Free Motivation from Henry Rollins
PITTSBURGH — I’m a self-employed journalist, and I like to think of myself as an especially ambitious person. A driven, goal-oriented, hard-working writer — even when I don’t particularly want to work hard.
But of course, even the most earnest and enterprising fellow will face days when it seems as if he simply can’t self-motivate. And if this fellow happens to work from a home office, where there is no supervisor in a nearby cubicle, and in fact if there is no cubicle at all, but instead a rickety desk purchased from the As-Is department at the local IKEA, well … this is exactly the sort of person who might find himself in need of a serious shot of positive motivation every now and again. I could be wrong, but I seem to bump face-first into days like these with a bit more frequency than your average go-getter. And while I used to be able to heal myself with loud music, that sort of thing doesn’t seem to work too well these days.
I have a fairly large library of self-help and personal growth books that sometimes help, but you can only read the same tips in the same books so many times. Which is exactly why I was so thrilled when, a few weeks back, I discovered that Henry Rollins maintains a blog on his website. Odd as it may sound, this blog is actually what I often turn to now when I’m feeling helplessly lazy.
Rollins’ blog is the sort that’s generally known as a “What I had for breakfast” blog. He simply writes a few sentences about what it was he did — or didn’t do — on that particular day. Although the unusual thing about the blog is this: I almost never cease to be amazed at the things this guy accomplishes in 24 hours.
It is absolutely unreal, the things this man manages to get done in the space of a day, not to mention the unbelievably long hours he works, and the intensity with which he appears to do it all. I would absolutely love to know where all this intensity and energy actually comes from. It certainly isn’t alcohol or drugs — anyone who follows Rollins’ career knows that the man consumes neither. And yet something he often notes in his posts are the times he wakes up in the morning, and when he goes to bed at night. If you read backwards in the blog for a week or two, you’ll see that Rollins appears to almost never get a full eight hours. Here’s a recent quote:
“Got up at 0430, got 3 hrs of sleep, but I had to prepare for my interview with [obscure hipster artist you’re not cool enough to have heard of], so I’ll catch up on sleep tomorrow. Actually make that next week. I’m too busy. Actually … scratch that. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Got that? OK. WHOO-AH!”
Seriously: Spend some time reading Dispatches, as Rollins calls his blog, and see if you aren’t immediately inspired to finish some random project you started but never finished some months ago. And if anyone reading this happens to know Rollins personally and can shed some light on why he is the way he is, I’d be more than thrilled to hear about it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll post any especially interesting ideas right here on The Labor Party.