The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning to work on becoming yourself. — Anna Quindlen
The Concept of the Root Command
I have come to believe that each individual has ingrained within them a set of instructions which tells them how to act. I am calling my set of instructions my command line. You may call this concept something different but whatever you want to call it, it means the same thing.
Where did these instructions come from, that is how did they originate. Speaking only for me I believe mine originated during my early childhood. To specify: My family, my teachers, my “friends” all programmed me at an early age, with the belief, that I could never be rich or happy. I was always told that “I would never amount to anything”, that I could and should never be self-reliant and so I believed it. And this belief has persisted for sixty years all to my own detriment.
I think this may explain why so many old people have nothing but social security (if they have that) to live on. It may also explain why so many individuals, both young and old, feel that life is only a sham, and maybe something to be avoided all together. It may also explain why there is so much negativity in the country today.
Making a Living versus Living a Life
Most of us make a living in some fashion or another. We find a job, work and provide food and shelter for our families, and then at the appropriate age we let the government take care of us with Social (in)Security and Medicare. Many of us have no real savings, and if we do it is of a finite amount. Most of us take vacations but restrict ourselves to what we can afford and where we go. Most of us live but never experience the joy of having a life, a life free from want and need. And we call this the American dream?
I discovered, albeit very late in life, that I needed to change myself so I began by asking a simple question of myself: Self, what happened to me?
The question then morphs into: Where did I go wrong?
And: Why did I not plan for the future?
I decided to answer these questions by exploring my past. This approach led to one very important question that had to be answered above all others: Why did I never grow up (mentally speaking)?
This particular question became a two-edged sword in the sense I have always felt young at heart and I always felt that I had all the time in the world. It wasn’t until I reached the age of 60 I finally woke up and realized that my lifetime was running out and that I had done squat with my life.
I have always made a good living for my family but I never fashioned a life. I always wished for a life but I never took the time to create one. I should have started years ago but I didn’t. As I mentioned earlier I felt that I had all the time in the world because I simply refused to grow up (in the mental sense of the word).
A Jack of All Trades and a Master of Nothing
How many times did I tell myself I want to “leave my options open”? I lost count not that it matters because as an ignorant, goal deficient individual I ensured my life would be a total failure. When I began to examine my past and discovered my command line, many things about me began to make sense. I realized why I was living from payday-to-payday, and why I didn’t have money in the bank. I realized my attitude, a feeling that I knew it all and nobody could tell me any different, came back to haunt me.
Over the years I have learned numerous skills but now I realize that I have not mastered any of them. In my youth I discovered that I had a desire to do everything but never, never did I realize that I should only do one thing at a time. And that one thing I should learn and master well before moving on to something different. The price I am paying for such ignorance is now being collected in full.
Yet there is still hope, as now, even this late in life, I am focusing on one area of my life and I am learning to give my full attention to that one area. These words you are reading is part of that area I am focusing on.
The odds are I will never be rich, that is a multimillionaire (unless I win the lottery) this late in life. Stranger things have happened to be sure, and I will never say never, but I’m not holding my breath either. No, what I have set my goals on now is just to quit living payday-to-payday. To achieve this goal I need to do two things: 1) stop spending money, and 2) earn extra money, so-called new money. Neither one of these items is difficult to obtain so why am I pulling my hair out?
The answer to that question is my command line, and that has to be completely rewritten. The only question now is – how?