This amazing Dilbert piece by Scott Adams describes excellently what is really going on in many of our heads (or at least mine) when forced to pretend that tight deadlines make any sense.
To be clear, I’m yet to come across a tight deadline that worked. Rush-rush stressy projects are usually only a rush until the client suddenly comes across a decision they need time to sit and think about. Because guess what. In life things come up that we need to sit and think about. To not foresee that is humorous. At that point obviously the rush-rush attitude goes out the window because the client prefers to make the decision carefully. After that either the rushing is again expected or there is a new understanding that things will happen at a more natural speed.
The dude sitting there with his cup of coffee is also making a pretty important yet seemingly unknown fact. That most of the work we’re doing is not a matter of life and death. For most of us, although it feels like it matters, those extra few weeks (or months in many cases), like in this cartoon, are not only fine, but often they’re actually good in the long run.
I can only imagine that this website is getting a huge amount of traffic. The writer, Tim Urban, creates highly intelligent and laugh-out-loud funny articles on an array of topics. I read an amazing one by him about why my generation is unhappy (I totally got the story he told) and most recently I read a fascinating inside look at the world’s black hole—North Korea. I highly recommend giving this piece the time it necessitates considering all the photos, videos and links.
Read the piece to learn why this video is unbelievably disturbing.
And while you’re on the site, don’t forget to check out the hysterical About page.
Some articles speak to me so much that once they’re opened in a tab, it’s hard for me to close them. Once my computer starts slowing down because of all the open tabs, I know it’s time to say goodbye. No! Don’t make me do it! So I thought, why not share the wealth with my readers? And that’s what I’ve decided to do. I hope you enjoy these amazing articles I’ve come across over the last few weeks.
You’re Just a Dumbass is a blog I just found which is about dating (found it after the author “Liked” one of my pieces on Habitza.com). She is definitely more crass than me but she’s quite insightful. Here is the best line from this post:
…[Men] don’t say to themselves: I’m not pretty enough, I’m not at the sexiest at the moment, I put on some weight, or whatever else that would stop them from trying to get what they want.
Here is a piece with a few simple tips for figuring out if you’re on the right track or not. I loved reading it because it made me feel great about the direction I’m currently taking at a time when I can use all the positive reinforcement I can get. She starts by saying you should ask yourself two questions:
1. What am I really good at? 2. What can I be passionate about for a really long time?
And then she gives more tips on how to get to the bottom of it. Read more.
I admit I’ve had this one open for a while already, to remind myself about my inner thoughts that could definitely lead to major nervousness, if not a nervous breakdown. The writer mentions destructive thoughts like:
If people really knew me, they’d hate me–and probably want nothing to do with me.
This funny-cuz-it’s-true comic strip depicting 12 kinds of procrastinations. Of course it’s not as if I can relate to all 12 of them, or anything like that. Why would you even think that? Check it out. That is unless you haven’t yet admitted to yourself that you’re a procrastinator, just like the rest of us. :)
Now let’s say someone were to ask you the following question:
Which exercise do you think triggers more endorphin secretion (a “happy hormone), skipping or jogging?
What would your guess be?
Now imagine if skipping became a conventional sport (for adults) like jogging. Imagine if the streets, instead of being full of runners, was full of skippers. If that doesn’t bring a smile to your face…
I am more often compelled to break into a skip than a jog (though that definitely happens too) and I wonder if that’s because skipping is such a happy activity.
And so as your friendly blogger, I’d like to recommend that you add some skipping into your life today.
That’s it. I’ve entered my 35th year (that makes me 34).
And I need a change, I know it whenever I get this urge to chop my hair off (I’m not joking).
The good and bad news is that none of my problems are new. The things that are bothering me are issues I’ve been talking/writing/thinking about for years.
The advice from a rabbi in 2007
I’ve been going through some old diary entries. For the most part, they bore me. They are repetitive and a little whiny. (Thank God I didn’t publish that stuff!) But the good thing is that after all these years, I am now able to pinpoint (the?) two major issues in my life:
I’m scared of my life, the future and failure.
I’m almost never writing as much as I want to be.
One of these entries, in January 2007, wasn’t too boring because I wrote about the advice I got from a rabbi. This is approximately what he said:
Your bad feeling is self inflicted. You cut yourself no slack. You aren’t responsible for everything. Not everything in the world and not everything in yourself.
When you start being negative about yourself, say: “Sorry, I don’t have time for that right now. I’m busy.”
Contemplate things at the end of the day. Slowly, through giving yourself love, you will begin to really love yourself.
Most of what he said is true. I inflict pain on myself. I’m too hard on myself.
Besides reading old, embarrassing diary entries, I’ve also been doing embarrassing self-help research online about success, birthdays, why 30s are great, how to make a truckload of money from writing and how to totally change my mindset and become an entirely different person.
Well, I didn’t mean to research the last one. It just happened.
Here are some of the interesting things I found out:
My creative source is not finite! by The Oatmeal
As is often the case, The Oatmeal “verbalizes” what I’ve been thinking all along. And so now I know that I’m not the only one who is always convinced that the next piece I write will be the last because I will never have another idea again. The Oatmeal wrote:
Wait. So, it isn’t true? Well, who knows. Maybe I really won’t ever have another idea, but either way, I should push myself to put out that supposedly last piece.
Some motivational talks make me shrivel up inside. That doesn’t make me a bad person.
Often we think there is something wrong with us because of how we react to things when really it might just be faulty expectations about who we are.
I came across a post about the characteristics in highly successful people. It’s supposed to be motivational but it made me cringe. The writer lists all these traits that make an ordinary person extraordinary but the ideas are so lofty that it made me laugh just reading them. Like, that nervous kind of laugh.
