The lights are dimmed. Song “Far From Over (Stayin’ Alive)” by Frank Stallone plays. Punching through a poster of an image of himself, a man in a white suit emerges.
Into his headset, he yells: “I’m not here to talk you about your LOVE life; I’m here to talk to you about LOVING your life!”
The crowd goes wild. “Yay! Guru Dave!”
Beaming smile lasers at the crowd, he gestures for the audience to be seated. He is about to share something personal and profound. He is about to share capital “K” knowledge.
“Who here has come face to face with rejection?”
“Good. How about today?”
“Could we maybe see some other show of hands? Great!”
“The thing about rejection is that it’s subjective. It could be anything, anything at all. Like that hypothetical time in junior-kindergarten when Sebastian “couldn’t” invite you to his birthday party because he “ran out” of invitations before reaching your spot in the circle. Would you have accepted a verbal invitation? Of course. Did you get one? No. So you see, rejection is everywhere and you will face it in almost every thing you attempt or encounter. Now, what can we do about it? Well, I’m literally going to tell you, metaphorically.”
A large screen drops down behind him. He reads the slide on the screen aloud:
Knowledge point #1:
“When God closes a door he opens a window.”
“No, I mean ‘yes, it sounds familiar’?”
“So, he could have left the door ajar or put the keys in the room, but he opened a window. He opened a window.”
“Are you serious? I have no idea why. The point is: God has made things a hell of a lot more difficult for you. Obviously it’s easier to walk through a door like a normal person than to climb through a window. A door is, what, twice the size of a window? To leave, you’ll have to climb the wall, remove the bug screen, and leap from a story or two … and there’s no way of knowing what’s on the other side. Or, you could just stay in the room and enjoy the cross breeze. There’s a rug, which could double as a blanket if necessary. And there is a sink… that could double as a… well… hopefully it won’t come to that.”
“Maybe it’s a mistake?”
He pulls out his phone and mimes a text:
Come and open thatdoor 4 me!
Or give me a boost to reach tha
“This is limbo; God only knows when He’ll be back. It could be days or months, but I’ve been in cramped situations for what feels like ages. Regardless, I suggest you pin up a bulletin board and a motivational calendar just to make things livable.”
Pulls a calendar out from under his shirt and reads the tagline for the month.
“The surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed.” Right? When you’re succeeding you’re not failing.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have all forged a few valleys in life, and we all know that it takes endurance to climb a mountain, but sometimes I think we forget that mountains on posters are metaphorical.”
Knowledge Point #2:
Motivation is 99% Inspiration
“Now, how many of you are familiar with the phrase: “It’s the little things in life?””
“Just a guess but… ten, maybe fifteen of us?”
“And how many of you have told yourself in response to that phrase: ‘I want the BIG THINGS in life?’ Just a show of hands…Ladies and gentlemen, there are no little or big things. There is only every thing. And every thing is something. What you think is a big thing, may turn out to be a something. And a mere something may turn out to be more than you can comprehend, at least at this point in time. I go through about three boxes of Yogi tea each morning. Maybe you’re thinking that this is because Chamomile calms my nerves – or Dashberry Dreams alleviates symptoms of despair – and, it does – to some extent – but mostly I just read the quotations on the tags for relief.”
Pulls tea bags out of pocket, opens a package, and reads text on tag: “The universe is a stage on which your mind dances with your body, guided by your heart.”
“Nice. Who needs to make it on Broadway when you’ve got the universe, right?”
Lets do another. “When the mind is backed by will, miracles happen.”
I hope so! How about this one: “You only give when you love.” So true!
He pauses as a pitcher containing a bottle of water is brought on stage. He reaches inside the pitcher, grabs the bottle of water and, removing the cap, drinks. Thanking the cart–wheeler, he motions him off-stage before continuing.
Knowledge Point #3:
Maximizing Your Time in Solitary Confinement
“We’ve all heard that avoidance behaviors are a bad thing. And why is this?”
