What Happened to Singing into Your Hairbrush, Ants in Your Pants, and Living Happily Ever After?
Sometimes you will read a book or books that are defining moments in your life.
Back in the 70’s one such book for me was “Fundamentals of Thought” by author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard.
The following is a fundamental I’ve applied from this book to improve my life and the lives of others.
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Have you ever set out to cook a really nice dinner but the main dish did not turn out as you had hoped?
You know, you were putting on your “chef” hat so-to-speak and doing the doingness of what cooks do.
And you love to cook, right?
And yet the main dish did not come out the way you intended.
So what you wanted to “have” ended in defeat.
If you’re a guy, one day you decided to take some golf lessons so you could be a better golfer. So you could have a win playing the game of golf.
But despite your golf lessons you keep slicing your ball into the trees.
So, what you wanted to have, was not a win but a lose.
Defeat: a bringing to naught; frustration.
As a woman you may have tried a new hairstyle, you know, to change things up.
You imagined what you would look like with your new “doo.”
So you went and changed your hair.
You did the doingness in order to have the havingness.
But your haircut did not turn out exactly as you had hoped.
When you spend the kind of money you do to have a new doo, and it doesn’t turn out right, that frustration is only something a woman can truly understand.
These are simple examples, but there is a sequence to this.
It follows be, do, have.
And often the “have” ends in no-have or defeat.
Be Do Have & Relationships:
Just for fun, let’s say you want to have a successful relationship but you have been frustrated by the defeat of not having one. And like your passion to create your main dish for dinner, it did not turn out as you had hoped.
So you don’t have one.
Sometimes, (not all the time) there is the feeling of defeat.
Meaning you didn’t achieve what you set out to do.
Pretty simple, yes?
So, you say fuck it, and you get back in that relationship canoe with someone new and you’re all excited. You’re going down the relationship river and dammit you hit some rocks and capsize and your relationship canoe ride ends.
No pointing fingers. No introverting on what you or they did wrong.
In cold hard language that is a loss or a defeat.
But now let's say you “tried relationships.”
You gave it your best, right?
So you step one step back in the sequence.
You are at doingness now.
You look at your adventures in the relationship canoe and you think,
“Well, I’m not going to do this anymore.”
This is one option.
You got bold with your new haircut but it’s not what you wanted to have.
You woke up each day and lived with it and swore you’d never DO that again.
Well, that’s another way to handle defeat.
You just never do that again.
Not much adventure there, but still.
Avoidance of defeatism is a strong motivator.
Or, after all the golf lessons to handle slicing your golf ball into the trees, you decide you are not a golfer. See?
Well, that’s just one step back from doingness.
You are now at beingness.
You are not a golfer.
You don’t have to be a golfer.
But defeat stole your havingness.
Defeat stole your “doo.”
The virus called defeatism showed up at “have” and like a thief, stole what you wanted to have.
When you go towards having and end up with the frustration of too many loses on what you’re trying to do, the virus of defeatism enters your bloodstream
Every treadmill used for hanging shirts and blouses and not for getting in shape is a testament to this.
This is where you find paintings not painted.
Pianos as furniture but no one plays.
When defeatism steals your havingness your default setting is Safe Mode.
Anyone can have safe.
YOU ARE NOT ANYONE.
Now dinners, haircuts, and one’s golf game are not defining moments in one’s life.
But in the relationship arena, the have of the relationship is not like some golf club you throw into the lake.
You can be in a relationship right now, and possibly it’s still not what you want to have. You can be “happily married,” and yet know when your head hits your pillow at night it is not what you signed up for.
So, if the have is not what you want, then the next step back is looking at the doingness.
See, you don’t quit making the main dish.
That’s the defeat taking away the have.
And to have a marriage or relationship it’s a doingness involving a beingness and creatingness.
So when you step back, you have to look at what you can do.
See, it isn’t something about the person laying next to you. If you have a criticism about them, their body, their attitude or whatever, that’s you being out of communication with your partner.
Let me tell you: They are most likely thinking the same thing while they’re trying to go to sleep as well.
If you do not take effective steps to do something about it, what’s one step back?
That’s failed doingness.
Which leads to?
What are you being now?
