Diluting the dream

Whether or not we act on it, I think we all have the desire within us to be great, to do something…extraordinary. Life, love, illness, money and a whole host of other factors will determine whether we have the right mindset to make it happen but regardless, we all have the same potential deep within us, in one form or another.

So for those who do discover their life’s great love, how do they manage to stay on track and not allow their goals and dream to become diluted by the minutiae of every day life?

I left home to become an actor, a world class actor, a type of actor the world has never seen before. That was almost five years ago now. I have made good leaps forward in the intervening years and I am still on that path.

Yet…

I have allowed myself to become diluted.

Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. Aside from acting, I can now proudly say I have some serious experience with writing, directing, producing and teaching and furthermore, I can say that I am moving towards an expert level in at least two of those art forms.

So why am I unhappy?

It is because through all these amazing processes, I have lost sight of the goal that drove me forward in the first place. I lost sight of what I truly want, what I want deep in my bones. I lost sight of the thing that kept me awake some nights, my mind whirring with possibilities and dreams.

But I am not lost, I am merely diluted.

The solution?

That’s the beauty of it. I, as well as everyone else in this position, already know the answer to the problems we have. We just have to be brave enough to make a decision and then ride out the consequences.

Onward to glory.

Deciphering the false words of the Pretenders

What do you want to do with your life? What do you want to be? Do you want to change the world around you, make it easier for those you love (and even those you don’t sometimes) to find happiness and success?

If the answer is no, then I guess you won’t find this interesting. Those of you who answered yes though, you have my respect and if you ever need my support, it’s done.

No questions asked.

I want to warn you though, you must keep your eyes peeled for those pretenders, those fake and empty vessels who will look to all the world as if they are full of truth and determination. They will come in many different shapes and sizes and they will lull you into a false sense of security. You will feel comfortable and allow yourself to reveal some of your deepest innermost thoughts and ideas. And they will take advantage of every second of it.

Don’t misunderstand me, there are people out there, creative and driven souls who operate on the same wavelength as you. They will nurture and support, motivate to push yourself beyond preconceived limits and that will always be an amazing thing in your life.

My frustration comes from the people who are black holes of desperation and neediness, these fucking parasites of true art and life. They are unable to create anything real themselves and instead of being honest and trying to establish their own path which would actually lead to something real, they mooch off the people who have dedicated their lives to their dream, to their art, and suck them dry and pass off the work of others as their own.

These Pretenders, the masters of fucking illusion and deception, they are without doubt the biggest frustration in my life because for the most part, they are never called out on their bullshit.

But hear me now.

The truth will always come out, whether it is today or fifty years from now. You will be found out and you will fail. And there will be no-one to blame but yourself.

An angry post but a necessary one.

Onwards to fucking glory.

Tom

Who ever told you it wasn’t possible?

The time we have is far too short and far too fragile to waste.

Think of it like this: Whether you are a believer in science and can appreciate the time-line of not only earth but the universe or whether you are a person of faith and can appreciate the time-line of our earth (6000 years I think), the bottom line is that you are not on this earth for long.

We are but infinitesimal specks of atomically dust floating through the vast emptiness of space.

And we will die.

I know it’s hard to hear that and that your instincts are screaming to turn away from the screen but look anyway. You are going to die, I am going to die. Everything you have ever known or will know will die.

Depressing? Quite the opposite actually. Look deep into what I am saying. The time we have living is given to us on loan and the bank manager of life isn’t forgiving.

Whether I have angered you or not, the fact remains. And what do we do with our lives? We waste it, tapping it away on our phones or glueing our eyes to mindless TV. We walk through life, afraid that we will make a fool of ourselves or that we are but dreamers to think we can make something more of ourselves.

I call bullshit on that. Tell me this, who actually ever told you you couldn’t be something, be someone?

Who? Was it your parents, with their well meaning diatribe about how difficult and challenging life can be and how you should take that back-up plan just in case?

Was it that shitty fucking teacher who never gave you the time of day, always making fun of you and telling you you’re not good enough?

Was it your dumb ass fucking friends who would rather sit and bitch about life instead of reaching deep for that courage we ALL have and doing something rather than talking?

All these may be answered yes by a lot of people and I completely get it, I do. We are the sum experiences up until this point and if enough reinforcement of a certain ideology or thought process occurs, then it is practically impossible to break it.

But it can be broken.

All it takes it your willingness to be curious. Don’t for a second dare try to tell me you don’t feel as curious about the world as I do. Don’t tell me you don’t have moments in the day when something happens and you have this urge to find out more. DON’T tell me you don’t go through your weeks dreaming of taking that dance class, or writing that book or taking those swimming lessons. Whatever it is, you are human and I know you feel it.

All that is stopping this from happening is you.

And I don’t even mean on a grand, dream-like scale. Anything, anything you want to do, truly, all that stops you is you.

All that stops us is us.

Who ever told you it wasn’t possible to change the world and fill the lives around you with joy and happiness?

