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*The Asterisk.

I heard my four year old say this to his older brother the other day and his words hit me like a dagger to the heart but not for any reason you might think.

In his precious little mind, he's just not playing. He's out. He's no longer in the game. He has now removed himself. He impishly stormed off in a Gone-with-the-wind flurry of pout that four year olds seem to have such mastery with.

Which, as is so often the case with my kids, gave me pause.

What was that really all about? Simple really. Punishment.

It wasn't going his way so he took himself out to punish his older sibling. He got the final say. He ended it. So what, right? Considering this is a strategy that follows us until we die, removing ourselves from whichever games we're in always sidesteps the major flaw in the plan. The impact on us. What it does to us when we take ourselves out, the disconnect, the make-wrong, the momentary domination, the blackened stain on our love for others and our own peace of mind that can fester and grow as the resentment ingrains itself into our lives. Be in no doubt, taking yourself away is nothing more than a backhand to the other person, regardless of how justified or innocent you might feel you are. 

As with everything I say, I say this in full knowledge that other people can lie, manipulate, cheat and all kinds of truly underhand BS. But we usually don't even need something that dramatic to end the game do we? An insult, hurt feelings, unfair choices, gossip, whatever trivial matter (which you've blown up like a hot air balloon) that allows the self-righteousness to arise in your throat and take its grip.

I say to you what I said to my four year old.

Work it out. Re-connect, understand and forgive as quickly as possible with the people you love. Why?

Because the price of being right and alone just isn't worth it, that's why. Be the better you, be the you you're most proud of and let the chips fall where they may.

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I've been working on the next book for the last eight months or so and, as with everything I write, I've gone through all my usual library of negative self-talk.

"I can't do it" - "It's too much" - "It's too complex" - "It's CRAP!"


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"I'm tired".

I occasionally find that slippery statement fall out of my mouth every now and again. You probably do too. It's invariably when I've had one of those days. When I'm just done, I've had enough of whatever life I've made for myself and I want a break, some kind of respite from the press or the madness of it all. That's right I want a break from being alive. I want to check out and somehow recuperate from the life I have created.

Which begged the question, well, two questions actually. 

  • What is the "I", I'm referring to when I say "I'm tired"?
  • What is it that's "tired"?

If you can get yourself past the boring, surface answers to those two questions it starts to get interesting... Firstly as far as the "I" is concerned, it really comes down to two identifiable things. One, your body. Now if you look close enough you'll notice you are not your body. You are not your hair, you are not your toes or your kidneys or your ear wax. You could lose a few limbs and it would still be you. Your body might be experiencing certain aches and pains now and again but that's your body, not you. Two, your thoughts. Well what are thoughts? Nothing more than internal conversations that you often repeat via your mouth. Whatever comes out of your mouth more often than not becomes your life. The "I" is therefore nothing more than a stream of conversation. Listen to yourself right now. That's the "you" you're referring to when you say "I" or "me" or "myself"


Next. What is it that's "tired"? It's an experience your body is having. If you're in the middle of one right now, try and pinpoint where the "tired" is. Is it in your head? Your neck? Your shoulders? What, specifically, is tired?

Well, what the heck is this "I'm tired" thing then?

It's little more than a stuck conversation in your life that most days you seem to cope with while on others takes over and calls for you to check out, to take a break. A break from what? A break from the conversation you have been swimming in that day or that week or that month or that year.

Stuff like "it's too hard" or "I can't do it" or "this is bullshit" or "I'll never make it".

That repetitive noise becomes your tired life. Or not.

You see, YOU are NEVER tired, your body sometimes experiences certain sensations that you connect with tiredness or overwhelm or stress. When it does that, treat it appropriately. When you can separate you from your experience you begin to take your power back.

You are a human being, and the source of your power is in declaring who you are, speaking yourself into greatness...and acting on that powerful use of language.

When your words and your actions combine, you are an unstoppable force of nature. Tired body or not.

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