Game Works

Mark Christison:

An incredibly well written piece.

Originally posted on :

game_works

Game, for lack of a better word, is good. Game is right. Game works.

After listening to myself on this weekend’s interview with Christian McQueen and Dagonet I realized that as I became more comfortable with the interview I found myself verbally ‘dialoging’ in much the same way that I scribble down fragments of ideas in my notebook or when I’m fleshing out a draft for some topic I’m considering in-post.

It’s always been a strange sensation for me to hear myself speak. Even when I record a voice message on my iPhone it always makes me self-conscious to listen to the message play back. However, as I was in the midst of listening to myself on the show I had the same familiar internal conversation and I picked up on a thought I had planned to write about, but I think it slipped my mind until now.

Towards the middle…

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Update from Melbourne

Wow, what a crazy ride the last few months have been. I’ve been out of touch with most of you. Friends and family, I could have been doing better.

Anyway, the move to Melbourne happened. I was not ready for anything. Perfect place to start right?

The first day here could not have been more interesting. On my flight in I was looking over the city thinking ok that looks cool that must be where we are going to land. Then then we kept flying. For another 10 minutes. OMGoodness gracious me. This place is larger and weirder than all of the places I have lived before.

Melbourne, Australia

Well now, lets begin the adventure. Stepping off the plane. Its much like any airport that I have been to before. Except it kept going. And going. 10 minutes of walking later we came to the baggage carousel room. Only for the New Zealand flights. Looking around you could understand that this place was like a factory. Simply know that most bags would have to be checked over somehow on both ends you realised that there was so much security and you could see why.

After waiting about 30 minutes to get my bag I walked over to get my biometrics photo taken because of the fact that I have a New Zealand passport. This photo attaches you to your passport. From now on we are taking photos of you all the time. We will just remind you of that by putting cameras everywhere. In all the public transport, in the parks. Its all for your security right?

No its wholesale surveillance, but lets not go there… yet.

Standing in the line again. Who knows what for this time. There are officially dressed people saying to have our documents ready. Passport, the receipt we got from the photo booth, and deceleration of documents and baggage.

I had followed my father’s advice and declared something though. I had bottles and pills for my contact lenses, and a few other bits and pieces that I knew could be considered dangerous, but super unlikely. I was told that declaring something would speed up the process.

Now, I was standing in front of the first human that I had spoken to in Australia. Question time, will Mark be let in? Here we go…

“Oh looks like you missed a box here. Why didnt you tick that? Can you please complete your document Sir, Then I will proceded” said the customs official.

What was the questions you ask? Well, read on.“Have you been in any forestry area in the last few weeks? Oh you mean like New Zealand everywhere? Yes I have been in New Zealand.”

Above story only happened in my mind. No I ticked that box. People like me are probably how the virus Ebola will probably spread around the world.

“Oh and you declare that you have medications. Do you have any prescription medications?” Well its good that before I left New Zealand that I discarded my remaining 5000 IU vitamin D tables. Hehe.

“No I do not” I said, convincingly enough apparently. “Well, that all seems fine to me. Please sign it in front of me. I will witness it.”

So standing there, I signed the arrival documents to Australia. Such an amazing feeling.

“Welcome to Australia, you can exit through those doors ahead of you.”

I picked up my bag. At this point of the story I want to have actually had a pair of aviators and slow motion video cameras. I would put a song over it like “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” by Led Zeppelin playing. Fuck it felt cool. <- (Stuff like that is why you should not quote me) :)

Boom you’re outside. A wall of people. Two of three hundred. All looking the same way, at the same door. Packed into the arrival corridor, not room. This place must have been 50 meters across and there were several hundred people in the room all looking at you. At this point I was going to say to them that I told some of my jokes to the customs officials. They didn’t laugh because I bombed. (See I started the paragraph with boom. I blew through the doors right?)

From there I stumbled around to get my Airbus ticket ready. A Bus for $18, from the airport to Southern Cross Train station, melbourne CBD. Including, connecting travel to your end destination.

Now you’re in the heart of it. I got off that bus which was full of advertising for different tourist activities. Ugh…

Southern Cross Station

“One of the five stations on the City Loop, commuters can enjoy the convenience of a Woolworths Express, over 40 retail stores and cafes, with direct access to Etihad Stadium, Melbourne’s Docklands precinct, the CBD and Spencer Outlet Centre.

Located at the western end of the City, it is the terminus of the state’s V/Line regional railway network, The Overland rail service to Adelaide, and NSW TrainLink XPT services to Sydney. Plus has coach services to Melbourne Airport and Avalon Airport, as well as regional Victorian and interstate destinations.” From http://www.southerncrossstation.net.au/

Southern Cross is the station to stop for access to everything transport related. Trains (including interstate), Busses and Trams.

Well I’ve got my bag lets find a toilet and freshen up a bit.

*Ping*

What was that? Oh crap my strap is breaking. Quick reactions now. Spin around and catch your bag before it hits the ground. Well, not quite but I caught it nonetheless. Turns out the straps of my bag couldn’t deal with the way (and weight) I was carrying it. Sigh. Well now I have something to sew up at some stage. I knew I had that sewing kit for a reason.

