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Guest Post: Greatness and Humility

A few days ago, I wrote an open letter to a good friend of mine - "I Think Greatness is Something You Are, Not Something You Do" - I said to him, I'm not a great man, just a normal man working on great things. Greatness is something you do, not something you are.

To give you some background, my friend Brendon is just one of the most amazingly good people in the world. He takes care of everyone around him, his mind, body, and spirit are sharp. He's a black belt, an excellent programmer, a philosopher, a Shodan in Go (actually, even stronger than that - he's a Shodan under the Asian rankings, so probably even higher in America), a hard worker, extremely loyal, a clear and free thinker, widely read and knowledgeable, and again - an amazingly good guy. I've learned a lot from him (notably, he taught me how to play Go, sysadmin Linux, understand basketball at a very high level, improve at martial arts, improve my fitness, and other good stuff - we'd usually go drink green tea and play Go at Samurai Restaurant in Boston, go fight in the park, talk philosophy out at nightclubs, do stuff like that).

He wrote back to me about greatness and humility. I think this is a really beautiful piece, so I asked him if I could gently edit it and put it up. He graciously agreed. It's long, but go ahead and just start it and give it whatever time you have - there's a lot of amazing insight in here.

A Quick Favor Request - if you learn from this or it helps you, please send Brendon a quick email to mail@bobz.in - he was actually a little gun-shy about having such a personal piece put up with such raw power in it. He only agreed when I told him how many people it could help - so please, drop him a short line to say thanks if this teaches you as much as it did me.

Without further ado...

How do I Get the 'Best Life' [aka a good start to adulthood]

On The Relieved Crab

18 years of age since last June, to European standards I'm a ........man! I remember at a play rehersal a friend of mine who's 16.5 years of age, said with an envious tone, 'Your so lucky man, you can drive, drink, have sex, anything'. That 'anything' ringed in my head constantly throughout the rehersal, perhaps it explained why was I told by the director to get the f++k off the stage, which to my fright lurched me out of my dream stance. To the typical person, one would smile tinkle his fingers and do an 'menacing' sort of laugh as he plans for world domination [ok maybe a Mr. Burns type character woukld do that].

Not me though, to be honest I was terrified. Now was the time to start planning my life, no longer were the care-free days of messing about nor the exciting [even deluded] visions of our future lives as adults ....Well I'm one now and I look with shattered, heart-broken disappointment in the mirror as I appear to me the same person as I was at 15. At the age I envisioned I would a goatee beard, bulging biceps, pearl-white teeth, drivers license, straight A grades, had at least one girlfriend, to act, sing and write very well. But no as I see it i'm wasn't the multi- talented hunk about to embark to the realm of teenage stardom. The only thing racing through my mind was......have I wasted my teenage years day-dreaming about the 'perfect life' and the 'perfect' man to suddenly arrive on my doorsteps from the gates of heaven. That I was 'special', the 'chosen one', the.... nooooooooo !!!!

Well I guess i don't have everything for me as I thought I had. it's so easy sitting in a classroom thinking of all these amazing your going to do, neglecting your studies- which are pretty much your only way to a cog in this giant machine called Earth. School, classrooms, teachers, hallways, those were my only world for almost 13 years, so how was I supopose the 'real' world 'outside' the bubble, and without that world how was I supposed to know my own capilities? If all I've really done was sit in class, staring blankly at a chapter about ...the formation of brown earth soils [for example] doing my homework and just being a 'kid'.

Okay that last paragraph was a tiny bit off track, but don't we all do that at times. it shows the unpredictibility of our minds. So if I was able to produce that without knowing before hand, who knows what i could produce if I got overcome the doubts, the fears, the worries, the anxieties [those f++king voices that haunt us all] of trying new things.

To the point of this post, i'm at a point in my life where I need to start making the 'right' decisions to my future path. I've been doing so much research on college courses and anything, but the bottom line is that I don't what to end up as the typical, everyday-joe at the office from 9-5. I promised myself at 14 that become a part of the 'masses;, but now I realize why most of us do. Should take the risky path of the performing arts [which I don't know if I have a true 'passion' for it] or just pick a course that 'interests' me and see where I lead to?

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