Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Right before I left for Nevada last weekend I was tagged by daddyninja to try and summarize my life in 6 words so I thought about this a bit on the road.

"Help people. Be useful. Improve."

Help and people have been the main focus of my life for a long time. When I was young I was very shy. I worked hard to not be shy. When I was about 16 I wrote goals of what I want to be. Things I didn't see in myself that I wanted to. They gave me direction for a long time. In following those goals I found out that I don't just want to have friends but I want to matter to someone. To be useful is more satisfying than anything else to me.

I have a box of notebooks including a folder with these goals that I keep wherever I move even though I almost never look at it anymore (I think i have accomplished these goals to my satisfaction and it's time to define new ones). If my house was on fire, this is the one thing that I would save.

One sec,

[rustles through some paper]

Here it is.

In that red notebook there is a yellow pad of paper entitled "P.O.M.L." (Point of my life)

I have never shown anyone this and it's a little embarrassing, so here we go,

1. Freedom of Mind: An absence of values will give the ability to be with different people because I will have no values which they can offend. And this also allows me to fully relate to their thoughts and still agree with opposite views because of the "why" of base values.

|Additional note: Base here is defined as what is needed for truth, listener, relator, diff grooves, and fun w/ these people/situations. To fully do these as far as I want to, everything else is possible because of this.|

(33 y.o. me note: The above is written by someone with very few friends trying to find his place in a social setting. I never could find a good truth that was better than another so I didn't want to decide. I wanted to understand and be able to talk to whoever. This is reflected even in the people i hang out with today. I didn't want to close any doors.

2. Concentration: Allows quick and correct development of skills necessary to better fulfill POML. Also helps to better relate to a person by allowing me to delve deeper into their thoughts and feelings (the "whys") that may otherwise only be understood by someone who was there in a situation or a more perfect personality match.

(33 y.o. me note: A little over the top yes, but I was 16. You can see that this is basically a reinforcer for #1. Not concentrate in general. Concentrate when you are with people. It is like saying "really listen" but I think listening does not encompass enough. When you can agree with someone you are doing more than listening. I was shy, in any room filled with people I felt isolated. However, I am also fairly non-threatening, so when I was willing to listen, care, pay attention, and [enter additional undefinable quality here], I can understand enough to be there and I could understand and would be allowed to be part of a situation. And there was nothing more amazing to me than being in some new situation.)

3. Desire

(no more description here. But none needed I think. You have to try, you have to really want it or it doesn't matter. If you don't want it, reconsider).

I have not written another POML since then. That one was very general. I was trying to find my direction. Then the Point was the search. Then I believed people have a "base" that guides them, lets them know what to do, keeps them sane. I thought I would eventually find this in my social and mental wandering. But for me I think the process of looking, the underlying patterns you see in people and the world, even if you cant define them, the process of navigating that became my base. I think the flexibility in that process keeps me more stable than a set set of values would. If you know me and ever wonder why I rarely get worked up, mad, or freaked out, that is why. Because there is always another option to look at.

But I am finally getting to the point where I have very strong opinions of my own and becoming a bit of a moral dillema. I have spent my life trying to understand other people's opinions and that has borne some of my own. Who is right? Maybe thats not what it's about. Gotta figure that out.

Anyway, lets get to the "help" part and wrap this up. Its getting long for a blog post.

Nothing makes me more happy than helping people. I had a customer care phone service job. And when they promoted me and took me away from the customers, I quit (in the same meeting where they promoted me, "Thanks, but I wrote this letter.") I think people are inherently selfish. But I also think that other people are what makes life worth living. Maybe not always "helping" in the traditional sense. But everyone wants to affect the lives of others, to make a difference. So I want to be useful. To help people in whatever capacity I can, as much as I can. That would be a life not wasted to me.

Oh yea, and I don't like strict rules (i.e. my grammar/syntax) so I'm sorry bookbabie & Hemingway, my meme is 5.


Anonymous said...

Yikes, I thought it was a nice, thought provoking post until I got to the last sentence. Still, thanks for playing the meme:)

Zack said...

Hmm, maybe you are right bookbabie. Too unnecessarily harsh. I'll change it up :)

Anonymous said...

Apology accepted Zack and you are truly living your memoir, especially that last word! Which I'm thinking we all need to do on a daily basis;)

Brian said...

DAMN, I was totally going to bust you on the 5-word-meme until I got to the end. Oh well. Great post, and I would agree that you have achieved these goals...particularly the ability to engage and listen to people...you rock at that. Actually, that's your 6th word: rock.