Now, how do I catch that connecting bus? I should get a coffee, I need to wake up. Its only what 7am?

I walked around southern cross station for about 20 minutes. In the end, I decided to go back to the bus stop and ask someone wearing a sky bus uniform. Turns out I should have turned left and walked 10 meters instead of turning right. Sigh. I got the transfer bus to my backpackers and I was now at home for a while.

I got dropped off at my backpackers. After that, well, that is a story for another time.

Its been an interesting time over here. Still looking for work and long term accommodation. I’m looking at moving into the Nunnery Backpackers.

If you would like to get in touch with me, please send me a nice email markchristison@gmail.com. Its the easiest way to keep in touch with me.

Gidday (can I use that to sign off, well, I am),

Mark Christison

P.S. Off to a bbq in the park this afternoon. Thats why I had to cut it short.

P. P. S. If you haven’t done it go and listen to “How many more times”. Have a great day. Get out there and kick ass.

Gratitude

There is a notebook that I have been carrying with me for a while. This book is a simple note book. Hard cover. Bought from the supermarket for a dollar.

On the outside of the notebook I have placed a felt cover, bought from a craft market in Wellington. Its a smiple cross pattern, but it is special to me. It has a purpose and a reason.

In this notebook on the inside cover I have written the word “Gratitude”. This is my notebook that for a while (on and off) I was writing things that I felt grateful for that day. It could be anything. I wrote 3 things, either morning and night, sometimes both. Even if I had a bad day I wrote 3 things that I was grateful for. I wrote those 3 things morning and night.

I have over the past year have had the notebook with me. Here are some of the things that I have been grateful for.

23 March 2014

-writing the best material that I have at the moment into 5 minutes.

-Cleaning the house and having less things to worry about.

- Realising how long that I have been listening to podcasts and how much they have influenced my thinking.

 

24 March Morning

-The clean and organised house that I have made

-Getting to bed early and waking up at 6am

- Having completed writing my comedy yesterday

 

24 March Evening

-For Tim organising the dinner at my house after I said hey lets do one.

-For my knowledge of the busses. That its best to walk to the further bus stop than wait for one to come, maybe.

-That I have inspiring people and podcasts that make me want to live positively

 

25 March Morning

-For deciding on traveling and changing my situation

-Simpleness that I have made for myself

-The ability to be able to buy things online and get them shipped to my door

 

26 March Evening

-Knowing about fringe things and being able to keep on top of trends

-Calling mum and dad and listening to James, my Nephew.

-Having crazy ideas and taking action in interesting ways

-Having my laptop fixed.

-Games night. Being able to just turn up and play games

-Knowing that I acted childish and know that I need to be aware of when i’m like that .

-That I’m able to keep on the edge of things, on the fringe and find cool things.

 

27 March Morning

-That i’m not afraid to talk to the people from reddit wellington

-That my parents help me with flights and organising things

-The quietness and stillness at the apartment of being myself a lot

 

5 April evening

-That I can finally be honest with myself

-The great weather today

-The great music I listed to on pandora

 

6 April evening

-For finally talking to my dad about all the issues that I have with him

-For the quietness in my head now that all the anger is out

-For cleaning up the house and putting more stuff in the car

 

8 April Morning

-The feedback that I got from Nik-Bruce Smith and Adam Wright.

-The ease of getting on stage and bombing

-The automation of my base line operation that keeps things operating correctly.

 

13 April Evening

-Writing new jokes and working on old material on my chromebook

How short of a time has it been since I have been so positive and grateful. Noticing all the wonderful things that are happening around me.

In life, we are the mirrors of the world around us. Stop reflecting hate and anger on to the people who look to you for guidance and support. Instead however, be grateful and inspiring.

We are more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. If we just let ourselves be ok with being average then we might be able to become amazing.

Where in your life have you been too negative? Where are you not taking the advice that you have been giving to other people? Maybe now its time to start being positive again.

In review of the list I am able to notice where I could have been going wrong. Its not about being ok with just yourself its being ok at the world around you. There was no other way that you could do it. You need to both love yourself but more so love everything in the world around you. That includes your enemies. What ever they are and and whatever form they take. You need to adopt the fighting mentality, the warrior’s ethos (by steven pressfield), you turn and face your death, the creature that is chasing after you. Your mortality.

The mind adapts and converts to its purpose the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way – Marcus Aurelius

The thousands of different ways that you could go. The thousands of different things that you could do in life. Now you needed to chose to become world class in a very short amount of time.

This has been written over a few days. If it feels fragmented and clunky forgive me. Also, I’m average at editing.

Peace,

Mark

Between doing and not doing

The emphasis of it all seems to be on the act itself. There is some weird thing that happens when you actually decide to do something. What changes?

Nothing. You have not done anything yet. Your mind has become so wrapped up in itself that you are now just thinking of all the doing you could be doing and instead do nothing.

