what if most things were neutral? ? or a pale shade of gray?
So it is with that backdrop that I decided that I’d leave Montana and travel the country searching for others who have created a life they love.
I’m curious to discover how others awakened and shed the beliefs and traditions imposed upon them. And my hope is by sharing their stories it will help you, me, and others create our own lives we love.
Less is more. More and more is no longer appealing (or sustainable).
All we really need is Love. All we really want is Love. All we really are is Love.
It starts by learning to be present. Aware. Conscious.
I’m still learning, but I’m getting better at it.
American Gumption is all about finding people who are living a life they love and sharing their stories.
American Gumption is all about this Host living a life he loves and sharing his journey.