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Should We Kill Our Fallen Angels? What’s In Your Hero Plan?

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Slay the Heroes!

Grind them up and feed them to the swine!

COVID Round 4 is messing with my HERO Plan

Lance Armstrong, Julie Payette, Bill Gates, Andrew Cuomo, Bill Cosby, Aung San Suu Kyi … all modern-day fallen angels… have all, to greater and lesser degrees, stumbled downwards into the devil’s lair, shamefully shifted to Santa’s Naughty List.

I’ve loved and kissed the feet of them all at some point.

Surprisingly, Mahatma Ghandi, Winston Churchill, and yes, even Mother Teresa had their critics and criticisms, but checking back in our rearview mirrors, they made lasting impressions, and most folks will agree, left a positive mark on the world.

It won’t shock me if one day Barack Obama plummets from the heavens over something we uncover, a distasteful chink in his armour. Even Canada’s cancer hero,Terry Fox, had he lived long enough, would likely have crashed from some “undiscovered-til-now” weakness.

Despite all of this, I just don’t care.

I’ve said it before and will say it again… I still love heroes, frailties and all.

When I wander my local supermarket, I pick and choose *er… squish and taste* the produce that excels in the bins – the ones with the perfect Mona Lisa smiles – I don’t gather everything indiscriminately.

Similarly, when I look at choosing a hero, I select and attempt to model myself on the best of their character or performance, not the entirety of the person.

In books and movies we cherish superheroes. I’m sorry to tell you this but, Superman doesn’t exist in reality.

In real life, we only have human heroes. There are no heroes without flaws; real people who’ve tried to overcome their fears and weaknesses to accomplish something meaningful.

They may look like hapless heroes today, but they’ve given us good reason – even if only for a short time – to see them as heroes nonetheless. 

We’re all just human is an obvious expression of our fallibility, but it sums up the nature of humanity and its lack of perfection.

They say (eg. two famous John’s: JFK and the Bible, John 15) that with privilege comes responsibility… I’m hearing this over and over right now in the whole VAX debate (No, I won’t jump on this persistent itch here and now!)

I can only YODA-try to be a hero myself if I accept some responsibility. Hero’dom vehemently insists on it.

COVID days have brought a good deal of my world to a standstill… while I can’t truly solve the larger problems of the world, my esteem is lifted when I help others… sometimes only one other, sometimes 10 others.

And this is the big thing that I miss in all of this isolation. I crave responsibility with a small “r” and COVID is messing with my HERO plan.

My value, my worth, my “hero’ness” to the planet is solidified if my inherent privilege is utilized in a positive way. A selfish side-effect? My contentment increases alongside my generosity.

Like the fate of so many statues of the once infallibly fallible, let’s park our former heroes in museums of our mind, cherry-picking the best of their powers and attributes, while learning from their errors.

Almost like happy little accidents, personable heroes like Mr. Rogers or Bob Ross can lead our eyes and efforts over the lofty bar they set …

… for if we don’t have the azure sky to look towards, then what keeps us from sitting idle and letting the world merely happen to us, like dominos set in a row, awaiting our unavoidable and ultimate fate.

Right now… today… is a great time to get prepared and revive your Hero Plan.

Reverse Planning Your Way Along The Yellow Brick Road

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hypocrite-spray

I’m a big hypocrite.

I often say “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail”.

And I mean it, but honestly, I don’t always follow that strategy.

For example, I began writing this “FRINGE” blog just over 4 years ago much the way I do many other things in my life…

… to see where it might take me.

Yup. No plan. Just did it.

That’s not planning. Or maybe it’s reverse planning.

Reverse planning makes sense.

Sometimes in the ebony darkness of night when I’m laying in the hot tub, or returning from a late night of bartending, I’ll look into the immense infinityness of the sky.

I’ll pick one star and stare at it as if it belongs to me.

There are 7.4 billion souls in this world so why can’t we all own a star of our own and wonder. Was there a plan in place to make that star? I don’t think so.

It’s a random occurrence… a random piece of the jigsaw puzzle that makes up this universe. It just happened. No plan.

