EPI 42: Bipolar: I’m A Seeker Who’s Learned Much In Diverse Areas
Here’s that complexity again…
To quote De Niro saying one of my favorite lines from “This Boy’s Life“,
I know a thing or two about a thing or two!”
Do you suffer from this as well?
You know so much. And you keep searching for more.
But what to do with it all?
I find bipolar prone are more prepared for the unknown than most. We adapt quicker. We are more useful to a broader spectrum of people than most.
But not until we figure out what the hell to do with it all!
Well, what I said above makes clear that you have a base of operations that allows you to make forays into almost any other world, and find some measure of success.
Your job becomes one of understanding what the underlying focus has been, regardless of content.
There’s a lot of highly educated, out of work people.
And just being smart is not enough to guarantee any kind of success.
Understanding yourself well, then filtering all you’ve consumed and experienced through that filter of self awareness, will bring you everything you’ve ever wanted.
Welcome to the Bipolar Excellence Podcast. I’m your host, Ken Jensen. I’m someone who overcame bipolar disorder in an organic fashion back in 2004.
That process taught me a couple of things about bipolar. I was living life so incorrectly, in relation to what the better part of me wanted and needed me to do, that it took bipolar disorder to shock me into seeing I should go another way.
The fact that it was bipolar that was the change agent, meant I’m more creative than most. I have a certain, slightly higher amount of intelligence than the average bear.
And I have a way of seeing life and expressing myself that most around me do not, in such a way that I can have great impact on those who need me most.
You might be the same. I want to help you understand this about yourself, and I want to help unlock your greatness and then unleash it on the world in the best and coolest way possible.
Welcome bi-polar prone folk! This is Episode 42: I’m A Seeker Who’s Learned Much In Diverse Areas. This is the third to last episode of this never ending series called the Life Of An Outsider. You will find the link to that series in the footer of the website, bipolarexcellence.com.
So excited! I only have, what? After this two more episodes to create and then the interviews start. If you’re someone that’s on that list, wondering when the hell I’m going to call, it’s going to be soon. Thank you for your patience.
So many things got in the way of me from finishing this series. This was supposed to be much easier than this. It would have been had my life stayed as it was when I began this project. It did not !Welcome to life, right?
All right. I’m a seeker diverse areas. Okay. I touched on some of this in the last episode about not trusting one’s own judgment.
For a lot of bipolar people we’re driven, we’re driven to seek and know and understand and find meaning, more so than non bipolar types. There’s a higher percentage of bipolar people than the non bipolar population that is of high intelligence.
We can’t settle as easily as most around us. We have to know more, do more, be more, understand more. We’re on a journey that most around us won’t understand, or even have the energy or the capabilities or the capacity to pursue.
It’s one of the shiny aspects of being bipolar prone. There is such strength within bipolar that is muddied and sometimes obliterated by all the other negative aspects of it, you don’t realize that there is a positive. I’m living proof that there’s a positive.
There’s even versions of bipolar that are just…they’re like bipolar light. You have it, but you’re just, you’re like you’re mildly amusing.
You’re eclectic, you’re the odd one out in the group, but not any massive negative sense or any way that causes troubles just if someone’s going to say or do some weird shit it’s gonna to be you.
If someone’s going to make an you know, notice something, make a statement, or share a perspective that everyone else missed, it’s going to be you.
In that respect, if you’re that? You’re way farther ahead than the rest of us, that the illness completely took right out of the game of life. And we barely survived it. So if it troubles you a little and that’s all you’re up against, you’re already doing better than, than a lot of the rest of us bipolar prone types. If that gives you any peace.
But all of us tend to have an overactive mind. Now I say overactive. That’s too broad of a, of a too broad of a concept. It’s a wrong way to say it. Your mind is too active for how your life is currently formatted.
That’s one of the biggest problems with bipolar. A lot of it, when it isn’t just, you know, mind bending illness type things, a lot of it is just misplaced energy and strengths.
And the lashing out that happens within one’s soul and heart and mind, at not being able to effectively deploy those strengths and to make use of all this energy and to give that incredibly complex brain, something to do.
A lot of us, we need variety and complexity and the novel to relax! Like other, other people fight to discover that and then keep up and they do it maybe in one area. And it’s a lot of work for them. We’re the reverse. To, to not have that, to have a regular life, we got to fight to stay sane in it.
When you give us a great, big, complicated, unbelievably odd, or unique situation, that someone’s got to manage, that’s our normal.
Now I have calmed down quite a bit, quite a bit from when the illness was raging in me or even after I came out of it with the parts that I just mentioned were still really right at the surface. I I’m not that driven anymore.
But at the same time, I’ve, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve settled a lot of questions. I’ve scratched a lot of itches that, you know, I’m done. I’m done in those areas. I’m still unsettled. I’m still have other itches that need scratching, and I’m always striving to understand myself better in the world.
