The following is an excerpt from Paul Angone’s new book 101 Secrets for your Twenties.
#59 The most ridiculous thing you can do as an adult is stop being ridiculous.
Taking yourself too seriously is very serious work. Very important, steadfast, I can’t be bothered business. Where you save up every penny to buy a one-way ticket to Boredullameville—it’s kind of like living at Disneyland, except the exact opposite.
And there at Boredullameville, you can even be the mayor. You can fret over your reports. You can wear slacks and use big words. You can prove the magnitude of your intellect with every “But the data says otherwise.” You can give projects to subordinates and never look them in the eye. You can talk policy, procedure, and protocol all the livelong day. You can send out fiery emails perched behind your big oak desk, ccing the whole village. Yes you can be Mayor of Boredullameville and there spend your days living a very efficient, never-change-lanes-cruise-control life. You can make as much waves as a dead, dry leaf falling into a puddle of water. It’s awesomely un-awesome. Or you can live differently. You can live ridiculously.
The #1 rule to living ridiculously? Never, ever, under any circumstances, worry if people think you’re ridiculous. Ridiculous people don’t even know where Boredullameville is on the map, let alone have any desire to run for office there.
Haters love to hate. Boring people love to bore. The realistic live all too real. Naysayers love their ample amounts of nay.
On the other hand, ridiculous people live with their bodies dipped in awesome and they don’t care who crawls out from under a rock to tell them that painting your body in awesome is not the appropriate, or responsible use of resources.
Ridiculous people are these weird, wild people that actually make you feel alive. They take one step in the room and the heavy weight of Stuffy Adult-Dom floats away like a helium balloon.
Ridiculous people believe in others more than others believe in themselves. Then they constantly encourage others to see the truth that they see.
Ridiculous people don’t care much for facts. Oh, they take them into account, but they know facts aren’t always factual. They know that facts are contrived by self-proclaimed adults for their own fancy.
Ridiculous people care more about doing what’s right than what will look right to others.
I want to be ridiculous. Are you with me?
#39 Obsessive Comparison Disorder is the smallpox of our generation.
9 out of 10 doctors agree this disorder is the leading cause to eating two boxes of Girl Scout cookies while watching The Bachelor.
So what exactly is Obsessive Comparison Disorder and more importantly, is there a cure?
Obsessive Comparison Disorder Defined
Obsessive Comparison Disorder is the disease I’ve coined to describe our compulsion to constantly compare ourselves with others, producing unwanted thoughts and feelings that drive us to depression, consumption, anxiety, and all-around joyous discontent. It’s a habit from Hades itself.
Like having to run outside to light up a cigarette, our addiction to comparing is uncontrollable and killing us with every puff.
How do we cure this new form of OCD?
1. Put on blinders
If you look at a horse that’s carrying a carriage out in public, the horse will usually have blinders on. Blinders keep them from being distracted or freaked out by the noise of the peripheral. Blinders force them to focus on what’s exactly in front of them, and nothing else.
We all need a set of blinders. We need to be Forward-Focused. What set of blinders can you put on that will help you look straight ahead?
If we took all the energy we waste comparing ourselves with those running next to us, how much farther could we run our own race?
2. Cut back on Internet and TV
Want to know a sure-fire way to cut your Obsessive Comparison Disorder in half?
Cut your Internet use and TV time in half. This is the best set of blinders money can’t buy.
The Internet and TV takes your Prius-Sized Comparison Problem and turns it into a Hummer, guzzling energy for no good reason other than to try and look cool.
3. Celebrate What You Do
Celebrate what you do, whether big or small. Don’t obsess about everything you don’t.
Be inspired by others’ stories but don’t let their story dwarf yours. Don’t let Obsessive Comparison Disorder devour with Bubonic-Plagueness creativity, energy, and peace—three vital characteristics you are going to need to rock your twenties.
We need to sail our own ship instead of drowning trying to swim to everyone else’s.
Flickr photo (cc) by Whiskeygonebad