Bored to Life

The battle with boredom is a continuous one that requires more energy than staving off hunger. Every time your heart beats you are either strategizing against boredom or executing your plan. People are always looking for “something to do.” An entire life lived can often be predicated by the goal of not to be bored.

“Don’t you get bored?” is a question someone with ample time will get from people who hate being at their jobs. As if killing your boredom with misery is so much better. It’s the equivalent of cutting yourself to cope with emotional pain.

Lately, I have been in the mindset of embracing boredom. Sure, I can battle boredom with the army of technology available but it is a very short-term cure with no true benefit. Boredom is the portal that transports you to a new world. There will be a stage of suffering from fighting habitual urges and comfort but if you can weather the storm I believe there is something better on the other side.

Boredom is a tool to push evolution. If you are bored it means what you are doing feels next to useless. It’s neither enjoyable or beneficial to you so your mind is telling you to stop and move on. If you don’t listen then you will be bored to death.

I could spend 40 hours a week at an uninspiring job, watch TV shows for hours in a day, hang out with people for the sake of not being as bored, but it would be just a continuance on a dependence that only serves as a distraction.

Boredom is trying to prevent you from doing nothing like how fear prevents you from doing something. Together they mix a cocktail that will get you by another day like you have been doing so well at but nothing more.

Post-substance Abuse Reflections

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The day after a substance binge I reflect on how I could have done things differently to lessen this sub-par condition I’m in right now. The easiest solution is to not ingest any mind altering chemicals but that’s like abstaining from ice cream for the rest of your life. The best route one can take is to never introduce themselves to devilish substances. Once you experience the feeling you don’t want to completely give it up.

If I had just taken the one capsule of MDMA and drank a couple of beers last night I would probably be fine today. That idea has only ever worked in theory for me. The only way that scenario would play out is if there was no more than one capsule of MDMA and a couple beers available.

Pre-substance intake had me saying that I had no interest in snorting ketamine. I also pushed away the marijuana joint that came my way. Post-substance intake had me pulling everything towards me. Everything seems like it could be a good idea when you’re high. It got to the point where I didn’t even know what I was feeling.

Life has a way of taking advantage of people who do stupid things. It seemed like a good idea to go for more drinks after the show. By the time we finished it was too late for me to take public transit home or maybe I just didn’t want to. So I got a cab which costed me $40.

I don’t want to do anything today. I don’t even want to do nothing.

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On the Way Home

Almost $6 for a small decaf Americano and a giant cookie. My new thing is going to this coffee place to read. At these prices I have to take up their space for at least an hour to get my money’s worth.

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During the walk home I saw a yard sale sign and checked it out. Ooooh…this is cool!

“How much?”

She quickly ran into the house to check the internet to see if it was “worth anything.” Once she was convinced it wasn’t going to get her 100 manic eBay bidders she offered it to me for $3. I gave her $4($2 coins) and she didn’t give me any change. I yelled profanities at her and sliced her throat open with the jagged record.

On the way home I decided to stop by an old lady’s home to say hi. She heard of Orson Welles but not of the radio broadcast. She asked if I wanted to play it. I asked if she wanted to listen to it. She said, “not really.” She told me an old person story like how old people usually do and then I left.

On the way home again I saw another yard sale sign and went to investigate. By the time I arrived they were packing up. A middle-aged man with an English accent said, “hey, is that the recording that scared the shit out of everybody?” He too thought the LP might be worth some money but I informed him that it probably wasn’t worth shit. His 3 friends had never heard of it. One of them tried to sell me on a free wooden entertainment center that he couldn’t give away during the entire day. People would rather accept a bag of dog shit because at least it’s easy to get rid of.

On the way home again I bumped into the an old guy that lives across the street from me. I’m not sure if he even recognized me. When he did recognize me in the past he would call me, Justin. My name isn’t Justin but I’m open to change. Sure, I can be Justin. He also never heard of this War of the Worlds. He took out his reading glasses and read aloud the synopsis. “People are gullible,” he said.

