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Playing with Yourself

April 7, 2017

I like to play with myself. And no, I don’t mean that type of play- you deviant readers. Since I was a child, I have continually kept myself occupied by setting up small games that I try to “win” throughout my day.

For example, I try to see how many bottles of water that I can carry from the garage to the refrigerator in one trip. I have found that if I carry them in a pyramid fashion, I can consistently carry 9 bottles at a time and still not drop any. My high score is 10 bottles on one especially good day. What rewards do I get when I win these games you may ask?

Mostly the satisfaction of winning the challenge before me. I may not have a high profile job or a vast following for my blog, but I do find satisfaction in constantly striving to win the games I create in my head. The trick however is to make the challenges sufficiently difficult that it takes some level of effort or skill to accomplish them.

I have also found that I like to create scenarios where there is some aspect of fortune-telling associated with them. “If I can throw this empty water bottle into the trash can from the garage steps, I will be a millionaire one day.” Things like that. Maybe it reveals my goals in life but I find that I often set up games that revolve around money. Or sometimes they are less directly tied to money, but rather to popularity or future fame.

“If I can spit from my porch to the shrub in front of my house, I will write an award-winning novel before I die.” No doubt these games reveal my baser wants and desires in life, but I do find that it keeps me sufficiently entertained through some otherwise boring and monotonous days.

Upon reflection though, it does seem that these games are more of a diversion from setting real attainable goals in my life. Maybe these games display a true weakness. As opposed to having specific and measurable goals, I spend a fair amount of my time concocting elaborate situations in which I have to exert little to no real effort into accomplishing them and my only real skin in the game is that I might have to pick up fallen water bottles.

I think that this is a major problem with much of America today. Most of us are comfortable where we are. We don’t tend to think much beyond achieving something just a little bit better than our current situation- let alone setting goals that will actually improve our quality of life or give us a lasting benefit or sense of accomplishment.

As opposed to thinking of actually rising above our current condition, we exchange our goals for vague, pie-in-the-sky dreams without thinking through how we might actually accomplish them. We tend to think of lofty, easy changes instead of measurable, small steps to achieving our goals. We skip ahead in our thinking to the end result without ever thinking how to get there. It is much easier to think in terms of how five thousand dollars dropped in our lap could change our lives than to plan how we could reasonably save the money instead.

Sure, I would love to have thousands of blog followers, but do I really want to sit down and think of how that can actually be accomplished? The short answer is no. Instead, I would rather dream of the end state instead of planning an actual path to accomplish this goal.

All my life I have been told that I have potential, but potential is not reality. It does no good to dream about making it big when I won’t put the effort into actually planning a way to make it happen. Instead, I would rather play games with myself than putting in the hard work it would entail to make it a reality.

Sorry if this wasn’t the type of blog post you were looking for, but I think it was something that I needed to write for myself more than for you to read. Besides, I am pretty sure that if I can pee continuously for more than 30 seconds the next time I urinate, this post will go viral anyways.

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