Monday, December 10, 2018

Positivity and Optimism, I Exclaim!

Hi! Aim low, and you will not be disappointed. What I haven't been saying is that I view myself as an optimist. Even in difficult circumstances, I am hopeful. I will never give up. I have a bright ball of colorful light inside of me, and I only want to let it break through and lift people up. I believe it is possible. With a little bit of persistence, I can make adjustments to my recipe and shine.

I do aim low! I am not disappointed! I've heard this phrase before. It seems like a phrase intended to pull people away from lofty goals - to protect us from the disappointment of failure by not trying in the first place. I have a different interpretation. I have had my best times living in a van. My aim is not to be rich or fancy. In that sense I am aiming low. If you don't want to become rich, then I have great news!

I made a list of my goals. None of them seem to be a major challenge. None of them seem to be aiming high in a traditional western sense. Even if I never do another thing in my life, I am still not disappointed. Why? Logic. Disappointment is not productive. Disappointment is like drowning because you are wearing a heavy coat. To some degree, disappointment is unavoidable - it is a reflex or innate response that we are born with, or learn very young. To some degree, as thinking adult humans, it is also a decision. If I die today, I did a lot better than some. I am prepared to go. But! It probably won't happen. So the rest of my life is a bonus!

We all have battles (I assume), so I don't want to boohoo as a privileged white-skinned beard-growing human in America. I have never been hungry for long. I have all of the advantages in the world.

I want to continue to aim low. None of my goals are so lofty that I cannot grasp them and feel like a success. I have been working on two lists: The first is a list of goals. The second is a list of daily actions to be rewarded, with the aim of establishing habits which will lead directly or indirectly to attaining my goals. Maybe this will work, or maybe I will die first, and that would be fine anyway. But lethargy and boredom are a terrible way to go, so lets get started!


1) Sewing. I want to build skills and confidence. I want this to parlay into a way to make money. If I am still on this path in five or ten years, I would like to lease a small space with five industrial sewing machines and have a few people working with me to make bags and camping gear. I want this to translate to $2500 per month of income on average, and I want to feel excited about it.

2) Exercise. Fortunately, I already do this sometimes. 100 miles per week on a bicycle makes me a better person. I already know that, yet sometimes I stop riding altogether. Let's ride! I would like to introduce some weights and yoga to the routine.

3) Learn to prepare 10 simple plant-based meals. I don't want to be a vegan chef. What I want is a varied list of quick and portable foods that I am confident assembling so I am able to reduce my lust for cheeseburgers. I already have brain stuff going on, and I have identified a poor diet as a probable causal factor.

4) Crochet. Keep at it. Doesn't matter where it goes.

5) Condiment Packet Gallery. It is a cool thing I made. I would like to update it in any manner, which requires me to think about it in a way which does not make me feel overwhelmed. It makes me feel very overwhelmed, but I made progress before, and it is possible again. I'd like to appear on TV and get interviewed about it. I was invited on Jimmy Kimmel a long time ago, and I declined because I was driving around feeling weird as hell.

6) Tackle alcohol for good. Realistically this is a recurring issue. I'd like it to recur less often, in a less extreme manner, or maybe never again. Any progress is great. A pat on my back almost no matter what.

7) Save $375,000 in a brokerage account, invested in index funds. People think they need millions to retire. If I had this amount, work would be on an optional-when-desired basis for life. Jobs are a pain when you need them to survive. I would rather have part time jobs to build skills or satiate curiosity and meet people.

8) Become comfortable making phone calls and approaching strangers. I'm not horrible at talking to strangers. I might almost be relatively good at it, depends on the circumstance. But I am afraid of making phone calls, which is a significant setback. You can't get as much done if you don't dial a number and ask somebody questions. You know what it is? I am super afraid that there will be a poor connection, and this makes me feel highly anxious. I am also afraid that I confuse people and they become suspicious of me or dismissive. I often make a big deal out of nothing. Here is such a case.

Daily Actions to be Rewarded* 

1) Do any action that Will or Could lead to earned income. Literally anything.

2) Consume fewer than 3 alcoholic drinks

3) Drink 64oz of water, and no soda or sugar drink

4) Eat an apple

5) Crochet any amount

6) Walk for at least 10 minutes, or ride a bicycle any amount

7) Clean or organize one thing

8) Write something

9) Make a phone call

Wish me luck. I am currently experiencing motivation because I've been sober for a few days, and I've watched a shitload of TED Talks. It is a potent combination. I recognize that we are all still just floating through space. If you have advice or input please contact me. Lord knows I am not particularly adept at life skills, and the obvious often escapes my attention.

*The reward can be insignificant - as simple as a nod of approval to myself, or a star on a chart if I make a chart with these as columns, which I might or might not do. 

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