Today I have a guest post from Nick at BayCrazy I hope you enjoy it.
Money, money, money – it’s what we’re all after, trying to manage better or save more of, but in our intense obsession with the faux digital and paper values that interlock the various world economies, it leaves people unable to purchase food or water and which serves as a ‘commodity’ for padding out the pockets of already unfathomably rich human beings by way of automatic interest… there is a lot we miss out on, forget about and which we could be doing.
We spend so much time working, stressed-out, thinking about next month’s bills and figuring out ways to leverage ourselves in the world that it’s easy to lose sight of the many creative, intellectual and entertaining pursuits that we can indulge in every day, for next to nothing.
Here are five examples that I personally recommend…
1. Learn a New Language
The reason I put this first is because it’s pretty much atop most people’s lists.
Many of us say we’re going to do it and never do, but there’s no reason you can’t start right now. You’ll expand your mind and your cultural outlook as a result…
Beyond the presumption that learning a new language may make you smarter by way of opening insights in to the tongue of another cultural history and in a sense allow you to view the world through an ulterior perspective… there have actually been studies (scientific ones mind you, not just by a guy in his bedroom!) that prove language makes us smarter.
Apparently, speaking another, or multiple languages is good practice in training our brain to think of alternative routes of thought for problem solving, and, do it more quickly. I’m not going to go and find the exact studies for you, as I’m lazy. But, you know where to go!
(I still haven’t learned a new language by the way, but I just like to give advice that I never follow. It sounds good in theory but… too much effort. But don’t let that stop you!)
2. Watch One of the Masterpiece Series of Modern Television
By this, I’m pretty much just speaking about the recent American television shows of the past fifteen years. I’m sure there’s been others of other nations but… everybody knows the only countries that matter are the UK, the US and Australia (which I’m only saying as I’m now living in Australia). If you’re offended by that, feel free to take exception on account of irony.
Seriously (Sh, c’mon!) though – The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Dexter, The Newsroom…
American network and cable television series in recent times have rivalled legendary movie franchises; the yanks really have taken box viewing to a new plateau in recent times.
I’m almost done with The Sopranos, and it’s pretty amazing. Definitely not as absolutely mind-blowing as it’s been made out to be, but certainly fantastic.
Breaking Bad is what I’ve just started also, and I do have to say… the concept, script and characters are completely brilliant. I’m only a few episodes in and it’s already one of my favourite TV shows ever. The premise is just such an intriguing juxtaposition.
Once you get in to these kinds of series, they kind of take over your life for a bit but, in a good way; will you see the outdoors less and ignore more texts? Absolutely! But at least you’ll get some serious brain cell tug-of-war going in regards to morality, humour, decency and politics. All of these shows closely examine and question our ethics and space on Earth…
Do yourself a favour and indulge.
Whilst you can’t technically watch these shows ‘for free’… LEGALLY… there are ways in which you CAN watch them for free. Am I condoning downloading (illegal or otherwise)? Absolutely not, but is it possible? Absolutely; I’ll say no more.
Or you could choose to be a decent human being and buy the series’, either way it won’t cost much, so it’s a NEARLY free activity, in regards to my initial article premise. Enjoy!
3. Introduce Yourself to New Music
Many of us get stuck in our ways and listen to the same music over and over.
Once we find artists and albums that we like, it can take us a while to move on to something else or open our ears for a potential let-down or lesser experience…
In the spirit of aimlessly following the advice of a complete stranger writing an article with an agenda of self-serving promotion: go ahead and seek out some new music!
You could even go one further and seek out a new artist, which is what I like to do.
By that I mean – find a musical artist that intrigues you, and go get their discography and listen to their catalogue chronologically; experience their evolution and journey as a lyricist and/or songwriter, be inspired with new perspectives on life. Or just dance in the mirror!
Even yet further again: why not go against your musical instincts?
If you always and only listen to rock music, and can’t stand ‘stupid rap’ with its ‘pointless silly lyrics’, try out some Eminem or Mos Def. You may be pleasantly surprised.
If you only ever listen to classical, try Justin Bieber.
Okay, no, no don’t try Justin Beiber. Even given the circumstances of this advice and in the spirit of trying new things… just, don’t. There’s only so far you can go with it. And that’s too far.
4. Start Writing Articles
Writing is many things, often all at once…
Writing can be enjoyable, boring, frustrating, freeing, limited… as in fact, are most hobbies or exercises. Everything is pretty much everything, so, it’s a pretty pointless thing to say.
Anyway, if you don’t already write, in some form, I think you should.
By writing – you are essentially releasing thoughts from your mind head brain… thing, and presenting them in some kind of written or typed form, and in a way clearing your mind of them. This is why it can be cathartic, and freeing.
Many people think they ‘can’t write’, but that’s just because they never really tried. Also, it doesn’t have to be Tarantino (you thought i was going to say Shakespeare didn’t you!?), it depends for what purpose you are writing; if you are writing as an exercise and an indulgence, as I am suggesting you do – the quality doesn’t matter. Just do it.
Doesn’t matter what you write about, though unsurprisingly most people’s favourite topic is themselves. Which isn’t a dig at people, it’s just the human condition…
Regardless of the levels of your self-esteem and obsession, writing about yourself will help you grow, verbalize your thoughts better and organize your head more routinely, which can be of huge help in a plethora of areas in life. It really is invaluable.
If you really are just a boring empty slob though, just write about… Star Wars, or something.
Through writing, you will learn more about yourself. You will learn more about who you are, how you think, why you think what you think, and many other things which you can’t even begin to predict. You are essentially holding up a thought mirror to yourself.
Wow, that was kind of profound-ish… I think (see, it just comes out!).
Next time you have some free time – rather than sitting furiously masturbating or going for that ‘last ever’ cigarette – try writing, see what happens.
5. Begin a New Hobby
Most of you will probably already have an interest of series of interests which you ‘never have time to do’, such as playing an instrument, a sport, or serial killing.
Let’s be honest, we all have more time than we make out. We often have at least seven hours spare every day that we just use to sit around in filth or use to ponder the dread of tomorrow. Start valuing your free time more seriously, and stop making excuses.
If you’re pretty good at playing piano, and have a deep, burning, fiery passion to become a master pianist: follow through on that. You do have time. Start harnessing it.
Oh… so you don’t play the piano, have any major interests and pretty much just sit, eat, sleep and wake – fair enough, seek out a hobby!
We all have interests, whether we know it or not. If you’ve reached a certain time in life and seem to have no real valued interests or burning passions or hobbies, you’ve probably just let go and forgotten about your true self, or never allowed yourself the time to stumble across these things OR, unluckily never hit.
All you have to do is ask yourself what kind of person you are: are you a logical thinker, do you enjoy arguing/debating, do you enjoy mystery and fantasy… are you an indoor person, an outdoor, do you hate and loathe other humans, or are you a ‘people person’…
Come up with some answers and start searching for things to do or bask yourself in, based on the criteria you come up with. if you never do it, you may sorely regret it.
Take your creepy uncle Nick’s advice: go find something, dig deep and flourish.
Failing these five corkers…
You could always just look-up very old friends, or school friends… presuming there’s been some distance and longevity of time between you, just to see how they’re doing. Maybe their life and/or appearance has turned for the considerable and comparative worse and you can feel better about yourself and your life? Hey, whatever helps you sleep at night!
Nick writes about many online bargains, saving money and great general advice on how to better manage your finances. Be sure to check out the blog and subscribe to keep up to date with all of Nick’s endlessly indulgent ramblings