Philosophers and martial artists were my favorite type of people growing up. There was something mesmerizing about their stories, reclusing from society and spending years in a cave in passionate search to master…something. I glorified the monk and the sage, the mystic and the guru, who were willing to devote their lives to a type of personal discipline that seemed unreal if not impossible. It goes by different names: enlightenment, mastery, actualization. By any handle, I had become obsessed with understanding what it really meant and how to get there.
While a child growing up in NYC I only had so much autonomy to exercise and I used to find different disciplinary systems to entrench myself into. Cub scouts, karate, Catholic school, ROTC, and so on. I found each of these comfortable and each helped an otherwise hyperactive and awkward kid stay a bit more focused but I can’t say that I found any of them “actualized” me. My mistake was expecting anything could self actualize me besides, obviously, myself. A point that would really get driven home in college.
On that note, I was driven home from college in my freshmen year after what was essentially a nervous and emotional breakdown. Between full-time classes, three jobs, two clubs, one girlfriend, and way too many activities I learned that my disciplined childhood didn’t translate well into my first time being truly on my own and fully self-monitored. Before that happened I changed my major from comp-sci to religious studies and spent just enough time there to reassess my life decision academically. The hiatus afterward gave me more time to meditate on it.
Many years of diverging paths, self-discoveries, whopping mistakes, and profound joys bring us to today. I’m a tech entrepreneur running a couple of startups, a habitual martial artist, responsible for a family, and like everyone else a complete mess of a person. I’m still on a quest to understand how to find realization in this world, and I’m holding myself accountable for recording and publishing my efforts. My vision is to become self-actualized, to then become self-realized, and finally to make it easier for everyone to do the same thing. I would love this to be my life’s work, my living performance art, and eventually my personal legacy. Thank you for joining me here at this, yet another turning point in the string of experiences I call my life.