a priori/a posteriori

Friday, November 2, 2012

My New Life Coach

For years, I’ve been jealous of how my younger brother lives his life.  He’s five years younger than me, but the dude just gets it.  He reads all the time. And he seems to enjoy his life.  Maybe he’d have a different interpretation.  But he sure seems to have his shit together.

He graduated from college this spring with a major in Mathematics, or Statistics, or something like that. He’s applying to jobs right now, looking to move out west, far far away from our family’s home outside of Pittsburgh.  And frankly, if you knew our parents, you would applaud the decision.

You’re the 5th GoogleImages result, Harrison. Also THIS is the picture that comes up.  Double loss, buddy.

I’ve done a great job this year of surrounding myself with brilliant people.  They’ve bettered my life, and made me happier along the way.  I wouldn’t have made my special without my friend Andrew, I wouldn’t have started doing a podcast without my friend Lawson, and I wouldn’t have gone to so many open-mics without my friend Subhah.  A ton of different people have helped make me a better version of myself.

With that in mind, I came to Harrison with an offer:  he was unemployed, and had nothing to do.  I have any money, which is more than he’s making right now.  So instead of just watching our dad get more depressed and our mom get more delusional, why not take on a part-time job as my life coach!?

It was an offer he couldn’t refuse.  Or, more accurately, an offer that he easily could have refused, but was cool about and agreed to do it.

So the past few weeks, we’ve been meeting over the phone, twice a week.  We set up goals at the beginning of the week, then check in mid-week to see how things are progressing, and quite simply, so that I remember that time is moving forward.

Harrison has been helping me figure out what works for me.  What things do I do that prevent me from accomplishing my goals?  What things do I do that distract me?  And more importantly, what things do I do that help me accomplish my goals?  If I exercise in the morning, does that make a difference?  If I drink a glass of water before I go to sleep, thus waking up more hydrated (almost like a reverse-hangover effect).  Does that help?  Does staying at home to write?  Does being around someone else help?

Basically, I’ve just started paying more attention to my own life.  And while the results aren’t overwhelming yet, I feel thrilled about the progress so far.  I really feel like I’m headed in the right direction, and pushing toward growth.  Part of what I want to accomplish is getting back to writing more blogs.  So I guess you’ll be able to see what kind of an effect this “life-coach” experiment ends up having.

Take this blog, for instance - the one you’re reading right now.  Last week, one of my goals was to write a blog about the progress I’m making on my special.  It’s been an incredibly frustrating process, trying to finish it and edit it and get it out.  And so I wanted to write about that, and document it.

But at the end of the week...I hadn’t written it.  It was something I wanted to do, but for whatever reason (or number of reasons), I hadn’t completed that goal.

But instead of just hating myself for not doing so (my traditional strategy), Harrison and I talked about it.  It’s been 5 months now since I taped the special.  Documenting those 5 months is a huge task, in my mind.

So instead of judging me or blaming me, we lowered the goal.  This week, my goal is to “write a blog about anything.”  It’s less specific, and less daunting.  And maybe, if I just write one about anything this week, then I’ll be more comfortable writing about the special next week.

Improvement isn’t about blaming yourself into being productive.  It’s about understanding why we don’t do the things we want to be doing.  It doesn’t make sense that we don’t do something we want to do.  So it’s not about bullying ourselves, at that point.  It needs to be about figuring out why.

I’ll finish this blog in about 5 minutes, and then chalk it off my list of goals for the week.  And it’ll feel pretty good when I do.  So that’s cool.  But one last thing before I do.

This is something I just found in me and my brother’s shared google docs:

How embarrassing for Harrison: he confused me with Boomtown Bryson
I had mentioned to Harrison that I waste a lot of my free time playing apps on my phone.  Especially any apps or video games that have RPG elements to them - which stands for “Role-Playing Game,” and basically means that the more you play the game, the better and better your character gets.  For some reason, if I’m playing a video game, and my character gets better and better the more I play, I get HOOKED.

And so knowing that, Harrison asked me what level I felt like I was, in my own life.  I thought about it, and said that if a character could potentially get up to a Level 60, then I feel like a Level 7 or 8 right now, in my life.

I didn’t really think too much about that conversation, until I saw that Harrison had messed around and made an “RPG character” version of me. Specifically, a Level 7 version.

It’s mostly just making fun of me.  But in a weird way, just seeing the picture above made me more excited to make this an awesome day.  I already went running, ran some errands, and now I’m finally writing a blog - something I’ve struggled to do for the past few months.  Now to work on my hygiene...

This is what it’s like having amazing people in your life.  They do awesome things, and you get excited, and inspired, and you’re in a better mood, and you want to do what you can to keep up with them.  They make you excited to live your life, because even if you’re not as “exceptional” as you thought you were, there’s still exciting and awesome things happening in your world, all the time.  Harrison is one of those people, and after being a huge part of my growth while he was staying here this summer, I knew my life would be better off with him in it.

So I low-balled him an offer to become my life coach.  And he said yes.  And then because he’s rad, he’s hitting it out of the fucking park.  He’s doing stuff I never thought he’d bother doing.  But he’s trying his best, and it’s helping to make me live a better life.  Already.  After two weeks.

My brother is rad.  So are a lot of people in my life right now.  Lucky me.

Write a blog about anything:  check.


  1. Good job, Turner Brothers! Keep it up.

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