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Actor Jonah Hill, in his recent interview with GQ:
”Okay, I’ll be totally real. My neighbor here is 92. His name is Geoff. And he’s the reason I moved to the beach, because I was talking to him one day on the deck—I would have lunch with him once a week on the deck. I said, “What’s the deal, man? You’re the happiest guy I’ve ever seen in my life. Why are you so fucking happy?” And he’s like, “I don’t look around at what anybody else is doing. I just live my life, and I don’t look at what other people are doing.” And he passed away two days ago. And the reason I bring this up is because my hero used to be Mike Nichols, but now my hero is Geoff. Literally, if you said, “Who’s your hero?” I’d say Geoff, because this guy lived happy, not giving a fuck about the stupid rat race, and then died at 92 at the beach.”
There were many lines in the interview that struck me, but these hit the hardest.
Since my recent break-up, I’ve been doing some “soul-searching,” or whatever you wanna call it.
I’m the most free I’ve ever been⏤I’m free to do (just about) anything, anywhere, with anyone, at any time. And I love it. I’m grateful. But it’s also caused me to think deeply about what is worth doing?
- Get in crazy shape again?
- Double my business revenue?
- Travel the world?
- Date as many women as I can?
- Try to impact a million people?
- Become a monk?
Hmm. They all sound nice. And I think there’s a time for each. (Well, maybe not the last one.)
Yet, when I think about what I want to do each day, my mind doesn’t naturally go to these. They just feel like what I’m supposed to want. And, to be fair, newly-single-egotistical Matt definitely wants them all.
They’re like voices, incessantly babbling at me. “You should do this. You should do that.” And I try my best not to listen.
But what I’m realizing is that there is nothing I should be doing, except exactly what I want to do. And the sooner I stop listening to the instructions of others, the sooner I can be myself.
This doesn’t mean shirking responsibilities and becoming nihilistic. It also doesn’t mean only hedonistic living. It’s just understanding there are no rules in this game. There are consequences for every choice you do or don’t make, but that’s for you to decide. No one else.
I’m also understanding the importance of working with my natural tendencies, not against them.
To refer back to another part Jonah said in the interview,
That’s what I’m thinking about with movies, too, is not chasing shit. What is great without chasing being young and on trend? That’s my energy. I’m 37. Not that I’m old, but I’m not young. I’m not 25. And I don’t chase youth, and I don’t chase trends. I don’t put any new music in movies. Mike Nichols is my favorite director ever. And if you watch Carnal Knowledge, or you watch some of his real bangers, it’s almost like they could have been made 20 years earlier or 20 years later. They’re just not chasing anything. He’s just chasing humanity, essentially. So that’s what I try and do. I’m just chasing humanity.
“Chasing humanity.” That’s beautiful.
I like this because it’s grounded in what matters. The vanity, vices, excess, status chasing, social media likes⏤it filters out all that bullshit. It hones my focus on what’s here now, what’s real. It prevents wishing things were different than how they are.
In short: I’m trying not to force things in my life. I’m not trying to hold on or resist what naturally presents itself. Whatever happens, I’m saying “yes” in acceptance. Less desiring, yearning, whining, self-judgment, and hoping. More kindness, compassion, openness, and non-judgmental thinking.
(At least, I’m trying to do all these things.)
And if you haven’t checked out by now from all the hippy-dippy shit I just spewed at you, here’s what I think it boils down to:
Have something to work at.
Find a way to help others.
Live in reality, not in your head (or behind a screen).
Be yourself, with intense passion.
I hope this personal diary entry was somewhat helpful for you. And if it wasn’t… well, that’s OK too.
Enjoy your weekend,