Over the past half-dozen or so decades, millions, or maybe even billions of comic books have been written and sold telling of human and humanlike creatures with amazing special powers accomplishing incredible feats. While I am not able to leap tall buildings and I am certainly not faster than a speeding bullet, I do believe I have super-human powers.
I wake up most nights, usually several hours after I have gone to bed, kicking off the covers and beginning to sweat. The cool night air feels refreshing against my skin which is damp and clammy, and my mind is racing. My mind is churning with bits and pieces of mostly stories, but sometimes poetry, which begin to form sentences, then paragraphs. These stories seem so vivid in my mind and most mornings when I get up, the stories are long gone. Many are not worth writing about. Tonight is an exception.
I am sitting at my computer letting the story pour out of my mind and onto the page. I am not Superman or Spiderman, but I do have powers. My abilities are not super-human, but instead are natural human powers. I believe this capability is within most if not all humans, but for some reason this function is strong and powerful within me. I know this human power exists within me and I am most certain it also exists in others, maybe all of us, but a little more pronounced in me because I have a huge hoard of fuel to burn.
Powers, human or otherwise, need fuel to grow and expand. My fuel is knowledge. I spent many years in school, and while I may not have been the best student, I was constantly learning. Suddenly, when I was about twelve, my learning ability kicked into overdrive. Learning became much easier and this lasted many years if not decades. I continue to learn today, though not quite as easily.
After finishing school, I continued to gather fuel, but through manuals and training materials, working with my hands, but also an occasional Playboy magazine. It doesn’t matter how you learn, only that you do. Knowledge is fuel for my human power and this fuel begins to burn hot most nights when I go to bed.
All materials do not burn and cannot be considered as fuel. Glass and steel do not burn, but wood and oil products burn very well. If your brain is stuffed with knowledge which may be closer to glass and steel, then maybe your human powers do not have the energy to burn as mine does. What this nonflammable knowledge might be, I do not know. Maybe some of the stuff I found in the Playboys, though they did contain some good articles. I do know that my knowledge burns, and it burns consistently. Flammable knowledge has to come from books and doing meaningful and constructive tasks.
I know that I am not a genius, but I don’t think that matters. I think a genius is more about how your brain processes rather than what it processes. I have written several books and some poetry here and there and none of it has been or will ever be considered mind boggling, genius, or priceless literature, but it is good, I think. I know many have certainly enjoyed my books and short stories.
So here I sit, my mind pouring out through my keyboard to the computer screen. I never know what my mind is going to spit out, but tonight it is an explanation of what my mind is generating, but not how it is doing it. If I only knew what is causing my mind to generate my stories, maybe I could pass it along to others and there would no longer be the need for my second book, How to be a Smart SOB Like Me. If only I could roll the secret into a tiny pill. You actually have to take some initiative and do something to read and learn.
Too few people read more than the bare minimum. There are a lot of minimal people in the world who need the help I offer. Too bad the help is not in the form of a medication. But that would be too easy. No one ever said life was easy. It’s not supposed to be. You build your mind just like your muscles—hard work!
I can only theorize why and how my brain churns out my stories night after night, though only a portion of it ever gets written down as I am doing tonight. As an example, tonight I got to bed around 10:30, got to sleep by maybe 11:00, and it is now almost 3:00 a.m. That’s when it happens.
Now, how does it happen? I think it may be a combination of what I know and my lifestyle. What I’ve learned over the years I think plays a big part in the process, but also my routine. I have always heard that one should eat a big breakfast to give your body the energy to learn, process, and produce to its greatest extent during the day. I, however, tend to eat more in the evening, and especially things on the sweet side, to give my body the energy to work at an elevated level during the night when I really should be sleeping. I am productive during the day, but maybe I could be more prolific during the daytime if I changed my eating habits, but I’m not about to change something that’s working.
As far as what I know, I have learned so much during my life including such a wide array of subjects, there is no telling what will pop out of my head. While much of what I learned in school included a hefty portion of mathematics, science, and chemistry, it also included fair amounts of art and literature. I studied Thoreau and Emerson, but really love Poe and Shakespeare. I like to paint and carve, but no longer seem to have the time with these, as writing and chores around the house seem to take up most of my time, as does traveling.
Outside of school subjects, over my life I have learned many skills, including welding, construction, air conditioning, electrical and numerous other trades. Again, I may not be an expert at these skills, but I do have a reasonable amount of capability to get everything done around the house that needs doing.
