Day 74 - You're Going To Be Fucking Old Anyway

THE STORY OF SOME ASSHOLE CALLING ME "SIR"

I got called "sir" the other day, by some fucking shit head with a face and a stupid mouth. Fuck that guy. He made me feel old, like a person who doesn't matter any more. I suppose when you hit 40, you'd better be ready for the general population of people to have that opinion of you.

Then I thought of all the times I've probably made someone else feel old and worthless by calling them "sir." Fuck them, they don't matter.

What does matter is the nothingness, the empty vacuum of space that we all try to fill up with stuff. It's the quest we're all on, even the little 8 year old with an AK47 risking his life harvesting diamonds for us fat, lazy, spoiled Americans. It's that vacuum that nature has blessed/cursed us with. It always needs to be filled up. And even if one manages to fill it up, it empties out pretty quick. It needs constant refilling.

I heard an interview with a person on my favorite radio station the other day. He was an early 40s dude who was doing something with cancer. I don't remember. It's not fucking important, so stop asking!

He said he was talking to a doctor person, I don't know if it was his friend or just a guy he ran into in an alley giving out hand jobs for meth.  He told this doctor person that he was thinking about going to medical school and becoming a doctor, but he was concerned that he would be in his 50s by the time he got out.

And this doctor person, who may or may not prostitute his body in exchange for meth, told him, "you're still going to be 50."

It took a couple of minutes for it sink in, because I'm dumb. Then it seemed like my world view changed. I'd heard that concept uttered in various forms, but I've never heard it put so bluntly and so, what's the word, simply, in a way that even I could understand it. Or maybe when I'd heard it before I was too young to give a shit.

But now that I'm 40+, I realize that I'm not so indestructible any more. I realize that I'm not going to live forever. I also realize that had I stuck to any of the stupid things that were important to me 10, 20 years ago, that now, I'd be a 40+ year old who did those things also. Drummer, musician, writer, rock star, belly dancer, whatever. 

It's almost like hearing those stupid words come out of that stupid guys mouth gave me permission to do anything I want. It gave me permission to start something new, even if the end is years down the road, even if the end puts me in my 70s.

Like having a kid. I worry that I'll be too old to do anything but sit around and be old with him/her. Maybe, but even if that is the future truth, I can either sit around and be old without a kid or sit around and be old with a kid. I can either be a 50 year drummer/musician, or I can be a 50 year old whatever I am now (not that there's anything wrong with how awesome I is now). I can be a 70 year old that's published 100+ books who can't control his bowels, or just a 70 year old who can't control his bowels.

You get the picture.

Day 73 - Just Another Piece Of Trash On The Pile

THE STORY OF OVER THINKING

I realized, just now, as I'm sitting at my stand up desk at the job staring out the window listening to this story, that in order to get people to pay attention to me, to become my "fan," I'm going to have to make shit up out of thin air. I'm going to have to create from nothing. I'm going to have to produce something that is completely different than anything else available, instead of trying to just put a new spin on the same old same old. I'm going to have to climb out of the noise floor, which gets a little bit louder every single day.

It wasn't the content of the story that made me come to this realization. It was the production value, the effort that went into creating the story, the details, the number of people involved, and how in the hell did they come across the story in the first place? A woman (literally) living with a dolphin, and eventually jacking it off, and eventually "talking" with it? So stupid, but I couldn't help but listen.

But now, since typing the first paragraph 2 minutes ago, I'm thinking why I should care if I have "fans?" It boils down to money, right? People who become famous, and stay famous, have a built in revenue stream for as long as they're famous, right? And do I even feel comfortable having fans? What kind of responsibility does that entail? Is it something more? Why do I have this desire to have "fans?"

This is my ego thinking. And it hurts whatever it is I want to create/do, because I'm constantly thinking, "well, it needs to be appealing to other people or what's the point in doing it?" So I'm getting wrapped up in trying to make something that I THINK people will want to consume. And in the process, I'm dismissing things that might just be fun for me to do, regardless if anyone else gives a shit.

Like, I have an idea for a TV show, or a series of books, that centers around the porn industry. Essentially, technology evolves from porn to the point that (the always nebulous) they (the porn people, whoever "they" are) create the first life like robot. And it's a chic, who never ages, who never complains about whatever sex act they want her to do, who doesn't have a conscious, but has the ability to learn and imitate. The story grows from that premise.

I've dismissed it as something that isn't "mainstream" enough. In other words, I'm THINKING there is no audience that would be interested in this premise, so why bother? Even if it would make me the happiest human alive on the planet, even if zero other people thought it was good and wanted to consume it. Why bother?

It's another excuse. It's the difference between people who make incredible shows like Breaking Bad and spares like me, standing in the shadows, jealous, complaining  that I don't have any good ideas, hating those who are on the field playing while gossiping and criticizing with all the other wanna bes on the sideline. It is the only barrier to entry left on the planet. That, and one's ability to execute.

So if I somehow lick those monsters, how do I rise out of the trash heap? Maybe it's a matter of finding a smaller trash heap? Or maybe I lose the thinking that I need to compete, that I need to be better, or more interesting, or that I have to sway people from one thing to my thing? "How about you just experiment and see what works best?" a smarter person than myself might be saying to themselves right now. Yes.

Day 72 - Possibly The Shittiest Words Ever Published To The Interweb

THE STORY OF BEING BROKEN

There comes a time when you have to realize that you're in over your head, that you just aren't good enough to compete with the big boys, that you're broken in some way, flawed, incapable of making the necessary changes or putting in the necessary hours to make whatever it is you want to happen, happen.

This is the hallmark of the also ran, the lowly wanna-be, the person who tries and tries as best they can to be like whatever, but always comes off as a cheap imitation.

I embody that person. The person who isn't quite smart enough, or healthy enough, or motivated enough to do what is necessary. I give up. I quit.

I have no idea where I'm going with this. I think I've been deluding myself all along, thinking I'm something I'm not, thinking I'm better than I actually am, thinking that anything I do matters.

But I have to ask, what does it matter if anything I do ever matters? Or really, who am I trying to impress?

I think it's time to simplify. I want to do so many things, but I just don't have the time or the energy or the mental stamina to do them all at once. And I hate it. My body just can't handle the workload, at least not right now it can't. Or maybe I'll keep on trying to do everything and accept that nothing will be exceptional. 

