Life or Death Test
This is the most simple concept among our Success Principles but one of the most important.
There are so many personal improvement and success websites, many of them - quite good, that discuss the notion of "feeling alive" and "living" rather than "going through the motions" and "existing".
Often, however, very few address the fact that if you are a GOAL-DRIVEN person - relentlessly attacking ONE GOAL, the vast majority of your free (non-work/school) waking hours are AND SHOULD BE spent working on that goal.
Relentlessly attacking ONE GOAL is usually most productive and efficient when it becomes a deliberate, organized, daily routine, allowing you to operate on near auto-pilot to get one step closer to your ultimate goal.
Daily routines, however, lend themselves more to "going through the motions" and "existing" moreso than "feeling alive" and "living".
The trade-off is achievement/productivity for life/fun.
Obviously, a balance needs to be struck.
The good news is, if you are a reader of GoodLookingLoser.com - the goal of improving your social/sex life can be quite exciting once you beat most of your approach anxiety. Excitement can be had while progress is made. Don't believe undersexed males that claim that 'having relations' with the opposite sex isn't fun or rewarding.
Most other goals, however, don't offer as much of a daily "rush".
I'm not sure from whom I heard this question, but it got me thinking -
In the past year, the past 365 days, how many days do you remember?
When I was asked this in the year 2007, I could list 8 days that I remembered.
Six of the days I did something fun and memorable that I vividly remembered.
One of the days I received a scholarship to Law School at University of San Diego.
One of the days something distinctly bad happened. (really bad fight with my parents)
Just a grand total of 8 days.
The fact that I couldn't really remember having double-digit "fun days" scared me.
I swore, compared to other people, I was alive.
Yet, by my own standards (see below), I was barely breathing.
Good Looking Loser's Life or Death Test
I've decided to modify the question a little bit for my own personal "Life or Death" Test.
I'll ask you now -
In the past year, the past 365 days, how many days do you remember when you had fun?
You have 5 minutes.
Think about it.
In fact - write them down.
Use bullet points.
It only counts as a point if you remember WHAT YOU WERE DOING - you don't need to name the date, just the specific activity or reason.
If your favorite sports team won a championship or something and you got drunk to celebrate - I'll let you count that for ONE and ONLY ONE. We want to focus on YOU and not the accomplishments of others that make you warm and fuzzy inside.
It helps to think ALL the way back to exactly a year ago.
- What were you doing last May? Where are you?
(or whatever month we are currently in)
If it's still fuzzy, that's okay - look at your bank statement to see where you spent money a year ago.
You can also look at your Facebook status or Tweets, if you had been using those.
Referring back to time/place is only to get the ball rolling; I don't want you to look at your full bank statement/social media over the past year and saying "oh yeah, I had fun that day..." (that's not really REMEMBERING IT)
So How Did You Do?
If you could recall -
Regardless of how many memorable experiences you remembered, chances are, you had even more 'fun days' - our figures are adjusted for understandable memory lapses.
Don't be bummed out if you can only remember a handful of days or events.
I'm going to make my point/suggestion in about 60 seconds.
Ever since I scored a sad "6 fun days" back in 2007, I've made a point at making sure I was planning fun and creating memories.
Looking back from May 2013 to May 2014, I could list 15 fun/memorable things in just 60 seconds (you are allowed 5 minutes) and my memory ain't so good -
I was able to pinpoint these 'fun days' so quickly because I made a conscious and deliberate effort to have them.
They were fun but they also serve as a reminder that I am, in fact - ALIVE.
If you've found yourself to this site and to the bottom of this article, I'm going to assume you are into "self-improvement", probably a hard worker and likely have big dreams.
I've come to realize, based on myself, my prettier but less-sexually active previous self and the other guys around the Good Looking Loser Community, that most of us have the whole "HARD WORK thing" down.
What is harder to sell, somehow, is the importance of HAVING FUN.
So many of us have accepted the fact that sacrificing as much of the present as possible will yield a better future.
In some ways, we are the polar opposite of normal people.
In most cases, that is a good thing. A very good thing.
Yet, in some cases, it's not always a good thing.
In a few discussions including, "21 Things You Can Do Today to Stop Being Negative" (#18), "19 Things You Need to Do in 2014" (#3) and "34 Orthodox and Unorthodox Suggestions to Get Motivated to Hit the Gym" (#15) and also to a lesser degree in "30 Things I Wish I Knew In My 20's" (#29) - I've stressed the importance of making a conscious effort to schedule time to HAVE FUN and REWARD YOURSELF.
My general suggestion is -
At Least ONCE EVERY 14 DAYS or 2 TIMES A MONTH - SCHEDULE TIME TO HAVE FUN OR HAVE A NEW EXPERIENCE.
(it's okay if the new experience isn't crazy fun, but if it is memorable - it counts)
Your mental health will thank you.
Scheduling 'fun days' becomes MORE IMPORTANT as you get older, when your responsibilities increase and your free time and opportunities for fun decrease.
This is critically important if you follow a "Kratom Lifestyle", where you will be more than content pretty much every second of the day if you are doing it correctly.
If you need another reason to schedule fun -
YOU WILL BE MORE PRODUCTIVE AND BETTER ABLE TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL(S) IF YOU HAVE SOME FUN ONCE IN A WHILE.
Depression and productivity/efficiency DO NOT MATCH.
Depressed people, no matter how well they hide themselves in their work/job or how strong their denial, are never as productive or efficient as they could be.
Depressed people don't have or schedule fun - their days are spent trying to alleviate boredom for entertainment.
I completely avoid and want to puke anytime I read non-applicable self-improvement "advice" that tries to pass off suggestions like "Be Confident!", "Don't Care What Other People Think!", "Be Yourself!" as insight.
I will never spit that worthless empty crap at you.
One thing I can tell you is -
Leave the house.
Do stuff you like to do.
Plan new things that might be fun.
It doesn't have to cost you a lot of money.
You can volunteer somewhere.
You can go hiking.
Your goal(s) can wait.
Make sure you are alive and not just breathing.