Life Is Magic - My Inspiring Journey from Tragedy to Self-Discovery


How much do I want to read more? 7/10

An original biography. An unusual tragic event at 12. A search for one's true self. It almost read like an intimate journal.
That's an interesting read. I like the quotes he got inspired with. The author's style is not that pleasant to me thought.


Introduction

He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.

-- Friedrich Nietzsche

The type of moment in which how you act actually reveals the kind of man you are.
you trust yourself enough to really listen to what you’re feeling, you’re able to freeze out the chattering voice of doubt in your own head.
That’s the calm of inner peace.
I’ve found myself in many such moments ever since I was twelve years old.

but it has never been who I am. Who I am is someone forced to go on a lifelong journey of self-discovery at the most tender of ages.

It was the morning of August 3, 1992. My dad had just woken me up. “Where’s Mom?” I asked.
“She’s at the club, she went swimming,” he said.
I didn’t think anything of it.
I was told, “There’s been an accident. Your mom didn’t make it.” I didn’t know what that meant.
I’d learn that Dad killed Mom the night before in the far-right stall of our three-car garage. And he put her body in a sleeping bag and rolled her up in the trunk of his car. And then he tried to clean up by the time I came home for dinner, after playing with the other neighborhood kids. He stayed up all night, painting the garage. The next morning, after getting me off to camp, he came to his senses and turned himself in to the police.
Good-bye, old life.

Magic became my escape, but football is where I honed my resilience.
When you’ve gotten the hardest stuff out of the way when you’re twelve, all else is a friggin’ piece of cake.
you don’t need to have everything figured out. The real “answer” lies in the process of self-discovery.

I realize now, was cultivating empathy. The more you inspect your own feelings, the more you start to realize all the stuff that so many other people go through, too. Life is really hard and there are a few things that are guaranteed: you’re born, shit’s going to be thrown at you, and you’re going to die.

Victor Frankl writes that “when we are no longer able to change a situation—just think of an incurable disease such as inoperable cancer—we are challenged to change ourselves.”
“ ‘What would have happened if you had died first, and your wife would have had to survive you?’ ” [Frankl asked]. ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘for her this would have been terrible; how she would have suffered!’ Whereupon I replied, ‘You see, such a suffering has been spared her, and it was you who have spared her this suffering—to be sure, at the price that now you have to survive and mourn her’… I could not revive his wife. But in that moment I did succeed in changing his attitude toward an unalterable fate inasmuch as from that time on he could at least see a meaning in his suffering.”
He wrote that our main concern is neither the pursuit of pleasure nor the avoidance of pain, but rather to find meaning in life.
“man is even ready to suffer, on the condition, to be sure, that his suffering has a meaning.”
That’s what this book is about. It’s about finding meaning, in both the tragic and the everyday; it’s about how to learn resilience, against all the odds; it’s about looking in the mirror and refusing to see a victim staring back at you;

This journey to find ourselves? It’s never-ending. But what I know is what these pages will show: that if you approach every day with childlike wonder and you recognize the possibility of every moment you find yourself in, you will actually be choosing happiness.

CHAPTER ONE - August 2, 1992

When one door of happiness closes, another opens. But often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.