My conclusion is that this War of the Worlds is not as well-known as I thought.

 

1950s Tony Robbins

Based on your actions on their site, YouTube will recommend what it thinks you might be interested in. There’s motivational and inspirational type videos that I watch on some days. Not videos with spiritual gurus but more similar to TED Talk type videos where it’s more about information than pep talks.

On my YouTube homepage there was a recommendation where the thumbnail of the video was black-and-white with a guy in a suit and it was titled, “Why do you go to Work?” First thought was that this must be old. Second thought was I wondered what someone back then had to say about this subject.

Everything he said is still relevant today. Most of it is the same advice and ideas that many people think some 40-year-old person originally thought of today. Earl Nightingale’s content in the video is good but I’m also drawn in by the accent. What is it, a Transatlantic accent?…the way that a father would speak to his son about life and family. “You listen here young Johnny. A man is nothing without his job or family. Now be a good boy and go tell your mother you love her.”

I downloaded an Earl Nightingale 16 hour recording. “Stealing” digital entertainment is a grey area especially if the guy is dead. I highly doubt the pirate police are tracking Earl Nightingale enthusiasts. They’re too busy hunting the Game of Thrones thieves.

 

Non-active Gym Membership

When doing the math, $4.99 plus tax every 2 weeks on a 1 year commitment could only be so bad. I suspect this gym had the same idea. A week after I signed up for the gym membership I crashed my car which resulted in a total loss. I walked to the gym a few times after but eventually gave it up. Now I’m the best type of customer that they have…one who pays but never goes. The bad customers take up space, stink up the place and contribute to wear and tear of the equipment. They should throw customer appreciation parties for customers like me.

It’s a classic case of human behaviour. Optimism is at its highest when an idea is just an idea. People often rationalize the high likelihood that they will commit. Everything works in theory. Once the idea requires physical effort it no longer seems like such a good idea. Now you rationalize ways on how it’s okay to stop going and how the money that will be wasted isn’t that much. You tell yourself that walking your dog is plenty of exercise and the money wasted is only half of what you received for Christmas. I’d like to see the stats of active memberships versus non-active. I’m sure it’s part of the business plan.

There’s a reason why businesses make you sign contracts. They know that people are losers and will often fall into the trap of convenience and laziness. When video stores were around they thrived on late fees. People would often put off returning videos until the last day and when that day came they forgot or their house burned down. With enough life experience you start to say “no” to every enticing offer not because it’s not a good deal but because you know your loser tendencies. Accepting offers are often a bet with yourself.

In the past I have made good use of my gym memberships but it just didn’t happen this time. It’s just been too inconvenient without a vehicle(excuse). I do mini-workouts by randomly dropping and giving myself 20 or doing pull-ups on the monkey bars when there’s no children around. I still have half a year to redeem myself with my gym membership so we’ll see what happens(rationalizing hope).

 

The Amway Meeting

The whole week I was dreading the meeting but I said I would go so that was that. I didn’t want to make my sponsor look bad. In hindsight I don’t think it would have mattered to anyone. I was curious though because at the time I didn’t even know I was going to walk into an Amway gathering. Also, having an abundance of time and not ever leaving a 10 kilometer radius makes one restless.

The 1 hour public transit ride to the more affluent side of town wasn’t too bad. The internet instructions made it easy. The idea of going somewhere unfamiliar with unfamiliar people in an unfamiliar setting brought upon a bit of anxiety.

My sponsor greeted me right when I walked into this shoe store acting as a miniature auditorium. With 30 other people in attendance he made it a comfortable experience for me so far as he showed me to my seat.

The speaker of the evening was the leader of the whole crew. A mid-30s man, he quickly dove into the presentation with an auctioneer style of speaking while messily writing on a whiteboard.

