A novel incoming... Going to touch on my childhood, work life, love life, and spiritual life. Until the age of 21, I was painfully shy. I was a loner. Hated speaking and interacting with other people because I couldn't relate to anyone and despised small talk. I frequently went entire days at school without saying a word to anyone. I had an amazing childhood though. I had about a handful of incredibly close friends in my neighborhood, who I was constantly playing sports with. I was a pretty damn good baseball player, until everyone outgrew me in high school. I dedicated myself to perfecting my shot in basketball for about 3 months, and became virtually unstoppable offensively, despite being only 5 and half feet tall. During that stretch, I beat a Division 1 basketball player who was about a foot taller than me in back to back 1v1's. I have terrible muscle memory. If I don't repeat a movement for hours on end, I 'lose it' immediately. I can't shoot a basketball for **** anymore, and lost 10 strokes on my golf game when I stopped playing daily. It's also a big part of the reason I suck at Halo. The first video game I ever played was Astrosmash, on the Intellivision console. I was obsessed immediately. Video games were just becoming a thing during the time I was growing up, and I spent countless hours playing Atari, Nintendo, and computer games. If I could only play one video game platform for the rest of my life, it would be the original Nintendo (NES), and it's not even a hard choice. There were so many tremendous games released on that system, with most of them having huge replay value. I'm sad knowing that probably 95% of current gamers missed out on it, and will never play some of the classics. Games are too complex, generally speaking. The most addictive and enjoyable games have always been simple at their core. I have a high level of intelligence, but was terrible in school. I went to college for 2 1/2 years. During most of that time I didn't go to class. I flunked out in my third year because I also stopped showing up for tests, lol. After flunking out of college I spent a lot of time alone, reading and sitting in silence, and experienced a spiritual awakening. I lived in a state of constant bliss for several months. I entered the 'real world', getting a full time job. I spent a lot of the years from age 21 to 31 depressed and ashamed that I had 'lost the awakened state'. I fell in love for the first time when I was 31. It happened instantly, with a woman I had never met before. When our eyes met for the first time, I felt like my heart had literally exploded, and I nearly dropped to my knees and professed my love to her, though I didn't even know her name. Turned out she was in a relationship, which wasn't something I was comfortable interfering with. We ended up working together, which almost resulted in me losing my sanity. I barely ate or slept for nearly 6 months because my body was raging with energy. I had to force myself not to look at her because the energy between us was so strong that my body would start trembling. I later found out that she experienced something nearly identical at our initial meeting. Still today, it's virtually impossible for me to sleep lying flat on my back. The energy running through me keeps me awake, and sometimes makes my arms and legs shake uncontrollably. I have to lay on my side, or in another contorted position, so that my spine isn't straight, otherwise I'll lay awake all night, regardless of how tired I am. It also makes it impossible for me to sleep sitting in a chair. I can't sleep on airplanes. I've worked in the same department at the same company for 21 years. I began as the youngest in the group by a decade, with the next least experienced person having been there for 5 years when I started. I had no desire or interest in 'advancing' my position. I've always made it clear to the people 'above me' that I have no interest in blindly advancing, and have flatly turned down multiple requests to take on higher positions. I've never sought out or even applied for any leadership positions (I've wouldn't know how to compose a resume if I needed to), but they literally just keep asking me to take on higher positions. I've only accepted when I felt without a doubt that I was the best person for the job, and that if I failed to accept I would be allowing harm to come to my co-workers (in the form of a less than optimal person taking on the position). I'm now the Manager of the department, with over 20 direct reports. I never know what the hell I'm doing until it comes time to do it, and then things just naturally seem to come together. I've always viewed leadership not as an opportunity, but as a responsibility. A leaders purpose is to serve. My primary purpose is to provide the tools required for someone to succeed, and to put them in the position that best suits their unique talents. Everything else I do as a Manager is trivial, unimportant. I work on average about 65-70 hours per week, but virtually never get tired because it doesn't feel like work to me. I genuinely enjoy myself. I feel sad every time I hear someone say they're 'not doing too bad for a Monday', or say 'Thank god it's Friday', because it tells me that they don't enjoy their work at all. I don't accept any moral code. I trust only my innate sense of right and wrong, and follow it even when it flies in the face of traditional moral beliefs. I have very little concern for what others think of me. This leaves me free to be an authentic person. To harm or kill any living thing feels wrong to me. I refuse to kill spiders, ants, or other insects, even if they're in my home (unless they bite me. I consider that an attack on me, and then they're ****ing dead, lol). I won't use weed killer on my grass. I wouldn't even cut my grass if they didn't fine people for letting it grow. When I'm cutting grass, if I see a grasshopper, moth, beetle, or other creature, I'll sit and wait until they're out of my path. Last week my girlfriend mentioned that in her culture there are many people that eat a vegetarian diet because they believe it's wrong to kill animals for food. I started talking about my own resistance to killing things, and she was confused because she says, "you eat meat all the time". When I explained to her that I consider killing a plant to eat it no less 'evil' than killing an animal, and killing an animal for food no more 'evil' than killing a plant, she thought I was either joking or insane. I wasn't joking, so you can all draw your own conclusions. I could kill any living thing with a clear conscience and no regret (including a human being) under the right circumstances (protecting others, for example). I'm in ****ing love with James Allen right now, for the same reason I love old school video games. His work focuses on simple core concepts, which he writes about clearly and in an easy to understand manner. There are no unnecessary chapters, paragraphs, or even words. I posted some excerpts from his book 'As a Man Thinketh' somewhat recently, and am currently reading my second book by him, 'From Poverty to Power' (which I believe is actually his first book). I'm enjoying it even more than the more popular 'As a Man Thinketh', but that's undoubtedly because it more directly addresses spiritual concepts, which I find resonates with me. Earlier this evening I read a section of it that reflects the core principles that guide my life, and so I'll end this post by sharing the quote: "Break away from the tyranny of custom, tradition, conventionality, and the opinions of others, until you succeed in walking lonely and erect. Rely upon your own judgment; be true to your own conscience; follow the light that is within you; all outward lights are so many will-o'-the wisps. There will be those who will tell you that you are foolish, that your judgment is faulty, that your conscience is all awry, and that the light within you is darkness, but heed them not. If what they say is true, the sooner you as a searcher for wisdom find it out, the better, and you can make the discovery only by bringing your powers to the test. Therefore, pursue your course bravely. Your conscience is at least your own, and to follow it is the path to freedom; to follow the conscience of another is to be condemned to slavery. You will have many falls, will suffer many wounds, will endure many bufferings for a time, but press on in faith, believing that sure and certain victory lies ahead. Search for a rock, a principle, and having found it cling to it; get it under your feet and stand erect upon it until at last, immovably fixed upon it, you succeed in defying the fury of the waves and storms of selfishness. For selfishness in any and every form is dissipation, weakness, death; unselfishness in its spiritual aspect is conservation, power, and life. As you grow in spiritual life and become established upon principles, you will become as beautiful and as unchangeable as those principles, will taste of the sweetness of their immortal essence, and will realize the eternal and indestructible nature of the God within."