What then, does it take to actually do? It takes accepting failure all the time. It takes going out there and knowing that you will die fighting. That you won’t ever make it and that’s OK because all your doing is making it easier for the next person that comes along.

We create off of the back of giants but are we not also to the ones who will be leap frogged off when our children grow up. We will be the inspirations of the next generation. They are the ones that are the people who are spotting the trends. The obvious conclusions that everyone else should have been seeing if they where actually looking.

It its by the process of doing that we learn. We do like a child would. They have no fear. They do not even care if they are doing it wrong. Its a game. Its all for fun. There is no purpose. All of a sudden, there is no performance anxiety that we as adults seem to put upon ourselves.

The act of doing frees our minds of the fear of failure. The fear of failure is just a repeating start cycle, without ever leading to action. It is an infinite loop. The brain identifies this as what it is, a problem and proceeds to tell the conscious part of the person that something is wrong. Why could they not do something about this error?

Not doing is so attractive that we think that its the end goal, the thing to achieve in life. That is why so many of us feel so empty. We have already got what we set out to achieve as soon as we start. There is nothing else that we can get if we do not want to do.

Choosing to do just do one thing makes you productive. You do not have 100 different conflicting things that you would rather be doing, which would force you into not doing. It is what you do that is more important that how you do it.

Doing the things that noone else will do

What happens when you throw yourself into the fire? What are the things that everyone runs away from doing because they are to hard or they reveal to much of yourself. For me it used to be stand up comedy. That was before I tried it and found out how easy it actually it. Maybe it comes naturally, I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t let my ego get the better of me, most likely.

I often find myself now offering to help whenever the opportunity arises. I have come to a point where if anyone asks for help then I say yes. I give my time away because what I gain from giving my time away is the experience and a chance to learn.

Look around you day to day. There are countless times that you could just do something nice that would benefit everyone around you. Often times we forget that just saying thank you is one of the biggest ways that we can help and inspire other people. You give someone a currency that they cannot earn or spend in any other way.

Its often hard to find the ways that you can help but once you start moving you will find a way to get there.

The ramblings of a deranged man in Melbourne

Wow its been a while.

How are you? Whats been happening in your life?

Good to hear. Look I would love to hear your story but this is just me writing. So I can’t.

Intro gag over. Whats been happening? Lot’s. Interviews, working, banks not giving me functional credit cards….

You know what. Lets just talk it out for a bit.

 https://soundcloud.com/jistbug/the-ramblings-of-a-deranged-man-in-melbourne

I will find a better way of doing that in the future. Its something different.

Having fun in Melbourne, Mark Christison

Setting Goals

For the last month I have had this pinned to my wall.

Goals June 2014

I got to see it every time that I was in my room. I was reminded that I wanted to achieve things. They where hard(ish) goals. Here’s a wrap up of the things that I actually achieved this month.

 

No Drinking Alcohol

This one was easier than I thought it would be. Not that I drink a lot normally but it started to become a habit that I would go to a bar and just order a drink. That’s whats done, right?

It was a social norm that I was falling into. Something that I no longer needed to do out of habit. While I didn’t really achieve this because I did have alcohol twice in the month in my food, I did go without drinking any.

It was great to be able to wake up in the morning fresh and with a clear head. I am considering just keeping this up, simply because it was so easy. The number of benefits outweighs the costs of drinking. I don’t know how much money I have saved by not spending money on alcohol. I don’t know the health benefits that will come from not drinking.

Writing for 30 minutes a day

This goal was always going to be a hard one, because it requires action. Every day I have written in some form or another. Whether it is scrappy notes, jokes for my comedy or musings on nothing in general.

I would have to say that it has been the hardest on going commitment that I have made ever. It has required more self discipline than any other task that I have set out to achieve and to the best of my knowledge I achieved it.

Now, I was generous on myself. I knew how long 30 minutes was from timing it a few times and then just writing that long on a page or screen.

I was also generous to myself for writing comedy. I find that I come up with my best idea’s while I am walking. So I would take a notepad and walk around and generate jokes. While this is not technically writing, I gave myself a pass as it is productive and creative none the less.

 

Travel Plans

This was always going to be the big one. I knew that by setting this goal, I would change the course of my life, if I could take action on it.

I bought the plane ticket to Melbourne and I resigned from work. 2 very very difficult things for me to do, and I don’t know why.

I did not however sort out accommodation or work for when I am in Melbourne, that has now moved to this months goals.

 

What I learnt

Setting goals is easy. Its just making a decision on anything. It doesn’t matter what the goal is. Just chose something.

After I finally chose to do a goal, the rest of the process became so much simpler. Oh, I have to do this thing now, lets get started. It became a process of not questioning what I was going to do but how I was going to do it.

Having goals is something that I have read about for a while now, this is one of the first times that I have set them, and followed through by taking action to complete those goals.

Did I complete everything I set out to do? No. Am I ok with the fact that I failed? Yes, because I accomplished so much more than I thought that I would have been able to.

Now its time to create new goals for this month, and get working on those. Stay tuned to find out what they are.