WFH. Working from home. It’s morning now at 7:27 AM. We we only have two cars at a three person home. Last night it was scheduled that I’d drop my mom off at work this morning and then drive to work myself. The only problem was that I spent until around 1 AM or so writing last night’s entry and I felt extremely tired before going to bed, so I wrote a note saying my mom could just take the car and let me sleep.
The thing is, she still hasn’t actually left yet at 7:30 now. I spoke too soon, she just left at 7:31 AM and I went over to say goodbye. But usually we schedule ourselves leaving at 7:30 AM so I’d often be jostled awake up at 7:00 AM ruining all my rest. I’d feel really groggy and tired working in that state. Still, I woke up on my own at around 7:11 AM today and and didn’t really feel tired, but I still decided to just work from home this morning instead of dropping her off and going to work early.
One of the most powerful benefits I have is that I’m allowed to set my own hours, meaning I can start and stop working at anytime, and work from home at my choosing. This is cool because I don’t have to set up an alarm clock to wake up, I wake up when I wake up and go to work at anytime. You don’t have to state a reason for working from home or coming in later at 3 PM either, people understand that others have lives.
An associated benefit because we can set our own hours, is that we have keys and are allowed to go in and out of the office at anytime as well. This is an insanely powerful benefit and a lot of people have never visited after office hours because they simply live too far away. I admit, I don’t take full advantage of this benefit either because it’s 15-20 minutes away. Despite all its commodities, it’s around an hour there and back. That can potentially be a lot of time wasted that could be spent doing something else.
Office at Night
The office has all the commodities of home and more; there’s food, drinks, a gym, showers, lots of space, lots of rooms, lots of technology and toys to play with. After a night of going out, there’s plenty of couches to crash on. There’s just one private room called the ‘quiet room’ which has opaque doors, all the other rooms besides the offices and bathrooms are doors with glass, so not really any privacy. The quiet room is my personal go-to when I’m feeling overwhelmed. No one else uses, it’s always vacant. I think there’s some sort of stigma attached to anybody going in there, but I don’t feel it, it’s an escape from the world and I feel relieved after lying in there for a while.
I just bring it up because these are two benefits benefits that no one can truly take full advantage of. Sure you’re contractually allowed to take every day in an entire year off. You can also live in the office, eat all the food, drink all the drinks, use the showers, sleep in the quiet room, while technically out on vacation. But that’s an entire year. I’ve tried taking off an entire month and about two weeks in and I got emails saying they really needed me back. It was bad timing on my part taking off during a very busy season.
I’m starting to open up a little bit more. Usually the above four paragraphs are things I’d keep to myself, but there you go. It didn’t feel painful at all laying it out on the table like that. So now the worst part about working from home is that you’re working from home. This is a place where you can feel free to do anything you’d like, so it becomes harder to concentrate on anything.
Eating some grapes
They’re pretty good
Part of why I decided to work from home today is because I needed a break. I’m taking off Tuesday through Friday next week for the same reason, also because it’s Thanksgiving. I’d have taken off Monday as well but Chip says he needs me. Another reason I need a break is that my eyes last night were a bit blurry and that terrifies me. I’m already nearly blind, I most likely need laser eye surgery in the future, but that’s something I’d really need to save up for.
I wanted today to be a day where I can relax my eyes from the screen a bit, so I’m going to eat breakfast and walk outside for a while.
Outdoor view taken from an old phone
Well that was possibly one of the least productive days I’ve ever lived. I’m updating this now around 18 hours later from when I wrote that last paragraph. I can’t really say that anything got done for myself personally. In terms of work however, I finished what I needed to.
I didn’t know how today would end. As I was writing about going outside, the day was just getting started. It was 8 AM while I was writing that and the day felt so full of potential – so brand new. But having so much freedom for me is a double edged sword. Despite knowing what needed to be done, I felt lazy and procrastinated.
I had to drive around to get some errands done – return an item to a store for my dad, and get some new books from the library. Driving around was kind of depressing. Not that the day wasn’t great, it was. The day was awesome, but I just looked around and thought, is this all there is? I saw garbage men driving around and picking up garbage, post office delivery men delivering mail and packages, people driving around going to different places, and I saw a couple of new Porche’s driven by the elderly.
Kind of… boring? I thought. When I got to the outlet store, there were a lot of Christmas decorations and Christmas themed items for sale, and the lines were long. I saw mostly older people above their 40s waiting around in line, buying whatever cheap outlet items they were buying. I walked passed the crowded line and took a look at some jackets, they were nice. But I was losing weight, I didn’t want to buy anything if it wouldn’t fit me a few months later. After taking a look at the long line again, surprisingly long for ~11:30 AM on a weekday, I left. Not going to waste another minute.
