Him: I think I had an anxiety attack today.
Me: Over what?
Him: My future.
Been chatting with two people almost daily now for the past few weeks – both are younger than me, wending their way through life.
Remember when I told you how friendships are made? Well, I find that happening to me more often than one might expect for a misanthrope like myself.
Was chatting with this one fella that I met years ago but we never really talked. We recently got thrown in together for a project – which is exploding in the most spectacular way, but that’s another story for another day – and have now been chatting on the reg.
Him: Even though this went to hell, I feel like we connected. Shoot the s__t?
Me: Cool. Lemme know when you wanna try some rum.
Him: Oh, there’re lots of questions I have to ask you.
Me: Clearly, I have no idea WTF I’m doing. You should ask someone else.
Him: LMAO – I meant about you, homie.
Me: What’s there to know? I like rum and gyros. I love my kid and my family. I never lie because I suck at it. I enjoy pickup and building s__t. I’ve never opened my vault. I’m into kind women that are hot. You can’t get more simple than a fella like me.
I said dozens of times that alla your problems can fall into three categories; well, I’ve edited that somewhat. Every action we perform can be categorized into furthering one of 3.5 pursuits – I call them buckets just because I like the imagery:
- Pleasure, or avoidance of pain (this is more a pail than a bucket)
The first three are additive. Focusing on them adds, at a minimum, to that bucket and your overall life.
If you focus on health, you’re that much stronger – health-wise – after whatever activity you did to focus on it. You might also get a bump up in wealth and relationships if you chose the right one.
Ditto for the other two buckets.
Pleasure is simply that, pleasure. Note that the avoidance of pain is a type of pleasure – that’s why it’s so easy to procrastinate.
The last one is a pail versus a bucket because it’s not truly additive and, oftentimes, subtracts from the other two: It gives you momentary happiness at the cost of health, wealth, and relationships.
Which is not to say you shouldn’t do it. But it’s like dessert or a small reward after a hard day. They should be used sparingly.
It’s mental masturbation.
I’m not against masturbation or anything pleasurable done purely for pleasure’s sake. But every minute you spend on pleasure, is a minute you’re not spending pushing the ball forward on the other three.
Moreover, if you spend too much time on personal pleasure, it’s a turnoff for people around you. Because we gravitate to useful people and the more you push the ball forward in each of the three main buckets, the more useful you become to the world.
Anywho, I mentioned this to the first fella, recently.
Me: Anxiety is the fear of the hypothetical. So allay your fears: Run through the list. Are you where you wanna be with the three buckets? And are you overdoing it on the pleasure-pail?
We did it together as an exercise.
- Health – yes. Dude’s in phenomenal shape and works out, easily, three hours a day.
- Relationships – yes. Good friends and family support. Is there when you need him and others are there for him when he needs them. As it pertains to the opposite sex…well, he’s killing it.
- Wealth – could be better, but he’s on the right track and getting better each day.
Him: Thanks, that’s useful.
Me: I’m nuthin if not useful.
Him: I want you know I really appreciate your…
Me: (interrupting) We’re friends. Friendship is symbiotic. Trust me, I’ll need your help one day. Probably soon. And it’s gonna involve a crapton of rum...
Location: 11:30AM, talking with a buncha lawyers, doing lawyer stuff
Music: how do you always seem to know just when to call?