I suppose by now I should be comfortable being mediocre. I should just be grateful that I'm still alive and that I've done a few things and whatever. But I have a hard time shaking the nagging thing that keeps telling me I can do better. It's probably the reason I'm so judgmental and critical and jealous of other's success.

Day 71 - Dream Killer

THE STORY OF BEING AN ANTAGONIST

I got an email from this douche lick Chris Guillebeau. Another one of those Internet dream pushers selling the "Quit Your Job And Work On A Beach In Thailand While Being Served By Gorgeous Women/Men In Bikinis" bullshit. You know, one of those "living life to the fullest" assholes who try to make you feel shitty that you're not "living life to the fullest, so buy my book, read my blog, follow me on Twitter, buy my products and all your problems will be solved?" Uh, huh.

Here's the email he sent me, unedited:

Hey Aaron,

You're receiving this note because you signed up for a $100 Startup tour event, either when the book came out or recently.

Breaking news: I have a new book out ... and I'm back on the road!

As with last time, all reader events are community-based and FREE. Please sign up and come say hi! -->

The Happiness of Pursuit: Official Tour

My new book is all about QUESTS, including my own journey to every country in the world, as well as the journeys of many other amazing people:

▪ The young woman who circumnavigated the globe in a small sailboat
▪ The man who walked across America
▪ The woman who made a meal from every country in the world
▪ The small team who produced the world's largest symphony (it took 28 years!)
▪ and many more

The book is now available on Amazon.com and from your favorite local bookseller. I started the tour last week in New York City and continued to several more stops ... but there are 35 cities to go.

I hope to see you out on the road. If you can't make it, send your friends!

Yours in World Domination (and gratitude),

Chris Guillebeau 
@chrisguillebeau

P.S. If you'll be able to come out and say hi, let me know! I'd love to know what city you're in.

What a shock, he's hocking a book titled, no less, "The Happiness of Pursuit." Fuck me.

I bought his last book, the $100 startup thing and it sucked balls. It's nothing but a bunch of over blown testimonials from people (who even knows if they're real) who started a business on a shoe string budget and over night became quadrillionaires, or something like that. It has nothing of substance, nothing useful to pull out and use. It's just a money grab.

I'm not bitter or anything (I am, but not for the reasons you might think).

In response, I sent him this email:

This is great news! I'm so glad you're coming back to hang out again. Remember last time when we really got wasted and picked up those strippers and took them back to your hotel room? Man, that was a great time. I promise I never told the cops about your little "accident," ;).

This time I thought we might ramp up the action. I want it all to be a surprise though. Just send me your hotel information and I'll make all the arrangements. I promise it'll be better than the last time. You're still into cocaine, I assume? And red heads are your preferred style of stripper? I wrote it all down from last time. And again, I didn't tell the cops nothing when they asked.

I'm so excited! Please respond with the hotel dets as soon as possible. Looking forward to hangin' with you again buddy.

A-ron

Just call me the dream crusher. I'm the asshole in the back of class trying to ruin the lecture for everyone else. Because I want all the attention, and I can't stand it when someone else "makes it." Oh well, fuck it, I'll play the destroyer.

Day 68 - Everyone Needs An Outlet

EDITORIAL: THE EFFECT OF “PROCESS"

I'm a software developer. I have a degree in computer science engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. Who fucking cares.

I like the abstract, creative aspect of programming, but I hate the process and management overhead and having to work in teams and all the other bureaucratic bullshit that attempts to make software into anything other than what it really is, an art form. But still, I get it. When there's money to be made and deadlines to meet, these things come in handy.

There's also the problem of varying degrees of competency among software people. In other words, some software developers are "better" than others. That's why the whole process crap was invented, to keep the superstars from flying too high (i.e. so they don't have to pay them more), but mainly to bring the shitty/mediocre ones up to some adequate level (cheaper and easier to hire "meh" talent to get the desired results). The graph looks something like this:

This has the effect of boring superstars to death, because they have to pull most of the weight of whatever project they are on AND deal with the burden of process. Eventually, they quit and move on to something more interesting, or at least perceived to be more interesting. It has other effects too, but that's the one that kills people the most.

And it is a death sentence, if you allow it. Because if a person isn't allowed, or is hindered in any way, from expressing themselves to the fullest of their ability, then they will, at some point, become resentful. And then question the whole nature of jobs and economies and blah blah blah. And then spiral down to questioning the purpose of life. And then eventually, come to accept their lot in life. Then they check out and become just another person occupying a space in the line at Walmarts.

That's why a superstar needs an outlet. They need something on the side that allows them full expression. If they get too content just writing the little piece of code that makes the light blink when x is > 11, then they're already dead. If they're the one defending the process, then they're already dead.

This is good news for the plethora of "mehs" out there, because it almost ensures they'll have a job for the rest of their "meh" life. But they don't really matter, do they? They're already dead and they don't even know it. I'm sorry.

Day 67 - The Ultimate Human Question Answered

THE STORY OF THE MAINTENANCE REQUIRED TO REMAIN A CONSUMER IN THE SYSTEM

The last few days have been shitty. Meaning, I haven't got shit done towards anything that actually matters to me.

I have to find a house to live in. I have to get shit done at work. I haven't felt the greatest, physically and mentally. I have to deal with eleventy billion fantasy football teams. I want to start podcasting again, but I keep making excuses that I need this equipment or that in order to get going.

I need to be working on knorbi. I need to be writing in this stupid fucking blog that nobody reads or cares about every day. I need to get moving on my health and fitness quests. I need a fucking break.

It's one of those times where I just feel paralyzed by "stuff." I got a lot of shit on my mind and feel like I ain't got no time to get it all done. The demands of a modern man are upsetting, unnatural.

So what's a boy to do? Cry foul? Stand still and do nothing? That sounds good. Seriously, doing nothing sounds really good right now. Curling up in a little ball and laying in bed for days sounds like the thing I should be doing.

But of course I won't do that. Because I'm programmed to be in constant motion. Forward is the preferred direction, but any motion will do. If you're not in constant motion, well then, there's something wrong with you.

I hate dealing with things. It always seems like such a waste of life to do all the little things that a functioning, average, tax paying individual has to do to keep on being a functioning, average, tax paying individual. Consuming is hard fucking work, and requires constant attention.

Like, my car battery dying. It required me to wait on someone to come jump me. 1.5 hours. It required me to search for a replacement, and possibly someone to do the work to replace it. 1 hour. I could've done it myself, but that would've cost me another hour. It required me to take it to a place that handles this sort of thing and spend time dealing with the transaction. 0.5 hour.

