“A joke is a very serious thing.” – Winston Churchill
“Serious sport is war minus the shooting.” – George Orwell
My last post gave 20 reasons why you should take university seriously. But what does it mean to be ‘serious’?
The easiest way to put it is this: If something is significant to you, even a teeny-weeny little bit, it’s serious. End of story.
The laughs, the fun, the food and drink, the friendships…it’s all serious. Geddit?
Don’t get me wrong, your outward character can be as eccentric and as crazily happy as you want. It’s the way you drive your character that needs to be taken seriously.
Enjoyment suffers if you take flight every which way without giving your actions proper thought. A more determined and less casual approach will help you shine. Practice this approach regularly and the mindset will begin to come naturally.
Giving due attention to every aspect of your life is not strictly about success. It’s about attempting to take control and allow you to make your own decisions.
“You can’t control life. It doesn’t wind up perfectly. Only…only art you can control. Art and masturbation. Two areas in which I am an absolute expert.” – Woody Allen, in the film Stardust Memories
Okay, life is so chaotic that random events regularly push us off course. Chance dictates huge amounts of our time, even if we don’t spend our day to day lives considering the abundance of chance in every last thing we do.
Funnily enough, as I was about to post this piece up, the electricity went out. That random event changed my day. It wasn’t scheduled and there was nothing I could have done about it.
I was unable to get on with my scheduled work. I’d been writing blog posts at the computer (including this one). I could have given up and just waited for the electricity to come back…but it took two hours to return! I needed to either find a way to continue as planned, or change my plans in order to accommodate the new circumstances. I chose the former, picking up a pen and pad to write blog posts in a different way.
As soon as unavoidable change comes your way, that’s what you’ve got to decide:
- Find a new way to keep working as planned;
- Alter your scheduled plan so as not to waste time.
As soon as you shrug your shoulders and stop taking the situation seriously, you suffer as a consequence. Ignore the situation completely and chance doesn’t even come into play; you’ve let go before taking any chances.
I’ve done this in the past and I’m sure I’ll do it again. It can’t be avoided completely, because it’s another way the dreaded ‘comfort zone’ lulls us into a false sense of security.
But you can train yourself to be more attentive. It’s not difficult to recognise the ‘switch-off’ moments. You just have to deal with it as soon as possible.
When you find yourself going off the boil, or you begin to ignore the importance of every second of your life, don’t let yourself off. Take the matter into your own hands (i.e. seriously) before you lose even the chance to be where you want to be.
And with that, have yourselves a fun weekend!