It went out like a light.
I was 41 years old.
I was sure I had nothing to offer, I had no value, and I had no future.
It felt like I was on a stormy sea, on a ship, and had no control where the ship was going. I was not the captain, I didn’t hold the levers and dials in my hand.
Until that point I went wherever the ship went, and did what I could: do a good job, or not, wear clothes, read books, and be a passenger.
I had one client who occasionally needed an architect, so I made just enough to not literally starve.
I spent four months thinking and preparing to go down with the ship.
Then in that same July the end was even closer: I needed to make a choice to have a haircut or buy the medication I was told I needed to live.
For the second time in my life I asked for help… I got it, got a haircut and hired myself out to sell advertising for a small local rag.
I got lucky. Then I got promptly betrayed by the person who trained me to sell… and looking back:
that is what I needed: a little anger. A little hate. A swift kick in the butt.
I went to another similar magazine and sold advertising for them. I also helped put the magazine together. Then I helped design the ads. Volunteered to write dining reviews. Nightly I helped deliver the magazines.
That betrayal, that kick, like the kick on a motorbike started my engine…
When you are fueled to go away from the teeth of the shark of being a loser, being worthless, being no good for anyone, you start driving your life…
The question is: will you keep it up, or will you fizzle out and go back to being a passenger.
I have looked and many people find my site through searching for the meaning of some words, like shrewd, and astute.
From the questions I see that the culture, the worldview that they live in: They consider both evil. Especially women.
For every society a person who has power, who will drive their own life is a threat.
Human societies are built like a pyramid: hapless on the bottom, suppress on the top.
So parents, teachers, elders, peers tell everyone that that pyramid is the order of things… That you are either on the bottom, or on the top. And to strive to be your own person, to disregard the order of things is immoral, and maybe even illegal…
And, of course shrewd and astute are some of the tools someone can use to move from the bottom to self-sufficient, autonomous, person who is in charge of their life.
But it is done, person by person, by an individual… it is not a societal movement.
No matter how many people chant: Black Lives Matter, Me too, My body my business… unless the individual takes charge, takes 100% responsibility for their lives, their behavior, their words, their attitude, nothing will change because nothing CAN change.
I had a boss in the magazine business where I started. Where I first sold advertising and did those other things. Then I got kicked out… but by then I had the idea and the skills for my own magazine…
My boss there was a good boy from Syracuse NY. He was good, he was good to me, But he wasn’t astute, wasn’t shrewd, because goodness is a worldview… and that worldview won’t allow you to take care of yourself.
Good, when anyone thinks of you, needs to be NOT the first adjective… it needs to be only the third or the fourth…
Do-gooders try to fix what is wrong with them, what is wrong with the world, and can neither be shrewd nor astute… they are limp dicks: selling out to goodness.
To drive your life you need to adhere to Hillel’s questions and make sure you do.
If I am not for me who is for me?
If I am only for myself, who am I?
And If not now, when?
Last night when I went to bed I found a flying bat in my bedroom. I opened the window in my office for the bat to fly out, but it could not feel the air coming in from the office.
For about two hours then I cowered under the cover and watched the bat try to find its way out. Then at the end of the two hours it dawned on me that the bat was showing me which way it wanted to go out. So I gathered my courage and braved the few feet between my bed and the window, and pulled up the mosquito screen for the bat to be able to fly out.
It watched me do it, and whoosh… flew out.
That bat has more autonomy, more shrewdness than you and occasionally me.
Did that bat learn its lesson?
I think so. And what was the lesson? ‘This human wants me out. This human will find a way.‘
Did it really? I don’t know… But I can tell you: it was never afraid of me. It did what it needed to do to show me that I was safe and that it needed me. And that our interests align.
Once it was out I slept like a baby. Better than normal.
So let me ask you a question: If I told you to drive your life. Maybe to run your life like a business, what would you think I asked you to do?
What do you think of business? Of money? Of work? Of value?
Unless you know what it means to drive your life, drive your life like a business, you are a passenger on a ship, and rarely if ever feel like a person who deserves the title: person.
In the Moneyroots workshop we start dealing with the questions that can set you free.
Free means empowered. Not liberty, mind you, but freedom.
Liberty keeps you on the ship, keeps you a passenger. Because liberty is given to you. By others. Liberty is an outside thing.
Freedom is taken. It’s an inside job.
Unless you are free you can’t be astute. Can’t be shrewd. You can’t have autonomy. You are a bottom person on that pyramid. And you are an effect.
Your moneyroots… whatever they are, keep you a passenger, that is why we need to see them. They keep you on that ship. They keep you chained to the bottom of the pyramid… an effect.
And… of course, if you find out what those roots are and learn how to create something new, you can start driving your own ship, driving your own life.
Find out what keeps you a passenger
If you don’t even know what is happening under the hood… what drives the ship and how, you won’t be able to get off the ship… and you won’t be able to chart your own path.
In the Moneyroots workshops we deal with, reveal, identify, and explore what happens under the hood.
We do 30% of the job in the session. Then your job is to verify that it is indeed so in every area of your life. And then what remains is the 7% of the job: do what you need to do to drive your life.
That part is only 7%… But that part is impossible if the first 93% is done thoroughly.
If you catch yourself wanting to act before you explored the roots completely, you can be sure those actions came from the roots as well.
So you see, this work needs discipline. To not act prematurely.