3 hours of my life, gone, dealing with a stupid fucking car battery. 3 hours I could've spent doing nothing, watching a movie, making progress, working, walking around, driving to Austin, whatever.

And when you look at the alternatives, they don't seem like a good investment of time either. Which leads to the ultimate question. The question humans have been asking themselves since inventing boredom. What IS a good investment of my time?

And the answer is nothing, outside of eating, breathing, sleeping, fucking, and surviving. Everything else is a complete waste of time. So now, I don't have to feel bad when I spend 40+ hours of my life searching for a new place to live. Or 50+ hours watching Breaking Bad. Or 30 minutes staring at a wall. It's OK to waste all the time I want. Because in the end, I'm just going to die and be replaced by something.

That's not as depressing as it sounds. It's not depressing at all. It's liberating. It gives me the freedom to do whatever I want, when I want, without feeling guilty. So if I never finish knorbi, or accomplish anything with the rest of my life, then, OK, so what? I survived.

Day 65 - How To Suck At Marketing

LESSONS LEARNED: THANKS FOR NOTHING GOOGLE

I started this experiment on August 30th, because Google sent a thing to get a $100 worth of adwords if I spent $25. Since I already had a credit from another time Google sent me the same thing, I took advantage.

The experiment was to see what, if anything, people would be willing to pay for my writing app, Knorbi. Essentially, it was an experiment in marketing. And it failed. Not miserably, but the results were less than impressive.

I kept tweaking the site over the course of the experiment. I offered tiered pricing levels with no free option at first. Zero interest. Then I offered a free option with limited features and received two interests. The final iteration looks like this...

So out of those 99 clicks, two emails, and very little interest in ANY version of the thing. Fuck me. I was sure this would be a desirable little app. But maybe people aren't willing to pay for just another text editor? Or maybe they don't understand fully the concept? 

This leaves me questioning if I should keep going. The sub-title of this site is "Making Money, And All That Implies," and it doesn't look like knorbi is going to make me any money. At least up front.

The doubt isn't going to keep me from building it. It looks like it might be one of those things that needs to get a little traction before it becomes profitable. It may never become profitable, but it will still be valuable to me, because I plan on using the shit out of it.

I'm going to stew on the marketing approach for a while. I'm not sure if I should charge anything. Instead, I'm thinking I just collect email addresses and figure out a way to monetize that list later. I hate doing things that way, because I hate when other sites do it to me. Maybe I can come up with something more unique? Or, fuck it, maybe I'll sell the list to dirt ball spammers (I would never do that, wink, wink).

Day 64 - Goals - The Drug Dealer To Regular People

THE STORY OF LETTING GOALS FUCK ME IN THE ASS

Having goals is fucking stupid. I'm convinced of it. Goals may be the most depressing thing a person can have.

I've read all sorts of crap about setting and attaining goals. Like, goals should be challenging, but not too much, or else you'll feel like shit if you don't accomplish them. Well, this is one of those times where this human being typing this into the computer right now is feeling like shit for not having achieved any of his goals yet.

Maybe it's my fault. Maybe I've set myself up to feel like shit, because I heard this "tip" on the radio the other day that was talking about a guy who turned his passwords into little mantras. I thought, "oh, that's cool, I think I'll try that." So I did. And now two weeks later, every time I enter my password I feel like hot garbage because my brain keeps saying, "why haven't you achieved that yet?"

I was running yesterday on a popular trail here in Dallas and these two dudes came running up behind me and they were chit chatting about, whatever. I heard one of them say real loud, "yeah, my goal after this is [insert some stupid thing here]." My judgmental side came out and I said to myself, "you're an idiot for having goals. Goals are stupid." Then I remembered that I have goals. I wanted to hug him and apologize for being so critical of his stupid little goals.

But I didn't hug him. Instead, I tunneled into hell and wondered why we have goals in the first place. Who invented the concept of goals? I know they were invented because we have absolutely nothing to worry about in terms of survival. We've elevated ourselves so completely out of the food chain that we need something to fill the time that we would be spending simply surviving. Ergo, goals were invented.

You have goals at the job. Personal goals. Health goals. Fitness goals. Financial goals. Goals on top of fucking goals inside other goals wrapped in meta goals. And it's all fucking stupid. Why can't I just be content being?

The easy answer is because I've been trained by The System to feel the need to achieve. The job worker's mentality needs to be a never ending stream of achievements, preferably ones that build on top of each other. "Oh, you sold 90,000 widgets last month, then you should be able to sell 100,000 this month." Then when you reach the absolute maximum, you get fired and they hire a 20 year old whose eager to please as your replacement.

I actually wish I got paid for all the goals I've failed to achieve. I have literally a land fills worth of pissed away goals that I never accomplished for some reason or another. And it drives me insane that every day I wake up and feel the need to set new goals. As if setting these goals will help me attain them.

I think I'm going to start not caring whether or not I achieve my goals. I'm still going to have them, but instead of feeling shitty when that part of my head that likes to criticize me for not being perfect all the time, I'm going feel good about myself. Because I know that there's literally billions of goals floating around in the world today, distributed across millions of people who are so bored with their lives that they have to make shit up to do. And I know that 99% of those goals will go unfulfilled. So I'll be in good company.

I guess you could say I'm going to get familiar with failure. Or rather, instead of tossing goals aside and replacing them with new ones, I'll keep them all around me, like a hoarder who can't let anything go. And when that TV show that goes around trying to "help" these poor bastard hoarders gets around to me, I'll get angry when they start wanting to throw away that really vague goal from 1994 that was centered around quitting my shitty job at the time and moving to a tropical island a millionaire. They'll become my own personal badges of (dis)honor.

I feel a little better now, knowing I've just given myself permission to fail. And also knowing that it's OK to remind myself of those failures every single day.

Day 62 - Creating Artificial Desire

THE STORY OF NEED VS NICE TO HAVE

Things are hard. I get that.

There’s a commercial I hear on the radio sometimes. It’s for Blue Bell ice cream and it’s so fucking stupid I wanna kick the radio in the face every time I hear it. It tries to provoke feelings of nostalgia by taking you back to when you were a kid, in “simpler times.” Implying that today, things are complicated. Which is stupid.

The truth is, things are hard. They’ve always been hard and will always be hard. As long as survival is the number one priority, things will be hard. As long as there’s 8 trillion ways for a person to die, things will be hard.

