From: The Portable Camping Table of Maverick Brenton.
Subject: Things That Are On My Mind.
It’s a warm afternoon out here in the middle of nowhere.
There ain’t a sight to see except for three drunk Aboriginals and a horse.
But that’s life for you, where I grew up.
And every time I come back here to visit I’m reminded of the very reason that I got my ass outta this place, years ago.
What was it the Hilltop Hoods said about small towns?
Time moves a little slower here, and the paint peels because the summers here are so severe.
They weren’t wrong.
Whenever I am not lifting weights, studying or working on an article, all I do is sit around and stare at the fucking walls.
But thirteen days from today I’ll be on the road to a place I’ve never been.
A place with green tree’s, golden beaches, fresh air and pretty girls.
I am looking forward to the drive, too.
It’ll just be me and the road, me and my thoughts, me and another adventure.
Some of my best thinking has been done while rolling along an empty highway through a land I ain’t ever seen before.
In the peace and the quiet and the comfort of my truck I get lost in my mind – thinking about life and it’s mysteries and the things I want to do before I die.
Just between us, do you wanna know something I keep realising?
Let me tell you:
Every one of us knows exactly what we want out of life, but most of us bury it deep inside and keep it tucked away because it’s not what we’re “supposed” to do with our time.
Each one of us knows exactly what we want – we just can’t admit it.
And we can’t admit it because of other people.
We are afraid of what they will think, we are afraid of going against the grain, we are afraid of hurting feelings, we are afraid of being different.
Above all – we are afraid of being what we know we can be.
Why are we afraid?
Maybe it’s because from the moment we open our eyes, we enter a world that has already decided what we must do with our life.
Maybe it’s because 99% of the people we will encounter during our time growing up, are living the lives that were decided for them – not the lives that were chosen by them.
Maybe it’s because we spend 12 years in a system that crushes our voice, before we learn that we even have a voice.
Let’s ask John Lennon what he thinks:
“As soon as you’re born they make you feel small, by giving you no time instead of it all, till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all. A working class hero is something to be, a working class hero is something to be”
Have you ever stopped for a moment and thought about what the point of it all is?
What’s the point of spending over a decade sitting in a classroom?
What’s the point of working Monday to Friday, almost every week of every year?
What’s the point of buying (renting from the government) a house, that you spend your free time locked away inside?
What’s the point of it all? What are you doing it for? What is your endgame?
If most people just stopped and thought about the above questions, a series of generic answers would come to mind:
“Well, I gotta go to school to get a good education.“
“Well, I gotta work my job so I can afford my house.“
“Well, I gotta buy my house so I can have somewhere nice to live.“
But then what?
Dig deeper, question those generic answers, and you will soon discover that you are doing what you are doing for no reason other than that what you are doing is what everybody else is doing.
You didn’t decide to do what you’re doing – other people decided for you.
And that’s why deep down, you feel like something is missing:
You’re not doing what you want to do, you are doing what other people want you to do.
Please think about what I just wrote.
It is crucial to stop acting out of habit, and start asking questions about how your life is being lived.
Too often we just go with the flow, accepting what we don’t want, don’t enjoy, don’t care about – all because of assumptions about how we ought to live.
If you are not happy working all the time, stop working all the time and build a life that allows you to have more time for yourself.
Don’t keep doing it because it’s what everyone else does.
If you are not happy seeing five different women, stop doing it and find yourself one girl to spend time with.
Don’t keep doing it because your friends think it’s badass.
If you don’t like how you feel about the life you are currently living, do something about it and ignore the opinions other people.
No matter what you do; everyone will have an opinion ready to share with you and most of these people are not worth listening to because their life has been built upon unquestioned assumptions.
Their life is not the product of their imagination – their life is a play written by somebody else and performed by them.
And this brings us to the first step in creating real success:
Stop and question the assumptions that we all make about how we ought to live and what we ought to do.
If you do that and you dig deep enough, you’ll learn something very powerful:
The majority of people live their life based on illusions; false truths held to be true by the masses, and these false truths have their own agenda – which is the enslavement of those who believe them.
They used to tell me my adventures were a sign of mental illness, they used to say there was something wrong with me because I can’t stay in the same place too long.
