Lightning Flashes Of Insight

Most of the time, I am content to live in my delusions. I see myself as the hero of my story. I think of myself as a great writer. I’m convinced that I am an artist, that I have keen insights into life, and that I should just keep on my path. That I’m going the right way.

Then, on occasion, I get these lightning flashes of insight and they frighten me.

You know how in movies, you’ll get lightning flashes through the darkness and you’ll suddenly see scary things — a dead body or men with guns or Democrats passing Obamacare.

The other day, I woke up with this frightening insight that I was taking the easy way out with my life by settling for slovenly.

Most of the time, I think I have been right in my conflicts, but on occasion, I think that the rabbis were right, that Dennis Prager was right, that my critics were right, and that I have been acting very badly.

The other day, I wrote in my journal:

I woke up thinking, “I need to sell other people’s products.” That’s the easiest way to make money online. OPP. I’ve researched this. I’ve put my foot into the water, but I’ve never gone all out. I fear that I have been childish in not being more aggressive about earning a living. That’s why I’m not married. I prefer to scrape by, living off scraps, and spending my time reading books and blogging and doing yoga rather than taking charge of my financial destiny. I want to restart my entrepreneurial energy and to make something of my life. Working these crap jobs for crap money sucks. I must grow up and work harder and smarter. Perhaps I should return to watching those online marketing videos. They put me in an entrepreneurial state of mind. At the very least, I could blog more about topics that pay well. If I earned more money, I could take regular writing classes and they would inspire me to get better at my craft. I could get all the acupuncture and physical therapy I need.

When I look bad at my work history, I see long periods of struggling in crap jobs for crap money and long periods of working in a sweet spot (work I enjoyed that paid well).

I wonder why I have felt like crap the past two months. Before then, I was busy and energized and getting up at 6 a.m. every day to go to shul.

Therapy is a key part of the solution to my low achievement. It helps me to confront myself. I learn to relate to another person in a deep way, instead of keeping important things bottled up inside where they transmogrify in scary ways.

I don’t know what it is like to be married and to have your own family. I do know what it is like to write well. I love that rush. I love when I write stuff that I enjoy reading. That’s how I judge whether or not I am doing good work — do I want to read or watch what I have produced?

I get enough adrenalin and excitement from writing that it repeatedly inspires me to keep going. I only see shadows of what family life would be like. It’s not real to me. It doesn’t compete with the rush of blogging and instant feedback and feeling like I have thousands of readers and that when I strum my keyboard, they are moved by what I write, that my words create worlds, and that I am the puppeteer and everyone else is a puppet.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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