Last week, when I had some free time I saw a movie that I had been wanting to see for a while. I saw Limitless starring Bradley Cooper. For those who do not know, this is a movie about a guy who takes a pill that expands his brain function and capacity and thus unlocking his true potential. With this new heightened state of awareness he is able to do things that no one but real geniuses can do.
There are few things that I found to be very interesting and one of them was that he was able to really focus. Once he took the pill, he was able to cut out all the distractions in his life and do what he needed to do. The first thing he did was clean his apartment which makes me laugh because I struggle just to clean my room. The second thing he did was write a book in fours days. This was something that he was trying to do his whole life and he knew how to do it and got it done.
The rest of the movie was good but for the purposes of this blog it is not that important. I felt that this movie spoke to me in regards to the fact that I cannot seem to focus because I allow my problems to dictate my life. While I do not need a pill to realize that I can be lazy, I have pretty much been able to deduce what one my problems has been over the last several years of this stagnant life I have been living. I lack focus because I worry about everything around me and thus I make excuses for not doing something that I need to be doing.
I have already determined that I am done with excuses. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have already made a list of things that I need to do. What I did not say is that this list has made me feel overwhelmed and I had to convince myself that I do not need to complete everything thing on this list right now. What this list had done is let me visualize everything I have to do and things that I should have done for years. This is basically drawing a very vivid picture of my failures. However, it has not stopped me and by the end of this blog I will prove it.
The other revelation that occurred to me last week while I was having drinks with some colleagues. There are not that may people of color that work at Syracuse University so we tend to stick together and hang out every once and while. One of my friends, that I have worked with for the majority of time that I have been here, asked me if I am still taking classes. I was almost embarrassed to tell him that I was not. He is currently working on his PHD, so you can see why I would feel a little ashamed. I told him that I stopped because I was job searching and I really didn’t think I would still be here and I didn’t want to be in a program if I was leaving…
…and then it happened. I realized again that I was making another excuse. I wish that I could have pulled the words back. He told me that I should not let this stop me from learning. Even if I were to get accepted into the program I want, it is ok to leave as long as I still take the classes. He followed up by saying that I could put an “Expected End Date” on my resume so that potential employers know that I care about my education. I thought about this for the rest of the night and the weekend.
Turns out that I have been talking a lot of shit to myself and to everyone and I have had enough. I did two things this past weekend. The first was that I cleaned up my room. This is something I just normally do when I am expecting company but this time I really cleaned it, which includes dusting and throwing many things in the trash. I still came to the realization that I need to care about the things that I do not care about so I can get rid of them and not let things pile up.
Junk mail would be a good example of this. I get so much shit from people who want my money that I cannot stand it. Not to mention that what is not junk mail is a bill of some kind. I have become one of those people who just does not open his mail unless I can recognize it is not either one of the two things I just mentioned. So, no I do not open my bills because I have this thing called a computer. I know how much I owe. Before you can tell me to click the paperless option, when something is overdue, they send a bill through the mail anyway.
The second thing that I did was dedicate 3 hours of total silence on MLK day to writing my novel. I wrote 3 chapters in this book that I hardly ever talk about because in the back of my mind I do not want to disappoint people nor myself if I do not finish this. But of course, the beauty of talking as much shit as I have is that I can say anything and not prove it. Well, I sent it to my girlfriend, who barely knew I was writing a novel. I needed her to see that it was real because if I do not, is it real at all?
Which brings me to my ultimate point here. There are no excuses this year. I cannot be allowed to make a single excuse for not being able to get the things I need to get done. I also cannot expect me to think that everything on my list can be done right now. This is a process that will take time. This is my new journey to reach my ultimate potential. I do not need a pill to see the limitless possibilities of this.
Here are the things that I have done so far this year in the effort to invest in myself. I have ordered new windows for the house, I have written two short stories. I paid off a credit card, I started going to the gym everyday, and I started reading again. Yet, the one of the most important things that I just did today was register for class. This is the first time I will be in class since 2008.
No More Excuses.
2 thoughts on “Limitless”
Your post is inspiring. First thing I thought was, I think I need to watch that movie. It seems like a metaphor for what Yoga calls 'centering,' and what Christians and Buddhists call 'meditating.' Well, it may be an unintentional metaphor 🙂
Second thing I thought was how much we tend to hold ourselves back from things we want to do because of fear, or problems. I once attended a professional development day that was absolutely boring, but the speaker that day gave me a nugget that helped me get the courage to get out of the decade-long rut I was in: she said, “Fear is the Great Paralyzer.” Nothing can stop you in your tracks like Fear. And what is Fear, but the lack of knowledge of the future? No one knows the future, but how many successful and happy people run from the future? Probably none.
Third, keep writing. I'm rooting for you!! I know a woman who was a teacher, and her dream was to write a novel. Her husband suggested that she get up a few hours earlier every day and work on a page. Or two. She did that every day for a year, finished her book, and is now contracted to do 3 novels for her publisher. Plus — HBO is considering a mini-series based on her first book!! Baby steps.
All the best to you, Anthony.
Thank you Gladys,
I hope you are doing well.
Fear is so powerful. It truly does stop us from doing the things we should be doing. The funny thing is that some of our fears are so irrelevant that we feel silly when we finally conquer them.
That is awesome about your friend! I am in the middle of chapter 7 myself. I think about Stephen Kings and how he writes a 1000 words a day. That's not out of the question for me.