By Josh Cupit
I have a lot of ideas, and most of them are terrible.
In fairness, many of these ideas are really impulses. I should touch that circular saw, it’s probably not that sharp… I should yank the handbrake, I’m only doing 120km/h… Yeah, I should see how close to the ceiling I can toss this egg without breaking it…
Genius-level stuff, clearly. But I can’t control my impulses, only resist the urge to act on them. It’s this incredible self control that makes me such a well-rounded person and a joy to associate with. It’s also why I still have all my fingers, and am not presently covered in raw egg.
But back to bad ideas — or more accurately, bad decisions.
Life is boring. You might not think so, because you’re in university and stress doesn’t seem boring. But really, life is pretty dull. You wake up, get dressed (or not, you do you), eat food so you don’t die, and go off to work or school for the day. Then you come home and mentally prepare yourself for the next day by going for a run, binging Stranger Things, or snorting crushed habanero seeds. Again, you do you.
Most of your days pass in a blur of obligations, with little time to do whatever it is you really want. They say variety is the spice of life, but who has time for variety? Spice is the spice of life, and just like those crushed habanero seeds I know you snort, something challenging, unpleasant or even painful can cure a dismal routine.
But these experiences can’t be planned. You can’t fit this metaphorical spice into your schedule right after grocery shopping (for literal spice). You need to wait for the opportunity to present itself, and then make a bad choice.
Just be careful not to force it. You could say “Today, I’m going to put some arsenic in my sandwich and maybe spit on a stranger.” You shouldn’t, though — you’ll only end up in the hospital for an unfortunate and painful combination of a black eye and arsenic poisoning.
So what’s the right way to make the wrong decision? My go-to is winging something that should absolutely not be winged. Got an important presentation today? Don’t prepare for it, that’s for nerds. Just jump in and hope for the best. At the very least, there will be an exciting moment where you have no idea how it’s going to pan out. Best case: you’ll have to explain your way out of a deep, self-dug pit. Either way, it presents an interesting new challenge to spice up your day.
I’m not suggesting that you intentionally sabotage yourself at every turn. Don’t do that (or do. Again, your choice). But every now and then, it’s invigorating to revel in self-inflicted horror. So don’t study for your midterm. Go mountain biking at night. Drink too much and call your ex. I believe in you.