It’s been a struggle to decide what to write on the past few days. I honestly had an entire article ready to go…and then I deleted it. Believe it or not, I get messages via Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. daily asking for a new article. Then, I start freaking out and overthink everything in general (anxiety). That being said, all I’m really doing is writing what’s going on in my mind. So, I stop overthinking and really dive deep into what is on my mind. Does that makes sense? The problem is: there is so much going on up there that singling out one topic is not easy. Then, Boyz II Men comes on my Spotify playlist and I’m in the zone.
What I’ve truly been dealing with is writer’s block. So, I googled “How to overcome writer’s block” and here’s what I’ve found:
Go for a walk.
Read a book.
I saw this list, began to chew on some coffee beans (pour my third cup of coffee) and laughed to myself; none of these things work for me. So, I did what I do best: I fueled up on caffeine and continued to blast 90’s love songs in my headphones. The Chris Bukowski “overcoming writer’s block” list should read:
Anyway, there is something that I want to elaborate on this time around. I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with Charles Bukowski, but he’s one of my favorite writers (not because we have same last name). He definitely wasn’t a model citizen, but the man put exactly what was on his mind to paper, which I think — unknowingly — helped many people. I respect that. So, here is a quote of Mr. Bukowski’s that has been one of my favorite’s for quite a long time:
“You have to die a few times before you can really live.”
Simple, right? This certainly can take on a different meaning to you than it does to me. This quote has made me appreciate the value of chance and opportunity. Life, to me, is full of chances that aren’t handed to you, but rather created by you. How many times have you made a mistake and thought, I’m never going to recover from this? I feel like the mistakes that we make throughout life really set us up for who we are in the present. Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard “learn from your mistakes.” Well, no crap. I think the key to really living is making sure that you never consider those mistakes regrets. Rather than dwelling on something that may have put you a step back in life, embrace that mistake, learn from it and share it with others.
As much I want people to stop associating me with reality TV, it creates a bigger opportunity for me to overcome the obstacle of just being Chris; the guy that did five ‘Bachelor’ shows. What an obstacle to overcome. Many of my mistakes you all have witnessed have led me to believe that I have an obligation to myself to continuously learn from those missteps. When people come up to me in public most of them have the same two questions outside of “Do you want to take a selfie?” (Note: I hate the way I look in selfies): “Is the Bachelor real?” And, “Do you regret doing it?” I have the same answer to both questions. Drum roll…”No!”
Why should we ever regret something that we can’t change? Of course I’ve made many mistakes on TV and throughout my personal life, but I don’t regret anything. I’ve learned from them and I’m still learning from them — and I’m still making new mistakes.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
I don’t want to be a grandpa that doesn’t have stories to tell his grandkids. Granted, I’ll make sure to only share the PG stories. Now, next year, 30 years from now, etc. I have an obligation to be able to provide insight to anyone who is willing to listen. We all create that obligation every day we wake up, but most of us don’t act upon it (guilty). Making mistakes is part of life, but are we really living if we’re not screwing up? Life would be boring if everything was “perfect.”
We have an obligation, people. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Share them. Live. I sound like a motivational speaker here, but simply put: without mistakes we close the door to potential opportunity.
I want to end with a snippet of a conversation that I had recently with a friend back in Chicago. My mind wanders, so the conversation can be about the weather and quickly move to business. After re-thinking our conversation, I realized that I made a mistake. I didn’t even think twice about it, but wow, I really had a bit of an awakening later.
Me: “Let’s make money.” (I just laughed out loud for some reason)
Friend: “Money is only a tool for opportunity my friend.“
Me: “Let’s make opportunity.”
Friend: “Life is opportunity.”
Me: “Alright, let’s create hope to give others opportunity. Life is not opportunity for some.”
Friend: “I agree, we are fortunate. Therefore, we have an obligation.”
This ties in with what I’m talking about throughout this whole mess. My obligation is much greater than my own personal needs. A simple mistake I’ve been making for some time is being selfish, but at the end of the day, there is nothing greater than being able to create better opportunity for others by sharing my knowledge — which is full of mistakes.
Here’s to making mistakes.
P.S.: While writing this, I nailed down the song that will be played at my wedding — that will happen this century — during the dance with my Mom. I think you guys can figure it out since I’ve been listening to Boyz II Men this whole time. Let me know if you know!
I love you guys.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me by filling out the form below.
Be sure to check back next week for more of Chris’ answers right here on RantNOW.