Friday, January 24, 2020

Living Life on My Terms ... or Ben's.

My friends, as we begin a new year, and you engage in some self-reflection and ask yourself some hard questions about your health, your happiness, and whether you are going to keep Disney+, I wanted to share something with you. Something I found on the Interwebs recently.

It’s an article by Benjamin P. Hardy, found on the website Medium. The article is titled “50 Ways to Live on Your Own Terms.”

You are, no doubt, as intrigued as I was to know how exactly Benji Hardy knew what my terms were. Well, turns out … he don’t. What he does know is other stuff that he apparently thinks should be my terms…

In reality, some of these items he mentions are actually very important to me and do happen to be things that are priorities and practices in my life. But that doesn’t lend B.P.H. any credibility in my book. As they say, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Fling enough vinyl platitudes against the wall, and some of them are bound to stick.

Anyway, here is the list of Ben’s terms, in his order - and my thoughts about them.

1. Stop consuming caffeine. 77% of the people I know just tapped the table in front of them twice, and out loud said, “I’m out.”

2. Pray or meditate morning, mid-day, and night. I’m all about it.

3. Read 1 book per week. Does my Calvin & Hobbes Anthology count?

4. Write in your journal 5 minutes per day. Agreed.

5. Marry the person you love. Way ahead of you.

6. Make a bucket list and actively knock items off. Bucket List Item #1: Don’t let other people define the terms I live by. Bucket List Item #2: Sleep until noon. This is so easy, you guys.

7. Stop consuming refined sugar. HAHAHAHA! Oh, were you SERIOUS?!

8. Fast from all food and caloric beverages 24 hours once per week. Since this is on my terms, we’ll go with once a month.

9. Fast from the internet 24 hours once per week. Pssshh. This is a snap. I’m not trying to brag, but I do it at least 8 hours every night. That’s, like, 56 hours a week.

10. Stop consuming the news or reading the newspaper. And spend more time reading Medium! Right, Ben?

11. Do something every day that terrifies you. Does getting on Facebook count?

12. Do something kind for someone else daily. Does it count if I refrain from doing unkind things to certain people?

13. Go to bed early and rise early. This guy clearly doesn’t have children.

14. Get 7+ hours of sleep each night. See? No children.

15. Replace warm showers with cold ones. My ancestors gave their lives so I could take hot showers; and I’m not about to disrespect them by taking cold showers.

16. Say “No” to people, obligations, requests, and opportunities you’re not interested in from now on. My six-year-old lives by this philosophy. It’s not working out super well for her.

17. Say “Thank you” every time you’re served by someone. If you’re not already doing this … you might be a child.

18. Say “I love you” 3+ times a day to the most important people in your life. I do. But the cashier at Rockwell’s Ice Cream is getting super uncomfortable.

19. Consume 30 grams of protein within the first 30 minutes of waking up. No problem. There’s 30 grams of protein in Twinkies, right?

20. Listen to audiobooks and podcasts on 1.5 or 2x speed, your brain will change faster. Sure will. It’ll get annoyed quicker.

21. Decide where you’ll be in five years and get there in two. I’ll be 53 in five years. Why would I want to get there in two years?

22. Remove all non-essentials from your life (start with your closet). My kids already do this. They haven’t used a closet in years. They prefer the floor.

23. Consume a tablespoon of coconut oil once per day. How much coconut oil in an Almond Joy?

24. Buy a juicer and juice a few times per week. Or just buy juice. My favorite juice is a milkshake. 

25. Choose to have faith in something bigger than yourself, skepticism is easy. Preach, Ben.

26. Stop obsessing about the outcome. And start obsessing about the process.

27. Give at least one guilt-free hour to relaxation per day. I’m going to stretch myself and go for eight guilt-free hours of relaxation per day!

28. Genuinely apologize to people you’ve mistreated. 100%.

29. Make friends with five people who inspire you. But Bill Murray won’t return my phone calls!

30. Save 10 percent or more of your income. I was. But movie theater prices keep going up!

31. Tithe or give 10 percent of your income away. Welcome to the party, Ben.

32. Drink 64–100 ounces of water per day. And be sure to move your desk directly into the bathroom.

33. Buy a small place rather than rent. When Ben isn’t writing for Medium, I suspect he’s a realtor.

34. Check your email and social media at least 60–90 minutes after you wake up. Ok, Boomer. [Did I use that correctly? That was my first time using that.]

35. Make a few radical changes to your life each year. I’m kind of too tired. Even using the word “radical” makes me kind of want a nap.

36. Define what wealth and happiness mean to you. I define them as “Things people should give me.”

37. Change the way you feel, think, and act about money. Sounds like somebody has asked Ben for a loan one too many times. He should just call them out. “Change the way you think about money, Peter!”

38. Invest only in industries you are informed about. Informed about? So…invest in Netflix and pizza. Got it

39. Create an automated income source that takes care of the fundamentals. Swell idea. Ben, what’s your credit card number?

40. Have multiple income streams (the more the better). Why do I feel like Ben is trying to get me into his downline?

41. Track at least one habit/behavior you’re trying to improve. Does it count as “tracking” if what happens is you are praying and praying for strength to become a better person, and you realize you’ve been praying for the same thing for several years … and kind of you’re still the same person?

42. Have no more than 3 items on your to-do list each day. Ben, what color is the sky on your planet?

43. Make your bed first thing in the morning. Now you tell me! I got rid of my bed after item #22.

44. Make one audacious request per week (what do you have to lose?) I guess nothing except my friends, since I’ll be developing a reputation of being that guy who walks around making audacious requests of everyone around him.

45. Be spontaneously generous with a stranger at least once per month. I like this.

46. Write and place a short, thoughtful note for someone once per day. Doing it right now. “Dear Ben, I think you have a gift for identifying the obvious and/or ridiculous.”

47. Become good friends with your parents. Check.

48. Floss your teeth. Once a year, whether I need it or not!

49. Eat at least one meal with your family per day. Of course. Wait. What are we having?

50. Spend time reflecting on your blessings at least once per day. Today I’ll reflect on the blessing of living life on my terms.

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