Better, my place in it, how to make the best use of it so that I can be the happiest at the same time that I can possibly be. I have all that. But it’s… and regardless of how I might sound on this podcast, I’m actually mostly calm.
If I’m talking to someone, I can get pretty wound up. I get pretty wound up on this podcast sometimes. Trip over my words and such. Stutter even. Cause I can’t get the thoughts out fast enough.
But that’s just in that moment. For the bulk of the day, I am dead quiet, unless I’m talking to myself and entertaining myself. And everybody does that! If you’re bipolar, don’t think that you’ve got an issue with bipolar.
Everybody does that. We all talk to our dog, thinking it understands us and loves us and agrees with everything we say. You don’t gotta be mentally ill for that to be true, alright? Give yourself a little relief on that note.
We, we tend to just, we can’t deal with the status quo. Even if we don’t know it, we’re just always poking around and shoving our noses in things. Sometimes where it doesn’t belong. We can irritate people more easily with our our energy levels and our never-ending questions or our ideas on how a thing could be better.
I know in my case, I am currently on, I think it’s my 56th job, five, six, where there was a W2 involved. Okay. Not always a W2. But where there was a distinct thing to do that was separate from all the other things to do. I’m on 56.
I don’t stay anywhere for long. I won’t stay at this for long. The cool part about what I’m about to do next, I’ll be a type of coach a recovery coach. They already know I want out, they know I want a private, you know, I’m building a private practice and they like that about me.
They want someone with that that type of thinking and energy and ability to plan on their team. They know they’re going to lose me. And that was a selling point. They gobbled it right up.
So I only reached this point because I dug and dug and dug and dug and dug. And I was also somebody who like, even in the Marines… I was only in the Marines five years, right. 86 to 91. But when you’re that… I went in at 18. So when you’re that age and at that rank, I barely hung on to corporal, which was E4. I got the points for Sergeant and my, my job was full. They didn’t need any more sergeants in my job.
So I would have been a Sergeant if they needed a Sergeant. So my point is when you’re my age at that rank, there’s, there’s, there’s sort of a standard storyline about where you’ve been and what you’ve. And even how often you move.
I moved 19 times, in five years. I went to Japan twice. I went to Korea once. I’ve lived in tents twice for a oh, almost a year and a half total. I caught a war. I’ve been on a ship. I’ve flown on military planes a lot. I’ve lived on both coasts of America. Been to Mexico, been to Canada. Ah,
The job I had wasn’t normal. The people that were in it weren’t normal because we did, we needed to borrow people from other shops. So we were used as a dumping ground for the problem children. So my whole shop was like a biker gang in the Marine Corps.
Nothing about even my time in the Marines was normal. I had ribbons that had stars on them, which, which means you get a ribbon, when you do something once. If you do it again, they stick a star on it.
Some of my ribbons had two stars. I’d done things three times. That does not happen typically, at that rank or age. I, I had all kinds of things in the Marines that made me look like a little mini George Patton that used blow other guys away.
Like, where the fuck? What are you? What are you? What are you Rambo? Nah, they just keep giving me ribbons for shit. And I’ve been around doing a lot of stuff. Nothing even about my time in the Marine Corps, which is pretty standardized. \Operation was standard.
I had one job for five years when I got out of the Marine Corps and that was the longest job I ever held after the Marines ever. Everything else can be measured in, I think, two years, one year, and then all months, weeks and days.
I like to read. I got a pretty large library and I like to stand in front of it and spread my hand and go, all of that is in my head. If you read, you know what I mean. They’re like my children I’ll talk to anybody about anything anywhere. I’ve learned over time to temper it. Cause depending on what I’m doing during the day and how I look in general, sometimes I could terrify people.
I’m big, I’m 300 pounds, big beard shaved head. That means something to certain people. And I’m usually not what they expect me to be. I’m usually mistaken for a bodyguard, bouncer, jail guard, truck, or construction worker or a biker they know. I get that constantly. Or a cop.
I’ve been most of those things.
I’ve been most of those things. You’re probably the same. What do you do with it all? There in lies the rub. I addressed that in the last few episodes of this podcast. How do you take this practical male, maelstrom of experiences and wisdom and insight and knowledge and data and make any use of it.
Well, one, you can come hire me as your coach. Go over to bipolarexcellence.com. Start with my newsletter and we go from there. Anyway, that aside…
You need to always remember you got you. You gotta try to remember after a time there’s enough gap. There’s, you’ve done gathered enough data. You gotta start working on focus. You’re going to probably tap into what I was talking about earlier with another episode with a, you’ll say yes to too much.
Your, you, you PR maybe at this point you already have.