No-one did.

Now go out there and fucking do it.

Please.

For all of us.

Onwards to glory.

The beauty of being human snowflakes

Yesterday I spoke about marketing and my disgust with how we have been manipulated and twisted to suit a money driven agenda.  I spoke about how we are dying as a species.

Us.

Humans.

The ones who conquered flight and illnesses that destroyed civilisations. Humans, who landed on another planet and came home safely from it (if you believe NASA, I do myself).

We are amazing creatures and a fucking fantastic byproduct of evolution. We have grown to be the dominant species and at times we seem unstoppable. And when I say dying, I speak about losing that which makes us us. I simply cannot stop these thoughts from running amok in my brain these past few weeks. We are magnificent beyond measure as animals but the heartbreaking thing is that we don’t fucking realise it.

We have been groomed to exist in a society where human interaction is frowned upon. I am just as guilty as the rest for this. I stick my headphones on en route to work/home, I avoid eye contact in a shopping queue for no real reason, I shield myself from any potential embarrassment (in my eyes at least) and I go through the motions of a day where I completely disregard the only thing that would bring me genuine happiness.

Sound familiar?

We are goddamn snowflakes guys, we are. We are the sum result of a lifetime of influences and experiences, of parents, friends and authority. We are so unique and in my opinion (for now) completely and utterly unique.

And that is where our strength lies. In our differences. Because it is in these differences that we can find moments of true presence.

Think about it, think over the last few days on a moment in the day that was totally out of the blue. Did you happen to get in a conversation with a stranger and lo and behold, it was actually enjoyable? Did you allow yourself to talk back to the chatty taxi-man and wait, he’s actually kind of cool?

Think of how you felt after these minute and seemingly pointless encounters.

Did you feel fucking fantastic after it?

I would wager that 90% of the time, the answer is yes.

And I know why.

Because for that brief moment, that brief respite in modern fucking living, where we are constantly held under by technology and nice things, we CONNECTED with someone. We shared that which makes us amazing and there were minutes where we were nowhere else but completely present with that stranger.

I really hope that what I am saying makes sense because I am not editing this in any way, I am simply letting it flow from my head to the blog. I am filled with an urgency to talk this way because if we do not do something, we will suffer not only personal anguish but possibly a wave of sadness across our entire species.

We were not made for what we have in our lives now.

Big statement but I wholeheartedly believe it. I of course do not speak about modern medicine or the things that actually make life more enjoyable. I am talking about the extraneous fucking THINGS that we have been told we need to be happy.

WE DON’T FUCKING NEED THEM.

We need each other but more importantly, we need the goddamn courage to allow life to happen and exist in that moment without resorting to looking at our phones or avoiding eye contact for fear of death.

Please, try this. In the next twenty four hours, allow your human instinct to lead instead of the usual way of working. With a stranger or a friend/loved one, just fucking BE there with them for how ever long you can manage.

Listen to them, really listen. Notice how their face moves, listen to their behaviour and how they speak, give them your undivided attention for as long as possible and then when it breaks, contemplate on how fucking fantastic it felt to forget everything that life brings for that short amount of time.

It is exhilarating and frightening. To think that our happiness is merely a sum of tiny moments spread across the day.

But there it is and you know it’s true, just like me, you fucking feel it. Deep inside you, buried beneath the shit we think we need to be happy.

You are a goddamn snowflake and you are amazing.

You are what the world needs and you are brave enough to exist and let others see how unique you are because the bottom line is this:

There is no-one like you in life. For good or ill, there isn’t.

So go show the world that and be strong.

Onwards to glory.

I cry for the death of our humanity and who we are

I have been on a personal journey of late. I have found myself angry and upset, I would find myself getting furiously enraged watching advertising on television. Seriously, ask those closest to me, I would work myself into a frenzy watching a certain ad and I would be volatile for some time and the worst part is that I couldn’t figure out why. I knew that I was angry on behalf of more than just me but I couldn’t pinpoint the exact reason.

And now I can.

Advertising is the death of our humanity.

I know that may seem outlandish but think on it a moment before you read on. Think on the things you own, the things, the materialistic things. Those gadgets, those clothes, that car, that big house all that…ask yourself: do I really need those things?

Ask yourself that honestly, let your inner self answer and don’t force it and when you have an answer, read on.

Marketing: the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising”

It starts with marketing and the manipulations of the core essence of who we are, the behavioural triggers that have shaped our relationships with those we love. These are formed by our experience of life and determine how we see things. If a friend gives you a lovely hand decorated shell as a present, then you will most likely celebrate and enjoy all shells for the rest of your life, if you happened upon a shell in the street, it would be more than just a normal thing, the behavioural response (or triggers) would determine how much it means to you. The summation of these triggers are who we are, they are us.

And they are all we have.