“Complicated” is a cop out, a complaint, an excuse for why your life sucks. Complexity ain’t got nothing to do with your lot in life.

It may have been simpler when you were a kid and it was your parents responsibility to keep you alive. But their lives were just as hard as your life is today, as a grown up living in the real world. When you were a kid you didn’t have to worry about money or bills or getting laid or divorce or that sum bitch down the road with the loud motorcycle who likes to ride it up and down the street at 2 am when you have to get up the next morning to go to a shitty fucking job. 

So yeah, life is hard because of all the shit you have to juggle as an adult, but it’s no more complex than 50 or 100 years ago. It’s just the complexity has changed.

I wish I didn’t have to jump through hoops and waste enormous amounts of my life searching for a place to live. I wish I didn’t have to deal with flaky real estate agents, or shitty landlords, or bait and switch advertisements on Zillow. I wish everyone would return my calls and clear a path lined with a red velvet carpet so I wouldn’t have to do much work.

But of course shit doesn’t happen that way. Instead, real estate agents don’t return my calls. They show me properties that are shitty and overpriced. And Zillow is stupid. Not as stupid as Trulia, but still stupid. I keep asking myself, there has to be an easier way.

But there isn’t an easier way. I have to wade through the sludge, waste enormous amounts of my time and energy, and deal with the frustration. Which I am going to do, like a good soldier should.

Which makes me ask the question, why can I tolerate this and not something else frustrating that gets in the way of something I supposedly want? And the answer is simple. I have to have a place to live. I don’t have to have $500 per month from a business. I don’t have to have 10 percent body fat. I don’t have to have a successful book publishing career.

So is there a way to turn the things that are really just nice to haves into must haves? Is there a way to create the same sort of desperation around something that’s not a necessity?

I don’t have an answer, other than continuing to build every day, to continue trying to move a little closer to where ever it is I want to go, every day. There has to be a point where the goal is in sight and it creates that burning need. Like, I can see into the near future needing a new place to live, so I’m willing to punch through all the frustrating things that finding a new house entails. Will the same be true if I make a single sale of Knorbi? If I lose a couple percentage points of body fat, will that punch me in the face?

I don’t fucking know. I do know that in about a month, I WILL be living in a new place. I know I won’t fail at this task, because if I do, then I’ll be stuck living out of my car. Which might not be so bad, but I’ll have to share it with another human and two stinky dogs.

Day 60 - Fuck Change, Just Stay The Same

THE STORY OF WANTING THE GLORY WITHOUT THE HARD WORK

I'm struggling to maintain motivation. I'm struggling to make the changes necessary to get the things done that I want to get done. I want to stay in the bosom of comfort. I don't want to sacrifice, or feel uncomfortable, or be frustrated. I want everything to work out exactly as I want it to.

I want to be lean and healthy, but I don't want to give up the foods that I know make me fat. I want side income, or better, a full time income from some business things, but I don't want to put in the hard work required to get it off the ground. I want a whole bunch of other stuff also, but I don't want to carve out the time to put into getting better at them.

This is a conundrum that I think a lot of people are stuck in. There's too many choices, we know that. There's also too many ways to feel shitty. It's easy to find something you don't like about yourself. If you're not this, or that, or doing this, or making that, or if you don't look like this, or whatever, then you're broken in some way and you need fixing.

And it doesn't help that there's a "resource" for just about any problem you think you could have, that somehow validates the problem. And there's also a plethora of people who are trying to convince you that you have this problem or that problem so they can sell you the cure. 

I've fallen in that trap again. And I'm sure I'll do it again and again. I feel down because I think having something I don't currently have will make me happier, instead of practicing happiness right now. Who I is, right now, is just fine. If I'm not eating like I'd like to eat, or I'm not doing as much work towards [name whatever thing I want to do here], then it's all fine. If I spend the rest of my life having to go to a shitty job everyday to make money, then so be it. If I spend the rest of my life a soft, semi-squishy boy, then whatever. It doesn't mean there isn't stuff to be happy about.

Change is hard. Practically impossible, I'm going to say. It's impossible long term. Although I do have evidence in my life to suggest otherwise. I quit smoking almost 10 years ago. I quit drinking almost 2 years ago. Even though I still eat crap today, I eat more vegetables and fruits and shit than I ever have. I exercise more. I'm calmer, less anxious. Yada yada yada.

And all that suggests that change is simply hard, long term, not impossible. But it feels impossible sometimes. And I get stuck in the all or nothing way of thinking. I can't just have one soda. It's either I'm drinking the shit out of them, or I'm not drinking them it all. It's either I'm eating healthy, getting better, working hard towards some project, or I'm not. I have a hard time just being in the middle, where I'm doing some things the way I'd like to be doing them, and others, not so much.

That's the torturous part about it. It's the black and white thinking in a gray world. Everything is always gray. No one is behaving or thinking or doing everything 100% "right." There's good days, and bad days, and mediocre days, but mostly regular, boring days. And even then, a day could be a mixture of everything. A good morning, a shitty afternoon, a boring evening. Whatever.

I'd like to say I'm done caring. But after a couple of days of falling back into routine, and moving on to the next made up dilemma, I'll probably find myself feeling like crap again because I ain't where I want to be.

Maybe I should stop improving and just let go. Just keep writing because I like to write. Keep making things because I like to make them. Do physical activities that I think are fun. Eat food that's both healthy and good, and accept those times when I slip. Even better, accept that I will slip at some point and stop beating myself up because of it.

That means I'm letting go of the abs project, and trying a more modest approach. Instead of thinking I need to eat and train perfectly all the time, plan 2 week "sprints" where I train my ass off and eat as clean as a human possibly can. The rest of the time, simply eat good, train as much as I can fit in, and be happy with whatever body that produces.

Same goes for the other projects. Write as much as possible, preferably everyday, but it doesn't have to be. Keep making Knorbi the way I want it to be and stop worrying about if other people will buy it. And most of all, practice happiness and patience now. 

That's my 30 day update.

Day 58 - All Things To All People

I'm ditching the whole time stamp and location bit. Who cares where I is and what I's doing. I'm either sitting at my boring desk at my boring job or sitting in my boring house on my boring couch. Or I'm in some chain coffee shop sitting among the super consumers, gladly fitting in like a good little boy.

LESSONS LEARNED: ADWORDS EXPERIMENTS ON THE HOUSE

I'm running a failing experiment on Google AdWords for Knorbi. Essentially, I want to see what the market potential is for yet another writing app. I received good response on the first go round where I was simply asking for an email address when the thing launches. This time, I've elaborated a little more, with screen shots and feature lists, and a price tag.

