If ever one word captured the age we live in — it’s “bullshit”. And could a man embody & epitomize bullshit any better than Donald Trump?
Shameless plug first — I just finished (and I’m agent-shopping) a book: How To Live Bullshit Free (And Other Showbiz Tales). It’s a painfully funny, brutally honest, name-dropping Hollywood memoir. I’ve had an unusual career (you can IMDb me here) that’s given me the chance to work with some of the most talented people in The Business. It’s also a “why you shouldn’t kill yourself” book (I came within inches of committing suicide three days before Christmas 2016 — or, as I like to think of it, I came within literal inches of bullshitting myself to death.
As I began to healthy in the aftermath (thanks to a great therapist, a mood stabilizer to cage the depression — it all flowed from a sexual assault at 14 I had buried — and loads of THC to mitigate my hypomania), I saw the myriad ways bullshit was still kicking my ass on a daily basis.
The first thing you have to do — to get bullshit out of your life — is to acknowledge all your own bullshit first (you have to deal with yours before you can even think of dealing with anyone else’s). And the first thing you’ll find, when you begin to deal with your bullshit, is how completely bullshit has destroyed your perspective. Bullshit, like depression, reduces your view of the world to an extreme telephoto lens — dialed in on one thing (how much you hate yourself, say) to the exclusion of everything else. Both destroy perspective until all you can see is your bullshit — and your bullshit is lying to you.
So — what can one do to become the alpha dog in one’s relationship with one’s ownb bullshit? Understand — calling out the bullshit in your life is not a one-n-done project. Bullshit is like herpes. It never really goes away. You manage it at best. But you have to manage it. Every day – or it’ll metastasize from herpes into something a hell of a lot worse.
HOW TO LIVE BULLSHIT FREE: THE DAILY 7 STEP ‘TO DO’ LIST
1 Get Perspective
2 Be Clear on What Is and What Isn’t
3 Keep Perspective
4 Refuse to Engage With Bullshit (It’s Pointless)
5 Own Your Own Bullshit First (Own It All Every Day)
6 Maintain Perspective
7 Wake Up Tomorrow and Repeat
If you look at how the list is structured, one thing kind of leads to another. Nothing on it is intrinsically difficult – unless you try it in isolation. The daily hunting and pecking at bullshit is a grind. You see a lot of familiar faces: your bad habits for instance – they’re bullshit. Bad habits you know you can break (and should) are bullshit on steroids. Those are the ones that trip easily into Red Flag Warning territory. There’s a reason they’re habits despite the fact that they’re bad.
The getting, keeping and maintaining of perspective are all a matter of pulling ‘the camera’ back as far as you possibly can. Are you seeing the biggest picture? Sure you can’t pull it back just a little bit more? Remember – bullshit eats perspective.
If you can master that – seeing your circumstances in their fullest context – it may not make you happier, but you’ll know exactly what stands between you and happiness. You will always know where the bullshit is in your life – and which bullshit you can live with and which you can’t.