I went to the library afterwards. It was another safe haven for me. Any question you could ever have asked, was already answered by someone else. And they wrote it all down in a book. I wanted to read every single book in there, if there was just a way to ‘download knowledge’ instead of having to read a book line by line, thinking about the ideas, processing the ideas, and then storing the ideas. But then everyone would have that ability, and life would be extremely dull if everyone possessed the same amount of knowledge and skill.
I brought a backpack with my laptop it in to the library, wanting to see what it would be like if I sat down here and tried to work for a bit. I sat down, placed a backpack on the table, and nope. This was going to be extremely uncomfortable. I’m most comfortable lying down on my stomach using a computer, or sitting in front of an elevated desk like the picture from yesterday’s post, but to arch downward to use a computer really makes my neck and upper back feel uncomfortable. I decided to check some books and go home.
I could’ve gone out and bought some food too, but I barely ate this entire day. Today was probably the day where I ate the least amount of food in over 1 year. I probably ate around 1000 calories total, normally I’d be eating 2000-3000+. Yesterday I ate around 2000-3000+. But today, I wasn’t feeling hungry.
I got home and just sat and read books for a while. Hmm. Nothing like the feeling of absorbing knowledge. I kind of feel like I already know all of this though, a lot of what I read was just repeat ideas I’ve already known about for a while. I gave ideas of this nature a name of ‘obvious philosophy’ because there hasn’t been anything I’ve read that has blown my mind recently. It’s all so obvious to me. I spent a few hours reading.
There were a few surprising things I did learn today though that wasn’t quite part of the ‘obvious philosphy’ I was normally accustomed to. Even after learning about these ideas, my honest character still had a hard time accepting the reality. I looked up Machiavelli’s The Prince, and I saw a YouTube video and read quick summarized ideas from the book. It has very interesting ideas and observations about society in regards to deception.
There is this book on deception called The Art of Deception by Kevin Mitnick. To me, everything in that book was ‘obvious philosophy’. Maybe I’ve read too many psychology and philosophy books, but there was nothing in there that shocked me. To me, that entire book was filled with obvious ideas, but to a lot of people the ideas in that book were groundbreaking.
Machiavelli’s The Prince wasn’t exactly groundbreaking for me, but it did lay down ideas I hadn’t thought about or understood too much. It’s kind of cruel. But the basic idea is that to be an effective leader, one has to be immoral and dishonest while appearing to be just and honest. He gives lots of examples.
The ideal leader that we think about is fair, honest, and good. But such an ideal leader would not be able to function properly in society. Honest politicians don’t exist because either they’ll be too easily controlled by the people or individuals or they can even be destroyed by underhanded tactics from competitors. Case in point from Trump against Hillary, though I’m pretty sure every politician is corrupt and Hillary is no exception, Trump was the more corrupt of the two and it was plainly obvious, yet he was voted into office.
One of the most corrupt people in the world is now at the helm of the world’s most powerful country. That’s a scary thought. I can already foretell what is going to happen, according to Machiavelli’s insights. At some point in his presidency, Trump is going to do something disastrous. Maybe end a lot of innocent lives. Maybe start a war. Maybe lose many American lives that didn’t need to be lost. You know what’s going to happen though? He’s not going to take the blame for it, much like the political examples given in Machiavelli’s book, it’s really easy to have a scapegoat.
People have been falling to obvious deception for eons. I don’t understand it, well I sort of do now after having read excerpts from Machiavelli’s The Prince. Individually people come up with all these great books inside of the library, but as a whole, people bow down and obey these politically corrupt leaders. And it becomes really obvious that they’re corrupt too after you know what to look for.
The examples are what did it for me. A political leader can screw up a lot. They can just put the blame on somebody, say an apology to the masses, and people forgive this political leader. It is kind of disappointing how easy it is to manipulate masses of people. I’m watching a documentary called Machiavelli: The Prince now and these are some key ideas I’m taking. These will be used by Trump, pretty sure unconsciously. He already knows these ideas by heart.
- “Act boldly in the beginning. The public has a short attention span. It will make them forget the accomplishments of your predecessor and impress them with your vigor.”
- “Make your first priority the protection of your power. Without it, you are useless”
- “Be ruthless, cruel, evil, know how to lie and break every word, be ready to violate every ethical and religious principle when needed, but appear compassionate, moral, and devout”
- “Remember, some of God’s greatest gifts are broken campaign promises”
It is frightening how a book from the 1500s is so powerfully aligned with the world of politics and business of today. Of course, today being 2016. I put emphasis on that because even though the year 1116 and 1516 are 400 years apart and many generations of people lived through that era, in our eyes from the future looking back, we don’t see any difference really between 1116 and 1516. That’s like thinking there’s no difference between 2016 and 2416.