Tag Archives: Choices

Infinite Choice Sucks

One thing I learned from my vacation and sobriety is that are tons of things to do. I’m a huge proponent of the “boredom leads to drinking” theory but maybe that’s misplaced. It might be a “lack of motivation leads to drinking” or something like that. If you have a bunch of shit you need to do but no motivation to do them, it feels really similar to boredom. When you’re bored you want to do something fun or exciting and writing a blog post or cleaning the cat litter feels more chore-like than anything else. Drinking gives you a little (TEMPORARY) boost to motivation and that can help you get the ball rolling on being productive.

Today is one of those days where I have a list of stuff to take care of but it already feels like I’m woefully short on time. It’s only 2 p.m. too! The entire weekend feels this way; I used to be ‘bored’ on the weekends but now I feel like the weekend isn’t nearly long enough for all the crap I want/need to do.

Here’s todays to-do list: Write a blog post. Change the description for my Amazon Option Trading book. Advertise Option Trading book. Make a rain barrel for our garden. Buy supplies for said rain barrel. Make a YouTube video about making a DIY rain barrel. Make a solar YouTube video. Buy my mom Ice Mountain water because who the fuck knows why I have to do this really. Deliver her Ice Mountain water. Take down my wind generator because it has a broken blade and vibrates annoyingly when it’s windy. Shave. Shower. Cook. I’d love to get off my ass and go for a jog/bike ride but this is obviously low-priority given everything else. At this point I feel like if I went on a bike ride I’d only be doing it to procrastinate the real work I should be doing. Real work takes mental effort whereas bike riding is, well, riding a bike. Somewhere in all of this I’ll probably have to eat or make food for the kids, you know, just little random shit that can derail your focus.

TMI, but the coffee just kicked in and I have to use the bathroom. See what I mean?

There’s also the non-zero possibility that I become derailed by YouTube sometime today. Most days I somehow end up watching two hours worth of YouTube, mostly educational, sciency videos where it feels like I’m learning something, but I’m still pissing time away doing absolutely nothing I’d be proud of. When I’m dying I doubt I’ll be like, “I lived a good life. I watched so many YouTube videos and learned so much!”

I suppose this blog post is about choice. I’ve been fixated on it the past few days. Think about it: there’s nearly an infinite amount of things you could do right this minute. You could run outside naked and play in the street. You could hop in your car and drive to California. You could go rob a bank. You could take a nap. You could look for another job. Anything (Obviously within reason)! You’re about as free and as conscious of this freedom as any living being has ever been and it’s pretty crazy to think about.

And if you’re reading this you’re choosing to read this for some reason. And I’m very appreciative that out of the millions of things you could be doing, you’re here. I’d say you’re using your time terribly and should be doing something else, but thanks!

I’ve never forgotten this quote from Anthony Bourdain. I don’t even know the guy much — he did something about food and traveling, that’s all I know about him — but the quote stuck with me like few others have. Here ya go:

Choice is a pain in the ass. We’re all human, and therefore we’re all animals, prone to all those animalistic tendencies. Our minds wander around, thoughts just appear out of no where, and most of the time we don’t even know why we do the things we do. I have a strong urge to piss away three hours playing Kerbal Space Program, and why exactly do I want to do that? Do I want to waste time doing something fun or do I want to procrastinate the real work I feel I should be doing? Basically being human and trying to be effective with your choices is like herding cats.

But I suppose choice is what defines our lives. Given the wide range of possible things you could be doing right this moment and with the limited time you have, your options are stupidly, dangerously, and maddeningly limited. It’s stressful to decide on what you should/want to do. I have ten hours left in the day before I’ll be tired and go to bed. What will I do with those ten, and only ten, hours? Will I piss it away on YouTube or do something better, something I’ll be more fulfilled by? I’m hoping for the latter, but herding cats and all.

A lot of people seem paralyzed by choice, floating along in life where things only happen to them like a raft passively floating down the river. This is bad because it robs you of agency to decide and dictate your own life. You might feel like a passenger in life, floating along and reacting instead of acting. You could be reacting to your subconscious as well, making choice even stranger to think about. Random cravings for Taco Bell that piss away an hour of driving without any thought behind whether you’re actually choosing to get shitty Taco Bell or you’re just on a raft with your subconscious calling the shots.

Choice, you have near infinite things you could be doing, but you’re reading this. What are you going to do after you read this? I hope you give some thought to your actions and realize your choices define you as a person, they write your life story. Be proactive and choose well. Thanks for reading!

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Not Enough Time Sucks

“What do you want to do with your life?!?”