I’m generally a practical kind of guy and so, for many years, planning ahead for the “next” thing has been my approach. Here were/are a few of my plans…

PLAN #1: If I save 10% of every paycheque for 35 years, invest it at, say, a conservative 8% return, I’ll have a million bucks when I head out the big “R” door (sorry but I have a hard time saying RETIREMENT… it’s a word that should itself be retired).

PLAN #2: Forget Plan #1 and birth 3 beautiful kids, spend a few hundred thousand dollars nurturing and raising them to follow Plan #1 and provide for me when I walk out the big “R” door. (ASIDE: DUMB plan… Don’t ever make Plan #2 your #1 “R” plan, it’ll NEVER pan out the way you hope.) Just enjoy your kids cuz they’re cute.

PLAN #3: Forget all the plans and live in the World of Oz, and seek out the Yellow Brick Roads that lead into the abyss, the unknown. Via Reverse Planning.

reverse-planning

I try not to do things because it’s what the world around me says I should.

If I had followed the “recipe”… I might have been “successful”. You know, traditionally successful. I had a modicum of grey matter in my Green head.

I had tons of chances and opportunities to rise up the snakes and ladders game of success. But that would have been heading into a shitstorm for me. A plan, yes. But a bad plan.

I’m getting older – likely more foolish, definitely more impulsive – now I just wanna dive in to something…”Ready. Shoot. Aim.“-style …

Magically delicious, I’m discovering in recent years that while concrete plans are lovely and a pretty important framework for life, the most pulsating, invigorating and wondrous events seem to occur by the theory of “A Random Walk Down Main Street“.

I’m pushing the string now instead of pulling it.

There’s something very energizing about travelling down an unknown foreign alley to see where it will lead…

Most of what I do today I don’t do for money. I truly love the almighty dollar, but it’s a tool, a Harry Potter wand for my use, not the object of the game.

Sure, I spend hours each week researching and investing my money in APPLE and VICTORIA’S SECRET but outside of that, the stuff that occupies my hours and days very rarely results in a financial gain.

I do things for the challenge, the sense of accomplishment and fireworks and enthusiasm it fills me with.

Things like learning to make sushi. Teaching new immigrants English skills. Drilling over and over the tough guitar licks in Fleetwood Mac’s Never Going Back. Mixing my first Strawberry Daiquiri. Making toilet paper origami Ogopogos.

I’m looking to reinvent myself with ideas and options every day. I’m learning new skills, practicing new efforts, trying on new careers for size.

five-people

We’re not only the average of the five people around us.

We’re the average of the habits we create, the things we eat, the ideas we nurture, the talents we pursue, the content we consume.

Writing this blog is part of the whole reinvention process. It’s a part of my life’s circle that contributes to the whole “me”.

Writing is my way of mining myself for ideas and directions.

I really don’t know what I’m thinking or writing about until I’m about halfway along the route. I begin typing away and then the mysterious muse appears from behind a mystical cloud and begins leading me.

It’s as if someone else is doing the thinking, the writing. I merely act as the conduit for the inner machinations of my mind like a violinist in the orchestra watching the maestro for the baton’s leadership and direction.

I began this post a few days back writing about Labour Day passing and how it was the start of a New Year. Then 500 words along I realized that a transformation of thinking had taken place…perhaps IDEA SEX… and I was now talking about how to plan a day, a week, a life via reverse planning.

When I write a song, I don’t know if it will be good until I’ve finished and played it a couple hundred times, making changes constantly. Is it more suited to a country or jazz or folk format? How about the pacing, does it sound more powerful played lento or allegro? Does the chorus need to be higher pitched?

If it still stands up proudly after too too many repetitions, it’s a keeper. Otherwise, like potential careers and other lesser and more important choices we make, it goes into the garbage bin making room for the next idea, the next song.

Reverse planning is shotgun life.

READY. SHOOT. AIM.

Spray your targets of interest, delicious potential passions, lightly sampling and tasting and trying an amuse bouche of a dozen or a hundred things.

Then take the best of what you find along your route and make it your life.

Then look up at YOUR star in the dark dark sky and see how much more brilliantly it shines.

night-sky-star