Do you want to hear something depressing? There are many reasons why you should not do anything. Just don’t do it, man. Don’t go out of your way to do anything special. Don’t get out of bed. Don’t go get coffee to get the burst of energy you need. Don’t be optimistic. Just show up to work, like barely show up to work even. Do the minimum. No seriously, do the very minimum you can do, with your family, your friends, don’t even call them or message them back.
Don’t walk with a straight posture, dude, your spine is telling you to naturally slump forward, it’s the natural laws of physics. Why wait hours before you see yourself slumping forward, just start off by slumping forward.
Are you on a bus right now? See that cute girl or guy over there on the bus, don’t talk to them. Keep to yourself.
Are you listening to this before you’re about to go into an important work meeting or call? Don’t talk up, talk in a really monotonous, robotic voice. Talk really softly. Talk so that everyone in the room can’t really make out what you’re saying, but everyone hearing you are too polite to ask you to speak louder, so they nod their head in agreement.
See that old lady in the train standing up. You know what I’m about to say. Keep your seat. Yeah, just sit down, it’s a long train ride, it’s at least another 30 minutes and no one else is standing for her, and you’ve been sitting all day long, so you’re kind of used to the feeling of sitting down anyway. Why use your legs? Save your energy.
Of course, I’m joking. Of course, I am. Disregard anything that I’ve just said. In fact, you should definitely do the exact opposite of what I just said. The point I’m trying to make is, it’s so easy just to be average. It’s so easy to coast through life, you know, go through it on automatic pilot mode. It’s so easy to have one-word answers to everything, yes, or no.
At the end of the day, that’s the point about life. It’s whatever you want it to be. It’s whatever lens you choose to see it through. Being average is so contagious it should be labelled by the medical industry as a communicable disease. That means it’s as easy as catching a cold. When you see someone else frown, those muscles around your mouth, they just start to naturally drop into a frown.
I did an experiment the other week. I decided, one day, I was going to do everything and the next day I was going to do nothing. Ok, bear with me. I just want to call out the elephant in the room and say I’m extremely privileged that I even have the chance to be able to experiment with how I treat my day. Most people are barely holding on. Most people are fighting to survive, they operate from a feeling of desperation, that they have to keep up with those around them, they have to be on edge almost every waking hour, that that feeling of anxiety creeps into their bedroom late at night, so they can’t perform in bed with their partner, or if you’re single like me, you can’t shake that feeling of anxiety so it keeps you up at night.
So one day, I started low, I did the bare minimum. And I have to admit, I was pretty good at it. I cleared my day so that I could just watch TV and stay inside my apartment. Time went so slowly. I’m not one of those people that can binge watch tv series, as in I can, but I’d rather not. After about 80 minutes of tv, my mind starts to wonder, I can’t help but look at my calendar, see what’s on my to-do list. Maybe you’ve felt this feeling before. It’s this boredom, you might catch it on a Sunday after you’ve done all your chores. You want to be comatose, like a zombie barely functioning, but that feeling of adulting kicks in. I skipped doing my daily chores, I skipped doing my daily exercise, I skipped doing any socialising. I wanted to know how it felt to literally do nothing. My couch became my best friend that day, and I lived off whatever was remaining in my fridge. My mood dropped so low, I felt pretty miserable, and it was only 10 30 am. I started to day-drink, hey don’t judge me, there are Mums out there who drop off their kids to school and start day drinking around the same time I did, before midday. Anyone who day-drinks alone in their apartment before midday, man, that is a sad situation. You go through the whole hangover cycle through the afternoon. Plus I’m Asian. I was wasted after 2 glasses of wine. Fast forward to later that night, I couldn’t even sleep. I stayed up until 2 am and concluded that was the biggest waste of a day I’ve ever, well, except for when I’m hungover, the biggest waste of a way to spend a day.
