I was listening to Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast with Louis CK last night. Fifty four minutes in, Louis told a story.
He wanted to learn how to play the trumpet. So he cashed all the money he had ($1400) and bought one. He then freaked out, felt bad, went to a peep show, jacked off, and realised if he had masturbated first, he wouldn’t have bought the trumpet.
In my journal, while listening, I wrote “The Trumpet story.”
This marks a turning point. It’s the first time I have recorded something solely because it has made me laugh.
My small collection of books, index cards and journals is useful. I have resources and ideas to help me learn and understand problems. I have quotes and passages to help me with difficult decisions and tough times. I have observations about myself and others. I have a lot of stupid ideas. And I have many questions I don’t know the answer to.
But I don’t have a section containing the most obvious and most effective antidote to misfortune. Humour. Laughter. Funny shit.
This worried me. Why hadn’t I started one already? Maybe it’s a reflection of where my thoughts and priorities have been over the last few years. I’ve been pre-occupied with trying to figure out what the fuck I am supposed to do and where I am supposed to go. Or maybe, I, like many of you, just don’t really notice how much I laugh and smile throughout the day.
Now, as well as recording thoughts on dealing with adversity, learning, problem solving, strategy etc, I’ll be looking for things that make me smile. Ideas and stories that make me guffaw.
I have a feeling that this section will come in incredibly useful down the road. Trouble, misfortune, and disastrous mistakes are guaranteed in the future.
Thor Heyerdahl, who rafted across the Pacific Ocean in 1947, brought together a team of six men for the journey. They had never met before. He said that “no storm clouds with low pressure and gusty weather held greater menace for us than the danger of psychological cloudburst among six men shut up together for months on a drifting raft. In such circumstances a good joke was often as valuable as a life belt.”
There will be storms. I am collecting life belts.