I was a breezy Tuesday afternoon when I met with a group of friends to watch a football match at a local bar.
Drinks were flowing, the atmosphere was festive, and our team ended up winning the game. Hyped on alcohol and positive feelings, I urged the group to continue partying and hit the streets of our small suburban town.
Laughs were heard, people were met, and good time was seemingly had by all. By the end of the night, I wound up on a swing with one of the cute girls who wasn’t really interested in me; after all, I was the happy-go-lucky-liquid-courage-not-a-fuck-giving-ballsy-motherfucker and that persona didn’t seem to faze her at all.
Somehow, we ended up on the topic of psychology and I told her about this website I run and how I help people deal with their problems and improve their mindset. Suddenly, her eyes sparked up; she instantly became more engaged in the conversation, displayed genuine interest, and her body-language opened up. I smirked and said:
“I bet you didn’t expect that a drunk idiot like me actually spends his time helping people deal with serious issues in their lives?”
All work and no play makes jack a dull boy
I’m a very productive person and, when it comes down to business, be it actual work, a side project, or simply something that greatly interests me, I am completely focused.
Mind Of Steel is something I take extremely seriously and my whole life is driven by visions of success, which means that I put in insane amounts of effort in work, learning, and time management. I purposely do unenjoyable things which seem insane to others, because I know those things will make me a stronger individual. When it comes down to things I really care about, you can hardly catch me fucking around when it’s time to get shit done.
However, the point of life is not to work until you drop dead, but to enjoy it. All of the hard work I put in is so I can get to a level where I can enjoy life in a better and easier manner. But when it’s time to say “fuck it” and put a stop to work for a while, it’s a whole different story.
Long ago, my best friend and I came up with a personal motto for both of us, to remind us of this:
When we work, we work to the fullest. When we relax, we do it to the fullest.
Both of us are motivated, high-working individuals who put in insane amounts of work in what we do. But when we go out in a leisure manner, we leave all the fucks at home. We indulge all the vices we crave, do crazy shit and, if you happen to meet us in this state of mind, you would never guess we are actually completely different people.
One of my friends, who on a first few occasions met me only in a social environment, was taken aback when we got down to talking about serious issues and said: “Dude…you’re, like, undercover smart”.
All of us have vices we crave and the society keeps telling us that we have to be upstanding citizens and good role models. That’s all fine most of the time, but sometimes you just want to go ham; dance without restrictions when your song comes on, laugh like an idiot to your friend’s immature jokes, binge drink with strangers at a bar, or simply fuck around with your friends on a bench in the park.
And guess what? That’s completely fine.
Fuck whoever tells you that you cannot enjoy life on your own terms. Fuck whoever tells you how you should define fun. And most of all, fuck whoever judges you. Fuck ‘em all. When I visited New York, I wasn’t interested in “touristy” stuff like visiting Times Square and taking a gazillion photos of everything around me.
What I wanted to do was intake the culture of the city and spend time like a local young adult. For me, that included going to a college bar serving $1 beer on Tuesdays, getting happily intoxicated, meeting new people at the bar, and spending time with beautiful girls. Debaucherous? Says you. I call it fun.
You may enjoy spending time very differently and that’s all good. My definition of fun was very different five or ten years ago, and I’m sure it will be different in a decade or two. But guess what? That’s also fine. Not all of us want the same things in life, nor do all of us care about the same things.
And we shouldn’t.
Taking a break is okay if it fits the plan
The other day I was walking around with my friend and we bumped into an old acquaintance of his parents. She asked my friend, as most old people do, is he “married yet” and “why not” and “what is he waiting for”.
“But I’m only 24” – my friend hopelessly exclaimed, only fueling her fire further.
“What? 24? Well, you better hurry up while you’re young. I mean, what are you waiting for? Find a girl, get married, and have a kid. Start living life! Feel the adventure!” – she kept saying, very loudly.
Yes, to her, the old spiel “finish school – get a job – get married – have kids – the end” is probably the only way of life she knows and, presumably, it’s what she considers not just the normal, but the best way to go through life. And she may be happy doing that, and lots of other people may be happy with that kind of a lifestyle, but from where me and my friend stand, it is the absolute worst way we could spend our 20s.
We want the adventure. We want the insecurity. The chase. The rejection. The not knowing. The failures. The wins. The ups and downs, crossroads, and bad decisions. We’d rather get drunk and not know whether this is going to be the night we will cherish for all eternity, or the night we ride home in a smelly bus saying “Yeah, we fucked up. Should’ve just stayed at home”.
Because, one way or another, that’s life; you make plans and do your best, but then shit happens, so you deal with it. No matter how you choose to spend your time or have fun, and no matter whether you think of my lifestyle as full of vices and debauchery, it’s all irrelevant.
The important part is how you spend the other part of your life, when there’s no fun in sight. What do you do when it’s time to roll up the sleeves and get down and dirty, when it’s just you staring down into the abyss, hoping it looks back. That’s when you get to know the real person; not in the happy times when it’s time to kick back and relax, but in times of struggle and uncertainty.
So spend your free time as free as you want; I am giving you a pass to go crazy and not give a fuck about what other people think of your idea of a “good time”. But when it comes down to business, you better be ready to hustle more than the person next to you, because if you don’t, you’re going to get left behind and, suddenly, your idea of “fun” won’t seem as fun anymore.
With that in mind, tell me: is it time for work… or pleasure?