Frankology

When a hobby becomes work it becomes a stressor, in which case it's time to dump it. I'm of an age where I no longer do things “because I have to.” I do things because I want to.

Sure, there are times when one must follow through on goals and targets because we need this to stay grounded and to challenge ourselves, but there is no good reason to continue a pursuit if it no longer has an upside (keeping in mind the upside might be on the other side of discomfort). This is even more the case when it is only a hobby.

Hobbies are supposed to be fun, if you're not enjoying it, fuck it.

I'm quite sure a cursory Google would yield at least some information on the subject, but I'm not in the mood. Instead, I'll pose it as a question; I wonder how much damage, physical and emotional, is caused by sitting staring at our computer screens all day?

The answer would probably vary based on the parameters of the study and maybe even the opinion of the reply, but one thing is for sure, it can't be good for us. While chasing up and down, back and forth, for meetings, errands and the like, seems tedious at best, it sure must be healthier than vegetating in front of the PC all day.

In the same vein, how much of the “PC time” is in fact productive? I venture to say less than 50%. Maybe, in the future, we should work on projects designed to change this. Projects which encourage productivity over input. This is a future I could better live with.

“Change is as good as a holiday.” I disagree, but that’s just me.

I don’t like change. I don’t like it at all. I like it so little I find it menacing. That said, there is also something to be said for change. It brings a fresh perspective, hopefully, better results and definitely new ideas. As challenging as it may be for some (including the learning curve), I am still convinced it is for the best.

Being stuck in your ways, married to service providers, or unable to do away with the “old model,” has never brought anyone forward. Forward momentum is brought on by change. Sad but true.

Every year this time of the year, I am asked (more times than I care to think about) what I think the year to come has in store for us. Well, first, I don’t know, just the same as the rest of you. Second, what makes anyone think this year will be any different from last year?

There are immeasurably few factors which actually change at all. The only major change is the date-stamp, your attitude, and how old you are when you read this. This, and possibly your level of optimism, especially this early in the year. This early, you still have high hopes, your energy is overflowing and you have a to-do list longer than your arm – and good for you.

My to-do list for the year is dead simple: nothing at all.

This year will be a time for the grand “rethink,” restructure and reinvent. Often, we are stuck in our ways, the systems we use and the processes we have developed. We find it difficult to recognise a better way, easier way, better product to help us achieve less workload, less cognitive load and by association less stress.

This year is all about stepping back and finding better ways to do the things I already do.

So, what do I think about the year to come? I don’t.

There are people in this world who perpetually turn discussions into debates. If you are one of those, you need to stop it, now.

Discussions are a conversation about any given topic. Debates are an argument about the topic. Discussions warm and engaging. Debates agitated and antagonistic. Discussions inclusive and free-flowing. Debates belligerent and competitive.

Do you see now?

Goal setting is vital to long-term success. Nobody can dispute this and any who do will base their arguments on philosophical nonsense. If you don't know where you are going, you'll never get there.

Targets are not the same thing as goals. Goals contain a measure of optimism and ambition. Targets, on the other hand, imply a requirement. A requirement is to be considered done before it is even done. It is not an option.

Implementing targets to complete goals is a useful tool which will work every time and in all circumstances, personal and professional.

“When you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck…”– Paul Virilio

The sayings intention is to convey that all inventions have both positive and negative effects. But, it applies equally well to the idea of “nothing ventured nothing gained.” Every ship ever produced did not end up at the bottom of the ocean of regret.

Each of your failures could just as well have been a success. Failed attempts should never be a reason for not trying. Instead, it should become a chapter in your textbook of prosperity. Something you learn from, draw knowledge from and use to improve your next version.

Rile against laziness.

We are all innately lazy. Even those of us who proclaim to be otherwise. We aim to work harder, longer, better, and sometimes this might actually be more than just what we tell ourselves. We believe ourselves to be ahead, or even above the rest because we have earned it through hard work and dedication. But, given the opportunity, we will divert to our default and do less. As little as possible.

More work does not equal more enjoyment. If we were as energetic as we'd like to be, we would enjoy the tasks more. Instead, they are chores. It's OK to admit this. The key lies within consistency. Consistency is what breeds success. If we are constantly fighting off laziness, then accomplishments will follow.

What's your job? No matter your answer, you are wrong. You're a factory worker, we all are. Working on a production line, exactly as they did in the factories of Henry Ford and the thousands who followed.

Our screens are the conveyors. Conveyors which rob us of introspection, observance, and individuality. We have neither the time nor the means to express our own unique flavor because the next “thing” is already here – and now it is gone. We need to pay attention or we'll miss it.

For all we tell ourselves about creativity, teamwork and innovation, there is nothing to be said. If you are removed tomorrow, the next factory worker just slides into place and the process continues. You would not be missed because the attention is elsewhere, it is on the conveyor.

Christmas is a time of joy, happiness, family, blah blah blah. We have to love it and anyone who doesn't is a “Scrooge,” weirdo, or must clearly have something wrong with them. It is precisely this way with picnics.

The much-coveted picnic is basically packing a bunch of food from your fridge into little containers from your cupboard, adding utensils, plates, cups and the like, from your cupboard, a blanket, and any other paraphernalia I've neglected to mention, from your cupboard, into a basket. You then load up all this crap into the car, abandoning the comfort of your home, where there are chairs, tables, refrigerators and countertops. You drive to a spot where hopefully you will not be stung by bees, bitten by ants, or burned to a husk by the son. Next, you unpack all the shit you just packed, from the cupboards and comfort of home, proceed to struggle with the simplest of tasks, such as buttering some bread, throw your back out reaching for a nip of cheese, all the while commenting on how “wonderful this all is.” When you're done, which is basically dictated by the loss of feeling in your lower extremities, you'll proceed to mop the sweat from your brow, pack all the shit you brought from the comfort and cupboards of your home back in the basket (this time you more or less just create a shit-pile) and haul it all back home to the comfort and cupboards from which they came. Oh wait, you have to wash all the containers first.

Picnics are dumb.