You see, time is against us. Look in the mirror, you’re not getting any younger. I recently went to the airport to buy some face moisturiser and I recently was asked if I wanted to shift from the usual moisturizer to the anti-ageing moisturiser. Do you know how that feels? I’m 29. I’m not meant to have a biological clock. And then I went on a tinder date, and I was arguing with my date about the laws of human biology. Of course, it was brought up that women are trying to settle down faster than guys, they want to find a partner, especially around the mid to late 20s, because, well their chances of fertility are the best around that period of their lives. She told me men’s sperm gets bad too. Men’s chances of fertility also decrease as they hit their 30s. Is that a thing? Men’s sperm get bad as they get older? Is there anti-ageing medication for men’s sperm?
I realised time is against us and that’s why we can’t afford to spend days on 1st or 2nd gear. So then the next day, I bounced back hard. To be honest, I cheated, I prepared a nice cup of coffee and that immediately boosts my motivation. I outlined a to-do list for the day, which included exercise, some meditation, work meetings, admin work, and of course writing this. I’d like to take a moment to thank the inventor of coffee. Coffee is my best friend in the early morning. It immediately jolts me out of any bad mood or sleepiness. It makes me do things that sleepy Chris can’t be bothered to do. I’d also like to thank McDonald’s for offering free refills of coffee during the breakfast hours, that’s up until 11 am for those of you, who like me, love a good deal. Hey, I did co-found Groupon, and it wouldn’t be amiss for me to be looking out for a good deal. So I went hail mary on that free coffee. I drank like 3 cups and despite the laws of physics, I’m moving like I’m Neo from the Matrix.
Many people out there just aren’t feeling it, they’re not feeling energized, they’re waiting for someone else to give them a big break. Find a form of expression, outside of work, find a hobby, you never know, it could lead to starting a business, but find something out of work that not only excites you but your passionate about. Make babies, because ladies, and men, there’s a biological clock out there ticking. Aim high, and give yourself some room for failure. No one ever made it overnight, there are some people that you look up to, and there are thousands of hours that person needed to get there. Because of that person’s discipline, they finally broke through to success. I’m proud of you if you have a list of goals and you’ve mapped out little milestones for you to reach them. I’m proud of you if you have a daily plan that you stick to. I’m proud of you if you choose to smile at people instead of frowning or giving back one of those soulless, blank expressions. Even the fine people at McDonald’s hustle so hard, and they smile, a lady who noticed I just poured myself 3 coffees smiled at me because she’s not caught on the bad side of life. Many people out there might think she’s not happy because she’s working the morning shift at McDonald’s, but she’s happier than you think. She’s smiling. She’s hustling. She’s showing up to work every day instead of day drinking on a couch and going through the phases of a hangover.
It’s not where you work, it’s not what car you drive, it’s how you choose to view life. She could be working at McDonald’s to support her kids, she could be saving up to go to school, but that’s the beauty of life, although there are some things we can’t control. We can’t control where we came from, we can’t control maybe where we’ll be in the next year or two, but we can control our state of mind. Even though the odds are stacked against us, all of us. Even though the chances of success are slim. Embrace a fighting spirit, and continue to attack the day until you finally break through to the other side.
I’d like to dedicate this episode to the smiling lady at McDonald’s and to the brilliant marketing person who thought giving away free coffee would be a good idea. This episode is fuelled by the inventor of coffee.
Music (Copyright Free/CC)
Watch this space… (ft. Doxent) by robwalkerpoet (c) copyright 2014 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http-//dig.ccmixter.org/files/robwalkerpoet/46866 Ft- Doxent
The Long Goodbye by John Pazdan (c) copyright 2008 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. http-//dig.ccmixter.org/files/flatwound/14476
“I dunno” by grapes
Coriolis Effect by logos (c) copyright 2010 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. http-//dig.ccmixter.org/files/Mseq/26296 Ft- stefsax
Outro Moments in Space by spinmeister (c) copyright 2007 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http-//dig.ccmixter.org/files/spinmeister/12093 Ft- DJ Rkod