So I’ve been tracing OM’s meteor ascent in the blogging world to his roots. While he would not shy in acknowledging himself a success, OM would rather not stand under the banner of GREATNESS. Interestingly, he has enough readers who consider him great. What is the difference, when observer response largely defines both success and greatness? I’ve noticed something as curious and wonderful as the rise of idols and heroes themselves: the audience. Beyond the envy that eminence tempts, notable achievement stirs in us the gratification of praise. Though I take CS Lewis (my own hero) shamefully out of context, his truth stands: We delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation…the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. We root for champions because they actualize not only their dream, but ours. It can be done. They show us the stretch of human potential. OM’s honesty about the hard places he has fought through and still finds himself in at times brings him up close. He’s one of us.
5. Did your adoption, the surrounding circumstances, or the difficult childhood days you breathed racism end up shaping you as a particularly driven individual or OM the blogger? Do you think you’d be a less passionate person if you hadn’t had to lean into resistant forces in your youth?
I would definitely not be the man I am today if my past had been any different. The road blocks and trials you encounter through youth strengthen you and batter you at the same time. The reason people become battered adults is because as we mature we become set in our ways. We thus are less malleable to new ways or views and find it hard to look past the same difficult circumstances we encountered as children. It really does become ingrained in you, regardless of what social stigma we are referring to – good or bad.
6. What has pulled you through your deepest despair?
That is a tough one and a continual quest. As a depressive I still have my days. What has pulled me through? Failure at trying, seeing that trying was a bad idea, moving on, having a loving wife who believes in me, and having two sets of bright eyes waiting for me to show them the world. I hope that list grows.
7. What are some books or favorite authors who have inspired you above mediocrity in other pursuits and in blogging?
The book Outliers is great for people in understanding that greatness is rarely achieved through chance. If you aren’t born with a “leg up” you simply have to put more “legs” in. Deal with it, stop whining, invest the time, and you can really achieve whatever you wish. Blogging just happens to be something I am good at, but it is also giving me a platform to practice my writing. I rarely edit more than once or twice when I post and I type over 100 wpm, so that allows me to really spit out posts quickly. Since my mind rarely stops I think I provide people a steady mental flow from someone they have never met and who is unlike anyone they currently know. That is what blogging provides, windows into personalities we might never encounter.
8. What is your philosophy of regret? Any major regrets? How have you turned them for good?
Regret deserves reflection, but I do not dwell on regret. I don’t dwell on the past either, which is why I move on from broken relationships quickly and normally tango away from new ones if I can. As you can see regrets quickly tie into relationships for me, because it instantly shoots my mind to my adoption and my hate for my birth mother. Dormant hate is my only regret, but I live with it.
9. How much thought do you give to the brevity of life? If all you had left was six months this side of heaven, how might that affect your current blogging?
I actually wrote up an obituary as a literary exercise you can read here and people got really offended even though there was never any deception. I was quick in replies so it was never a fake death, but people really get touchy on the issue of death. I really don’t like these questions as I have almost died a number of times and know she is waiting just one room over [death]. I would probably shut down my blog and spend that six months with my family – no I know that is what I would do. There wouldn’t be anything important on the internet at that point, unless it was searching for a cure or a spaceship.
10. What do you think makes a great man? Do you think you’re as good a man as you are a blogger?
A great man does something worth remembering. A good man does something great for someone other than himself. I aspire to be both at least once, but we are all bad men sometimes. I have daughters so I am aware of the possibility of being any “type” of man. In terms of protecting my family, I will be the villain if I must and I would burn the world five times over for my wife and kids.
11. Greatness always comes at a price. Sacrifice is part of the profile. Where has it cost you to become the OM presence in cyberspace? It’s very hard, if not impossible, to invest adequately in family and other precious relationships and obligations when – to be honest – we’re writing and talking with readers ’round the clock. Can you speak of your juggling act? And how many hours of sleep do you average a night?
Sleep is a dance for me. Sometimes it goes well, other times it doesn’t. I really can’t give you an average and with the fact that I work 11-hour graveyard shifts, I don’t sleep during the night anyways. That has helped me gain a European and Asian audience, if anyone was curious to the benefit. It actually helps immensely in broadening your global scope. I am also very happy to have a job I can blog at. That allows me to have a strong presence on my website during work and still come home to family. People are capable of doing much more than they think. We rarely want to see what our limits are. I like testing my limits, it motivates me to see what else I can accomplish. Painting might be next on my agenda.
12. Is there any closing insight or feeling you’d like to add to the discussion on greatness?
I do not think I am great and I think my blog is simply the flavor of the month. The thing about human interest is that it is always fleeting. This is why my blogging model actually focuses fully on gaining new viewership and not relying on return visits. By this time next year there will be another “OM” who will make me look like an “om.”
A Holistic Journey