Tuesday, September 3, 2019


I recently sent a pep talk to a grieving friend, but he took it the wrong way.

I replied:
It may seem like I imagine myself to be preaching from a position of imaginary superiority. But that’s 180 degrees wrong.

I imagine myself beaten, bloodied and sprawled on the tarmac, but finding, to my shock, my equanimity perfectly intact. This makes me the prophet of blithe failure, of worse-case scenario, compelled to deliver to those consumed by comparatively trivial injury the good news of what’s actually possible (i.e. freedom and delight despite the cinematic appearance of things and the neurotic compulsion to judge the current moment by what's missing). If I can coax you into occupying my perspective and feeling reassured for even a moment, the disquieting course which tempered this equanimity will have been worth it!

Over the past year, I’ve come to realize that it all boils down to a vanishingly tiny magic trick that I hadn't realized others don't recognize as perpetually available: the ability to lithely reframe. By simply remembering that you can always shift perspective (even while fraught or furious), the prevailing drama loses its grip, revealing stress and suffering to be self-induced and strictly optional.

Bona fide problems are exceedingly rare. When they occur, they're immediately acted upon in the moment. If someone ran into your room right now shooting a rifle, you wouldn’t think about it. You'd dive under the furniture without stopping to weave it into your perennially lousy luck or any of the other pain points you've been mentally curating. Real problems needn't metastasize into burdensome stories.

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