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Live a life that you can be proud of.
I’ve never understood the expression: YOLO (you only live once). I know what it means but I don’t see where people get the connotations from. When someone says, “YOLO,” they are usually referring to some terrible idea that they are about to make real — like a tattoo on their face — or they say it as the reason that they go out and party every night.
“Didn’t you party last night… and you’re going out again?”
They are saying that you only live once so fill the life you do have with fun.
Well I have an argument for that and then a suggestion for what YOLO means — at least to me.
If most people’s goal in life is happiness, then why would you pursue empty fun. I see going out and partying, to the point of blacking out or near-to, as such a waste of time. Time that is slowly running out.
You only live once — but life is short.
Empty fun is spending your time for good feelings, with no long-term benefit and — most likely — paying for it in the next 24 hours. Empty fun is when the real person inside you is saying, “There are so many things that I would like to accomplish, can we stop doing this please?” Empty fun is Netflixing, heavy drinking, partying, Youtube surfing, Facebooking — when you are spending your time for that short term kick but trading valuable time from your one and only life.
When’s the last time that you spent an hour on Facebook and then said, “Wow, I’m glad I did that.” Empty fun is not a precursor to happiness. It is a precursor to an empty life.
Now I don’t say all this stuff to be a jerk. My goal here is to really make a difference. To give you a sort of nudge in the right direction that having Madeline, my daughter, gave to me.
I used to go through and do all the same things, Netflix, heavy drinking, partying, Youtube surfing, Facebooking. These short term solutions were the only way to get that dopamine.
Then I had Maddi and my perspective shifted.
Change In Perspective
I started reading and listening to books, setting goals and changing the course of my life, as a sacrifice for my daughter. But before my very eyes I began to feel good about what I was doing. Who would have thought that adding a bunch of, what I would have called, work to my plate would make me feel better. My “sacrifice” turned out not to be a sacrifice at all, but an enhancement.
I didn’t quit any of the empty fun activities — I just don’t do them anymore. I don’t need to expend any energy to keep myself from spending time that way, because when I got some perspective, the desire for empty fun went away and the desire to spend my time to make a difference in my life and the lives of those around me appeared.
All that it required was to get the perspective and then sustain the perspective.
So the next time that you think YOLO, think, “yes and life is short and I’ve only got one life. When I look in the mirror do I want to see an author? or a hungover jerk? Do I want to see the founder of a charitable non-profit organization? or a person who’s eyes are bloodshot from all the TV?”
Do you want to go back to your kid self and say, “We did it” or “I’m sorry”
Respect Your Life
There is plenty of excuse for living the life of empty fun, between the body’s natural desire for that dopamine that comes from these activities, to the billions of dollars spent making products more and more habit forming — but beyond the excuses is a way to live that goes beyond some little dopamine bumps and moves into the world of sustained personal accomplishment — a lifestyle that builds on itself and leads to contentment.
Make every realm of your life something that brings and assists you towards long lasting and deep-felt fulfillment. It takes an investment of time and it takes an investment of learning from the history of fulfillment and it takes an investment of energy. But the difference of the investment vs. not, is the difference between living a healthy life with positive intent or continuing through an empty life with no direction.
What I hope to do with what I’ve chosen as my direction, is help you along that path towards feeling pride when you look in the mirror. The point of Average Optimized, at it’s core, is to be a resource and guide that makes a difference in people’s lives.
There are many elements to sustaining the perspective including building a foundation for yourself and aiming yourself toward your goals and accomplishments, along with lots of little tricks and tactics to make it easier on you — and this is just a start.
Where Average Optimized Can Fit In
Subscribe to Average Optimized. Get an email each week that includes an element of The Loot Chutes and an element of lifestyle design. The Loot Chutes are a way to amass and grow the necessary money so you can have the value to either trade it for better circumstances (for yourself or others) or keep it and never worry about money again (spend your worries on more important issues). The lifestyle design portion is meant to help you on the way toward controlling your day and sustaining the perspective that puts your life on a pedestal.
This is not an attempt to make a sale. This is me laying it out there and being clear about what Average Optimized is. I spend my time on these elements as a way to help.
If you would like to get a reliable, weekly dose of healthy perspective and actionable tactics, sign up for the emails by subscribing.
Thank you for reading/listening.