I’ve been told that my gruff demeanor is off-putting for some, so consider this to be my effort to showcase a softer, gentler Blake. You may imagine me holding a tubby tabby in my lap as I write it, if you like, while wearing flowing linen yoga pants and a dashiki. Whatever floats your particular boat.
By way of introduction, I had a long discussion the other day with a buddy of mine about how much I’ve changed since moving to Mexico, and he’s right. I have.
I’m a lot happier.
The secret to happiness, I’ve discovered, is having enough.
Or rather, feeling like you have enough.
NEWS: A brilliant new book review and interview on THE GERONIMO BREACH with Simon Jenner. Worth a quick read!
It’s the exact opposite of what’s propagated in the U.S. – a hyper-consumerism that requires that the population never feels like it has enough. Of anything. Money. Possessions. Success. Power. What fuels the big engine is an unhappiness tied to constantly wanting – no, needing – more. It’s engineered that way. You’re bombarded relentlessly with the same message. You need better. More better. You deserve more. More more more. If you don’t have more, you’re deficient. And if you have to borrow from your future to get that more now, that’s the American way.
The problem is that being a product sponge is good for those selling stuff, but not so great for your sense of self.
What happened since I moved to Mexico is that over the years, I’ve adopted the prevailing philosophy down here, which is being happy with what you have. Valuing your time more than possessions or money. Feeling like you already have everything you need, so you don’t really want anything. It’s a paradigm shift – one that’s critical to self-satisfaction. Because you can have everything, but if you want more, you’ll never be truly happy. Very Zen, with a jalapeno twist.
I met a guy the other day who’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He’s a hard charger, has homes all over the world, runs a successful company he founded. He spent most of his time telling me all about it. It was important for me to know how prosperous he was, and how much stuff he possessed. What’s interesting is that even with all that, he spent the majority of the discussion trying to impress me. He obviously wasn’t happy, and grew unhappier as it became clear that I didn’t give a shit. Because, well, all that idiocy really really matters.
I’ve hit a point in my life where I’m satisfied with what I have. I like my car. I like my house. I like my love life. I like my health. I enjoy writing probably more than I really should, but that’s a guilty pleasure. I’m doing exactly what I want, in the manner I want to do it, on my own terms. I’ve got enough.
I don’t know why I’m writing this blog. The idea of abundance coming from within isn’t earth-shattering information. Certainly nothing new. But for whatever reason, the other day I woke up and realized that I already have everything I want, and when you have that feeling, that sense of not wanting more, it’s freeing beyond belief, and I wanted to share.
Now to more mundane matters. I’m working hard on covers for Upon a Pale Horse, and writing Black after taking a few days off to plot the rest of it (code for boozing). Should be done in another week or two. I’m not pushing all that hard to get er done. With 21 novels out, I’m pretty sure that the world has enough Russell Blake books to absorb for the time being.
Now go buy some of my crap so I can roll around in hundreds and mock my numerous enemies and critics. That bar tab’s not going to pay itself. I may not want more, but I’m pretty sure the barkeep does by the way he’s been giving me the evil eye lately. So help a brutha out. I’d recommend Blood of the Assassin as a good place to start. Reads pretty well, I think…