I wrote the following nearly a month ago as a testimonial to a group I am a part of. I didn’t send it over because I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with it. And then I realized this testimonial works as an expression of happiness, and might be beneficial for me to talk about and for others to see. So here goes:
My name is Will O’Connor. I’m a 32-year-old husband, father of 2, soon to be 3, son, friend, avid reader and aspiring writer. I’m a fanatic of baseball, and a total junkie for numbers and statistics, although I’m not very competent at higher disciplines of math. I’m a construction superintendent, and work for a general contractor generally providing supervision and oversight on multi-family projects and light commercial work. I’ve built apartment buildings as large in scale as 74 units to as small in scale as 3. I’ve built restaurants. Most recently I’ve built a pre-engineered metal building housing an expanding indoor soccer facility. I work in Richmond, Virginia. I have been here for just over a year, after spending my first 31 in and around Baltimore, Maryland. I was turned on to the Me.Now.Movement in December of last year by an old friend who aired a podcast with Andrew. In listening to Andrew and Garrett speak about the movement, I felt the words slide into place in my heart, overlaying on top of what I already knew I wanted but didn’t have the presence of mind to focus on achieving. Prior to December, I was all of the things I mentioned above. I loved every single facet of those attributes and labels. I just didn’t have the vision to structure those components in ways that helped me maximize my potential within each of them. Primarily, my frustration lied in the competing beliefs that I had to stress my opportunity for growth and advancement professionally, while also knowing that I did not want only one thing to become of me. I did not, and never have, wanted to round-out skills out in only one arena. I am intrigued by so many things. Building is certainly one of them, but it cannot be all that I am.
I like to think in stories and metaphors; to draw the parallels between something easily understood between something far more complex on the surface, yet inherently structurally the same. I am currently working on my twelfth project as either an assistant superintendent, or superintendent. Four of those projects have been what are called “gut-rehabs”. That is to say, we demolish the interior guts of the building, often even items such as the roof, windows and siding, and build back a new system that can further withstand the elements surrounding it. We upgrade the interior and when all is said and done, a “brand new building” feel is what we strive to provide our clients. The Me.Now.Movement feels the same way. It may even go further, to re-frame the interior. To change the rooms around, maximize the space, provide a new feel to an established building. Much like the gut-rehabs I sometimes am charged with, The Me.Now.Movement has turned my attention inward; to building new rooms and fresh spaces to explore the passions that lie within me. To dust off the old plans and revisit them. To see if they still have a flame, or if relighting that flame will provide a new light by which I can revise old plans and passions into new.
I’m nearly complete with the book Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I’ve taken in much of the lessons in this book through the Me.Now.Movement lens. Most notably, I remember feeling moved at Kahneman’s explanation of the availability heuristic. I’ll paraphrase, but essentially, we have a far greater memory for remembering all of the instances/people we know who have fallen ill or had bad turns of luck than we do for those who moved the jumbled pieces of life around to create something along the lines of the Me.Now.Movement mission. In so doing, we create an availability heuristic that suggests the construct of the world around us is dark and foreboding. We perceive that bad things are far more probable to happen than they actually are, simply because our brain stresses the frequency of these sub-optimal outcomes against the non-headline-making news of all the positive forces in our world. In recognizing this mental flaw we all seem to all possess. I want to combat that heuristic. I want to create an availability in the memory of my children that reminds them of why we push forward. I want to create something, in as grand a scale I can muster, that stands against evil acts, and cancer, and tragedy. I want to nurture that effort and provide a place for discussion as to how each of us can best enforce the real fact that far frequently, good happens in our world than bad. I want to make it a tangible, living thought, that happiness and living in the Now is not just about occasionally consciously thinking about these abstract ideas. It’s about creating those moments with purpose.
Much of the tangible product on my journey through the Me.Now.Movement has yet to be defined. I am only in the brainstorming phase of my journey. I am still framing the walls, revising the window openings, checking to see which doors need to go where, and which ceilings I can blow out to obtain higher goals. This revelation is joyful to me, as I can only speculate how passionate I will feel about the movement when I begin to churn out a product that can be witnessed by my family and loved ones. I would invite anyone who similarly wishes to bring about their best self through happiness and conscientiousness of the value of the present to explore with Andrew, and the community he has built, the potential they have to affect the Me.Now.Movement and the communities to which you belong. I am confident that, through diligence and commitment, the Me.Now.Movement will help you to reach your old goals, refine the rusty ones into new and improved ideas, and re-frame the interior of your life into bigger, and more purposeful spaces.
Yours in the Pursuit of Happiness,
Me.Now.Member since December 2016