• Thomas A. Wilson

Prose for a Cavalry Scout

Updated: May 6, 2019

In 2010, my phone changed my life—that was the year iPhone 4 came out. In 2007, Steve Jobs and company turned everything upside down with the introduction of the iPhone. But I had a perfectly fine flip phone. “What was a smart-phone, anyway?” I wondered. Thirty-six months later, I joined the smart party.

When Mrs. Wilson and I decided to take the iPhone plunge, a tech-savvy relative told us our lives would never be the same. I smiled and nodded, but on the inside, I laughed incredulously. How could a phone possibly change my life?

Little did I know.

My dear bride and I love to travel—more so now than then. Back in the day, we’d go to the American Automobile Association for a trip-ticket. A trip-ticket was a collection of roadmaps formed into a booklet that showed the way from where you were to where you wanted to be. Then, I’d drive, and Mrs. Wilson would read the map. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Imagine driving down a controlled access highway in California, four lanes deep, bumper to bumper, at seventy-five miles per hour. Next, imagine your navigator saying (with exactly 13 feet of warning), “Take this exit.”

Zoooom! The exit fades into the rearview mirror. That’s okay. We’ll just hit the next cloverleaf and turn around. Except, the next cloverleaf isn’t a cloverleaf. It’s a stoloniferous runner that shoots off to heaven knows where! Thirty minutes later, we’re still retracing our steps.

At this point in our narrative, I’d like to make the first of two confessions. (Blogging can be purgative.) When stressed while driving, I sometimes say things like, “Sheri, honey… if you could give me a little more warning, I could plan for the exit.” I would say this without moving any of my clenched teeth.

My darling Sheri, who is a spirited woman, usually gave feedback on my wide-eyed ventriloquism routine. She, too, refrained from moving clenched teeth. In fact, she didn’t say anything—but the temperature in the car dropped thirty degrees. (Like the X-men’s Storm, it’s her superpower.) Uh, hee hee, is it cold in here?

Now, on vacation, in traffic, hot (our AC was usually lame in those days), spending beaucoup amounts of money for the joy of fighting with each other. We could have stayed home for that!

What made it worse, I think (and this is my second confession), was my hypocrisy. You see, despite the United States Army’s best attempts to train me as a cavalry scout, I can get lost in a swimming pool. (I’m secure enough in my manhood to admit that.) And really, that dang deep-end can sneak up on a guy.

Sheri was aware of this flaw, and I think it made my self-righteousness a little more… irksome?

Then Steve Jobs saved me. My new iPhone provided turn by turn navigation instructions. Oh, my! I felt like a Disney character. Little birds chirped. Butterflies fluttered. Sheri looked at me with "princess eyes" full of love and gratitude. I was vacation Prince Charming. Wait till I get her on the Skydiver at Silverwood!

The right technology makes a difference.

The right mental technology makes a difference, too. Every paradigm delivers the default future that’s built into it. To get what one has never had, one must do what one has never done. Time to upgrade, if you’re not happy with current reality. That’s what goals, affirmations, and visualization are all about.

Remember, Man School principles work, but they never work harder than you do—knowing isn’t doing. Doing is doing.

MANerism: Since any system is perfectly designed to give the results it’s delivering, a new affirmation system must create a narrative that is contrary to the way things currently are. This cognitive dissonance is the thing that releases drive. Drive is made up of what? Do you remember? Energy and creativity.

Affirmation of the Week: I diligently say my affirmations two to four times a day because I care about myself and the ones I love.

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