The terms include:
Definite aim, vision and purpose (ugh, kill me now)
The amount I’d need to change in order to fit those descriptions, let alone the other 26 (!) mentioned in that piece is probably plain impossible. Maybe I could get a personality transplant but that’s probably expensive.
But I’m sick of believing that being an extroverted, go-getter, fast-working, multi-tasking, power house is the only way to succeed. I’ve been introduced to the book about introverts by Susan Cain which I’m itching to read and I’m going to work on seeing what environment I need in order to succeed. I being a slow, creative, thoughtful, detail-oriented person.
What Augustus did at the age of 34
Even though 34 is so young, we’re used to thinking that it’s already “older” and if it’s older, then maybe my chances of fulfilling my dreams have passed.
And so I looked up what others succeeded in doing in their 35th year. Here is one small success by Augustus:
After defeating Antony and Cleopatra’s forces in a naval battle, Augustus became the master of the Roman world.
Not quite as great as me but nobody’s perfect. I guess I could still try to do something with my life. :)
I’m not over the hill yet
And then I wondered what some really old people have succeeded in doing despite (or because of?) their serious advancement in years. This was with the purpose of inspiring me to go and do what I want.
And it all comes down to pushing! (Once you know what you want to be pushing yourself to do.)
Out of everything I’ve read or seen over the last few days, there was one piece that really stuck out for me more than the others. It truly inspired me.
Maneesh Sethi wrote so honestly about how he actually sometimes pays someone to sit next to him and slap him whenever he goes on Facebook. A professional slapper. Or he promises a friend lots of money if he doesn’t finish an article when he says he will.
What a breath of fresh air. I could have used either of those tactics the whole way through school. I often need a good slap to get myself going and focused (sorry motivational writer). I often know what I want to be working on but my unproductive inner voice makes me into a bum.
Sometimes you don’t have to psychoanalize that voice, sometimes you’ve just got to give it a good smack and do your work. Because doing your work in itself is what will help get some sense into your brain.
I love honesty and real-ness. Thank you, thank you Maneesh.
Just just just just just
Really none of this is a big deal. I just need to accept who I am and push myself to succeed in whatever I lay out for myself.
This is the song I “wrote” to express my exasperation at the way people always seem to use the word “just” for the hugest of tasks!
My one-week experiment
OK, easier said than done. But I really think that to a large extent, the heavy feeling in the mornings is due to the fact that I often have an idea of what I should be doing and my fears, etc., stop me.
My current theory is that if I push myself to do more of what I want to be doing, then that feeling will improve.
And so, in honour of my birthday and my life, I’m running an experiment.
For the next week I’d like to force myself to do stuff when I know what I want to be doing (which is often the case).
I know it’s possible it won’t make me feel better but at least I’m testing the theory. And if it does make a difference, amazing! And if it doesn’t, at least I’ve disproved that theory and can move on to the next.
Meanwhile, happy birthday to all. I hope that my new year is great for all of you, my dear readers. :)
See, that’s the crazy thing about life’s experiences. You save someone’s life. You protect your nation in a war. You discover America. And then you poop.
No matter what, you always continue to be human: Still doing the mundane, human things that the rest of us do.
Except Pharaoh of course. He never pooped.
I’m serious, by the way. Last night, on my way home from work, I saved the life of a man. AKA, I saved an entire world (read the Mishna and you’ll see I’m not kidding).
Since you’re dying to hear the tale, let me tell it:
I was standing at a Jerusalem intersection. A guy was standing next to me. He was on his phone and looked impatient to cross. And so I watched. Because I’m always waiting for that moment of catastrophe. I mean self-glory. I mean…
Forget it. It sounds bad either way.
Anyway, he started crossing before the light was green and I saw one last car pushing through the yellow/red light on the other end.
And as I saw the car heading toward this dude on his pelephone who has probably survived wars in the IDF, I yelled, “Tizaher!”
Of course he immediately turned to me and said, “Li’eize ulpan at halacht? Ze Hi’zaher! Yesh lach pashut mazal she’ani bichlal adayin bachayim im ha’ivrit hanora’it shelach.”
Loosely translated as: “My God. What is with your Hebrew? Did you not know that ‘Tizaher‘ means ‘You will watch out’? You ain’t no prophet – as you can see, I didn’t watch out – and you ain’t no linguist either.”
Anyway, I’m lying. Twice. What he really said, with a smirk on his face, was: “Didn’t that dude cross on red?” and I said: “It wasn’t red yet.” And then I said: “But either way I really don’t feel like seeing someone die tonight.”
And that is just the point.
We live in a culture that lacks excitement and intrigue so much that we can take one semi-saving-of-a-man’s-life experience and change it into an all-time blog hit. (Just watch.)
Which is why you should all move to Israel. If you haven’t yet, of course.
You should make aliya and join the IDF where you will have authentically exciting and life-threatening experiences. And then, when please God you come out in one piece, you probably won’t feel compelled to blow the half experience of saving a dude’s life out of proportion.
Aliya’s new motto: “Aliya – the antithesis of Facebook. Today.”
Either that or you can just try crossing the street in Israel. Either will do.
Anyway, about the rave. Someone came out with a video “Sh*t girls say” which got tons of hits and was quickly (very) followed by many other sh*itty videos. I found the original pretty amusing:
And I just saw the one about frum girls which I found pretty funny:
OK fine, one more. I just spent too many minutes watching a few of the other ones that have popped up on YouTube and they’re starting to make my head feel stupid (or is it sh*tty) but just maybe check out this one last one, at your own risk of feeling your head go a little numb: