Category: books

Chasing Unicorns: Chapter 6, Chasing Unicorns, Part 1

Tap cover, to read.

This is the latest installation of a 27-part series, featuring my book, Chasing Unicorns. To read the previous installation, CLICK THIS LINK. To start at the beginning, CLICK THIS LINK. To read the entire book at once, tap the book cover. Thanks for reading!

RECAP: Yesterday I introduced you to Unicorn Theory, which states that unique experiences can be as elusive and rare as spotting a unicorn. Everyone has unique experiences now and then, due to blind luck. But when you know how to hunt unicorns, you can have a lot more unique experiences than mere chance will allow.

Chasing Unicorns, Part 1

In this chapter we’ll chase unicorns, as they scatter helter-skelter, hither and yon. But in the next chapter we’ll save our breath and leisurely traipse down a meditative path, leading to the source of unicorns.

Chasing unicorns involves following some rather obvious strategies. And the most obvious, if you haven’t already guessed, is to keep an open mind. Hmm, who would’ve thunk?

An Open Mind

In this book, a unicorn symbolizes a unique experience. And it’s very apparent that if you want to have more unique experiences than your average closed-minded person, you have to keep your mind open enough to involve yourself in unique experiences.

It may be tempting to stay in a safe little corner, but your life will always be boring if you’re not willing to take a risk and try out new things.

I can provide all kinds of examples of unique things to do, such as, visit a rattlesnake zoo, read War and Peace, climb Mount Kilimanjaro, attend clown school, pick wild strawberries, paint your bathroom pink, learn rocket science, or buy a pet snapping turtle. But I don’t know your life. Maybe you’ve done all these things already.

What’s unique to one person may not be so unique to another. So nobody can tell you what is unique. It’s personal. You have to figure it out for yourself. And you can only do that if you maintain an open mind.

One reason why we get stuck in a rut is because ruts are relatively safe. Even when ruts involves situations that others might find dangerous, they’re relatively safe to us rut-dwellers because we’re accustomed to such situations. They’re the devil we know.

You may feel content in your rut, and if so, good for you. But if you want to have more excitement and happiness in life than your mere contentment, you must be willing to take a risk, and step away from your routine.

And there is a risk. Unicorns can be frisky and unpredictable. And they have sharp horns. If you’re not careful, you can be skewered.

It’s the same with unique experiences. Because such experiences are so unique, they’re unpredictable. They can mess you up badly. So they must be approached with caution.

Yes, use caution. But they must be approached if you want to experience them. You’ll never catch a unicorn by running and hiding from it. No, you must chase the unicorn. Only then can you feel the thrill and happiness from having such a creature in your possession.

Be On the Lookout

Another obvious strategy for chasing unicorns, is to be on the lookout for them. Unicorns tend to be elusive creatures, and you’re not likely to spot one by staring at the ground. So remind yourself now and then to pay attention.

When you consciously try to identify unique experiences, you’ll become amazed as to how many are out there, right under your nose. Unicorns are masters at camouflage.

For instance, have you been casually observing over the years, your wife knitting sweaters? Have you ever wondered how she pulls off such craftwork? Well, there’s a unicorn for you, right there. You can learn how to knit.

Are you mystified at how your husband can fix cars? There’s a unicorn. Start helping him, or pick up a book on auto repair.

These are just a few tiny examples of how unicorns camouflage themselves, hiding in plain sight, to be spotted only by those who diligently keep on the lookout.

And this brings up my next conventional and obvious strategy for hunting, chasing, and capturing unicorns. The strategy of learning new things.

Learning

Areas of knowledge that are new to you always make for dandy unicorns, because, well, they are so new. Obviously.

There are many ways to learn something new. You can buy, borrow, or steal a book. This day and age there are zillions of books, due to the boom in self-publishing, so you have lots of unique reading material to choose from. In fact you chose this book, so you’re already on your way to catching unicorns through the strategy of learning. And thank you very much.

You can also take a college course. Or change departments, where you work. Or google the hell out of subjects and learn stuff on the internet. Or observe carefully, the way people do things. Or just ask a lot of questions.

You can never run out of new, fascinating things to learn. Learning supplies a never-ending herd of unicorns to chase after and catch.

[That’s enough chasing. It’s time for a breather. But I have another trick up my sleeve, so come on back tomorrow, when I’ll show you another useful technique for chasing and catching unicorns.]

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Chasing Unicorns: Chapter 5, Unicorn Theory

Tap cover, to read.

This is the latest installation of a 27-part series, featuring my book, Chasing Unicorns. To read the previous installation, CLICK THIS LINK. For the next post in this series, CLICK THIS LINK. To start at the beginning, CLICK THIS LINK. To read the entire book at once, tap the book cover. Thanks for reading!

