#188: Stop Being a Puppet and Commit to Being the Puppeteer

(Sing it like JT and NSYNC)

“Don’t want to be a fool for you

Just another player in your game for two

You may hate me but it ain’t no lie

Baby bye bye bye

Bye bye”

Each year Lady LovestoShop and I will take between six and twelve trips, vacations, getaways, long weekends, what evs… this year of course has been a bit different.

We’ve only had a couple long weekends. One of which was our annual trip to Saugatuck Michigan for Stacey’s birthday. We rented a big house right off of Water Street within a five minute walk to our favorite outdoor deck to party on and listen to live music… the Butler.

The house we rented with three other couples had a great big paved firepit area off the back of the house. And because of these strange times we spent most of our time at the backyard fire pit in the evenings – hanging out, talking, laughing, listening to music, and swilling some booze.

One night around the firepit I invented a fun group game where we would go around the circle and each request a song that we love but hesitate to admit. We had our JBL bluetooth speaker with us piping in Amazon music, controlled by Sparkle’s phone app.

We’d pass the phone around so that we wouldn’t know each other’s selection until the song started. It turned out to be a blast.

During our game of favorite music secrets I made selections like Girl Crush by Little Big Town – hello, that song’s amazing.

Sorry by Justin Bieber… yeah yeah yeah.. I know the song isn’t great, but I live the chorus – “Is it too late now to say sorry? Cause I’m missing more than just your body.”

Now, if you’re around me enough in a musical request setting the next request would not surprise you at all… and that is NSYNC – Bye Bye Bye and it’s attached to today’s theme – Stop being the puppet and commit to being the puppeteer. 

Listening to the song by NSYNC, the lyrics are disguised to be about a girl. But they are really based on the breakup of the band with their creator and manager Lou Perlman.

There’s a fascinating book about Lou that I read back in 2008 called The Hit Charade and a really good documentary on Youtube called The Boy Band Con – I’ll put a link to the book and the trailer to the documentary on the blog…

Along with pictures and video from Saugatuck. Like one of me jumping over the fire pit and a hilarious video of me and my brother having a foot race after a handful of Miller Lite’s. 

You can check it all out over at realestategoodlife.com

Anyway, that was a long buildup for me to get to the point of you and what my favorite philosopher Marcus Aurelius said to the both of us back in fifty.

No, not 1950, Marcus wrote this in his journal back in 50… nearly two thousand years ago:

He said, Understand at last that you have something in you more powerful and divine than that causes the bodily passions and pulls you like a mere puppet. What thoughts now occupy your mind? Is it not fear, suspicion, desire, or something like that?

Of course it is my main man Marcus – of course those thoughts seem to always be tangled up in my tiny teacup of a brain.

For you and I what we need to be suspicious of is all the interests vying for our hard earned dough and maybe more importantly – aiming their arrows at our attention.

Because when they get our attention we’re distracted from our Mission.

There are food scientists out there whipping up ways to get you to shovel more cheetos into your piehole. Hence the ability to eat an entire bag of Cheetos – whereas you can never eat an entire bag of broccoli.

There are sinister Silicon Valley engineers designing apps and social media distractions as addictive as gambling.

The media is manufacturing stories to poke holes in your concentration, attract your attention and provoke anger, outrage, and hate.

Politicians from both parties puncturing our pride and stoking our fires in order to accomplish one, and only one thing, to keep us apart and get them elected. 

These are just some of the distraction, temptations, and forces acting upon us – pulling us away from the things that truly matter.

My main man Marcus didn’t have the onslaught of distraction we have today – but he still understood the pull of the puppet strings that prevents our personal greatness.

The Good Life philosophy is simply asking us to understand the forces aimed at our distraction. We seek freedom in the highest degree – to be so free that our very existence is considered an act of rebellion.

We must cut the strings and free ourselves from the foolishness or normal behavior. Normal behavior as displayed by the Regs, regular people. We are not regular people – we are freedom fighters in ferocious pursuit of personal greatness.

“Cause, you gotta fight, for your right… to partyyyyyy!”

And our fight is for freedom and personal greatness. Because as famed psychologist Abraham Maslow told us,

“What one can be, one must be.”

What the??? Listen to that again, “What one can be, one must be.”

If that doesn’t light your face up with fun then you fuse is out. Time to relight!

And as Viktor Frankl puts it, “Man is pushed by drives and pulled by values.”

The Good Life philosophy is value and virtue based. These values and our accurate thinking prevent us from being puppets. So cut the puppet strings and become the puppet master.

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Visit realestategoodlife.com for all the goods, including the show notes from this podcast episode.

Have a great day my friend!

P.S. Here’s the pic of me leaping over the firepit in Saugatuck Michigan and the video of the half buzzed footrace my brother challenged me to.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…

Buzzed up brothers Saugatuck foot race!

“Hey Larry, remember that time you challenged me to a foot race in Saugatuck?”