Sugar Free Energy

loukessler:

“Calm, focused, undistracted, the linear mind is being pushed aside by a new kind of mind that wants and needs to take in and dole out information in short, disjointed, often overlapping bursts—the faster the better”

In a time of ever-expanding markets feeding on rebellion, that futility makes sense: where there’s an oscillation between two seemingly opposing ideologies of capital and resistance, it creates a feedback loop of celebrating and rejecting a hyper-capitalist aesthetic of endless consumption until the two, inevitably, blur into one. In enjoying the superficial frippery at the same time as recognising its profoundly destructive darkness, “more” appears to be the maximalist mantra that Kyary and SOPHIE share, but of what remains a mystery. That’s the revealing duality of this 21st century incarnation of ‘cute’—it identifies the emptiness in excess that is as true as it is ultimately terrifying.

PLATITUDES FOR SUCESS HAPPINESS AND PROFIT: A COLLECTION BY LOU:

"Individuals have flinches, but so do organizations and cultures. They can invoke a fear of a certain kind of person, a kind of racism or xenophobia, or a fear of new technology or outside influences. Whatever form it takes, the flinch is there to support the status quo. It whispers in your ear so you’ll dismiss a good idea that requires a lot of change. It stops you from seeing an up-and-coming competitor as a threat. It’s the reason most modern movies are remakes and most successful books are sequels. Think of a bear. You see it, and you react, instantly. You know how to deal because your brain is built to help you survive it. You run, jump, fight, or hide. But that’s not the world you’re in, so instead, flinching happens at job interviews or when you’re asking a girl to the prom. Those things get magnified. Your privileged-world problems become the bear, and you treat them that way.

Here’s the thing: the lessons you learn best are those you get burned by. Without the scar, there’s no evidence or strong memory.

Over a lifetime, those who listen too much build a habit of trust and conformity. Unfortunately, as time goes on, that habit becomes unbreakable.

You can’t settle for reaching other people’s limits. You have to reach yours.

The anxiety of the flinch is almost always worse than the pain itself. You’ve forgotten that. You need more scars. You need to live.
the world is a furnace of constant, unrelenting pressure.

Either you’re crushed by it or it makes you into a diamond. Either you’re burned by it, or it forges you into unbreakable steel.

Ask yourself this: would your childhood self be proud of you, or embarrassed?

Start doing the opposite of your habits. It builds up your tolerance to the flinch and its power.

Straight-A student. Straight to college. Straight to work. Straight up the corporate ladder. Straight to the suburbs. Damn, you’ve been scared straight.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

In a fight, a good opponent watches for patterns and is waiting for you to flinch. It is the point at which he can hit the hardest. In rugby, I was told, “Show me a guy who flinches and I’ll show you a guy who gets injured.” In mountain biking, they say the best way to get hurt is to brake. Riding fast helps.

Your personality is not set in stone. You may think a morning coffee is the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it’s really just a habit. Thirty days without it, and you would be fine. You think you have a soul mate, but in fact you could have had any number of spouses. You would have evolved differently, but been just as happy.

The first step is to stop seeing everything as a threat. You can’t will this to happen—it requires wider exposure. If you’ve been punched in the face, you won’t worry as much about a mugger, for example. If you face the flinch in meditation, you don’t worry about a long line at the bank. Build your base of confidence by having a vaster set of experiences to call upon, and you’ll realize you can handle more than you used to. Doing the uncomfortable is key. It widens your circle of comfort.

Train yourself to flinch forward, and your world changes radically. You respond to challenges by pushing ahead instead of shrinking back. You become bigger instead of smaller; you’re more stable and more confident. Your world becomes a series of obstacles to overcome, instead of attacks you flinch at.

You think all you need is your lucky break. Wrong. You haven’t done what’s necessary at all. You haven’t made the sacrifices. You haven’t put in the time. You haven’t faced the flinch. You haven’t learned the lessons and you don’t have the scars. Not for the fights that matter.


Set fire to your old self. It’s not needed here. It’s too busy shopping, gossiping about others, and watching days go by and asking why you haven’t gotten as far as you’d like. This old self will die and be forgotten by all but family, and replaced by someone who makes a difference.

The next homework assignment is simple. The next time someone asks for a volunteer, for anything whatsoever, say yes.

Adjust to it. You will never be entirely comfortable. This is the truth behind the champion—he is always fighting something. To do otherwise is to settle.

From the outside looking in, everyone looks like a conformist. But really, no one is; they’re just waiting for another person to speak up.

So if you see no one like you, no one who agrees, don’t worry. There are actually hundreds of people like you, and they’re waiting for a leader. That person is you.

There are a hundred names for those people and behaviors: lazy,
avoidance, cynical, arrogant, and anything in between.

Read more. Not just current blog posts and tweets and Facebook updates online, but other sources that take more consideration than blog posts or news. Find thorough and analyses of subjects you find interesting, or irreverent stuff that makes you feel alive. Read things you disagree with. Read things that are too difficult for you to understand, and then overcome your discomfort by pushing yourself to understand them. Find new friends who make you feel uncomfortable, either because they have done more than you or because they have done nothing that you have. Meet tattoo artists or homeless people, millionaires or best-selling authors. Host dinner parties for them. Serve them bizarre food. Why the hell not?

Create a new job title for yourself; then carve out the job.

Start dressing as if you had a very important job or meeting, or as if you were twenty years old again and thought you were the coolest person on Earth. What would you do differently? How would people treat you once you did?

Stay uncomfortable. Fight the flinch wherever you see it.”

Julien Smith

Sugar Free Energy

loukessler:

“Calm, focused, undistracted, the linear mind is being pushed aside by a new kind of mind that wants and needs to take in and dole out information in short, disjointed, often overlapping bursts—the faster the better”

In a time of ever-expanding markets feeding on rebellion, that futility makes sense: where there’s an oscillation between two seemingly opposing ideologies of capital and resistance, it creates a feedback loop of celebrating and rejecting a hyper-capitalist aesthetic of endless consumption until the two, inevitably, blur into one. In enjoying the superficial frippery at the same time as recognising its profoundly destructive darkness, “more” appears to be the maximalist mantra that Kyary and SOPHIE share, but of what remains a mystery. That’s the revealing duality of this 21st century incarnation of ‘cute’—it identifies the emptiness in excess that is as true as it is ultimately terrifying.