I can remember my first job as a kid in the ‘80s and the first time I took my first breath on the job. For weeks after that I was so sick, I had to take a day off. I still remember the feeling of having my lungs filled with air, inhaling it in and out, and the feeling I got from having the first breath as a child.
That feeling, that first breath, was the beginning of a long journey. It started when my parents moved our family from Florida to Texas just over four years ago. I’ve only been on the job for a few months but already I’m feeling like I have a whole new life.
I’ve been at it for so long I feel like I’m in a constant state of transition. I started working at the grocery store, and I’ve lived in two different apartments, and I’ve been a teacher, a lawyer, and a musician, and I have a bunch of other jobs that I dont even remember. I have so many new things I want to build and see, I feel like Im constantly changing jobs. Its like I’m always moving, always learning, always growing.
But really it’s more like you’ve been living in an apartment for a while, but you’ve only been in that apartment for a few months. You are now on a different path. So you’re not on autopilot, you’re on a path. So you’re not on a treadmill, you’re on a journey.
I had the most incredible time at a TEDx event last month, listening to Tommy Swa and Eric Rochner talk about the difference between their lives and mine. I was surprised by how much I agreed with them, especially when they pointed out that we are all on autopilot in our day-to-day lives. Their lives revolve around their careers, but I think that they are still in the process of creating their own life.
But the point is that the path we take is not just about what we do, but what we are. And that path is what our lives are really about. We are people who live and move and change and transform. That is what our lives are about. And that is what makes the path that we are on so fascinating.
I think that is the same as saying that the things we do are what we are. A lot of the things that I do in life are so ingrained in the fabric of my personality that I can’t imagine them changing, even though I have the opportunity to change them. But the path that I am on has been a path of my own making, so I can’t imagine it changing.
The point of this is that even though we are people who do change and transform, we do not have to change as much. We are the same person we were for the past three times we moved. We just have to think about how we are changing and what we are doing as much as we are thinking about what we are doing. No matter what we are doing, no matter what we are doing on our path, we are the same person for as long as we are still here.
Tommy Swanhaus is a character in my upcoming book, “The Art of Self-Transformation.” He was a young man I met and befriended while I was writing the book. I’ve loved him ever since. He’s a character I made using the self-awareness technique and as always, the character’s personality and story are completely original. His story is told as a short story, “Tommy” – which is why it’s called “Tommy Swanhaus.
Tommy is a very unique character. He is a character who you can find in all sorts of different settings you could describe as having a “life” and being “part of” the world around him. Tommy was raised on the island of Blackreef, a relatively peaceful and isolated place, and only later did I discover he was also an inventor. His family was never around, so it was only after being abandoned by his family that he was able to create a time-loop.