I used to listen, too.
And I developed a very negative perception of myself because I did not question their opinion.
I just accepted it.
They say they want the best for you, but if you don’t do what they say you should do – they turn on you and say you’re a failure, a dissapointment?
This is the reason that most young people end up doing shit they don’t want to do.
And it’s that pressure that kept me locked inside an invisible prison for many years.
Guess what happens when you do the opposite of what everyone tells you to do?
They’ll just stop talking to you most of the time because deep down they wish they had the balls to do what they want to do.
In reality people are powerless over your life.
You can do whatever you want, so long as you realise that people are powerless over your life.
Until you realise that people are powerless over your life, you will live in the invisible prison.
When I lived in the invisible prison, I felt as though I was locked in a cage.
I knew there was more and I knew what I wanted to do – but taking that leap from living in the image of another human, to living in the image of my own creation, that leap took some time to make.
Eventually though, when I went for it – I felt as free as a bird.
Just like you can.
But you ought to know, the road I walk takes a toll on a man with weak feet.
It’s a journey of one thousand miles where all you can do is put on foot in front of another.
This life I lead, the adventurous life, the life of the rebel, the artist – it has ups and downs, highs and lows, rain and sunshine.
I don’t just sit around writing, lifting weights and having sex.
It’s a windy mountain path filled with self-doubt and uncertainty and excitement and adventure.
There’s been times when I’ve found myself lost in the darkness, there’s been times when I’ve felt on top of the world – and all of it has taught me that it is only while lost in the darkness, that we may find the light.
Here is a great truth about the reality in which we exist:
Life is a series of ups and downs where everything inevitably balances itself out in the end – it is like a big pendulum, swinging left and right, back and forth – one week you’re up & the next you’re down.
Now we struggle in life, because we identify with these ups and downs (of the mind) and we let these ups and downs dictate how we live.
If we feel good, we act from a place of feeling good.
If we feel bad, we act from a place of feeling bad.
And so we are the servant of our state of mind.
From my understanding, one facet of Self-Mastery is being able to detach from the natural ups and downs of life, viewing this pendulum swing from a higher perspective and remaining unaffected at the core.
Knowledge of this principle of reality makes life much easier because it gives you a deeper understanding of life.
When things aren’t too good and life is kicking the shit out of you, it’s easy to become depressed and give in to hopelessness.
But the sunshine will always come back.
The sun has only just set and while it was shining, you did bad things that have resulted in the pain you’re currently experiencing.
What do I mean?
I’ve seen many men who did bad things a long time ago, things that hurt people and caused damage.
Now they pay their price in regret and loneliness, in a quiet pain that is only felt by them, a pain that goes unnoticed by everyone else – a pain that lingers in the back of their minds as they contemplate what they did.
One thing I have come to realise by studying the lives of other people is that if you do bad things, you’ll eventually pay a price.
Now that price can come in many forms, but it’ll always come and it will usually arrive in the form of mental pain that is experienced later in life.
Some call it Karma – I call it The Principle of Cause and Effect.
I guess old age brings with it time to reflect on the life you have lived.
And as death draws nearer, people naturally turn their attention to the time behind them.
So consider carefully, do you want to look back over a life spent hurting people and using them to further your own interests?
I certainly don’t.
I would rather spend my time adding value to the lives of other people, in a way that brings me joy and utilises my natural talents.
Just recently I was watching a great movie called The Irishman.
It’s about an old school Hitman known as Frank Sheeran, who worked for the Bufalino Crime Family.
And it ends the same way every gangster movie ends.
Frank Sheeran pays the price for the bad things he did, but not in the form of death or life in prison.
His price comes in the form of a lonely death in a nursing home.
The man’s children want nothing to do with him and he is left an old, empty man – looking back over a life of violence and pain.
Watching the movies and reading the stories, it’s easy to idolise these guys.
Every man wants to be like them.
But being like them and doing what they do comes with a cost like everything else in life.
Having the capacity to cause harm, being a dangerous man, knowing how to kill – these are important assets that a man should possess if he wants to carve out a place for himself in this world.
Just don’t do bad things, do the right thing.
Do not do things that are not in your best interest, things that will have you looking over your shoulder, things that will rob you of your peace of mind.
