From The Desk of Maverick Brenton.
Subject: Thoughts From Deep In The City.
Not too long ago I found myself deep in the Heart of a Big City.
I was helping out a close friend with his business.
After the job was done I took a stroll to a nearby cafe to get my coffee.
Growing up in a very small country town, big cities have always excited me.
I lose myself inside them.
There is something happening everywhere you look.
It is the perfect place for an artist to find inspiration.
As I sat on the polished wood top bench drinking my coffee, I was completely lost in the moment.
Watching life deep inside the city.
People of all shapes and sizes rushed past me talking with their friends, chatting away on the phone and scoffing down their lunch.
They carried the smell of their cologne behind them.
The wind carried it to where I was sitting as they passed by.
Beautiful young women wander past, dressed in ways that would snare the attention of a blind man’s eye.
I wonder to myself what all these people do as I watch them walk by.
What are their lives like?
Are they happy and fulfilled?
Miserable and lost?
Are they lonely?
Do they have love?
Do they have purpose?
I cannot tell as I watch them because they all wear their masks in public.
But I do my best to read their faces.
Every one of them, a completely unique being with their own unique view on the world.
All rushing around and acting out their own little roles in life.
A tall and athletic man dressed very sharp, walks by with a powerful stride.
There is an aura of confidence following him.
He glances around, very subtly, to see if anyone is watching him.
His ego is fragile.
The confidence is a mask.
A young woman walks in front of me with a tight skirt hugging her perfect hips.
She sends a sly glance my way and towards the other people in the cafe.
She knows we are looking at her.
She likes the attention.
She does not smile and acknowledge it.
But she feels a rush inside her.
The man behind her sees me looking and throws me a cheeky smile.
We both agree without words that this is a truly fantastic ass.
I can’t help but let out a quiet laugh as he passes by.
Sitting there completely still and absorbed in the moment, I forget everything.
I’m lost in the intensity of the life around me.
The smell of fresh coffee and food moves past me, out onto the busy street.
It brings in hungry people as they pass by.
Everything is alive.
I would never work a job in the city like most people do.
Slaving away doing stuff that has no meaning to them, in a place where they are so far away from nature.
I would never commute in and out like they do every day.
Nothing could be worse in my mind.
But to live for a short time deep in the heart of the city.
To explore every day.
To walk out the door and set off on an adventure to find some new place not yet seen by my eye.
I would do that.
But only for a little while.
I need nature around me to feel whole.
Growing up surrounded by nature and without electricity, I developed a deep appreciation for nature.
I was forced to be creative and invent fun.
Playing around in the dirt, digging holes, running through the bushes and pretending I was an explorer.
To this day I cannot stay away from nature for very long.
My soul needs it.
Being deep in the city is exciting and if you are paying attention it is like being in another world – a world within a world.
There is beauty in the intensity of city life.
It is not just within the city that beauty resides either.
Most certainly not.
There is magic hidden in plain sight no matter where you are.
There is beauty in even the simplest things.
There is a life rich and full of new discoveries sitting right under your nose.
Never seeing this beauty is the price you pay for getting stuck in the rat race.
With no time to think or study the world around you, life completely passes you by.
You don’t live it because you just keep telling yourself you will get around to living it.
You tell yourself eventually you will start doing what you want.
This is a mistake.
You become so busy with life and everything you need to do that you stop paying attention to life itself.
Your mind slowly closes up and you become less open to new experiences.
You close yourself off from the beauty within the world that surrounds you.
As I sat at the little cafe drinking my coffee, I was a child again.
My mind was free and open to the world around me.
l could see the magic hidden in plain sight.
I was seeing what I had missed for years.
I had been so busy working full-time and slaving away that I stopped living my life.
I stopped savouring the precious time I have.
I just went through the motions every single day.
Never sitting down, doing nothing and observing the life around me.
All because I was too busy.
I always had something that needed to be done.
This is why you never truly live.
This is why you miss the magic in plain sight.
The pressure and stress of the rat race consume your mind.
You are never at ease in your free time.
All because you know you have to go back to doing what you do not want to be doing.
That is your life.
You spend most of your time doing what you do not want to be doing.
Then you spend all of your free time dreading going back to it.
That is the life most people live.
If you can even call it a life.
I call it the Big Joke.
The majority of people live it every day.
For their entire life.
They know something is wrong but they never change anything.
Because of something very simple.
Habit is what makes you get up and keep living that life every day even when you don’t want to.
Habit is what makes everyone else get up and keep living that life every day even when they don’t want to.
Habit is more powerful than you or I can imagine.
You could walk away from everything and start again but you don’t.
You don’t because you are controlled by your habits.
Habits of thought and habits of action.
Below in one of the greatest quotes of all time you may find why habit is the most powerful force you will ever wrestle with:
“Habit is thus the enormous fly-wheel of society, its most precious conservative agent. It alone is what keeps us all within the bounds of ordinance, and saves the children of fortune from the envious uprisings of the poor.
It alone prevents the hardest and most repulsive walks of life from being deserted by those brought up to tread therein.
It keeps the fisherman and the deck-hand at sea through the winter; it holds the miner in his darkness, and nails the countryman to his log cabin and his lonely farm through all the months of snow; it protects us from invasion by the natives of the desert and the frozen zone.
It dooms us all to fight out the battle of life upon the lines of our nurture or our early choice, and to make the best of a pursuit that disagrees, because there is no other for which we are fitted, and it is too late to begin again.
It keeps different social strata from mixing.
Already at the age of twenty-five you see the professional mannerism settling down on the young commercial traveller, on the young doctor, on the young minister, on the young counsellor-at-law.
You see the little lines of cleavage running through the character, the tricks of thought, the prejudices, the ways of the ‘shop,’ in a word, from which the man can by-and-by no more escape than his coat-sleeve can suddenly fall into a new set of folds.
On the whole, it is best he should not escape. It is well for the world that in most of us, by the age of thirty, the character has set like plaster, and will never soften again.”
~ William James, Founding Father of Modern Psychology
Habit is what keeps you in the rat race.
It is what prevents you from seeing the magic hidden in plain sight.
Habit gets you out of bed every morning to do what you hate.
To change your life you must change your habits.
Both habits of thought and habits of action.
To change your habits takes focus, self-reflection and self-awareness.
This is impossible if you are distracted by all the distractions available to us in the modern world.
Only a very small minority will change their habits.
The older you are the harder it will be.
Only a few go on to do exactly what they want and get exactly what they want.
The majority will read what I just wrote and they will do nothing.
That’s the power of habit.
Until next time.