Midnight Musings on Anthony Bourdain from an Insomnia Riddled Writer

Midnight Musings on Anthony Bourdain from an Insomnia Riddled Writer

Had you wandered into my bedroom last night around 1 a.m. you’d have found me propped up in bed watching the Anthony Bourdain documentary on HBO.

Does that ever happen to you? Nights when fatigue and a full belly aren’t enough to quiet your mind so you can drift off to sleep?

It happens to me more now than it did in my 20s. I used to fight it, but after years of waging war against myself, I’ve learned to just lean in and let my mind slow down when it’s ready.

But I refuse to stare up at the ceiling in a dark room while I wait for relief to arrive. So last night I decided to watch the Bourdain doc.

If you don’t know who he is, Anthony Bourdain is a former mediocre chef who wrote a book that turned him into an instant celebrity.

He started a travel show where he went around the world experiencing different cultures and trying their food.

He was also a dark and troubled person. A former drug addict who got clean in the 80s, Bourdain battled with thoughts of suicide his entire life.

What struck me about Anthony is that his story is both an inspirational and cautionary tale.

He was 43 when he wrote “Kitchen Confidential” the book that would make him a star. At the time he was living paycheck to paycheck as a midlevel chef at a failing restaurant.

Severely introverted, the producers of his first TV show thought it wouldn’t last more than a few episodes.

At 49, just as his career was taking off, his marriage to his wife of 20 years ended.

He married again but continued to travel 240 days a year for the show. Nine years later his second marriage fell apart.

In the end, I think Anthony was lonely. He was in his 60s with all the money and fame anyone could ask for. But it came at a great cost.

Sadly, Anthony took his life in 2018 at the age of 61.

Everything in the world has a price. No one makes millions a year while working 4 hours a day.

That’s a lie Tim Ferriss told to sell books.

Wealth, fame, freedom…they all come at a cost. And we often don’t consider those costs before we allow ambition to take hold.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t pursue those things. All of them can create incredible opportunities for you and enrich your life in ways you can’t yet understand.

But you need to know what price you’re willing to pay for them.

The truth is, there are a lot of Anthony Bourdain’s in this world. Wealth, successful people surrounded by friends and family who love them. Folks who appear to have it all.

Yet under the surface, they’re miserable.

Some of it’s chemical. Anthony was a dark, often depressed person who needed help but didn’t know how to ask for it.

But for every Bourdain, there are 1,000s of people who are miserable and depressed, not because of some chemical imbalance but because they’re doing work they find unfulfilling, surrounded by people they don’t like or respect.

Anthony didn’t find his stride until he was 43. But he left ripples in this world that have impacted millions of people.

It’s not too late for you to do a 180 in your life either. If you’re unhappy with your situation, you can decide to change it.

It’ll be hard at first. But not nearly as hard as living an unfulfilled life.


P.S. If you read this far I’m going to guess that my letter struck an emotional cord. You probably feel like you know me a little better. That we share a common set of beliefs and values.

Influential writing can do that. It can create a lasting bond with your clients, customers and prospects.

If you’d like to become a more influential writer, go here now: https://stapleton.systeme.io/iwi

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