Put it this way:
If something takes away your peace of mind, it is not worth doing because once you lose your integrity and your peace of mind – you really have nothing left.
Your mind is the window through which you view and live your life.
Once it is lost all is lost, for the mind is all and all is mind.
In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“Nothing is at last as sacred as the integrity of your own mind.”
My old man used to hurt people for money, bad people mostly, but I have no doubt that he did some things he regrets.
As a boy whenever we were out fishing, I would see it in his eyes as he stared into the campfire.
They were the eyes of a man who had seen and done things that he regretted seeing and doing.
When I was little he would tell me to stay on the straight and narrow, to stay out of trouble and avoid getting myself entangled in that dark world.
I listened of course.
But the temptation is there, and it always will be – as it is for most men.
Something inside us craves that wildness, that danger, that rush of doing what is outlawed.
Most men of the modern world lead cushy lives, never facing any real risk, never being tested, never experiencing life outside of their comfort zone.
They just work jobs, watch television, drink alcohol, fuck around.
And so when they see these dangerous men, men who are afraid of nothing and who take no shit – something inside them wishes they were more like those guys.
Something inside them wants to abandon their comfortable little lives in the pursuit of something bigger and more dangerous.
There develops deep inside them – when they watch these movies and read these stories about gangsters, mafia bosses, bad asses – a desire to be just like them.
And that desire is nothing more than the true nature of a man.
For man is by nature: an adventurer, a warrior, a builder, a conqueror.
He is by nature, those things.
But what is he now?
What is he in the modern world?
He is in most cases – nothing more than a dispensable resource for other humans, which is to say that he is a slave.
This is the fundamental reason that I am such a strong believer in avoiding the comfort of a regular job and building your own empire instead.
It’s in your nature to do that – to build, to create, to conquer.
It’s not in your nature to work for another human, enriching them while giving away your time.
Nobody is truly happy doing that because they know deep down that it’s a scam.
And you will never be truly free if you do that, either.
Speaking of freedom.
I don’t know about you, but nothing in this world is more important to me than my freedom.
The idea of being owned by somebody else makes me sick to my stomach and I hate the thought of it.
I’m not a resource. I’m not a slave. I’m not a part of a system.
I’m an individual with a message and a mission – just like you can be if you make the choice.
Freedom is not possible when you have decided in your mind to be reliant on the government or an employer for your own well being.
And this is exactly what most people do.
They walk around holding their fucking hands out asking for a pay cheque – then they let the government take a part of their pay cheque so they can use it for their own interests.
Freedom isn’t possible when you do that.
Freedom is possible when you realise that freedom is nothing more than a choice – a choice to take care of yourself, to find ways to get around or minimise taxes, to make your own money, to be a self-reliant individual.
It’s all in the mind, it is all perception.
We are conditioned to believe the Government is an almighty power that controls everything – but really the government is nothing more than a bunch of people just like you and me, who have created laws and policies and regulations for how things should be done.
If you are smart and you don’t attract attention to yourself by doing illegal things on a large scale, you can live your life free of their grip.
At the end of the day they are a big and slow machine with limited resources – they do not own you.
Nobody owns you, except you.
Most people tell themselves they are free, they tell themselves they are individuals without masters – but are you really free?
If you live in fear of what people think, are you really free?
If you cannot go a day without your smartphone, are you really free?
If you live week to week, relying on a job to survive, are you really free?
Break the surface of your life with good questions that make you think, dig down into how you live, then look at your life objectively; and you will probably come to the conclusion that what you call “life” is nothing more than a monotonous play, consisting of worthless activities performed in service to a series of bad habits you don’t even know you have.
Without self-awareness you’re basically on autopilot and the programming that determines where you end up in life, is not in your best interest.
Too often we accept the conventions and assumptions of society, just because everybody else accepts them without question.
We accept the expectations forced upon us by other people.
We accept having our money taken by strangers.
We accept all the little ways that our freedom is taken from us.
We accept all of it without question.
And when we accept this without question, all those little ways that our freedom is stolen – they add up.
They add up until eventually our freedom is what it currently is:
But only those who are free in the mind will understand that.
The rest of them will laugh and call me crazy as they continue to hand over their money to people who they have never met.