They will be there for a long time. A really long time. Be nice to them: you can hardly get rid of them (unless it’s extremely bad). Why not optimize all the time you’ll inavoidably spend with them by being nice to them, by deepening your relationship with them, by asking them how their day was?
I love “Game of Thrones.” I love it so much, I stay up to watch the week’s new episode at 4am on Monday mornings (time zone differences be thanked). Let’s look at this crass form of escapism through some criteria:
I just love the complex storylines and thus possibilities for theorycrafting this show has. I love the actors and I love the epic production. I love contemplating episodes during the week between them. I jump in my chair when the countdown for a new episode or, even better, season begins. Nothing could satisfy me more.
Watching GoT doesn’t have negative consequences time-wise (it’s 1 hour per week), physically, socially, or emotionally. Counter-examples would be binge-watching different shows (time-consuming), excessive masturbation (unhealthy), aggressive behavior (won’t make you popular) and sex for the wrong (ego/validation-driven) reasons.
I get completely lost for an hour when watching it and return to normal life with a cleared head afterwards. If your escapism doesn’t draw you in, it will not have the same relaxing effect.
Similar to joy: It must be entertaining long-term. This would be the case with GoT’s twisted story if it went on forever. But when it’s over, watching reruns might get boring and I wouldn’t be immersed in or derive joy from it anymore. Novelty can come from entertainment or increasing skill demand, but without it, your escapism gets boring.
Find your escapism by applying the above criteria and enjoy a more relaxed life. None of us can hustle 16 hours a day.
Ever sat somewhere with absolutely no idea what to do? We all have. Even the most busy of us face void when all our projects are completed. And that is a great opportunity, because you are now at a decisive point: You can a) do something you enjoy, b) Bore yourself to death, or c) bury your lack of goals and purpose under a wagonload of work.
If you choose option a) – or decide to find something you would enjoy doing in the other cases – here’s my process for it: Empty your brain. You’d be surprised what amazing stuff you bring up.
What have you always wanted to do that you never had the time to?
What do you want to do?
What would you do if money were no constraint?
What/who do you want to be?
What if you had unlimited time in your life?
What do you want to have?
What makes you really happy?
There’s other questions like these you could ask yourself, but it’s more about the process. Sit down, close your eyes and fathom yourself in another situation. Write down all the things you want to accomplish. List the characteristics of the billionaire playboy lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of, or create silly, challenges. The options are infinite.
Oh, and don’t forget to always keep something with you where you can write down your newest ideas – there will always be some: From time to time, we all think of something we would love to be or do some day. When I was sitting in a church the other day, I came up witch the idea of crashing a mass. Now, you write these ideas down.
And after that comes the best thing: You start to do things from your bucket list. There’s simple things (try a new meal, read a book, watch certain movies) you can do right now, things that require some planning (scuba dive, do 1,000 push-ups in a day, fast 24 hours) or really big goals (speak five languages fluently, learn a new instrument) necessitating almost frightening workloads.
In either case, you’ve got something to do. Have fun.
You don’t need it. It will only keep you from being humble and keeping a beginner’s mind. It will hinder your progress.
You fear something that could kill you and is probably a stupid undertaking without consideration.
You are anxious of everything else. It won’t kill you. So do it.
You have so many ideas in your head. Don’t put a tag on them. Write them down. You will be surprised about your creativity. Whatever comes to your mind is to be taken seriously.
Don’t undersell. You know you can do this. You’re bragging about that all the time. So be congruent and take the chance you get. Do it, goddammit.