I don’t know if it’s the impending winter shit show that’s about to decend upon us with no mercy, the Main Event WWE-esque shit show aka the Election and it’s outcome that has us living in a waking nightmare, or what…

But I’ve been struggling. Struggling with like, everything. Uninspired, bored, furious. You know, all those really attractive qualities that draw awesome people towards one another?

One thing, among many other things I’ve been doing to try to help is read. A book. A physical book, recommended by a real person I know in real life. It’s called Creativity by Osho. Osho was this kind of rebellious, Indian, spiritual teacher in the 1970’s who had a lot of really great suggestions on how to be happy. Like most influential people, he is most celebrated posthumously. Look him up. He’s got other books that I’ve read, and more I haven’t but plan on reading.

He has a chapter in Creativity explaining left and right side brain function. Left being mechanical, right being creative. There are 4 keys to this, according to this dude Osho. I’m going to tell you about the one I love the most, because it’s something I already tell myself: Approach things as a child would. Meaning that if you approach your life like you don’t already know how to do things, you will inevitably be forced to take some liberties with your tasks, and end up creating something new because you took another path. It usually has a way of making things more fun, and invites humor to the situation. Something I can use especially right now, as I’m sure most of you need too.

My 5th grade teacher Mr. James was a great example of creativity, and unknowingly taught me a lot about humor, confidence, and that having fun at school was possible, contrary to previous years experience. He loved science, was not above practical jokes, and let us sit with our friends, as long as we kept the party focused.

He encouraged us to write every single morning for 5 minutes in a notebook and tell him about our nights and weekends, goals we’d achieved the prior week, along with news ones for the upcoming one. We got those notebooks back at the end of the day, and he would write notes on them about not only grammar and structure, but encouragement about whatever we got hyped on in our writing. A book report was never just a boring, get-up-and-flatly-read-this-as quick-as-possible assignment. No, we came dressed as our favorite characters, and read the reports in character.

He helped each and every one of us come up with experiments that we worked on in class to enter the district science fair, where we basically wiped the floor with everyone else, placing in every category. He also had a great sense of humor, and didn’t take being an adult so seriously, which was very refreshing. My friend, and totally clueless classmate fell asleep in Mr. James’ class for probably the 3rd time in a week, so when he noticed this, he wrote on the board for the rest of us to read:

“GO INTO THE COATROOM. WE ARE PLAYING A PRANK ON JENNIFER…” He then proceeded to set the clock to 5 o’clock pm, erased the board, we all cram into the coat closet, trying so hard to stifle our laughs and not make a sound. He wakes her up, convinces her she’s not only slept through class, but she’s been there for 2 extra hours. He waits until she’s putting it all together, and then we jumped out and she knew it was a joke. She was confused, but thought it was funny, and he solidified his status as the coolest teacher ever.

He was also on the receiving end of our pranks, and always graciously accepted it, and kept it going. There were a handful of whoopee cushions, fake insects and rats floating around to hide in his desk to scare him with. I have so many stories as I remember this, but you get the idea. I learned how I wanted to approach life that year, and those are memories I like to come back to when I get overwhelmed and start to forget.

What was a defining time in your life that helps you remember your approach?



Originally published at medium.com