A stubborn husband?
A bitchy wife?
Well, what is the be, do, have of this?
What do stubborn husbands and bitchy wives have?
Arguments. Fights. No Communication.
And one step back?
What do they do?
Gail gives Jim the cold shoulder.
Jim is sleeping on the couch.
And one step back from that?
They are out of communication and have become estranged.
So, now the main dish of marriage is pretty much burned.
And one step back?
“I don’t want to be a wife”
“I don’t want to be married to her.”
And one step back?
“We got divorced.”
We do not have a marriage.
What Happens When Defeat Replaces Your Have:
Try a new hairdo?
“Wanna play 9 holes with us this Sunday?”
“Want to go out on a date?”
If you transpose the word defeat for the word have you will find yourself at do.
If you step back from failed doingness be it your main dish, your golf swing, or your relationship, you need to borrow a lesson from your six year-old self and get back on that bike.
A kid riding a bike is a doingness.
Falling off the bike is not having a win.
The have has been replaced by defeat.
If he decides the defeat is too much, he will stop riding.
Where Are Your Finger Paintings?
Examine your life where you started out with a decision to:
Play a musical instrument.
I can assure you that when you were a kid you painted with abandon.
Your parents show their friends their treasured videos of you singing at four.
And is that you in that Polaroid as a ballet dancer?
You played guitar in a rock band in high school?
Where are your paints?
What happened to your guitar?
And by the way...are those your golf clubs in the garage?
Go visit anyone who has small children and look at their refrigerator door.
You will find the have of finger paintings that are the doingness from the beingness of that child.
The artist and creator in us all.
You now sit back on your couch watching golf on TV as your own dreams of playing float by. Defeatism interrupts your dream with pictures of your golf balls slicing into those forgotten trees.
You sit and watch Dancing with the Stars and reminisce and recall the euphoria of what it was like when you danced. Defeatism interrupts with the replay of your oppressive dance coach haranguing you for making such stupid mistakes.
And at night you lay next to your partner who’s reading a book. You close your eyes and recall when you first met and the excitement of tearing off each others clothes being newly in love. Now, you both say goodnight, roll over, and defeatism whispers covertly that this is your life now.
WHAT YOU NOW HAVE IS DEFEATISM MASQUERADING AS LIFE.
YOU HAVE STEPPED BACK FROM THE WIN OF HAVE.
There are no finger color paintings on your refrigerator door with your signature.
THE GOOD NEWS:
The good news is Life has this enormously resilient quality.
Whatever you don’t have you can change.
The worst relationship canoe ride that broke your heart and also your spirit can be completely renovated, rebuilt, or recharged.
YOU CAN HAVE A DO-OVER.
THIS IS THE MAGIC OF THE RESILIENCY OF LIFE.
You can have as many do-overs as you want.
Ask any golfer who hits his golf ball straight down the fairway.
There is no better have than that.
And when your wife nails it on the dinner and you gush, she’s as proud as can be because this is her art.
When you set out in any endeavor in life be it to learn to dance, pick up that guitar, or even try a new “doo,” understand your first nemesis will be the inner voice of defeatism.
Everything you’re not doing that you used to do will come flooding back with a voice you’d rather not hear.
“You’re too old to learn to dance.”
“Your guitar playing days are over.”
Recognize his voice?
It’s the sound of defeat.
The only answer to that voice is the same voice you had as a four year-old.
Grab your crayons, paints, or your inner architect and with wild abandon rebuild and color all over every nook and cranny where the spirit of your create was extinguished.
Grab your hairbrush and sing into it until someone in your family comes barging through that bathroom door to find out WTF? is going on.
Take your partner out onto your back patio and turn up the music.
Play Roll Over Beethoven and dance like you have ants in your pants.
“...and tell Tchaikovsky the news…”
And when the lights from the houses in the neighborhood start flipping on like a sporadic symphony of dominoes, you will have answered defeatism with the correct order of magnitude of the spirit of play.
No one I know ever said my finger paintings didn’t measure up.
And I’ll bet yours ended up on the fridge with magnets galore.
Don’t step back.
Get back on your bike.
And go color your Life.
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Author. Consultant. International Speaker.
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