RECAP: In the last chapter, we learned about uniqueness, and how it affects the level of change we experience. The more unique a change, the more life and enjoyment we can derive from it. Uniqueness is the sweet spot! It’s the fulfillment of fantasy. It’s the strange and unexpected. It’s an escape from the mundane. In fact it’s an infinite amount of things, because it’s anything unpredictable or unusual.

Unicorn Theory

I’d love to describe uniqueness for you, so that you can recognize it whenever you see it, and grab hold of it and make it a part of your life. But unfortunately, uniqueness defies description. That’s because what is unique to you now will not be unique later.

Yeah, it’s a dilemma. A fucking dilemma! Uniqueness simply cannot be contained in a convenient formula, system of thought, or method of living. Uniqueness runs wild as a unicorn. It’s elusive. It’s rare. It’s constantly transforming itself. It’s even more elusive than me, when I’m trying to avoid religious people at my front door.

Spotting something unique is like spotting a unicorn. There it stands in its splendor and majesty. You can hardly believe it. So you rub your eyes, look again, and it’s gone.

Unicorn Theory

Which brings us to Unicorn Theory. Unicorn Theory states that unique experiences can be as elusive and rare as spotting a unicorn. And if you’ve ever spotted one, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Doesn’t happen very often, does it?

But when it does happen, it’s one hell of a thrill. So wouldn’t it be nice if it happened more often than once in a blue moon?

My Auto-Enjoyment Theory, in Chapter 4, asserts that life is automatically enjoyed. I believe in this theory. I think most people are automatically enjoying life, and are happy. In fact, I think you are probably happy right now, even though you’re reading this book. Now that’s some strong happiness!

And if that’s the case, why the hell did I write this book? Why am I wasting my time preaching to the choir, mailing junk mail to wrecking yards, and sending sardines to Sardinia?

And before you start guessing, it has nothing to do with the terms of any probation, requiring me to have gainful employment. Believe me, nobody is going to buy this book. There’s nothing gainful about this writing endeavor. Just don’t tell my probation officer.

I’m writing this book because I think it can be helpful to lots of people. And if so, that will make me famous. I lust for fame. I want the experience of punching out irritating paparazzi. I want to make the talk show rounds, so I can say all the politically incorrect stuff to get canceled from culture. Culture? Bah! Who needs it?

I want the name of Tippy Gnu to become a household word. Just what is a household word, anyway? Most of the words I hear around my household are of the four-letter variety. Regardless, I want that. I think it would be cool to have my name uttered in every household. Even if it replaces words like, shit, damn, or fuck, I can think of no higher honor.

If you’re happy, and you probably are, I think you can still benefit from this book. And if you aren’t happy, then I know you’ll benefit. But if you’re happy, this book can help you to be even happier. Happiness is a good thing, in my opinion. So why not get more of a good thing?

This book teaches that change produces happiness, since life is change, and life is automatically enjoyed. It also teaches that the more unique the change, the more happiness it will produce. And that’s where this book can be helpful. I’m going to show you how to increase the uniqueness of your experiences.

But there’s one problem. We must contend with Unicorn Theory. Remember, it states that unique experiences can be as elusive and rare as spotting a unicorn.

Now technically, all experiences are unique to some degree, because no two experiences are exactly the same. So this theory refers to experiences that are very unique. Unique in a standout way. The kind of experiences that leave you feeling thrilled, intrigued, fascinated, or otherwise very happy.

When I wrote the Unicorn Theory, I wrote it with the attitude of a Philadelphia lawyer. I was being slick and sly. So check the theory out again, and read it carefully. Note my use of the word, “can,” when I say, “unique experiences can be as elusive and rare as spotting a unicorn.” Consider that it doesn’t say “are.” Yeah, clever of me, huh?

Now I have an out. What I mean by all this slick bafflegab is, that unique experiences CAN be elusive and rare, but they don’t have to be. If you know how to search for unique experiences, then they can occur fairly often.

In other words, you have to know how to hunt unicorns (using unicorns as a metaphor for unique experiences), before you can spot them frequently. And after you learn the skill of the hunt, you’ll find yourself surrounded by these magical creatures. They won’t be so elusive and rare, after all. In fact, you’ll have so many unicorns around you, with their horns up your ass, that you won’t quite know what to do with them all.

It’s important to note that everybody catches a unicorn now and them. Life has enough odd twists and turns to allow these one-horned critters to make occasional appearances in anyone’s life, just by chance.

But what I’m going to show is how to increase the odds, so that you’ll catch more than you’ll likely ever capture by depending upon pure, blind luck.

First, I’m going to reveal some rather obvious strategies. Conventional stuff you’ve probably already thought of. Then I’ll unveil an unconventional strategy. The unconventional strategy is not so obvious. It’s a secret weapon for hunting unicorns that is more effective than any nightscope, fancy bait, or unicorn whistle ever invented.

With the conventional, obvious strategy, you’re chasing unicorns. With the unconventional, not so obvious strategy, you’re tracking the path of unicorns, and discovering where they come from. It’s a mystical, magical, meditative path, which we’ll get to soon.

