It’s Time For a Fuck-It Bucket

I’ve just come back from Asia, 2 months living like a monk. During those two months I’ve had my head up my ass, oblivious to a bunch of shit going on in my home land – America. I missed the whole Pokemon Go hype, presidential elections drama, Arthur memes, Harambe memes. And to be honest, it was fucking great. I didn’t have to spend time thinking about these random things. I could focus just on my meditation practice and writing. Landing back in California, I remember my head physically hurting from reading the headlines of all my emails and notifications.

jackie chan

Just at first, I came across this post on Medium: Why It’s Time You Start a Fuck It List

We spend so much time ticking off our to-do lists, making aspirational Pinterest boards, and thinking about our next big goal, dream or plan. And then we wonder why we burnout?

Ask yourself, honestly: How much energy do you dedicate to things that don’t really matter? Or things you think you “should” do, rather than those you actually want to?

Because true balance takes work. It takes sacrifice.

Alright fuck it, let’s go. Write a list, mentally or physically, filled with things not deserving your time. Think of it as an anti-bucket list of sorts. I call mine a Fuck-It Bucket.

Complainers: Especially the passive-aggressive, subtle complainers. Oh my god, I have so many meetings back to back. I have so much to read. I feel like complaining is such a negative energy that kills my motivation and optimism. Especially in college, sometimes we can get into a huge complaining circle jerk that really isn’t beneficial at all. Same goes for me. No more complaining that I don’t want to wake up.

Dessert:  I’ve tried it, it’s just way too sweet. I can do without it.

Gossip: No I don’t want to hear your secret gossip about Suzy over there. I don’t want to talk behind somebody’s back, if you want an impression of them go find out for yourself.

Being Messy: Clean up after yourself, knoll everything. I lived such a simple life in Asia: a 15 lb suitcase, one style of monastic robes – and I noticed a HUGE decrease in stress. My sleep quality improved, I could remember all my dreams! I woke up singing “Here Comes the Sun” from the Bee movie, and skipped my ass out of bed.
Things will definitely change, but this is my fuck-it bucket for this next semester. None of these things matter. By acknowledging them, saying “fuck it” and waving them on their way, I free myself up to  be as energetic and present as possible.

“It’s impossible to be everything for everyone. But if you treat yourself with a little more acceptance and understanding, you’ll find you have so much more to give.” – Bianca Bass

Check out the original post, and comment if you decided to make a fuck-it list yourself! I want to hear what’s on yours.

Cheers!

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Ready. Fire. Aim.

I close my eyes, pull back my arrow and aim.

Even though there are targets all around me, I have no bullseye.

I’ll keep aiming, this will end in a perfect game.

Maybe shooting the easiest target won’t satisfy.

Maybe I should wait for a sign.

Maybe I should wait for god to acknowledge my aim.
Same bows, same arrows, hundreds of targets, I’m still just the same.

I can tell you about my precision, but in fact I have no vision.
No clue, no marker, no signal to trigger a split decision.

The more I pull back, the more my fingers bleed.

There are hundreds of targets, my vision is clouded, I don’t know how to proceed

Then I remember, back when I trained with only one target.
I had hundreds of arrows, I could adjust my aim if I missed.

I open my eyes, pull back my arrow and shoot.

Now, there’s no time to see if my aim was absolute.

As I released, the bow string resonated with a sound of familiarity.

Ready. Fire. Aim.

Finally I can breathe, action brings my clarity.

Don’t Rely on Motivation

Dad: My blood circulation is getting worse, seems like I’m getting old haha.

Me: Do you know how to fix it?

Dad: Yeah, I need to start exercising.

Me: So why aren’t you exercising?

Dad: I have no motivation.

One thing I’ve been beginning to realize is how much of an unhealthy emphasis we put on motivation, this internal force we believe we need in order to start doing anything. However, this mindset is burdensome because it requires us to be in a certain mental state before we can actually get anything done. Our moods and emotions are always changing too. You can have a newfound motivation to start going to the gym after making your New Year’s resolution in front of all your friends, but this resolution hype will only last you so long. So instead of the usual mental over physical mentality most people talk about, here’s a new theory I’ll go along with in this post.

Be physically present

That’ll get you halfway. Back in my junior and senior year of high school, I was commuting to San Francisco from the Peninsula almost every day to work. Everyday, I would leave the office at around 9:30pm and be pretty tired, definitely not in the right mentality to hit the gym to workout. My brain was tired, I just wanted to go back home and watch YouTube or talk to my friends before heading off to bed. So my mindset became sort of a pair of mental crutches I was trying to support myself on, and they sure as hell wouldn’t be able to bring me to the gym. After a couple weeks of going back in forth in my head, debating whether I should push off the gym or not (ultimately with nothing actually happening), one thing I started to do was just taking the BART (public transportation) directly to the gym, not stopping at home. I was tired as hell, but I walked into the gym. Bright lights shining at me, everybody else was working out. Well, I’m already here right? Being physically present is half the battle. Just being there was more than I could have ever done wasting time debating in my head whether or not I should just go home and rest. Just showing up there took away the “motivation prerequisite” that was holding me back so much. I thought I needed some form of motivation to get pumped and work out, but all I need to do was just show up.

Make rituals

Before walking into the gym, I would drink a cup of black coffee or a pre-workout juice to let my body know that for the next hour, I would be focused on working out. Having a ritual like this made working out into a sort of daily habit that I would do, sort of how many people in the military make their beds every  morning as a way to feel organized and start their day. To post in this blog more frequently, I’ve started a ritual where I would take a shower before writing a post. Writing this now, I’ll try making my bed every morning starting tomorrow to start getting in the habit of meditating every morning I wake up. You should think of a good habit you want to get into too, and start to make your bed as a ritual to get into it together with me!

Setting a physical place is to do accomplish other things that don’t necessarily have a designated place (like a gym) also helps a lot. I know for doing work, I go to the common area in our Science Center on campus to get homework done. For writing blog posts at home, I sit on the couch in the living room.

Motivation doesn’t have to be a prerequisite for us to achieve our goals. In fact, thinking that motivation fuels action can be harmful because we can’t always rely on our mental states – they are always changing. The most reliable way to achieve a goal is through good habits, and the first step many of us forget to take in developing those habits is just being there.