Based outside of Boston, Massachusetts, The Thought Porch is a personal blog by aspiring novelist Max Ghannam. Posts explore the mind and body, as well motivational thoughts on life and sources of inspiration.

Stop Chasing The Rainbow Hoping To Find Gold

Let me be the first to say that I'm not the best person to take advice from. That's not really what I'm trying to do here. I am trying to share my journey, my mistakes, my work. I am not trying to be an example to look up to. My life experiences might help some people, which I would love. But I am not going to pretend that I've put it all together. I don't have my shit figured out at all. But, for the first time ever in my life I have a direction. 

What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that I'm a human being. Being human means I'm flawed. I realize that. Being human also means I'm malleable. I've recently realized that as well.

My thinking can change. My routine can change. My diet can change. My life can change. I can change it.

My problem with human malleability is that I spent too much time not being the one to guide the change in my life. Influencing change takes work. And for too long I avoided hard work. I'm not trying to make some modest point about myself here. It's the truth. For a majority of my life I was waiting. Waiting to be handed the path to weight-loss, relationships, money, success, happiness. 

For a majority of my life I had so little direction that, if somebody pointed me towards a rainbow, I chased it. 

As a malleable being, not only do I have to overcome my own resistance, but other people are already working to mold me to fit their agenda. It sounds conspiratorial, I know. But, as I've mentioned, I'm in a business communication class right now. A major part of what that class is teaching me is how to hijack human nature to persuade people. 

There are entire industries dedicated to persuading people. Whether it's to use certain toothpaste, eat candy, drink coffee. There are people hoping to benefit from imposing influence on us. There are industries designed to point us towards rainbows. Weight-loss pills are rainbows. Five minute ab workouts are rainbows. Get-rich-quick schemes are rainbows. Any easy solution to a hard problem is a rainbow promising fake gold. There are people whose job it is to point us towards those rainbows, knowing that we will chase it hoping for that pot of gold. They are using proven tactics to tap into human nature, to convince us that their way works. That if you give them what they want they can give you the secret to solving all of your problems. 

Their way usually leaves us running in circles, though. Grabbing at air because we've been told there's gold to be had. The only way to get gold is to mine for it. Gold comes from putting in the work on the ground. That's what successful creators do. They put in the work to overcome the outside forces that are constantly trying to bend and shape us. 

My initiative when starting The Thought Porch was to have a place to work through ideas, hang-ups, crystallizing revelations that inform my worldview. I still plan to do that, but my hope has shifted slightly. Now my hope is that people who are chasing the same rainbows that I did will see themselves in me. And maybe learn a lesson. Even if the lesson comes at the expense of me looking foolish. 

Digging Deep

Don't Work So Hard You Forget The Sun Sets