I am repeating myself but it is with reason. It is these triggers that define not only how we act with a loved one but more importantly, defines how we attribute personal attributes to materialistic things. For example: We don’t love iPad for the very sake of it, we love it because of some implied meaning. It makes us look cool, or for the potential for us to be creative on it, or we’re happy because our Dad bought it for us…What I mean is the product itself could theoretically be anything, it’s the context of the behavioural triggers that matter.

The thing itself does NOT matter.

Marketing then, is the root of all evil because it takes the core triggers and manipulates them to their gain. They take that pride you feel at your Dad buying you can iPad and twist it to induce more buying. They keep their advertisements so loosely based on a vague subject concerning their product and you yourself fit your fatherly pride onto their advertising mould. It’s genius and it’s unforgivable. They take that which makes us us and soil it so they can make a few extra bucks.

Because here’s the truth, marketing is but the pawn of capitalism. Capitalism that drowns us in flashy dreams of massive homes or new gadgets. The worst part however is that we have the choice, all of us, me included, to turn away from it. But we simply cannot. We have habituated the act of waking up and turning our eyes to some kind of screen. These screens have replaced face to face contact. Capitalism is the disease but we have willingly taken the dirty needle that infected us in the first place.

Marketing and advertising has pulled the velvet curtain over our eyes and stolen our sense of human, our sense of community, our sense of being here now and experiencing something real. And we have willingly allowed it to happen.

But no more.

The centre of our existence revolves around each other. We are each other’s heart and we are killing ourselves, slowly.

The bottom line is this: If we want to buy something we TRULY need, the following types questions and those questions only should be answered…

What does it do?

Is it cheap?

Will it actually do what it’s supposed to?

Everything else, EVERYTHING ELSE is just mental and emotional detritus and needs to be carved from our society because it will be the end of us.

We will stare our way into our own oblivion and not FIGHT for something more.

For something real.

Onwards to glory.

p.s. THIS is what marketing should be. Nothing more, you may have laughed when you saw it in the movie but when I saw it I thought “why can’t it be that straightforward?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhtTU-guW60 Invention of Lying

For my family: just so you know

As I write this, I am on a train from my home town of Tralee to the city of Dublin, en route back to Glasgow, where I live and work.

As I write this, I am sobbing and crying because about thirty minutes ago, I said goodbye to my family.

As I write this, I realise that while the tears may not be slowing down, I am nonetheless filled with happiness because in the past ten days, I connected with my family on such a deep level that even in the midst of a heaving chest and multiple tissues, I realise how monumental this.

I have been a headstrong man since I realised that how I act in life isn’t determined by others. I realised I don’t have to take those nasty words from co-workers (in a job from many years ago) and as a result of this, I started to build up a limestone-like protection within myself. If someone wanted to know me, truly know me, then they would have to navigate a damn obstacle course of hidden stalactites and treacherous looking stalagmites.

This bled into my relationships with my family as well. I thought that I was doing the right thing by allowing distance to grow between us. Don’t misunderstand me, my family have been and always will be who I am. I cannot escape it and wouldn’t want to. Despite knowing that, I still pulled away from them and allowed myself to get lost in 18 hour work days, giving my time to others and telling myself that one day, one day I would have enough time to spend with the family I adore.

As I write this blog, pulling into the Killarney station in County Kerry, Ireland, I am filled with happiness because I now feel that no matter where I go, I will always be home. In my heart lies my parents and brother and sisters and over the last ten days, I have gotten to know them like never before.

But more importantly, I allowed them to get to know me.

I shared my darkest fears and worries, I spoke freely about things I would have kept locked inside only months ago. I allowed them to see me at my worst, realising that seeing me at my worst, allows us all to celebrate when we are at our best even more.

The sadness is starting to recede from my heavy heart now (although writing that very line almost brought it out again) and in its place lies a sense of beginning. The pain we feel when we say goodbye may actually be a good thing. It means someone matters to you and in a world where we are all glued to technology and instant gratification, that is something to hold close. The pain we feel when we say goodbye, it allows us to experience the joy when we say hello but magnified so much more.

I lost myself for a while, I lost my blogging, I lost my drive and ambition. I floated in a sea of uncertainty and sadness and without my family (and two other amazing people, y’all know who you are), I would have been lost at sea for good.

Writing this out has helped ease the hold the sadness had on my sensitive and over dramatic heart and I will leave you with the following because for the first time in my life, I think I might actually understand what it means.

Parting is such sweet sorrow”

Glad to be back and if you’re reading this, thank you for your patience.

Bring on 2015.

Onwards to glory.

And so ends a long hiatus

It has been a while since I have blogged. After my one blog a year challenge, I took a good bit of time off, not for any specific reason, just to relax and turn my attention to other things.

I feel like it is now time to return to the virtual world of story-telling/advice/helping folk etc. etc.

A short blog to ease myself back into all of this but I am very  very excited to be back. I have so many thoughts that I need to get out of my head and I forgot for a long time that this is the perfect forum for it.

Glory still awaits us all so, onwards towards it.

Tom