I finally watched the second volume of “Nymphomaniac” last night, a movie by Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier, which created some controversy when it first came out in 2013. The movie tells the life story of self-diagnosed nymphomaniac Joe and her unending sexual escapades. What ever you can think of, the movie probably has it: Joe fucking random guys on a train, competing with another nympho friend or hers for the most notches; Joe cultivating her own harem of men, each lover satisfying another of her very facetted sexual needs; Joe becoming a home wrecker, Joe getting into S&M, Joe starting her own torture business. It’s all there, and if you know Lars von Trier, it’s all very graphic.
It sounds a little bit dramatic, but I’m pretty sure I just had the first lucid dream of my life. I purposefully didn’t look up any definitions yet, so as to not affect what I’m about to write; but in any case, it was unlike anything else I have ever experienced while dreaming.
The things that stood out to me the most:
I have always naturally leaned towards perfectionism, for better or worse. No, let me modify this: I have always naturally leaned towards perfectionism and I honestly think that is a good thing. I rarely meet people whose standards are too unrealistically high, but I constantly meet people who do everything they do in a very sloppy manner. So hooray to being an anal stickler for details.
But: perfectionism can also function as an excuse, especially in the context of forming the right daily habits. Perfectionism as an excuse usually works out like this: person X decides on a certain project, i.e. losing weight. Instead of starting his or her diet right away, person X enters into a research phase first. That’s because person X is a self-labeled perfectionist—they are committed to this project now, and therefore want to come up with the best possible method to the problem.
New York always does the same thing to me: Almost by the hour, I discover new things, events and places that I want to try out here. I get so excited by the endless possibilities; I almost end up in a frenzy. The regular reader might object that I once said traveling can increase your productivity – well, not in the case of New York…
But where there is shadow, there is light. Time being a rare commodity in this city, it has brought an important but often overlooked idea back to the forefront of my mind: Utilizing the little breaks of your day. It sounds like your typical pop-psychology advice, but don’t disregard it because it seems too simple. All of us, every day, end up in situations where we are just forced to waste time because of external circumstances. You ride the subway to the Public Library. You wait for your friend who is running 15 minutes late. You have a doctor’s appointment, waiting for your turn. You stand in a really long line at Chipotle. The list is endless.
I have a feeling these posts are going to turn out shorter and shorter over the upcoming days… New York just keeps me busy, but in a very positive sense. I can’t stop marvelling and exploring, every time I visit here again.
So my titbit of productivity wisdom today is about the power of blogging. In the context of keeping up with my daily habits, I’d say blogging is really the one thing that makes all the difference. I’m certain I would have stopped following my strict habit regimen long ago, if it wasn’t for this blog.
This is going to be a short one. I’m drunk and I just came back from a drag queen bar, which was much more of an interesting experience than I first thought. There’s nothing quite like a guy / future gal on hormone therapy flashing his boobs to you, while making some very straightforward sexual offers. Good times!
So, I take my current drunken state of mind as an excuse to do some navel-gazing – even more than usual I mean. It’s just that a thought hit me earlier: I’m most content or “happy” if I find myself in a situation where I can perform many different roles, in relation to others. I think you could call that social schizophrenia.
If you are even remotely interested in personal development, you probably know the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. It’s a modern self-help classic. With that being said, I really don’t like the book. It uses lots of wishy-washy words like “purpose,” “integrity,” “responsibility,” etc. that are just meant to make the reader feel important and pumped up while hardly conveying any real meaning. This vague, ambiguous text goes hand in hand with several references to how you have to be law-abiding proper Christian in order to be become more successful in life… Do I need to say more?
When I first started traveling, I was very worried about its effect on my ability to get work done. I was afraid I would get very excited and spend all of my time sight-seeing and meeting new people, but in the process, drop all my hard-won daily habits.
As so often, my worries were unfounded.
How This Works
Every month, I publish a list of the habits I am currently trying to incorporate into my life (such as ‘do two sets of pull ups every day’). I document my successes and failures, and then I punish myself for the latter – $100 for every time I break a habit!
The Rationale Behind It
I realize my obsessive documentation, and especially the self-punishing aspect of this, may seem rather extreme to most people…
So why do I do this?
I’m flying to NYC in a few hours to spend most of December there, continuing my ongoing love affair with the city. As much as the prospect excites me, I’m also a nervous wreck. I’m scared of flying, always have been, and, when I’m honest with myself, I’m also slightly uncomfortable leaving my steady and well-known surroundings here in Munich behind. Mind you: This is coming from someone who has spent most of last year on the road, constantly changing countries, cities and airbnbs. You would think I am accustomed to this by now, but no: Not even two months back at your old waterhole, and the oh so familiar fear of change starts to creep back in.