But first, let’s learn how to chase the unicorns that have already made it down that path.

[Go out and buy some running shoes. Tomorrow you’ll be chasing one-horned creatures all over fucking hell.]

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Chasing Unicorns: Chapter 4, Uniqueness (It’s One-of-a-Kind), Part 6

Tap cover, to read.

This is the latest installation of a 27-part series, featuring my book, Chasing Unicorns. To read the previous installation, CLICK THIS LINK. For the next post in this series, CLICK THIS LINK. To start at the beginning, CLICK THIS LINK. To read the entire book at once, tap the book cover. Thanks for reading!

RECAP: Yesterday we learned from Virgin Investment Theory that we must sacrifice some uniqueness, and the pleasure that comes with it, to experience greater levels of uniqueness and pleasure. Buying low and selling high, or at least buying high and selling higher, is key to improving our happiness.

Uniqueness (It’s One-of-a-Kind), Part 6

Think Unique, and Feel a Thrill

Okay I’m back. SpongeBob SquarePants wasn’t on, so I lost interest and am ready to resume writing. But while I was away sucking down a root beer, it occurred to me that we haven’t yet discussed how your thoughts produce emotions. For instance, when I think about SpongeBob SquarePants, I feel both amused and envious. I feel amused because the way he looks and acts provides quick little tiny episodes of unique experiences for me.

It’s the same way that a good joke works. The first time you hear it, the unique thought it suddenly inspires causes you to feel a sudden spike of enjoyment. You respond by feeling amused, and maybe by involuntarily laughing. But if someone keeps telling you the same joke over and over, familiarity quickly increases, and uniqueness quickly declines. And then, if you’re being polite because it’s your boss who’s telling you the joke, the best you might do is muster some fake laughter.

Oh yeah, SpongeBob SquarePants leaves me feeling envious as well. After all, what red-blooded American male wouldn’t want to live in Bikini Bottom?

But it isn’t SpongeBob himself that makes me feel an emotion. Rather, it’s the thought processes that his character inspires. The way people think determines the emotions that they feel.

Your very thoughts produce mental patterns that can be quite unique. And this uniqueness can be very enjoyable or very painful, depending upon how well you’re buying low and selling high with your focus. If you imagine yourself bathing in a pool of gold coins and hundred dollar bills, you will likely feel pleasure from the uniqueness of this mental image. But if you imagine receiving a certified letter from the IRS, you will likely feel pain, due to the strong focus of worry that this image generates.

The pleasure and pain that our thoughts generate are emotions. We produce our own emotions, just by the way we think. Our brains are veritable drama machines.

Positive emotions are pleasurable, while negative emotions are painful. And what determines whether an emotion will be positive or negative, is the amount of uniqueness produced by your thoughts, versus the amount of natural uniqueness sacrificed through the mental focus you utilize to produce the thoughts.

But you say, “Hey I’ve gotcha now!” Oh, you think you’re so smart. (By the way, thinking you’re real smart ought to generate pleasurable emotions of smugness and pride). You realize there are some thoughts you think that are not very unique, yet still generate feelings of pleasure. For instance, a paycheck is a rather mundane thing—especially if you’ve been working at the same job for the past 20 years. There’s nothing much unique about your paycheck, yet you still like thinking about it. Well first, don’t admit this to your boss or you’ll never get that raise you’ve been pestering for.

Now imagine getting your paycheck every day, rather than every two weeks. Wouldn’t that be nice? Now imagine getting your paycheck every hour of every day. Better still, right? No, not really. If you were rolling in the dough like this, pretty soon you’d start getting rather bored with paychecks. Not that you’d turn down the money. With all that money, you’d probably hire a financial assistant to cultivate the greenery, while you go off and pursue your favorite hobby—like hunting ducks in Argentina or tasting wine in Italy. The last thing you’d want to think about is another paycheck.

Why? Because it would no longer be unique. Uniqueness is what makes a thought exciting. When you only get a paycheck every two weeks, the waiting time between paydays is long enough to maintain a certain high level of uniqueness with each check you receive. Thus the thought of a paycheck is still somewhat pleasurable.

Suppose you listened to your favorite song over and over again, all day long? How long would it take before you started to detest the song, or even the thought of the song? And how hard would you start trying to get the damned tune out of your head? Here again uniqueness is dependent upon familiarity. The more familiar you are with something, the less unique it becomes to your mind. And therefore, the less enjoyable it will be.

I hope you have learned something new here, about uniqueness. If you have, you have probably enjoyed reading this chapter. Because, of course, a unique concept is an enjoyable concept, even when it’s a concept about uniqueness.

So now that you appreciate (hopefully) the one-of-a-kind value of uniqueness, you’re probably wondering how you can add more uniqueness to your life. How exactly do you seek unique, and make your life happier?

Well come along with me, and we’ll find the answer by taking a ride on a unicorn.

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