Thursday, July 01, 2010

I realize that John Mayer tends to be a divisive subject. Some folks herald him as the new Prince of Pop music while others are put off by the arrogance and ignorance of his youth.

I think both of those viewpoints have some merit, but I do commend Mayer on how hard he works to improve himself and balance the perception of his 'rock star' antics with good, solid, honest encouragement. I caught this on his Tumblr page where John answers questions submitted by fans.

What do you do when you are having an awful day?

First of all, sorry you’re having an awful day. (People don’t ask these kinds of questions when they’re sipping drinks by a pool.)

What do I do when I’m having an awful day? I time travel. Well, sort of. Here’s how I cheat the math:

Question: Is this problem going to change your life forever or will there come a day this problem will no longer exist?

If you decide the problem won’t exist after a certain period of time, then you can file it under “temporary.” Which brings me to step number two: if the problem is temporary, then you can sort of detach from the “now-ness” of the discomfort. I’m not saying ignore the lessons in the problem. Definitely learn from the problem, work to solve it, but spare yourself the existential grief, because it will get you nowhere. (This coming from an existential grief-master.)

Okay, better way to explain it: you wake up to find you have a giant zit on your nose. Everyone can see it. But within a week that zit will be gone and nobody will remember you had a zit. Maybe they’ll have one instead. So if the zit will be gone next week and people will forget, is the zit REALLY there now? I say you can answer “no” if you bend your brain around it the right way.

You can’t travel through time, but you can send your thoughts and hopes into the future to camp out and wait for you to arrive there, where you’ll meet up and hug and decide that everything is alright again.

Seems like a really simple answer, but I thought John framed it perfectly. I found myself quickly applying John's time-travel theory to a couple of upcoming events that were making me tense and it did, in fact, work!