Just Want the Opportunity

It’s 9:46pm, still at the office. I should go home. But I wanted to write a little before I end the day.

Depression, anxiety, lack of motivation both professionally and personally… I’ve been steadily flicking away at this monkey gorilla on my back for, let’s say, six months now.

One thing I realize is I have to exert myself — just a little, not too much — to want the opportunity. What kind of opportunity? On work, lifting weights at the gym, making new friends, ending toxic relationships, so on.

A few weeks I tried something new. It was something I always wanted to do, but never did. Twice in two consecutive days I did open-mics. Five minutes in each session. Did I get any laughs? My first time was fantastic given it was my first — cherry was nicely popped — but the second produced a few nervous laughs, mostly from myself.

I thought about doing open-mics several times a week, honing the craft of joke-telling and laughter creation. Then I decided abruptly that I shouldn’t, not right now at least.

Why?

Because the opportunity cost was too damn high. Although I’ve tried only two open-mics, I can already tell it would become a serious investment in time. I had to wait for other open-mic-ers to go before it was my turn, and it was a polite gesture to wait and watch the others go after I was done. It’s not an exaggeration that you can spend one full hour or more just so you can get five minutes of stage time. And that’s not including the time to get there (twenty minutes to a downtown comedy club from my office in midtown) and back.

I need the opportunity cost to be lower. Otherwise I’d rather be working, building my business, writing here on my blog, and launching my podcast.

I need the opportunity cost to be lower, because that will lead to an abundance of opportunities. If I want to continue flicking away at this gorilla on my back, then I need to work on my weaknesses not just daily, but hourly.

More reps, more strength. Simple as that.

If you want to get better, put your fucking phone down. In fact, turn that shit off. It takes only five minutes to get you in the zone, in the flow. Remember that. Just five minutes.

10:02pm. Let’s go home, clean a little, and go the fuck to bed. Yay.

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I’ve Cured Depression

Live an awesome, interesting life.

That’s it.

Depression for me is the result of boredom.

It’s living a life full of potential but little action.

It’s working a job that pays the bills while puncturing holes in your soul.

It’s being with people who bring you down, but you stay around because you’re loving, loyal, a good guy, you don’t want burn bridges.

You’re drowning not because you’re in the water but because you’re not moving.

So you finally realize you’re not winning. So change the game.

This cure isn’t a one-time thing. It’s not actually a thing at all. Keep moving, keep changing, stay curious, stay hungry.

Because you are The Cure.

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Corporate Blue

I work in midtown. I see a lot of guys in blue button-down shirts.

It’s that baby blue. Corporate blue.

I don’t know why, but that’s beginning to bug me.

Back in the day, in my early twenties when I started at corporate jobs, I thought: Oh, I should wear something like that, too.

Then as I got older: Oh, this color isn’t not for me. 

Then I became a freelancer: Dude, I’ll just go casual. 

Now I’m like: I think I’m getting sick of the office and everything business.

I may need to switch things up.

Soon.

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Emotional Solution

I’m big on self improvement.

(To what extent I have improved myself in thirty seven years I’ve been alive is another topic.)

I realized the other day my usual approach to my personal issues are “hard”: Logic, Reason, Discipline, Commitment, Results-oriented, Follow the Plan, Quantity over Quality, Binary.

However, I forget I am a Feeler, not just a Thinker. Maybe I should incorporate emotions into my personal problem solving.

For instance if I feel unmotivated to go to the office on a Sunday like today, I usually scold myself, “You’re behind on these projects. Stop your whining and shut your face hole, stop being a lazy butt-scratching panda, get to work.”

Or I could be like, “Imagine how you will feel when you get these things done. Imagine how great you will feel, leaving the office and going home, knowing that this week will be at the very minimum pretty fucking solid because you knocked these few items off your to-do list during the weekend.”

Imagining future positive feelings before a difficult or a dreadful task seems like a helpful motivator. It almost bends your reality, or rather, your perception of it.

Perception is reality, but also intention is perception. Your will makes your world.

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Podcast #1 – Jay Kaslo

Jay Kaslo is a designer, animator, and artist. Jay is also my good friend, as you will hear in this 3.5 hour long podcast.

Among the many things we discuss, we share about our experiences with leaving the Christian faith (we’re not only both raised in the church but also Preacher’s Kids), changing our legal names, and dating/relationships.

You can find Jay Kaslo on Twitter, Instagram, and his site.

Hope you enjoy!

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Overcome

I am behind on work.

I am severely behind on work.

I am severely behind on work, because I am depressed.

I am depressed because … I am severely behind on work.

Fuck you, circular logic. Let’s restart.

I am depressed because…

I stay up all night watching random shit on youtube. This happens (Fuck you, self-victimization.) I make this happen once, twice weekly or sometimes every other night.

If it’s not youtube, it’s reddit. If it’s not reddit, it’s real estate sites like streeteasy. If it’s not streeteasy, it’s tv. If it’s not tv, it’s sleeping. If it’s not sleeping (usually in the daytime), it’s socializing and drinking. If it’s not hangovers, it’s obsessive-compulsive cleaning and organizing.

I am addicted to … stimulus.

That’s basically what all addictions are. You want to be stimulated and you want it so badly you become irresponsible. Boredom will probably not induce much fear, but the fear of it is exactly what you are running away from.

Fear of boredom. Fear of emptiness.

Remember: The very first Itch to satisfy your addiction is a feeling. It’s just a feeling. Feelings come and go. You simply need to get into a habit, a routine, a discipline of 1) acknowledging the Itch by saying a little line like Thank you, Mind, for bringing this Itch up to me; 2) letting it pass through your thoughts and feelings; and 3) keeping your day going.  

Mike Tyson, while reflecting his extensive time in rehab, noted, “It’s not a tough man’s world. It’s a thinking man’s world.”

I know I said explanations don’t amount to much and that solutions are much more critical, even on a trial-and-error basis.

However, I sense this…

This will help.

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