So far, only two clicks on the "Buy Now" button. And I think at least one of those was mine. Or maybe both were. I don't know, but this campaign isn't going so good. I'm thinking I either need to back off and rethink my marketing approach, or I'm not using the right keywords, or I'm not building the right thing. Or maybe people are so spoiled with free apps that they expect something like this to be free? It's frustrating either way.

Initially, I was going to make the thing free. And maybe I should stick with that. I am building it mainly for myself, at least that's what I keep telling myself. The pits I've fallen into during development came when I was trying to cater to everyone, all writers, all genres, all styles. Progress has come when I simply ask myself, "how would I like it to operate." All I want is something simple that makes the process of going from text to e-pub easy. Perhaps that's how I should pitch it?

I've read in books and I've been told by people smarter than me that niching down is the way to go. Trying to be all things to all people isn't going to work unless you have a huge marketing machine, and bookoo dollars to reach everyone. So I guess I need to re-evaluate my keywords as well, focusing on what the app is actually going to do rather than trying to make it fit the most popular keywords.

And thanks to Google, this little experiment is almost free. Now I just have to find the winning formula before my freebie runs out.

Day 55 - The Weakness Of Being Tired

3:37 am, Aug 30, 2014, sitting in a crowded Starbucks amongst the other mac laptop wanna-bes…

THE STORY OF WAKING UP MENTALLY CRIPPLED

I was up at 5am this morning, after going to bed around midnight. 5 fucking hours of sleep.

In my weakened mental state, I signed up for Netflix. Yeah, I’m probably the last human on Earth who isn’t a member. Fuck them though. They have some shady advertising philosophies, with all those pop under windows. Anyway, I signed up. Now I’m part of the problem instead of the solution. (P.S. I don’t know what the solution is.)

I wanted to watch Breaking Bad. Everyone says it’s good, so why not? How better to spend almost 50 hours of my life, right?

It’s fucking good. I’m only 4 episodes in and I’m hooked. Fucking A. Another time sink.

So I’ve spent most of my day laying on the couch watching it. I took the girlfriend to the airport again, I have all the time in the world to work on the stuff that matters, and I couldn’t peel myself off the couch. I just don’t function so well on 5 hours of fucking sleep.

But I’m at it now. The sun feels like it’s against me. And I feel dirty, even though I just took a shower. Days like these always make me feel shitty, because I feel like I should always be doing something. I should always be making progress. It’s something The System beats in our heads from day 1. Progress must be made at all costs.

I know better than to think that way. Even though my brain and body protest my lack of doing stuff, I know sometimes it’s exactly what I need. I don’t know why the guilty feelings. Maybe it’s because we’re built to be outside, and the inside of my apartment is like a noisy, dark crypt. Or maybe it’s because I feel like everyone knows that I’ve been laying on my couch all day, wasting my time watching some stupid fucking TV show. Like, they can see the shame I feel inside. That sounds so dramatic.

But I’m at it now, again, practicing what I need to practice, which is this, which is ultra meta. God I hate that fucking word, meta. Fuck the inventor is his eyehole.

Oh, and I discovered a new thing, Ultra HD. It’s like High-High Definition. How much more clearer of a picture do we need? I feel like my senses can’t take any more stimulation than HD already delivers. I don’t even wanna try it, because once I do, I can’t go back. It’s like lifestyle escalation. Once you reach a certain level, it’s impossible to go backwards on your own. You have to get fired or have something bad happen to you to force you back down.

Anyway, that’s my story for today. Suck it if you don’t like it.

Day 54 - Four Days Of Freedom & Stuff Is Hard

10:44 am, Aug 29, 2014, sitting on my couch, starving…

PULLING BACK THE CURTAIN - THE ABS PROJECT

So far, the abs project has been a complete failure. I did good for about two days then slipped off the wagon.

The problem is, I went looking for excuses where excuses didn’t exist. I blamed my girlfriend for not supporting me. I used the trip to Las Vegas as an excuse to eat whatever I want. And blah blah blah. The point is, I have literally zero excuses. If you’ve been paying attention since day 1 (and I know you’re lying if you say if have), then you’ll know, comparatively speaking, the conditions in my life are optimal for a person who wants to make some money, or do anything, outside of a job.

To put it another way, I have no excuses to fall back on, except the ones I make up along the way that help keep me from having to do the hard thing, which, in this case, is simply “eat right” and “train right.” So once again, I have to check myself back in and push forward on my path.

THE STORY OF THE FOUR DAY WEEKEND

If you want to be president, here’s a good campaign to run under. It doesn’t require you focus on any of the so-called “issues” or the time or anything else. It transcends any character flaws your opponents might bring up. Hell, you could probably be a gay, black-hispanic, transgendered crack head and still make a serious contention. You don’t even need to be a Republican or Democrat.

The platform is simple, you’re going to spend your entire time pushing to institute a three day work week. That’s all you need to focus on. If your opponents start griping about how you sucked a bleeding dick in alley 2 years ago for crack, then went home and beat up your boyfriend or girlfriend, all you have to rebut with is, “3 day work week.” If your opponent tries to corner you to take a position on whatever issue is being trumped up as important at the time, all you have to say is, “3 day work week.”

And if you get into office and can somehow pull it off, then you’ll be deemed the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln. But if you can’t, then you should probably prepare to be assassinated.

I don’t need to extol the virtues of the 3 day work week. I don’t need to tell you how concentrated work effort leads to increased productivity gains. I don’t need to tell you that only having 3 days to complete what used to take 5 days forces you to focus only on what’s necessary, eliminating the waste and clutter and crap that fills up the work week. Meetings become shorter or nonexistent. Mindless office chit chat gets cut to a minimum. The long, tortuous commutes all the sudden don’t feel like such a terrible waste of life. Food tastes better, sex is better, everyone’s happier, the USA wins!

But it’ll never happen in my lifetime, because there’s still a huge majority of people who think the arbitrary 40 hours is optimal. The people who think the time one spends on a task equals the quality or difficulty or whatever of that task. Even though it doesn’t. And it’s been proven over and over and over again throughout the history of man.

Day 53 - Traffic & Suppressing The Murder Impulse

9:49 am, Aug 28, 2014, standing at my desk at the job...