-Seemingly Everyone

My default way of brainstorming is apparently lying awake in bed at 3 a.m. It feels like I start every blog post off this way, because it’s true. Anyways, I was lying awake in bed at 3 a.m. and was in a good mood, shockingly. I was looking forward to the following day and all of the possibilities that it offered me. I had a good selection of books that I wanted to read (Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules, Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment, Six Pillars to Self-Esteem, Dune, and every other book in my backlog), and more so than just read them, I wanted to understand them. I’m talking about really absorbing the books, taking notes on them, and reading and reflecting on what I had read. I also wanted to do this with a handful of musical albums. As with reading, I want to absorb the songs and understand them. I want to look up lyrics and ponder how the words play over and off the underlying music. There’s just so much going on to appreciate! And there are other things I want/need to do: I have a 5k coming up in a few weeks that I’m totally ill-prepared for, I need to write…and oh yeah writing! I have like three stories I’m working on along with this blog and I need to proofread stuff, and figure out a way to actually self-promote any writing I do accomplish. Work is still a thing and I also want to maybe work on being a flight instructor as a career. Who knows what I want to do?

It’s at that point I realized that my problem isn’t lacking things I enjoy doing, it’s having the time and motivation to actually do things. There’s just not enough time in the day (or in general) for me to do all the things I want to do.

Many of the tasks need patience, time, and thought to accomplish. Sure, while I could sit down and write blog posts/chapters and proofread them quickly, the same isn’t true with reading a book or listening to music. To really appreciate these things you need to take your time with them. You need to let your mind properly process them. And more importantly you can’t multitask them. “Why don’t you just listen to music while you write?” you might ask. It’s because when you write you’re probably not listening to the music like you’d want to. I’m a firm believer that the human mind can only really focus on a singular thing at once and listening to music in a distracting environment does the music a disservice. To really enjoy music, a book, and to appreciate the subtleties of any of the arts, you need to do them solo. To really dive in and appreciate what is going on.

Obviously there needs to be some form of prioritizing here and I don’t even know where to begin. Ranking things based on importance seems silly; reading is just as important to me as music and I can’t pick only one. There is also the question of what I actually feel like doing. Sometimes I’d rather read than listen to music while other times the opposite is true. Movies seem to have an even more unique mindset I need to be in to watch them. It isn’t a simple matter of prioritizing, or maybe it is and I’m just awful at having self-control. Forcing yourself to sit down and listen to music when you want to read seems almost sacrilegious in a way. And I don’t know how to decide what I actually should be doing with my time.

To be ultra depressing you can scale this struggle of what to do up from hobbies to careers. I have a handful of job-like things I could be working towards, and these take even more time and effort than reading or listening to music does. I think this is the main reason why people never seem to know what they want to do in life, it’s such a big decision to make that I understand why people simply don’t make a decision. “What you want to do in life?” seems to be such a loaded question in so many ways. It seems to be asking what you want to constantly be working towards day after day in your free time and your work time. And when you look at it that way no wonder people can’t fucking pick. There is absolutely nothing in this world that I’d be happy doing eight or ten hours each day, every day. I like my variety and choosing “what I want to do” seems to force any and all variety out of life, even if it isn’t true in practice.

I also like to blame video games for altering my outlook on what I want to do. Video games make it easy to accomplish literally anything in the game world you want. It’s a matter of dedication and time but in such a way that you can actually make progress. All of my skills in Stardew Valley are maxed out: IRL you can never max out every possible skill available. Hell, even in games like Skyrim you can still do certain things outside of your expertise. Even a wizard-mage-magical person can shoot a bow and kill things, just not very well. And even if you can’t do everything in a single play through you can always play multiple characters and accomplish everything the game world has for you to accomplish. There is no choice of “What do I want to do?” because you can do everything.

Real life forces you to actually pick the things you want to do, and hell if there aren’t too many interesting things to do. I want to write fiction and nonfiction. I want to blog. I want to fly airplanes. I want to make music. I want to paint or something. I want to put solar panels all over the house. I want to read and listen to music and go sit outside and enjoy nature. I want to stop climate change. I want to start a grilled cheese food truck. I want to live in the woods. I want to be a Buddhist monk. But there are only 24 hours in the day, 365 days in a year, and a finite amount of years left in my life. I physically can’t do nearly everything I want to do, and narrowing things down seems like an affront to the variety of things that life has to offer. It’s not so much that there is nothing I want to do, in fact there is too much to do that I’m paralyzed by the choices offered to me! I guess it’s a good problem to have but dammit if knowing that I’ll never get to experience all the things I want to do doesn’t feel awful. I hate deciding. I hate making choices. Especially when these choices involve things as important as choosing what to do with the time given to me. If only I could choose to have more time. But that’s kinda like what the Genie in Aladdin said about wishing for more wishes. You can’t do it, it’s illegal.