It´s not all sunshine and rainbows.
Thank you, Captain Obvious! However, that´s the gist. If you´re short on time, or are reading this because you´re procrastinating, feel free to go back to work. If not, let me explain.
Oh, upfront, no, you´re not living an alarm-free lifestyle if you are a student. If you´re a student, life should be about getting wasted as often as possible, increasingly larger portions of junk food and proportionately smaller amounts of exercise. If you´re lucky, some mediocre sex too.
Jokes aside, you do have to govern yourself a bit when being a student, but you still have the deadlines, the exams, the “early morning lectures”, whether you take them or not. There is still a plan and structure in place, which makes it way different than the “The Big Bad World” alarm-free lifestyle.
I´ve been living more or less without an alarm clock for the last 18 months. The only time I set the alarm is if I have a flight to catch or if I end up surfing the web till 3am, just to punish myself a little. There´s a lot to this kind of lifestyle, but let me repeat, it´s not all sunshine and rainbows. Yet now, I would have a hard time committing to a longer project requiring every day alarm. Let´s see how a day could start:
I wake up. I check my watch, it says 7.54. I´d love to lay around in bed more, it´s nice and cosy, and there´s not much light coming in from the windows either. However, I know that if I don´t get up now, I´ll end up sleeping another hour. Or three. And that would be the start of another fucked up day…
If I did that, and it used to happen regularly, until I figured it out, I´d waste my entire day. You see when you sleep for too long, your body produces an excess amount of Melatonin, which is a sleep hormone. And with all that chemical sleepiness in your body, you will feel drowsy and sluggish throughout the entire day.
Moreover, sleeping for too long also demotivates me. I lose the killer instinct, I´m not as productive. I fail to ship and to do the important things that should be done that day. Which turns to me not being as happy.
Have several days like this, or even, god forbid, weeks, and you have an almost guaranteed chance of mild depression and the sense of “being lost” in the universe. Starting to feel what I´m talking about? Sunshine and rainbows, right? The list goes on.
As someone living without an alarm clock, you will have to put insane amounts of effort into managing yourself. Meaning you have to get to know yours skills, your capacities and your motivations to a level, where you can “be your own boss” without going broke and moving back to your parents´.
You have to delegate your own time, both “working” time and “off” time. This usually means you work weekends too. And Holidays. And nights. But then again, you can take a random Tuesday, 7th of December off too, so there´s un upside too. This is not easy to learn and will require massive trial and error, plus withstanding all the emotional drama that comes with it.
Not waking up to an alarm clock every day, certainly tells another truth about a person. You probably don´t hold a regular job. Most probably, you´re an entrepreneur or a freelancer. You might also be broke and without a job, but let´s not go there.
You see, being an entrepreneur or a freelancer (from now on entrepreneur for both), has its perks, like not needing an alarm clock. Yet, there´s major issues too. For example, massive uncertainty, at least when you´re starting out. The first years, while you build your expertise and your network, are tough. You more or less have no clue what you´re doing, you´re failing and sucking balls a lot, and probably very stressed about money and whether you can make a living or not on a daily basis.
And that´s what people don´t tell you. Most people, or gurus, nowadays will tell you, just follow your passion and work hard, and you´re guaranteed to succeed. Well, in essence, true. But they should also add that you´ll probably suffer from several anxiety attacks, eat a lot of pasta at some point, and contemplate life and it´s meaning way more often than a “regular person”.
Okay, we´re progressing here. So you´ve learned how to manage yourself, at least basically, and you´ve climbed to some degree of financial safety. Not saying you´re ballin´, but you can pay the bills and there is a bit that remains. Pat yourself on the shoulder, well done. Have a cookie too. Not too much sugar though, it´s a killer.
Next off, I´d love to write about the part where you make a lot of money. So much, that the only way to spend it all on yourself, is to buy private jets, yachts and organize big orgies with lots of high-class escorts and free cocaine for everyone.
Or, slightly more profoundly, how to deal with your real calling when money is not a problem and how to genuinely make this world a better place, with measurable results.
Well, I´m not there yet, so I can´t tell you, ask me in a few years. However, I can tell you how my morning story unwrapped:
I wake up. I check my watch, it says 7.54. I´d love to lay around in bed more, it´s nice and cosy, and there´s not much light coming in from the windows either. However, I know that if I don´t get up now, I´ll end up sleeping another hour or three. And that would be the start of another fucked up day…
So I get up, and sit on my bed for a minute, my head still being half-retarded. Pull on some joggers and a T-shirt, go take a piss. Always sit down btw, otherwise the whole toilet will have the piss everywhere. Next of, coffee.
As I’m making coffee, I get random idea. It´s been ages since I saw a sunrise, and I did wake up pretty early. Ask Google:
“What´s the sunrise time in Barcelona?”
Dope, let´s see. Put on shoes without socks because it´s easier that way, grab a sweater and a jacket, and pop to the rooftop.
I am amazed and breathless in a matter of seconds. I can see the whole city. The sky and the mountains in the distance go from a grey, to pale pink, to orange, to golden within minutes. The sun slowly climbs up and tosses its rays upon the concrete jungle, a new day has started.
I down my coffee, and go back down to my room. Meditate for 10 minutes, of which most is random thoughts bullshit. Then bring the computer to the living room, since my retarded neighbor starts drilling in his flat about this time.
I open up the computer and exert a tiny amount of willpower not opening Facebook and Gmail straight up. I check my “idea” notes from yesterday and see the title of the article I should write:
“Life Lessons from Living without an Alarm Clock”
There´s probably way more thoughts and angles I could add to my post, and that´s okay. Let me know which ones I missed, and how you feel about the ones I didn´t. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day.
And just a reminder, happiness is independent of the lifestyle you choose to live.