I’ve been thinking a lot, which is to say, I’ve had a lot to think about.My mind has been reeling for days (years even) regarding several topics, all very important to me. Here are the main things I’ve been mentally pressing into:
1. My photography business (how to continually manage, grow, and streamline everything)
2. Jesus (read my recent posts and stay tuned for more from the Holy Week Series)
3. Some new kind of movement towards a better and more purposeful style of living (see below)
A New Humanity
I live in the world. I drive around. I eat out. I see and interact with people I don’t know.
I also have a close-kint community of friends who I love deeply, and who love me equally in return. People my age, and people older and younger than me.
I am drawn to people who want more out of life - who seem frustrated about the way things are - who have a longing that things can and will be better, someday. One friend has a word for this tattooed on his wrist - sensucht.
I too long for these things - and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Another guy recently introduced me to the idea of dragging heaven to Earth, right now, in whatever way possible.
Below is a list of things that feel good to me right now - things I want to make happen. I invite you to see the value in these things and join me in this pursuit, if you’re so inclined.
1. Turn off the television.
Stop watching it. Just stop. Cancel your cable contract, pay the early termination fee if you have to. Dismantle the altar you’ve built for it in your home. It is utterly useless for life. If you want the news watch it on your computer, or better yet, read the newspaper. You’ll be amazed how much time you gain in you life to do better and more purposeful things.
2. Reject advertising.
Although this goes against my own business, I think it is a step in the right direction. Stop buying things you see in magazines or on television because they look so cool or desirable - they are most likely neither. If you think of something you need without seeing it in an ad, you’re on the right track.
3. Stop eating fast food.
This is difficult for me, although not as much as it used to be when I was a bachelor. I love a big bacon classic from Wendy’s just as much as the next guy, but it is just bad for you. It’s a simple fact. Hit up McDonald’s as a special treat on a rare occasion, but don’t make it a weekly habit. It makes you fat and unhealthy.
4. Take less medication.
I know we are a long way from where we were designed to be as humans, and we’ve really screwed ourselves up to need so many drugs, but the medical community is not making things any easier. There is a drug for everything these days and most doctors will more readily prescribe a pill than tell you to change something about your lifestyle. If we took better care of ourselves for the rest of our lives, we could spark a new generation of people that are one step closer to where we need to be.
5. Stop mindlessly surfing the internet.
There’s nothing wrong with a little digital entertainment in moderation, in fact I imagine its healthy to relax the mind a bit, but do what you’re going to do and then walk away. Put it down. Check Facebook, email, blogs, sports scores, whatever, and be done. If your laptop starts burning your legs, its a good sign you’ve had it there too long.
Now, if we can tackle the first five things on this list, especially numbers one and five, we will have a shocking amount of new free time to do some things that will prove to be much more valuable - things that most people would say they wish they had more time to devote to.
6. Read. Anything. Read Twilight if you have to. Everyone has books lying around that are either good or not-so-good. Read them and figure out why you think they are good or worthless. Get a library card. Books are free there. If you can’t think of anything to read, read this.
7. Walk out your front door, and close it behind you. Run. Bike. HIke. Walk. Stroll. Explore. Swim. Kayak. Fish. Play golf. Throw a frisbee. Volunteer. Work in the yard. Start a garden. Meet a friend somewhere. Make a friend somewhere. Just get out of your house and leave your phone in your pocket - or better yet, inside.
8. Have a conversation with someone. Once the television is off and the computer is shut down, you might be surprised to look up and find that there are other people living with you inside your own home. Talk to them. It will be good for you. If you don’t know what to talk about - start with the fact that you don’t know what to talk about and try to figure out why.
9. Clean your house. It is probably really dirty. If you pay someone to clean it, stop. Do it yourself like normal human being. If your house is too big for you to clean yourself, then your house is probably too big. Sell it.
10. Get out of the job you hate and get into something that suits you better. This is not necessary if you already love your job, but in my experience very few people love their jobs. If you already do, forget about this one. If you are stuck in a bad situation, I really do have compassion for you - but things are not going to change if you don’t give it a shot. Like my dad used to tell me - no one is going to call you up out of the blue and offer you your dream job, you have to go out there and get it yourself.
If you made it all the way through this post, you’re hopefully inspired by something I’ve said here.
If you have a big huge argument about something I’ve said - I don’t really care. I feel pretty certain that these are all good things and it is doubtful that I’m going to be convinced otherwise. I’m not old and wise yet, but I have learned a few things in life and that’s what life is about - progress, not perfection.