Hi, My name is Nick. I live in Taiwan. I will live here for the next 8 months. I am studying the bible. I know I am supposed to be doing this, but… I have a friend who is nearly done with his undergrad, another who is in law school. My girlfriend travels around with Rodrigo y Gabriela raising money for women in Honduras. My friend Max is a successful writer, and his Lauren runs the @GoodwomanProj . I also have a ruler in my backpack that comes in handy when I need to compare the life everyone else is living with mine.
Hi, My name is Nick and I am human.
Sitting in my sixth grade humanities class day dreaming about being completely done with school. My older brother would be finished in two years, then he would be there. There: Being the place you arrive when you have achieved! Achieved what? Success? I don’t know. I remember graduating, and having one month of bliss. The bliss found in the world telling me, “You are successful! Way to go!” That was it. Then on to the next achievement. Monetarily successful. And after I’ve accomplished whats next I’ll have to accomplish whats after.
Christmas time is the worst. Everyone reunites, which is the best, and talks about all they are accomplishing, which is the worst.
“Jared! How are you? What are you up to. Man its been way to long. Tell me about your life!” Says Nick.
“Dude, so good to see you! Yeah just working on my Masters in…yarp yarp yarp” Jared goes on.
All of a sudden I have this urge to muster up my portfolio of success.
“Well Jared, if you look here… I have been working on this… Making connections here… Oh and this fall Ill be launching this..” I finished. We give a gentleman’s chuckle. I pat him on the back and walk over to where the eggnog is being served and add a little more rum to mine. We pulled out our rulers and measured each others success. He won.
I remember it taking me a few weeks to detox from all the success others were experiencing.
For those who have it together and are selfless, manly, and like Jesus: You don’t need to keep reading.
I think of myself as a fairly confident guy.
When I hear about others’ success I reach into my backpack and sift around looking for the ruler with my name on it.
The ruler I kid myself into believing will bring my some sort of acceptance and comfort.
I am a believer. There is not a thing I can do to make this guy Jesus love me anymore than he already does… but I am so human it kills me. When I hear about how you are doing and what you are doing it makes me happy. It it also tests my foundation. The parts of my foundation I put myself in charge of building. The parts of my foundation where I told Jesus, “Hey man, don’t worry! I got this section under control. Besides you are doing a lot already and I want to do some…and maybe if I help you out you can put my name on the plaque next to yours?” I am not surprised at myself or anyone else who wants their name to carry some sort of honor, weight or prestige. To look at my portfolio and have it receive the stamp of approval from this world. The stamp that reads: Successful . I won’t ever get it. At least from the world I live in.
Here is the real inconvenient truth. The one that excludes Al Gore, the polar bears, and rising tides.
No matter who you save, how much money you get, who you marry, how many kids you have, if you have your doctorates in ____, or if you have 55,000 #instagram followers. You will not get your stamp, or your boy scouts badge.
So you are single and successful making loads of cash, and have many leather bound books in your new apartment that smells of rich mahogany. You won’t get your stamp, because you are not married. You are not raising a family with your lifelong partner, or leaving behind a legacy.
So you are married to your lifelong partner and family beautiful children. Your goal is to support them through life. That is actually really incredible and hard to find, but sorry you don’t get your stamp. You settled. You didn’t pursue being single and all the riches it has. Sleeping around. Climbing the business ladder. You don’t even have time to work on your masters.
There actually is no stamp to begin with and no actual rule book to reach success. We have all been duped. We have been following the imaginary rule book, trying to reach an imaginary destination. Success should read, “Success: Not found here,” or “Success: Where ever you are not.”
I found some one who does know the key to success. He doesn’t write it in the Secret and you won’t find it in Your Best Life Now. No, you will find it in the #bible spoken by a dude whose success was being betrayed by a friend, physically abused (least of all spit on), and nailed to a tree. If you know the story, then you know he was called a few bad names as well. I would hate that for myself, but then again I am an imperfect man. Thank God he rose again. He did it all for us. That is success.
Before he died a guy came up and asked him, “Whats the greatest commandment?”
Jesus told him, “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
This redefines success.
Jesus just schooled all of us.
Welcome to the space created to give you the monologue of my life, in hopes it creates a dialogue with yours.