"The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed--would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper--the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you." – George Orwell (1984)
You can’t argue that technology has made our lives better. When I’m feeling lonely or isolated, I can pick up my phone and call my mom, my sister, or any one of my friends. I have friends living in Egypt, England, Spain, and Germany. None of them are more than 48 hours of travel away. And I have so much information accessible in the palm of my hands that, with a decent amount of motivation and enough coffee, I can learn anything I want.
Perfectionism is the enemy of productivity. Everyone has ideas. I’ve got lots of them. Most of them suck. Some seem like they could be okay. The main reason they never become anything more: fear the idea isn’t good enough. That it lacks novelty and people won’t like it. This fear leads to idle hands. To sitting. To thinking. To more planning. To telling myself a little more research needs to be done to flesh out the idea and make it better. Telling myself that I’m getting closer, I just need to find a better angle. Then I do the extra work and bail on the project entirely after convincing myself it wasn’t really a good idea after all. After a period of shame and guilt, I move onto the next one.
A few summers ago, I was driving along Highway 96 in southern British Columbia. Me and my ’97 black Ford Ranger – the first car I ever owned – had Calgary in the rear-view mirror and were on our way to the lake. The windows were down (because there was no air conditioning and it was the middle of July), the music was loud (the CD player was broken and stuck at one level), and I was singing at the top of my lungs (I just like to do that).
“The neurotic who learns to laugh at himself may be on the way to self-management, perhaps to a cure.”
- Gordon W. Allport
One day there was a beer cart girl sitting in her beer cart beside the fifth tee box. As she counted her tips, she wondered why she couldn’t get where she wanted to in life.
While meditating on this complex question, two middle-aged men pulled up in their golf cart. They stopped, each grabbed a club, and walked onto the tee box. One man wore a white flat cap with a red pompom on top; a red, green, and grey argyle sweater; white pants and shoes; and argyle socks pulled up to his knees. The other man had an Old Milwaukee in his hand and was wearing a stained white t-shirt, grey sweat shorts, and flip flops.