Much of the presentation was geared towards how the majority of people have been misled their whole lives on the best ways to make money and to be happy.

“They teach you nothing useful in school”

That statement is mostly true. Not much of what you learn in school is ever used in real life. Everything else as he said was to see how well you could read and regurgitate.

“You can’t say you make $100,000 a year when a significant percentage goes to tax.”

A 6 figure income has become a holy grail in our culture. No one cares how you make it or what you have to do. As far as most people are concerned if you make it then you’ve made it.

He talked about the herd mentality and how people are wired to fit in with their society.

“Why would you spend your life doing things to impress people you don’t even like.”

I wonder if he got that line from the movie Fight Club.

He even quoted Hitler.

“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

A point was brought up about staying at a job when you didn’t plan to be there forever.

“If you don’t plan to be there forever then why are you still there?”

Some people would say that they need the money. I think his rationale is if you’re not planning to be there forever then the sooner you leave the sooner you will find something else. How does staying any longer benefit your cause?

Other statements he made that I can remember were…

“People who hate people, hate themselves.”

“Many men fail in their goals because of their porn addiction.”

“Every man that I’ve met who couldn’t get it together had some problems that happened with their father.”

His whole idea was to push you towards owning your own business so that you could take advantage of the tax benefits of being a business owner. Ultimately it was to push you towards the Amway model.

Being a semi-cynic I listened but always asked myself if what he was saying had an Amway bias. All of it probably did but most of it was good information and enlightening if you were open to it. I’m not doing his presentation any justice. The comedic flavour and quick facts were brilliant. There’s much that I’m leaving out because I don’t remember everything and don’t want to make this post longer than it already is.

He ended off with…

“Don’t live on your knees. Stand for something. Stand for something.”

There was no money to be made for 5 years. They want you to spend the next 5 years being mentored. At first I actually thought it gave it more credibility because I was told there wouldn’t be any money coming out of my pockets for 5 years either. If they’re willing to spend 5 years working with you for free then there must be something honest about all of this. The idea was that building your self-image is crucial for success.

At the end our sponsors wanted us to meet the cult leader. Everyone lined up to say hi and shake his hand. It was then he pushed the $200 meeting in Washington state.

“If you don’t have $200 you can find it if you really had to. If someone was selling a Porsche for $200 you would walk across the street and break shop windows to get that $200.”

Most people probably didn’t see it as pushing but that’s what I got out of it. At the following and last meeting with my sponsor he made it apparent that these $200 meetings 4 times a year were mandatory. If I wasn’t willing to attend them or the other local meetings then it meant I wasn’t a “good fit for mentorship.” I paid $200 for a ticket to see Metallica next month. I’m excited about that.

 

Amazon Experience and Regret

If you had bought $1000 worth of Amazon stock at its IPO price in 1997 you would have close to $700,000 today. Even if you were a little slow to the game, $1000 at a share price of twice the IPO would have still seen a reward of over $300,000.

In 2003 I enrolled in a semester of college because it deferred my feelings of feeling like a loser…it’s more common than you might think. When you told people that you were going to school it gave them the idea that you weren’t a bum. A “loser” is just a more current term for “bum.”

The price of textbooks were and probably still are extremely expensive. I had heard of Amazon but had never even browsed their website. At that time Amazon was only selling books, at least in Canada. Things can take forever to get rolling up here because no one cares about a huge land mass with a relatively small population.

I happened to find a brand new copy of the book that I needed and it was substantially cheaper than even a used copy at the school bookstore. I paid and it arrived. I wonder if Amazon’s name is derived from the word “amazing” because that’s what I thought about the whole experience. It was a sign! If I had bought Amazon stock at that time in 2003 I would have still made 50 times my money.

I’m talking shit of course because I had no money in 1997 nor did I even know about Amazon or anything about buying stocks. Even if I invested what little money I did have in 2003 I would have sold the stock as soon as it went up 20% which would have just led to me being even more pissed off about life than I have been.