LESSONS LEARNED: THE LONG COMMUTE

I've got an "extra" hour and a half every day where I do nothing but sit in my car moving my body from my shitty apartment to my shitty job. Otherwise known as a commute. I haven't had a real commute in years, and I'm reminded why I'd rather live in a slum close to the job than live in a mansion surrounded by bikini models far from the job.

45 minutes each way. One hour, thirty minutes every day doing nothing but transporting my head from my home to my office. Suck my balls. It depresses me to think about it. And I have to do it for the next month or so. Hopefully I won't contribute to the murder rate here in Dallas.

But I've been thinking how I can make use of the lost time. I could record stuff for Taco Period, the upcoming podcast inspired by the little Ticket. But I listen to The Ticket on my way. I could do it during commercials I think, sort of like a real time play by play of what I'm listening to.

I could learn Spanish, or some other foreign language. I'm traveling to a place that speaks Spanish in a couple of months, so that might come in handy.

I could choke out my boss every day until he gets me a laptop so I can work from home.

I could mope in resentment, wishing I had my hour and half of life back every day. I could let the stress boil inside me, getting angry at other drivers until it spills over and I go on a murdering rampage. I think this is the one I've chosen so far, short of the murdering part.

They haven't invented a thing to write code yet, or I would do that. When they invent a thing that I can somehow attach to my brain and "think into" without using my hands or legs or feet or mouth or any other part of my body except my brain, I'm buying it and putting it to good use. If I could only capture my thoughts as they happen without going through some translation phase, like typing or speaking, I'd be the fucking pimp. (That's my new saying, "the pimp," that's the fucking pimp. It will catch on, so start using it so you won't come off as lame when everyone is using it except you.)

I think I'll stick with the first two until I can come up with something better.

PULLING BACK THE CURTAIN

It seems like I'm back to spinning my wheels again. I keep finding ways to not make progress on knorbi. I keep flip flopping about what to do and how it should be done. And it's little shit that the end writer isn't going to give a fuck about. All they're going to care about is if it's A) easy to write with and B) won't screw their shit up.

So, once again, I have to reel myself back in and focus on what's important. The editing portion should get the majority of my focus for now. I'm going to ignore all the other stuff I've thrown in to complicate things and let everything evolve from the editing portion. If I can make the writing experience a fluid and easy one, the rest should be gravy. Pray for me.

Day 51 - The Gossip Machine, Fear, & Free Google Money

7:41 am, Aug 26, 2014, sitting at the Starbucks in the lobby of the hotel I'm staying in Las Vegas because of work…

THE STORY OF MODERN DAY ENSLAVEMENT

I kept my mouth shut the whole time. I try not to get involved in the all the office gossip. It's hard though, because I have opinions. Mainly, I want to tell them all that I think they're walking dead children who get off on the drama. If there isn't any, they'll certainly conjure up some.

But I didn't say anything. I kept my mouth shut like a good little boy. It's pointless to point out their futility, and just how resentful and jealous they sound. I only know this because I'm one of them. I used to get off on gossiping about this person and that person, but now I don't give a enough of a fuck to give it much thought about who is trying to screw who. Everyone is trying to screw everyone else. That's how we are. That's how we're taught to behave.

And now I sound like some kind of uptity dildo whose above all of it. I'm not. I only resisted the gossip talk because I'm not familiar with the person they were gossiping about. If I'd known him/her, I probably would've been sucked in. 

I would've complained about how this person is trying to position themselves to rule over me and how I'm not going to take it if she does this and that again. "I've got news for her," is something I might've said.

The funny thing is, I would NEVER say anything. Just like these people who are complaining about this person, they NEVER do anything but complain about it. They puff out their chest when the person isn't looking, then cower like a dog when the person is. This is especially true if the person they're talking about is a boss of some kind. I know I've talked about my stupid bosses all the time, complaining about how terrible they are, but NEVER doing anything about it.

And it all comes down to fear. People, in general, are afraid to rock the boat. I'm afraid to rock the boat. I want a smooth, care free life. I want everything to fall into place exactly as I like, so I never have to speak up, or ask, or correct, or feel frustration, or be afraid, or argue, or engage in conflict, or etc. I want person X to behave just like they're expected to, like I behave, like a docile, obedient servant whose too afraid to go after what I really want.

Fear is a more powerful enslavement device than any other. That's why gossip exists, and will always exist, because the powerful aren't afraid and the weak are constantly afraid. And there's no way to "overcome" it. There's no way to get rid of the fear. It's always going to be present. And the fucking fearless kings are always going to take advantage of it. Might as well accept your place at the bottom of the food chain and hope a few scraps come your way.

PULLING BACK THE CURTAIN

Google sent me an almost free $100 adwords credit (I gotta spend $25 to cash it in). It's their way of trying to sucker me back in.

So I'm going to run a little experiment for knorbi  o see if I can generate some pre-sales, promising to refund their money when the thing is released and make it free for them forever for giving it a try. Or maybe, give them a substantial refund and allow them to use the thing for a heavily discounted price for life? That last one sounds better, since I can still collect money from them. Yeah, suck it.

Day 50 - Is It Death Or A Routine Worth Living?

7:42 am, Aug 25, 2014, sitting at a table near a Starbucks in a hotel off the strip in Las Vegas...day 3 of 4...

JUST THE TIP

     Tip #15 - Embrace routine.

I went to a spa yesterday with the girlfriend. She thought it would be a good idea to treat me, and herself, of course, to a day, really half a day, and then get a massage. I'd never been to a spa before, and this one was supposed to be the spa of spas. Like, this spa will ruin other spas for me. Whatever, it's a fucking spa, right?

For some reason, I wasn't expecting so much full male nudity. I should've known better. I actually thought there would be more co-ed areas, but there was only one, a tiny room where people were taken right before what they called "treatment."

Why the fuck am I telling you this? I don't know. It doesn't relate to making money or anything that it implies. It's just a thing I did that I've never done before because I didn't think it was very manly, and I walked away still sort of thinking it's not very manly, but somewhat relaxing.

While I was sitting around trying to not make eye contact with anyone, and certainly trying to not look down at the ding dong area, I was thinking how this place is a gay man's dream come true. Then I got to thinking a little more, and decided, well, maybe not, unless they're really in to overweight, middle aged to geraitric, hairy men. There were no 300-esque, chisled physique guys with huge ding dongs running around. Why am I typing these words?