“Because everyone has to face reality eventually.”
“True. Eventually. But not today.”
“Unrealistic portrayals of life and love are an integral part of any shut-in diet. Starved for a reason and purpose to go on, you need sustenance. There have been days when I was so hungry, I would scour Facebook looking to eat up any and all inspirational memes. “Happiness is Homemade,” I would regurgitate to myself as my sweaty hands slid on the wallpaper, foiling my first attempted escape.”
“In another incarnation of myself, I thought that I was above “kitschy” trappings of sentimentality… That I didn’t need words like “SUCCESS” pinned around my work cubicle to be productive, or teddy bears with hearts for paws, to know that I was loved. But I was only partly right. And if you want to know, the other part, I was wrong. In my next life, I realized that I had been a pessimist dressing in merino wool sweaters and Ugg boots. The truth of the matter is, thinking the worst about things, or facing “reality”, doesn’t make you any more prepared, or “ready” as the synonym may be. Instead of anticipating probable worst-case scenarios, you should fill your head with hopelessly delusional, feel-good scenarios.”
“For instance, everyone knows real life is not nearly as romantic as fantasy life: “Things get really crazy when Jennie confronts Jim about forgetting to take out the compost…” That’s why we have fantasy life. So you could think critically about it, or you could pop in another DVD. And those posters of couples in ripped jeans lying together and kissing on the beach… You could say that they are not real… but why would you do that? Why would you spoil it for everyone? ”
“Hope, ladies and gentlemen, even if it comes embroidered on a tea cozy or embossed on a picture frame, is vital. Obviously your dreams may or may not come true, but should you stop believing in them? Only if they’re debilitating – like the one I had last week, where a shark was gnawing at my leg.”
Knowledge Point #4:
“You Have to Retreat to Advance”
“Of course, what is never specified is how far, or for how long? And no guidelines are given regarding the advance: “This month or next?” “One flare or two?” “What if I miss the first signal?” “Will there be another?!” “Does the tornado alarm count?” In short, how do you win playing the waiting game?”
“You’re trying to be proactive; actively watching and jumping at all ladders which may be within or out of your reach. It’s just that with every step towards what you think is the right ladder, the ladder moves. Naturally, you lose your footing and your back’s on the linoleum floor, having missed your rung. How many more times must you fall in the attempt to reach for that elusive ladder?”
“We don’t know!” Tell us!”
“Well, I’d like to … If this damn thing… Slide change? Can we get a slide change? Hello? I’m pushing buttons, but maybe not the right ones? Nothing is working here…”
Slide finally changes.
The Answer, ladies and gentlemen is: MANY, MANY, MORE TIMES!
“‘Rock bottom’ is a false bottom! Only by falling, again, even harder, the next time, will you know that your last experience was a mere step down on the ladder of progress.Your turning point could be one, two, or twenty downward spirals away, but, you’ll never know until after the fact. What looks like “worse” now, may very well prove to be for the bestseller later. That said, don’t think that you can rush or fake hit rock bottom in order to get to the top faster. It doesn’t work that way. In the game of life, maybe not all moves advance, but every move changes the game. Although, you can’t possibly know what move is or was a game changer until after you’ve moved and the game has changed. Sure, it may seem that some opponents are catching ladders, or, as luck would have it, they are literally rolling the die and landing on the fast track in an altogether different (better) game. But if you weren’t born on Park Place, you are a boot or a wheelbarrow.”
Knowledge Point #5:
You Can’t Spell “Knowledge” without “know” and “ledge”
“Your life path may look more like a spirograph than a linear graph. This just means that you get to experience the hub of every cycle and, like me, look for the spin. Remember, no ledge is power. But you’ve got to…”
“Know the ledge, to discover your edge!”
The audience stands and erupts in laughter. Guru Dave smiles. The cart-wheeler throws teddy bears, Yogi tea bags, and embossed picture frames into the crowd.