So my last post on ditching office life was mad-hectic bold and everything, truth is, as with any big change, there are two guys competing for the limelight of conscious attention:
The No-Fucks-Given dude
This guy wrote the last post. He genuinely does not give a flying Fuckapotamus (a mythical creature made of the rarest substance known to man: fucks-not-given) about what people think of him. He does what he thinks is right, understands he’s often wrong, and puts his best efforts forward to deal with the consequences. He does not bow to baseless custom, contrived social construct, or arbitrary rule. This dude is a bad ass.
The Little Bitch (aka Fear)
This is the guy who sat quietly, sniggering to himself in the corner while No-Fucks-Given was banging away on the keyboard, smugly saying to himself “we’ll see… we’ll see…”. He disguises his true nature under the veil of pragmatism. Truth is, this dude is a Little Bitch. I will refer to him only as Fear from here on out. Little Bitch seems a little vulgar, even by my standards.
You’ve seen No-Fucks-Given in action. But, what about The Little Bitch? … oops, I mean Fear.
Let’s use a worked example to see how he (or she if you’re a female… my version is a dude, because… I’m a dude) operates. The other day I was sitting at home, staring at my mobile phone. I was gripped by nervousness, wanting to pick up the phone to contact somebody I didn’t know about something I knew nothing about but was EXTREMELY interested in. While staring at the phone, wondering whether it might dial itself, I was hit by a cataclysm of thought:
How will the conversation go? What if it goes badly? What happens if I fuck it all up? What if I say something stupid? Worse, what if this dude realises I’m stupid? Or even worse, what happens if the call is interrupted by a giant space-monkey firing laser beams from his eye-balls throwing faeces at me?
Or… what if I call the guy and say “Hey, this is Mark”. What then?
What then indeed…
Fear was the cataclysm’s mastermind. The guy pulling the strings, conspiring to wreak havoc upon any possibility of positive action. In other words, Fear was the one preventing me from picking up the phone.
He’s the guy that, when you’re about to do the thing you absolutely unequivocally must do, finds a way to make sure you don’t. My version of Fear uses misguided pragmatism and faulty rationalisation as his main weapons of choice in his personal vendetta against positive action. Unfortunately, far too often he draws blood.
Fear is the guy that when you’re about to sign up for the kickboxing class you’ve always wanted to do, comes into the room and says “do you really want to do that? what if you embarrass yourself”. He does this despite knowing full well the one thing you’ve always wanted to do is channel your inner Jean-Claude Van-Damme to learn how to kick someone in the head.
Fear is a bit of an ass hole like that, but he’s there for a reason. He’s not just some jerk who tells you not to do the crazy shit you’ve been thinking about doing – that’s called a Dad (kidding – love you Dad). Fear is there to guide you, only he does this in his own backwards-ass way. Let me explain.
Fear used to be responsible for telling us what not to do: Don’t go near that long brown thing hissing at you. Run from that big snarling cat which is clearly telling you to fuck-off right quick. Don’t touch hot stoves. Make sure Steve from Accounts doesn’t send out the report using incorrect font again. What? He already did? HOLY FUCK THE WORLD’S GOING TO BURN. SOMEONE DO SOMETHING. CALL THE COPS. NO. CALL THE PRESIDENT!
Wait… no need to grab the font by the pussy. Never mind.
Fear recently got a new job title. A promotion if you will. And with it, his job description has changed. Drastically. I know you’re as confused as I am, but don’t believe the email signature, he just forgot to update it. He’s not working his old gig anymore.
Because we’re not either.
A great many of us (Westerners) don’t need to worry about actual-real-life dangerous stuff like Snakes and Lions anymore. Instead, we have to worry about Hot Stoves and Steve’s from Accounts. Not so dangerous. Fear used to help protect us from Lions and Snakes. He was useful. These days with Lions and Snakes meta-morphing into Hot Stoves and Steve’s from Accounts he’s more of a hindrance.
We live in an overly sanitized world, where, if you don’t want to do anything scary, like fight a Lion, then you literally don’t have to. But does that mean you shouldn’t?
Well, that’s up to you I guess. I, for one, have tried this. No, not fighting a Lion. The other thing – the not doing anything scary. While not doing anything scary, I felt very safe, but at the same time mind-numbingly bored. The boredom of it drove me into a state of deep despair (true story). Boredom, as it turns out, is not so good for the soul.
“In actual fact, boredom is now causing more problems to solve than distress. And these problems are growing increasingly crucial, for progressive automation will probably lead to an enormous increase in the leisure hours available to the average worker. The pity of it is that many of these will not know what to do with all their newly acquired free time.” – Victor E. Frankl, in Man’s Search for Meaning
The Robots! THEY TOOK OUR JOOOOOOOOOOBS!!!
Technological advances are ripping jobs right out of our hands. These advances have forced Fear to rethink how he operates. Perhaps it’s time we did the same?
But, oh no, heaven forbid we should be afforded more free-time. What on Earth will we do with ourselves!? Talk to each other and shit? Be forced to contemplate the unfathomable beauty of nature, or a single leaf for that matter? No. Don’t. Anything but that. Give me some mind-numbing shit so I can waste my time. Please. I beg you.
Quit begging. You don’t want that.
How do I know this?
Because I recently went after some mind-numbing shit. Fear’s faulty rationalisation led me down this path. And it was not good. Not good at all. You simply cannot afford to chase mind-numbing. It will literally destroy you Snowflake.
And yes, I just called you Snowflake. Not because you’re precious and unique (you’re not), but because you’re made to float in the sky!
You see Snowflake, floating in the sky is where you are meant to be. In order to get there, you must find the thing (or things) that make you feel that way – like you’re floating in the sky. And do them. Your SOUL begs it of you.
If you don’t, a friend I know intimately may begin to settle in. His name is Despair. And he’s the real ass hole. Despair is not a guy you want to be spending your time with. Trust me on this one… I may write like a drunken-Moose, but about this, I know what I’m talking about.
If you don’t know what it is that will lift your soul to the sky, I have a handy tip to help you on your way: follow Fear.
“What you are afraid to do is a clear indication of the next thing you need to do” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Don’t worry, he’s rocking that new job title. He’s not the guy he used to be. He won’t lead you into Mr Death’s arms (unless of course your version of Fear wants to fight a Lion. I wouldn’t recommend this. The transition from dealing with Steves from Accounts to fighting lions is a bit of a jump…maybe start with a phone call you’ve been putting off instead. Baby steps baby. Baby steps.).
So… you may be wondering, who am I to tell you all this? Truthfully… No one. Just some dick head with a keyboard. You shouldn’t listen to me at all. I don’t even know my own address.
You should listen to Fear.
Fear is here to tell you what-to-do. Not what not-to-do. He’ll lead you away from Despair. So, go after him when he shows himself. And if you find his presence lacking, seek out his company. The guys a bit of a prick to be around, but he’s there to help.
Fear knows exactly what it is you need to do – it’s the opposite of what he tells you.