Anyway, it's times like these, when I'm away from the routine, when I'm not plugged in 24/7, when I can't do the work I need to be doing to make the money I need to be making, that I really get a sense if I'm on the right track. In other words, if I miss doing the shit I'm used to doing, then I'm probably on the right track. And I really want to get back to working on the writing app, Knorbi  and kicking off the new podcast, Taco Period, and generally, just getting back in to the routine.

And that's really what defines us, the routine we follow most of the time. It isn't the specific things we do, or the skills we possess, or the people we hang around, or the job titles given to us. It's the routine. I get up, walk the dogs, do this, that, and whatever. That's who I is.

It's these times when the routine gets interrupted. You can call it vacation, whatever, but it could be anything that throws you out of your normal routine. It's a measure of how you're doing, how you're feeling. If you dread getting back to the routine, then maybe it's time for a change in routine. I know I dread going back to the work grind, and living in the shitty uptown ghetto apartment (not much longer to go), but overall, I'm ready to get back on the rail. I'm ready to get back to building that rail.

I see a lot of people out here trying to party it up, just like I used to do. I wonder how many of them hate the routine they've created. I used to hate my routine, because it was only wake up, go to job, go home and watch TV, repeat. That's not a routine worth living. That's death.

Day 48 - A Whiner's Manifesto Of Sorts

5:25 pm, Aug 23, 2014, sitting by the pool at a hotel near the strip in Las Vegas...

THE STORY OF QUITTING AT THE FIRST SIGN OF TROUBLE

When I was a kid, I took guitar lessons from a guy in a music store who had long, stringy blond hair and thought it was a good idea to teach a 10 year old Eddie Van Halen as his very first lesson. "You Really Got Me" was the song. I know, it wasn't written by Van Halen, but it wasn't exactly beginner material. I don't think I ever took another lesson from him.

Had I and my parents not given up my guitar career so early, who knows where I'd be today. Probably in a different place, a completely different person, doing completely different things. Instead, I'm the type of person people expected me to be. A normal, ordinary working stiff with no exceptional talents except a biting sense of humor and a judgmental attitude.

When I was about 21, I wanted to write a book, but I didn't know what to write about. I kept a journal about my daily work life. I still have it somewhere. When I read it today I cringe, because it's nothing but angry tirades about the idiots I worked around who were all fighting for tiny piles of crumbs. I was one of those idiots, but I didn't see it at the time.

What if I had written that book and continued writing 21 years ago? I'd probably be a completely different person, doing completely different things. Instead, I quit because I never could come up with a "good idea" to write about. Now I'm an ordinary working stiff with no exceptional talents except a relentless desire to give up when things get difficult.

I eventually picked the guitar back up and taught myself how to play. I wrote and recorded a bunch of songs on my cheap ass iMac when I was living here in Las Vegas in 2005 or so. But I never finished the songs, because I thought I needed professional level recording gear in order to make them "complete," whatever that means. I wonder what my music would sound like today had I stuck with it?

I also eventually wrote a book, two in fact, and self published them. I finally got permission from various sources who told me I didn't need any permission any more to do anything. They told me in so many words that I was free to do just about anything I wanted to do, any way I wanted to do it.

But those obstacles that pop up are the limiting factor. I'm a fucking quitter. I want to give up at the first sign of trouble. And for the longest time, that was my default behavior. And now I sit and wonder what might have become of all those things I started doing but never finished.

I suspect most people follow this style of living. Try something, find that it's hard and the people really good at doing it make it look easy, then quit. We don't ever see all the work that goes on under the surface. We never see Beyonce going to bed at 8 pm so she can wake up the next morning to practice for an upcoming gig. We never see all the edits and throw away drafts to those Quitin Tarantino movies, and all the scenes that were cut from the final movie.

But how I do I know when it truly is time to quit? How can I tell the difference between hitting a seemingly impassable obstacle that triggers my instinct to quit and my true desire to not continue? How do I know where the end is? Maybe I just keep going until I'm sick of it?

I think I'll go blow a couple of hundred at the craps table and feel guilty about it. That sounds like a good solution to all my problems.

Day 47 - I Wonder What A Cavemen Would Think Of Our Lifestyle?

11:00 am, Aug 22, 2014, sitting on the floor in my office at the job because we’re moving…

THE STORY OF THE CONCEPT OF ‘THE STORE'

I wonder if The Future Explorers will laugh at our way of life. The go-to-the-store-and-get-everything-you-need lifestyle. The go-to-work-make-money-so-you-can-buy-things-to-survive lifestyle.

I overheard a couple of co-workers talking about shopping on Amazon, then what a beating it is to shop at Wal-Mart. They were complaining about little things, like Amazon requiring you to spend $25 to get the free prime shipping. And how when you go to Wal-Mart and they pile crap up in the aisle, just junk, and you have to navigate around it, and how they have eleventy billion checkout lanes, but only 3 are open. It’s amazing how much office workers complain about nonsense. I’m one of the biggest offenders.

It got me thinking about the concept of the store. It has everything you’ll ever truly need, and a lot of shit you don’t really need, but has become a necessity. Stuff like deodorant, and shampoo, and those Little Debbie devils food cake roll up things with the white frosting that are so delicious they desensitize your taste buds to normal tasting food. I can only imagine crack, or whatever drug is the pinnacle of drugs right now, being a similar rush of stimulation.

How did we come to this? How did we come the store as a way of life thing? Was it population explosion? Was it laziness? Innovation? Agriculture? When you look at it through the lens of a being unfamiliar with our way of doing things, it looks ridiculous. “You mean, you spend your life working at job doing, whatever, so you can make this thing called money that you then exchange for (mostly nonessential) stuff at a thing called ‘a store’?” one of those unfamiliar beings might ask. Then they say what their thing is and it seems totally ridiculous to us that they live in holes and eat by blowing each other and drinking the cum, or whatever baby making fluid they produce, if they make babies at all.

And when you think of just “the store,” Wal-Mart is the one that kinda has it all. Food, car parts, lawn furniture, curtains, greeting cards, electronics, and stuff to take care of your butt when you go to the bad bathroom. All you have to do is acquire some money, then walk in, find the stuff you “need,” put it in a thing called a shopping cart, stand in a line waiting for a person who makes money scanning the things in your cart and collecting the amount of money from you that the computer says to collect, put the stuff in your car or whatever vehicle brought you, and go home. You repeat this as many times as necessary throughout your lifetime until you are dead.

That’s our agreed upon lifestyle. Go to work to make the money, probably doing something you hate for someone(s) you don’t know and/or don’t like. Go to the store and exchange the money for things. And somewhere in there is supposed to be happiness, fulfillment, social connection, love, blah blah blah, all the positive emotions we’re supposed to feel all the time.

