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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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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Discipline Calls

I don’t want to do, but I have to.

Even if I was doing something

more interesting

more novel

just straight sexier

It wouldn’t matter. Work is work, whether you’re a rock star or a bookkeeper.

Acknowledge –even if it’s only to The Self– that this is hard.

The Monkey rebels, disrupts and rocks the boat for a reason.

The work is shit, but it’s still work.

Get to work.

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Working Rules for Monkey Management

  1. It’s not as bad as you think it is.
  2. Don’t try to get everything done today. Just the most important stuff.

    2a. Not everything is “most important.”

  3. Go to bed and wake up at the same times.

    3a. Try 11:30pm-7am.

    3b. Stick to this even on weekends.

    3c. At least wake up 7am even if you can’t be in bed by 12am.

  4. Never hesitate to communicate (to clients).

    4a. Heads up on delays!

    4b. Ask for forgiveness.

  5. Be your own coach. Manage the monkey!
  6. Think about the successful men you want to imitate.
  7. Sleep, nutrition+water, exercise, socialize, meditate: Strive for Five!
  8. Don’t forget to socialize at workplace every now and then.
  9. What is the big picture? What is your main goal?

    9a. What is your “arrival”?

  10.  It only gets harder if you don’t try.

    10a. This moment is the hardest it gets, as long as you keep trying.

  11. Describe how lucky you are: “I get to do _____ AND I get paid for it?!”
  12. You can conquer anything as long as you conquer yourself.
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