What Are You Going to Do Otherwise?

A huge passion of mine is ninjutsu, which I do three times a week. On Monday I felt a bit resistant towards going. Throughout the day leading up to the hour-long drive to class, I fought against it – and then the best question ever came into my mind!

“What are you gonna do otherwise?”

My answer was, “Probably play on my computer or something.”

I said back to myself, “Is that going to make you a better ninja?”

I smirked and replied, “No….”

Very effective. Next time you are resistant to something you know you WANT to do (not should do), ask yourself that question.

Don’t wanna go to the gym? What would you be doing instead? Watching TV? Is that going to get you the body you want? Are Ross and Rachel gonna rip your abs and blast your fat? Nuh uh.

Don’t feel like working on your novel? What are you gonna do? Read Cracked and Buzzfeed? Are you insane? Open your flipping MS Word and type, bitch!

Don’t feel like practicing your oboe? Let me guess…you’d rather check out what OTHER people are doing on Facebook.

Sitting around and wishing for stuff is gonna get you nowhere. We have limited time on this plane of existence. You need take whatever steps possible to get you to where you want to be. Enjoy each step. Just because steps are small do not mean you should brush them off and fill up your time with meaningless junk. You can do that if you want, but do the important things FIRST. The more little steps you take, the closer you will be, the better you will be, the more you will be making of your life. Everything large is made of something small.

Tonight I’m going to class again. I usually want to go, but I always go regardless of how I feel, and I am ALWAYS glad I do. You will be glad you take your steps, too. But DO them.

Recommended Reading:

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work
Do the Work

Why Death is Awesome

I have been struggling lately, and you know what? I still refuse to compromise my life.

Everything I read and all the signs I see around me on a daily basis SCREAM at me: do not waste your life. Do not waste your time on anything that does not BETTER your life.

I do feel like I may need to compromise some of the things I do or consume. Perhaps removing those things from my life will make room for MORE and BETTER things. You never know.

Sometimes you also have to decide between one thing and another. Which is more important? Do I need fancy raw foods all the time, just because they bring me pleasure? Cuz the debt involved (right now) is not worth the misery. Can I eat something more simple? Or even…COOKED? Can I replace my more amazing diet with rice and potatoes and bananas? Because I might have a more stellar life, even if I have to compromise “perfect” health for a little while – not permanently. Which do I choose? Or do I stay raw and eat less? That is what I am doing at the moment, and so far it’s not so bad.

I read a WONDERFUL section in Caitlin Moran’s book How to Be a Woman today, and I agreed with it whole-heartedly. I burst into a massive grin when I read it. Because I am scared of death. I want to live forever. I want to do so much. I have an ankh tattooed on my arm to remind me that I am NOT immortal and I need to remember this at ALL TIMES and not waste any time. Not one second. I’ve done enough of that already. With all the time I’ve wasted I could have done a FUCK of a lot, man!

“The real problem here is that we’re all dying. All of us. Every day the cells weaken and the fibers stretch and the heart gets closer to its last beat. The real cost of living is dying, and we’re spending days like millionaires: a week here, a month there, casually spunked until all you have left are the two pennies on your eyes.

Personally, I like the fact that we’re going to die. There’s nothing more exhilarating than waking up every morning and going, “WOW! THIS IS IT! THIS IS REALLY IT!” It focuses the mind wonderfully. It makes you love vividly, work intensely, and realize that, in the scheme of things, you really don’t have time to sit on the sofa in your undies watching Homes Under the Hammer.

Death is not a release, but an incentive. The more focused you are on your death, the more righteously you live your life. My traditional closing-time rant / is that humans still believe in an afterlife. I genuinely think it’s the biggest philosophical problem the earth faces. Even avowedly nonreligious people think they’ll be meeting up with Nana and their dead dog, Crackers, when they finally keel over. Everyone thinks they’re getting a harp.

But believing in an afterlife totally negates your current existence. It’s like an insidious and destabilizing mental illness. Underneath every day – every action, every word – you think it doesn’t really matter if you screw up this time around because you can just sort it all out in paradise. You make it up with your parents and become a better person and lose that final 14 pounds in heaven. And learn how to speak French. You’ll have time, after all! It’s eternity! And you’ll have wings, and it’ll be sunny! So, really, who cares what you do now? This is really just some lackluster waiting room you’re going to be in for only 20 minutes, during which you will have no wings at all and are forced to walk around, on your feet, like pigs do.

If we wonder why people are so apathetic and casual about every eminently avoidable horror in the world – famine, war, disease, the seas gradually turning piss-yellow and filling with ring-pulls and shattered fax machines – it’s right there. Heaven. The biggest waste of time we ever invented, outside of jigsaws.

Only when the majority of the people on this planet believe – absolutely – that they are dying, minute by minute, will we actually start behaving like fully sentient, rational, and compassionate beings. For while the appeal of “being good” is strong, the terror of hurtling, unstoppably, into unending nullity is a lot more effective. I’m really holding out for us all to get the Fear. The Fear is my Second Coming. When everyone in the world admits they’re going to die, we’ll really start getting some stuff done.”

I have done quite a lot, but still – the magnitude could be much greater. Hell, I have a friend who has made like 60+ albums of good  music. That’s crazy! He is pretty awesome, and DEDICATED. And only 40!

How are you gonna be prolific? How am I? I think about it a lot – but thinking is not enough. Action is what makes everything happen. EVERYTHING.

Stop wasting your time on bullshit. You don’t need to know celebrity gossip or play Angry Birds. You are gonna be pissed at yourself when you’re old. I’ve been to nursing homes recently, taking library books to old people. It reinforces my dedication to health and not wasting my time. I doubt those people are wishing they’d watched more TV or eaten more pizza. I bet they do wish they’d traveled more and loved harder and hiked more and done everything they could when they were stronger and more able-bodied. It baffles me that people take such shitty care of themselves. You can still be healthy and be poor – I have a back-up plan, do you? It involves bananas, rice, potatoes, wild greens, and beans. You can be damn healthy just on that, for real, with a few extras. And it can still be organic.

START FOCUSING ON DYING. Because then you will be fucking freaked out at what you do minute to minute. Don’t ever spend your life doing something you absolutely hate. Have back-up plans for everything. Have a plan B, C, D…and all the way to Z. I wrote my Plan Z and it’s actually kind of awesome. I am currently in plan B or C at the moment. I have these plans precisely because I will not compromise my life. I consider EVERY ASPECT. It’s not hard. Just OPEN your mind and listen to your GUT.

Another gem I read in this Caitlin Moran book is “I also know panic attacks, and I know they lie.You need to know the difference between fear, panic, and actual intuition.

My intuition says: “You have MUCH more important work to do than being a barista or a maid. Your delicious and healthy diet is not worth wasting your precious life working huge chunks of your days on. You can still be VERY healthy in the meantime, on cheaper foods, and when you make your millions (cuz I am worth millions – that’s my mantra!) you can eat whatever you want and still have lots left over to travel and rescue dogs and take motorcycle lessons.”

So. Scared of  dying? You should be, but only if you’re basically dead right now. LIVE, GODDAMNIT. Now stop reading the internet and go do shit that is important to you. Not urgent. IMPORTANT.