Congratulations! You are now the President and Chief Executive Officer of Life, Inc. From this moment on, your job is to make sure that the company runs smoothly and efficiently.
If you want to succeed, you must first divide up the large, sometimes overwhelming corporation that is Life, Inc. into smaller, more manageable departments.
As CEO, you are charged with the task of overseeing each of these departments to ensure their success—and, as a result, the success of Life, Inc. As your advisor, I recommend you split up the company into four key departments: physical, mental, social, and spiritual. We will start here, and grow the company as we go. Heed the following advice, and oversee the success of your individual departments, and I guarantee you the success of Life, Inc.
Exercise every day.
Seriously—Every. Single. Day.
Even if it is just a single push-up, make sure to do something. Ideally, you should be exercising for an hour a day. If you want to get the most out of the physical department, I recommend this. I’ve found the easiest way is to go do something you can get passionate about: train for a marathon, join a Krav Maga gym, go rock climbing, etc. Whatever it is, find your physical activity and get out there!
But you don’t have to just take my word for it. Listen to somebody much smarter than me.
“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”
Even the great philosophers understood the importance of exercise. Go out and realize your “body’s beauty and strength.” Do something physical today. Even if you don’t think you need it, you do.
Look at what great shape Socrates is in. You should listen to him.
Learn something every day. If an entire 24 hours passes without you becoming slightly better at something than the day before, you have failed the CEO. With this department, it is your duty to keep the mind sharp. Your mind is designed like a machine, and you must make sure that it runs at peak efficiency. Here are some of my recommendations:
- Read lots of books and magazines.
- Read online forums and chatrooms.
- Do the crossword puzzle in the newspaper each morning. If you feel confident, don’t just stop at the Daily commuter—go for the New York Times!
- If crosswords aren’t your style, maybe do some Sudoku.
- Or Ken-Ken
- Do some mental math
- Work on a jigsaw puzzle or a Rubik’s cube
- Learn a new language! Russian is nice and challenging, for example.
- If learning a language seems like too much work, just create your own language. It can consist of clicks, whistles and thumbs-up signs exclusively if you want! Strangers might judge you if you practice these in public, but I’m sure they judged J.R.R. Tolkien too!
The bottom line is to do something that keeps those neurons firing. If you keep the mind sharp, this department will run efficiently and the CEO will be pleased. The fact that you’ve made it this far into the post gives me hope. You’re well on your way!
This department is charged with the task of satisfying your personal social needs. Seems simple enough. But in order to do this, you must first recognize what your social needs are.
Most of us know intuitively where we fall along the extrovert-introvert spectrum. Different people find social fulfillment in different ways, and you should realize that. Figure out how you draw your energy, and start hoarding that energy like a hungry raccoon rummaging through a Sam’s Club dumpster for food. Be selfish, and meet your personal social needs. You owe it to the company!
If you’re an introvert, maybe this means spending one day out of the week socializing with your close friends and the other six reading a book and watching movies alone. That’s fine! Do what you gotta do.
If you’re an extrovert, and you need to gain your energy by interacting with forty people every day, fantastic! Try and surround yourself with forty people who influence you in a positive way. If you slowly begin to cut out the people holding you back—petty, jealous, aimless people—while simultaneously filling your life with people who lift you up, you will find yourself positively energized.
Also, I must note that I’m referring to personal social needs—your casual interaction with co-workers this morning probably doesn’t count. Go spend time with your friends! If you don’t have friends yet, that’s okay—try and make some! You should have lots to talk about now that you’re so physically active and well-read.
And don’t be afraid to be the one to make the initial contact! If you’re at all like me, you have lots of “friends” on Facebook that you never keep in touch with. Change that! Send an old acquaintance a friendly hello, or ask them about their hobbies. They might be awkward at first—after all, it’s not every day that a next-to-stranger contacts them out of the blue—but after a while it will pass. If you keep in touch, you might even make a lifelong friend. Or maybe you will meet your arch-nemesis. You will never know if you don’t try! And I’m telling you now that it’s time to start trying.
I’m by no means a religious person. Regardless of your religious beliefs, however, you can definitely benefit from some fine-tuning in the spiritual department.
If you are religious, take some time out of your day to pray. If you aren’t, just take a few minutes out of your day to relax. Close your eyes, stretch out your legs and arms, and try to clear your mind.
You can even expand this spiritual department to overlap with some of the others. Yoga is a great exercise for meditation as well as flexibility. Same goes with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu—if choking people is more your style. With those, you could potentially satisfy the physical, social and spiritual department all in one!
Another way you can satisfy your spiritual department, in my opinion, is to create art. Or, rather, just create something. Whip out some watercolors and paint a landscape; sing a song along to the radio in your car; write poetry. Without a creative outlet, you will miss out on a large part of life. Figure out what it is that you love, whether it be music, art, literature, film, or whatever. Try and create something every day, and your spiritual department will flourish.
Running Life, Inc. won’t be easy. It’ll require sacrifice, hard work, and integrity. You must hold yourself accountable, though! Put up a calendar and mark a giant X in a red marker for every day that you accomplish your goals for each of the departments. It sounds silly, but trust me—it works. After a few days, you can have a steady sequence of big, red X’s. You will feel pride for the progress you’ve made, and you will be able to see it.
If you miss a day, you will probably feel like shit. And you probably should. Your reign as CEO of Life, Inc. is a limited engagement—you need to leave your mark while you’ve still got time! You shouldn’t let days like these become a habit.
But there’s no sense in dwelling on the past. It’s done, and you should look to the future. Hopefully you learned something from yesterday’s fuck up. Now you can begin improving with what you learned. Tomorrow, work twice as hard to make up the difference!
You can do it. Get out there and make the CEO happy. I know you’ve got it in you.
— Juan Gargiulo, Chief Advisor to the CEO