At the moment, I am sixty-eight years old and I am still studying and learning new skills. Who said ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’? I learn something new every day. Most recently, I am into audio and video skills on the computer which I enjoy very much. I can create nice websites, I think, edit photos, design covers for my books, and make my own book trailer videos. I also am getting better at writing as I increase my vocabulary, my knowledge in the use of the Word program, and improve my correct use of the English language as it pertains to writing.
On top of the more sedentary chores, I also chop wood, mow the lawn and pasture, and care for an extensive garden and orchard. There are always a few inside and outside maintenance chores on the list too.
Another thing which may aid my human power is my genetic make-up. Somewhere buried deep in each and every cell of my body are chromosomes which give me the drive to learn more, to do more, and to be all that I can be. Do you have this gene? I don’t know. All I know is that I apparently do have it, if it exists. Are you driven to do more? If not, can you be taught to learn to exceed your inherent capabilities? I do not know. I think you can, but it may take a little more effort to bring out the best in you. Can you become a Smart Sob Like Me? Only you can answer that. Only you can push yourself to your limits and beyond. I can only offer you the idea. You must put it into action.
So, am I super-human? No, I am simply human like you. With the right knowledge and skills, you can do everything I can do. You have in your genes the ability to learn to execute every capability that I have. Maybe not everything all at once, but over time, if you put your mind and body into it, you can be me. The only question is, will you?
I cannot make you read a book. I cannot make you get off your ass and do something. I have no power over you. The only thing I can do is suggest and guide you in the right direction. Maybe you don’t even want to head on over my way and that is fine with me. If you are happy and doing great, then you do not need me. But if you are in a rut, have no direction, or are not happy, then maybe you should listen up. If not from me, listen to someone else who is maybe a little bit smarter and happier than you are. If your life is in shambles, you obviously are headed off in the wrong direction. Wouldn’t it be smart to try another route?
If you’ve read this far, you obviously have some skills. But do you have what it takes to be like me? Only you know. I hope you are much smarter than I am and happy on top of that. Maybe you don’t want to be like me. If you are happy with yourself and your life, and if I were in your position, maybe I’d rather be like you. I certainly like myself and my life, but there is always room for improvement. I am no exception to that rule.
So, what are you going to do now? First, ask yourself one question—do I need help? If your answer is anything but no, get the help you need. It doesn’t have to be from me. The help can come from within yourself. Get a book on a subject and skill you need and make yourself read and learn. I’ll bet that if you do, you may even learn to enjoy reading and learning. I’ll wager you’ll want more. Learning is like candy . . . get a taste and you’ll want it again. Well, maybe not exactly like candy, but you know what I mean.
Finally, if you need help and you choose not to get it, you will get no pity from me. There is a reason for the SOB in the title of my second book How to be a Smart SOB Like Me. I am not just smart. If you care so little about yourself, your life, and your livelihood, why in Hell should I care? The truth of the matter is that I don’t. It is in my nature to try to help people, but I will not lift a finger to help someone who is too lazy or stupid to help themselves.
I don’t know why I wrote this post. Maybe some magical power made me write it specially for you. I think I write interesting stories which the vast majority of people will like if they just take the time. If you like what I write but don’t need what I say, then smile and move on. If, on the other hand, you like and need what I say, then take it to heart and get off your ass and do something about your life. It is your life and you can flush it down the toilet, so to speak, if you wish, but if you do, you will get no sympathy from me.
Who knows, maybe you will actually read How to be a Smart SOB Like Me and want to read more of my books. Who says I can’t have an ulterior motive? I am, after all, smart enough to help myself.
My first book Dangerous Waters was written in 1986 and is out of print. After the SOB book in 2012, I wrote Into Autumn which needed a sequel, Into Spring and I’m currently (12.29.16) working on Into Winter. I never planned on becoming a writer, but finally after my third book, I came to the realization that I am now truly an author. When I finish Into Winter, I will complete my Four Season Series with Into Summer. Find me on amazon.
So, my friend, I wish you much success and happiness with whatever you choose to do from this day forward. Remember this, if you will, without knowledge, you will have no wisdom when you get my age. Don’t make excuses; make decisions. The clock is ticking.
Don’t be afraid. Cross the bridge to a better life.