Infinite Jest, WHY?

I’m here in front of the computer, staring down my very clean desk…looking into the blackness that is the background of the monitor like I do every weekday night. I’m here at the time I’m supposed to be here. There’s supposed to be some mental clarity. There’s supposed to be something I feel strongly about so that I can write about it. These words are supposed to have some meaning right now. Words… COME TO MEEEEEEEEEE!

C’mon, thoughts… where are you?

Dude, I’ve stared at this screen for 10 minutes without writing a letter. Not a word. No sentences. Not even spam. There’s just a blank mind. That’s supposed to be good for other styles of art, right? You could argue it could be great for writing as well, but I’m not seeing it. Or not hearing it. The music playing in my ears is just a particular decibel vibration that’s supposed to increase positive energy. Maybe it does? The reason it plays is because it helps me focus and if I play it every time I write, it’ll help spark those creative juices a la Pavlov, right? I am drooling, but that’s typical before dinner, I doubt it’s the music. Or IS it?

There’s been a lot of little victories the past few days. JUST getting to class, JUST talking to a couple clients, JUST sitting down to write. Should we expect more of ourselves? Should we push ourselves to always have more effort behind our attempts? Or should we be happy about the small victory of just even attempting? When are we supposed to be a little frustrated with having a mediocre performance? What if I’m okay with my mediocre performance? Is the frustration of failure the only method of chasing improvement? The love of the game isn’t always going to be there day in and day out. There’s got to be something else to light a fire under our ass when we’re stuck in mediocrity.

Let’s be clear – mediocre isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a plateau. Why do something you love consistently to be only mediocre? Because you love it, I guess. But if you love something, you should respect it…and if you respect it, then you should work harder at it… right?

So how many of these small victories are we comfortable with piling up before enough’s enough? When do we need some big victories? Well, not on a Monday night, not this Monday anyways. For whatever reason, I’m totally okay with phoning it in today, especially when I’m feeling quite tired. Is that a cop out? Should we be okay with being just okay when we’re tired…or should we have a stronger desire to expect more from ourselves.

Expectations? Oh man, what a trap. You can set the expectation and reach it, but will it really satisfy you? Probably not. You may have a quick, “Hooray,” but then left with a “Now what?” What’s worse is if you set the expectation and don’t meet it. Now you’re probably feeling like a piece of shit for not meeting your expectations. You’re no different then you were before didn’t meet the expectation, so why would it matter? And how can you be present in the moment, which is the key to happiness, while you’re stuck analyzing your expectations?

Okay, so we don’t need expectations, we need to show up and do the work. Yes, some days are going to be full of bullshittery. Just like when you show up to work everyday, there’s going to be some days that you played on TikTok entirely too much instead of getting your work done. Then there’s other days when we crush a cup of coffee and fuck things up…in a good way.

That’s something I’ve discussed here before. We all probably know this by now. But what I’m asking is quite different… I want to know how many days or events we can have where we were happy we just showed up. I also want to know how else we can motivate ourselves to not just “show up” but to “show up and fuck things up.” Can we look at the days that we crushed it and replicate the series of events that led us to “crushing it?” That’s probably our best bet, right? Our goal should be to set ourselves up for success. We should be creatures of habit, setting up a routine that puts us in position to strike. No expectations, just us doing our best we can moment to moment… strategically. Not being wrapped up in the results, just being in love with the process.

You know what? The past couple days my morning routine has been a little off. I usually get lax on the weekend, but during the week the morning routine will never get sacrificed as I know how crucial it is to keeping me level through the day. Because of that morning routine, the rest of the day feels under control. It feels like I’ve set myself up for success.

We have a duty to ourselves to look at both the good days and the great days (because it’s all AT LEAST good) and figure out how we led ourselves to the result of the “great” days and then where did we go wrong on the “good” days? How could we have been better on the “good” days? Where in the daily schedule are we to deconstruct our days? Probably at the end of the night when we get into bed. Perhaps having a journal next to the bed and briefly going over your day with yourself is a simple technique to keep us accountable.

This seems like it’s the move. To be honest, my nighttime routine is nonexistent. When we get tired is when our decision making ability tanks. It divebombs right into the shitter.. You’re exhausted from the day… the last thing you want to do is write in a journal and then read…wait, make sure you stretch before you get into bed. WAIT… make sure you drink some tea with lemon and honey. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIT!!! Make sure you meditate for 20 minutes. Fuck.

How can we even have enough time for 8 hours of sleep? There just needs to be a few experiments at night. Pick one EASY thing that’s going to benefit you, add it consistently, then add another once that’s cemented. For me, it’s reading. Finding a book that you really enjoy is important, so if it’s putting you to sleep in a boring way, mix it up. Although, stubborn Kris is too deep into his book to give it up. So learn from his mistakes.

Once we finish this book that has me trapped 70% of the way through, then it’s going to be time to deconstruct the day. Until then, I’ll be happy with simply reading and possibly stretching. As far as the writing goes, I showed up today and that’s my mini-victory. I’m satisfied 🙂

About krisoakey

Simply a man playfully chasing enlightenment while encouraging others to join him through mockery, logical anomalies, and hand holding...LOTS of hand holding
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