My list is long.
I will never finish all of the things that I want to do in my lifetime. This isn’t the sound of me giving up. This is the sound of me growing up. Every day, the list of things I want to read, watch, visit, see, hear, taste, learn, and experience gets longer and the number of days left in my life become fewer. This is fact. The scope of that thought used to cause me to slip into a paralyzing depression. Now, that same thought, gives me motivation.
The ghost of the idea haunts me. It burrowed into a small corner of my brain and made its nest. It is one of those parasites of knowledge that you can never un-know. It will eat at you and eventually destroy you unless you learn how to feed it and make friends with it. The only option for coping with this type of unsavory bloodsucker of an idea, is to change the parasitic relationship into a symbiotic relationship.
As long as I keep feeding my monster, it remains harmless. But if I let it get hungry, it will emerge from its nest and run rampant throughout the rest of my mind.
What does the monster eat?
The monster eats effort. As long as I’m working toward accomplishing something from my list, the monster is satisfied and stays in its nest. I don’t know how it knows. Maybe my brain releases some kind of hormone or chemical when I am putting forth effort and maybe that’s what the monster actually eats. All I know is s when I don’t keep it fed, the mogwai turns into a gremlin.
What happens when the beast gets hungry?
The monster needs to eat regularly. Some might say damn near constantly. The longer it goes without its effort-juice the more havoc it wreaks.
After 10 minutes without eating, the monster gets bored and starts to move around.
After 30 minutes, it leaves its nest and starts running laps around my mind.
One hour — It rests by leaning up against my guilt sensor.
Two hours — It starts poking my guilt sensor.
Four hours — It starts punching my guilt sensor.
Eight hours — It gets bored with my guilt sensor and heads for my center for rational thought where it has a party and the excuses begin.
16 hours — The monster leaves the rational thought center and runs full speed into my panic button.
24 hours — It heads back to the rational thought center for a puke-&-rally.
48 hours — In a drunken stupor, the monster makes its way to my self-esteem chamber and begins to drain it.
72 hours — The self-esteem chamber now empty, the monster proceeds to intercept a large percentage of my sensory impulses.
120 hours — The monster returns once more to my rational thought center. There is no more party. It is now an echo chamber. He speaks softly, “You are so lazy. You will never be happy because you are too weak to work for what you want. The people who care about you want to help you now, but they won’t when they realize you’re a lost cause. You keep adding to that list of things you want to do, but you never accomplish anything. You don’t have what it takes to be successful. You should just quit now.”
The monsters words reverberate through my head.
So, I either keep the beast sedated by feeding it with effort, or deal with the maddening consequences of the monster. Having danced with that devil before, I’ll stick with keeping it fed.
It’s not easy to keep up with such a rigorous feeding schedule. Sometimes I’ll even let it lapse for 24-48 hours. But, I don’t dare let it go any longer than that.
My list is still long.
The list of things I want to experience in my life grows longer, faster and faster each day. My list will always be getting longer, but in turn I will always be crossing items off of it as well. I will never complete all of the items on it. But, the more there are, the more things I have that I can put effort into, thus the more ways I have to feed the beast.
Don’t forget to feed your beast today.
Thanks for reading.
Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @john_dilley.