So now the problem becomes, how do we start sayin’ no?. ‘Cause no brings you power. No brings you. No, actually it carves out more room. There’s less things you’re trying to do. But the ones that remain? You do better.
As you do better, your personal belief grows. You know, you, you. You might struggle with imposter syndrome as you’re trying to do anything, especially if you’re stepping outside your comfort zone, but that’s a good thing.
Usually if you got imposter syndrome, that means you’re on the right path. Maybe the thing you’re doing, isn’t exactly it, but you’re awful damn close.
When, when you are wondering if you’re the person to say something, you’re probably doing your thing already, and then it’s just a matter of improving it, fine tuning it, focusing it, pruning some more things.
You’re probably somebody that has a lot more interesting conversations to share with anybody than, than those around you.
I learned the hard way that even though I had the most stories, a very interesting problem started happening. It took me while to notice it. I was depressing people who had no stories.
That was one thing that happened with the stories. People were bummed out that they hadn’t done all I done, seen all I’d seen, et cetera. And by sharing it, I was showing off a lot of times. When I was younger, I was definitely showing off or I just couldn’t stop myself.
And then as I got older, I learned to limit. I I’ve got thousands of unbelievable stories. And I’ve learned to limit them to spare the other person. Because more often than not, I run into people that haven’t done anything to that extent with their lives and it bums them out.
Shit. Even as for the military, when I meet guys that never even went overseas, as much as me. Guys that stayed stateside. That bums them out. So I, I, as soon as I learned that I don’t carry on too much about my overseas time, which is where a lot of the awesome insanity took place.
On the flip side of that, it becomes very hard for me when I talk to people and they have nothing to say because they didn’t do anything. I don’t even know where to go with that. It depends on why I’m talking to them that this matters. Sometimes it doesn’t matter at all, but it’s caused me to shrink my social circle extensively.
I can’t, I have a hard time being around people that had never really strove to do anything. That never looked into something they shouldn’t have and came out of it with an adventure. When you meet someone that’s solidly that, or they simply don’t know how to communicate. It’s very uncomfortable for me. And I don’t want to make myself uncomfortable to them.
I don’t, I don’t want to bother them. And it it’s hard. You got to start really being careful how you pick and choose your partners and your friends. Cool thing is when you find someone that fits whatever your, your list of requirements is in that area, you’ve, you’ve got a friend, the likes of which most people will never experience.
It’s almost like a marriage. There’s fun and a depth of closeness to come from having friends like that, that know that they themselves have had a massively varied life. It’s just like anything. You’re the only two that you know that have done it. And so you share a bond others don’t and it’s, it’s very satisfying.
And then a third thing along the lines of these conversations with this varied background, particularly in the job I have now and in the job job world. And then as a, as a coach for you guys, I listen more. When we’re working on you we’re working on you. I only pull something out for context.
Podcast is different.
It’s just me sitting here. You’re going to hear interviews soon and it’s going to be them. It’s going to be on these people, talking about their stuff. I can’t wait. And I so love learning about other people. But it’s going to be helpful to you. I’ve learned to listen more. Talk less, listen more.
What was it? Ben Franklin said that God gave you one mouth, but two ears. I don’t know if Ben said it. I think that’s where I that’s connected, but whatever. Listen more, talk less. That’s what I’ll be doing with you as a coach, if it comes to that. And I do it with my people now because it has to be, it always has to be about the other person.
I’m I’m old enough now that I’m bored a lot of times with sharing about all the wild shit I’ve done and the stories and the debauchery and the criminal activity and the adventure and the violence and the laughs and just the insanity of different things I’ve found myself in. I still love those stories, but I parse them out.
I share them very sparsely. And I just, I, I’m more in tune with the fact that I want to know I’m doing right by the other people, like never before. That’s always increased in me. But it’s super strong now. I need to know I’m doing my job well. So you guys listening and whoever else crosses psths with me gets out of meeting me whatever it was they needed.
And I don’t need it to put me up on a platform or anything. It’s. I just want to know I’m living right. Cause I spent too many years living wrong. And if that’s you, don’t only beat yourself up over, down a little bit because all of it taught you some, all of it got to where you are now. All of it got you to me.
Maybe we do something pretty cool together. I hope. Maybe you do something just from hearing me and I never meet you and whatever. I get deep satisfaction out of knowing. Cause I’ve done that with people. And that I’ve, I’ve learned from people I’ve never talked to and it changed my life and I’ve done cool stuff I can directly attribute to them.
I will tell like, people like you, that, who these people are, that, that, that happened with for me so that maybe they can help you as well. I love that. I love referring people to the people that changed my life. Even if I’ve never talked to those people. This is how it works.
That’s all, that’s how the whole world gets better. I hope you want to do that with whatever format of your gift is to give the world. And I hope I get to help you. All right then. Two episodes to go! This is so exciting! I’ll see you on the next episode.