Secrets and Vices

Podcast Weekly

@PacificDT & Symphony Editorial Podcast

The Piel:

Got another ecommerce site up and going:

Part of the ongoing goal of starting one new ecommerce website each week.

Dear James:

This is quite an interesting topic you raise. Talking and sharing deep, personal stories shows courage. Generally, I would try not to worry about any of it.

When it comes to personal questions, I like to think of two main categories: secrets and vices. I’m not using these words as most do. They are more or less “Jesse psycho-babble”.

When I say “secrets”, I’m talking about those personal thoughts and habits that—we’re just convinced—would make other people dislike us if they found out. Actually, we would be surprised more than not. Personal secrets, like everyone has, can really bother us, and even drive us to do crazy, wild, and self-destructive things. They can make us reclusive, even suicidal. It’s best to get a handle on them.

I try to remember two important things when dealing with personal, embarrassing “secrets”: 1. we are normal and 2. self-control.

Knowing that we are normal really shuts-down drama. Sometimes we’re totally wrong, having a wild, insane experience with crazy ideas and all of our conclusions about it are just, plain wrong. We’re just having an experience; that’s all… maybe. We might feel weird when, actually, everything we feel and experience is normal and true, except the fact that we think we are weird for it; and the feeling of being weird actually makes us normal. So, remember that you are normal and don’t take yourself so seriously. As my therapist often reminded me, “You’re not as different as you’d like to think you are.”

Then, once you remember that you are normal, exercise a little self-control. For example, if you are overweight and trying to slim down, your stomach might hurt if you don’t eat. But, actually, that’s normal. Nothing against being fat, but “fatness” can, for some people, become a disease of the mind. They confuse wanting food with “needing” food, always thinking they need more than they need. Some countries struggle with that when it comes to land, consider Greece, Rome, Russia, and China… or places some people want our American military to open up bases. Breaking an addiction hurts. It’s normal. So, in that case, don’t worry about the pain. Just exercise some self-restraint.

That’s enough about “secrets”. You’re normal. Just control yourself and your thoughts. Focus on things that will make you successful. That’s everyone’s story in one manner or another.

As for “vices”, these tend to sneak up on us. A “vice”, as I call it, is an idea or a habit, usually working in tandem. It’s like a destructive habit or a belief that affects our relationships. The thing about a “vice” is that it doesn’t actually hurt us; it hurts the people we love and care about.

One classic example of a “vice” was Ray Charles. Though he was addicted to heroine, it didn’t make him a bad musician. So, in his view, it didn’t affect him. But, it hurt those around him. Perhaps he could overdose, get put in jail, or a kid who looks up to him might get hooked and end up destroying his own life. Miraculously, we have a way of becoming immune to our own vices as they destroy our loved ones. And we never want to admit it.

It’s very hard to admit that we have vices. And we always have a million air-tight arguments why we are right. That’s the thing about vices. So, I encourage you to be honest with yourself.

The Denialist: Edition 59