Starting and running a business really isn’t much different. We’re just replacing the going to a job part with running a business. All the other stuff remains the same. Everything we do centers on the store. If the store goes away, what the fuck are we going to do? Where am I going to get my shoe organizers, and hair combs, and shelf liners, and potato chips that come in a long cylindrical can?

And why do I feel shame sometimes when I’m standing in the checkout line with the other consumers with all these items in my basket? Why do I sometimes wish for chaos, for something to go wrong?

We have it so fucking easy that we have to try really fucking hard to make things hard. We have to actually try to elicit discomfort. A hardship is not, “they didn’t have my favorite flavor of corn chip so I had to buy a bag of my second favorite flavor, ‘exploding cinnamon nacho cheese pizza BBQ lime extreme’,” with 75 exclamation points, because we’re so desensitized to 74 exclamation points that we won’t notice it sitting on the shelf next to the other bags of chips with exploding graphics and similar exclamation points.

I’m not saying that there isn’t true suffering. Hell, maybe there’s a lot, but in my little bubble of a world, I can’t see it because it’s so well disguised, or I just don’t care because it’s not me. Maybe one day I’ll find out. 

In the meantime, I have to go to the store and get some things to cover my reproductive areas.

Day 46 - Proof That I'm A Dumb, Idiot, Stupid Fucking Moron, & A Challenge, Maybe

9:20 am, Aug 21, 2014, sitting at my desk at the job…

THE STORY OF BEING THE MOST JUDGMENTAL HUMAN ON EARTH

I'm judgmental. Like, brutally so. I see a person and I immediately identify all their flaws. I hate it, but I can't seem to help it.

I've read some things about how to "overcome" this problem, and it all boils down to something like, "accept people for who they are, recognize your own thoughts." Whatever. It's fucking bullshit.

I think the truth is EVERYONE is judgmental, all the time. It's programmed in our heads to be defensive about the motives of someone else. Or maybe I'm just justifying my own craziness.

I try not to be. I try to catch myself doing it. But I can't stop the initial impulse.

And I know that all my negative judgments about others is only a reflection of myself. It's all the things I find flawed in me that I project onto others. I hate it, but I can't seem to help it. So I embrace it. Instead of trying to change it, I just let it happen, then turn it back on myself.

For example, if I see a person driving like an idiot I make a complete judgment about them as a person living on the planet. "Oh, look at this dumb asshole, what a fucking moron," I'll think and/or mumble under my breath. Then I'll think, "Oh, I do that, sooooo, I guess that makes me an asshole moron idiot also."

And that's it. If you're judgmental, then you're the same asshole you think someone else is.

The end.

8:15 pm, Aug 21, 2014, sitting in Starbucks, checking out the girl in purple pants...

THINKING ALOUD: THE DRY BALLS THEORY

I have a hard time asking for what I want. I have a hard time going after what I want, recruiting the help of others. 

Chris Rock had bit where he talks about getting a woman to suck your balls. He said something like, “you can’t just ask her, like, ‘excuse me, would you, uh, mind, uh, sucking on my balls?’” He said you have to tell her, not ask. You have to go after what you want, or you end up with dry balls.

My balls are dry a lot. Because I don’t even ask, I just accept whatever someone is willing to give me. My girlfriend says I have a problem with letting people run all over me. That’s true, in most situations. I’m too nice. I don’t take enough social risks. I overanalyze everything. I try to control what people think of me. And I don’t know how to get better.

I think I should devise a challenge to strike up a conversation with at least one stranger a day. Even if it’s, “hey, how’s your day?” and they look at me then fart in my face. I practice writing every day. I practice other stuff every day. Why not practice social skills every day. I need to remember my own tips, if it’s important, do it everyday. And maybe that should be extended to, if it’s scary, do it every day.

I don’t have anything in the relationships category of life, so maybe this would be a good thing to add for September.

Day 45 - Why You Feel Like Shit All The Time

7:54 am, Aug 20, 2014, sitting at my kitchen table feeling irritated...

JUST THE TIP

     Tip #15 - Ruthlessly eliminate choices/possibilities.

The blank page is always intimidating. I hate it and I love it. It’s like it brings out all my insecurities about whatever creative talent I think I have. It’s the time to shine, the time to suck, the time to go from head to world. That’s sounds so fucking stupid.

I read a thing in a book the other day that said the incidence of depression increases as the number of choices people have available increases. That graph looks something like this:

I wonder if people know they're supposed to be depressed when they have an overwhelming number of choices laid out before them? It's like the blank page. The possibilities are endless, and therefore, somewhat depressing, because you could've picked drawing a penis on the blank page as opposed to writing War & Peace.

That's why it's important to simplifyGet rid of choices. All of them.

The subject of excessive choice has been beat in the ground enough, yet we hardly do anything about it. Then we wonder why we get stuck in inaction and feel down. I know I want to do just about everything, write novels, make music, create apps, podcast, become the strongest human alive, paint, cook, all of it. All the things there are to do in the world, I want to do them all at the same time. And it depresses me when I can't.

So the second part of the simplify equation is to get rid of that nagging feeling that you're missing out by choosing X over Y. That's the hardest part. I still want to do all those other things. And it makes me sad that I can't do them all. But I can trick myself into thinking, "one day, maybe."

4:40 pm, Aug 20, 2014, sitting at my desk at the job, distracted, tired, worried...

THE STORY OF WHAT IF YOU CONTRACTED DEATH RIGHT NOW

There's something wrong with me. Not as in serious, I don't think. But what if?

I'm not feeling the greatest, and the thought just popped in my head as I was resting my face on both of my fists with my eyes closed trying to recover: what if I died right now? What are the things I wished I'd accomplished?

I came up with the usual bullshit, write a novel (check), record an album (incomplete), yadayadayada.

But then I went deeper. Like, creating another life, and keeping myself in better shape, as opposed to settling for this doughy, skinny-fat body. Shit like that.

I suppose these are things considered regrets, but they're also things that can be changed with a little effort. These are the things that are most important. As you float up to Heaven or descend into Hell, what are you going to wish you would've accomplished? I'm not talking about the bullshit, "no regrets," those are unavoidable. I say regret can be a huge motivator. But I'm talking more about what would you do if you had more time and didn't squander a second? Things that don't require time travel. Things that can still be done if you had just a little more time to squeeze them in.