I’m going to take a chance with this post and write something in a different style. You’ll have to let me know if you like it. “Boomer” and “Confidant” are real people and this short story really happened.
Boomer was born in 1950; thus the name. Boomer had two brothers, one sister and perfectly normal middle-class nuclear family. His parent’s direction defined his life. Get an education and a good job, work hard, get married, have children, buy a home and you will have a fine life indeed. He retired at the age of 57 because he hated his job with a Fortune 100 company. He moved to the Northwoods of Wisconsin to get away from the stress and turmoil of living in cities.
“So what’s wrong with that?”, asked Confidant.
Boomer replied, “My life was a bore. I lived inside the box that my parents had defined for me. I trusted their advice; education, a good job, work hard, family, and somehow everything would be great and rewarding.”
“And so it should be. You have a fine family, Boomer”, replied Confidant. “You made good money at your career. Your children are perfectly normal with no issues with drugs, alcohol, divorce, or the law. What could possibly be wrong with that?”
“That’s the problem.”, replied Boomer. “I don’t feel like I succeeded at anything. I never stepped outside the box that my parents had defined for me. I was all a routine. I set limits for myself and was always fearful of stepping outside of those limitations.”
“Everyone does that.”, replied Confidant. “What’s so unusual about that? Most of them don’t even know that they’re doing it.”
“Again, you restated the problem.”, replied Boomer. “If you want to do anything significant or rewarding with your life, you have to get outside the box that your parent’s teaching ingrained in you. You have to realize that you have complete control over only one thing – your mind. You have to recognize that there are no limits. You can do and be whatever you want. You should never set limits. But I did because I didn’t know any better. If you want to succeed at something you need to get outside your comfort zone, use the 99% of your mind that you use for nothing else, and replace simple imagination with creative imagination.”
“Who told you that?”, injected Confidant.
Boomer looked off into the distance and seemed to be in deep thought. “After retiring, I was so unhappy once I realized that I had succeeded at nothing, I spent the next four years researching why. I read every book I could find on success. I learned a lot and started applying the principles that I was learning. I fixed me first. I was a mess. Negative attitude most of the time. I repelled people with my negative attitude. Didn’t know I was doing it. Anyway, I fixed everything and changed me. But that was only half the job that needed to be done.”
“So you still felt that something was missing?”, replied Confidant. “Isn’t a bit late to look back on your life? You can’t change anything in the past.”
“No.”, replied Boomer. But every day can be a new beginning. I can start over. I can shed the limitations that I placed on myself, begin thinking creatively, follow my gut and instincts instead of my parent’s advice, do something different, and take risks. Do you understand what I am saying?”
“Kind of”, replied Confidant. “But I still don’t understand why this bugs you so much. Anyone would be happy with your life. So you’re bored. You are a little more demanding than most people. But now that you fixed certain aspects of your character and thinking, what is the other half that needs to be done that you referred to?”
“It bothers me that others are doing the same thing without knowing it.”, replied Boomer.
“Doing what?”, questioned Confidant.
“Setting limitations on themselves”, replied Boomer. “Living their lives inside a box. Doing exactly what their parents did and taught to them. Believing that is the way to a successful and rewarding life. I see it every day. Get up, go to work, put in their eight hours, go home, go to bed, and do it all over again. But if they would take control of the other 99% of their brains, put on their creative thinking hats, and get rid of the fear, doubt, and worry that holds them back while replacing it with faith in themselves. There is so much more in their environment that needs their attention. So many things, ideas, and concepts that they would find both interesting and rewarding on a grand scale.”
“But what if they don’t feel the same way about all this?”, argued Confidant.
“So be it.”, replied Boomer. “But they at least need to know what’s possible. Then they can decide.”
“Are you saying that you intend to let the whole world know that they need to throw off whatever limitations they have defined for themselves?”, inquired Confidant. “And that they should start or do whatever they want without fear or limits?”
“Yep.”, replied Boomer. “That’s exactly what I’m saying”.
“But how, exactly, do you intend to do that, Boomer?”, asked Confidant.
“Confidant, we have the Internet now.”, replied Boomer. “You can use the Internet to talk to anyone.”
“Another Weblog?”, asked Confidant.
“No.”, replied Boomer. “A training/teaching website. A monster of a site with daily interaction between instructor and student. Self-paced learning, audio tapes, video lessons, checklists, recognition for accomplishment, seminars. It’s not hard to teach someone success principles like desire, faith, perseverance, organized planning, use of master-mind groups, thinking creatively. But teaching these principles is not the challenge. You have to show students HOW to persevere, HOW to plan, HOW to think creatively. And then you stick with them until they have mastered the principle and made it part of lives. That’s the challenge.”
“Wow!”, exclaimed Confidant. “Are you serious?”
“I’m afraid so.”, replied Boomer. “I know. It’s scary. It’s a huge undertaking. And I don’t even know if this type of content will be accepted. But I have to let people know. I have to do something besides shove a book in their face. When I was still working, I tried that with my office staff and no one read the book.”
“That sounds like a gigantic undertaking, and risky.”, replied Confidant. “Are you really going to do this?”
“I’m not certain.”, replied Boomer. “I think that I have to in order to find if I can be successful at something. Or the whole thing might be a failure. But remember that there is much to be learned from failure too. Failing is just as instructive as succeeding, although most people don’t see it that way. The important part is that you don’t quit when you fail. When it’s time to attempt something like this, I’ll know. But I think it will get done some day, so stay tuned.”