GOOD

24 Hours To Greatness

Resolving to become a better me wasn’t working out. So I decided to take a more radical approach

There’s a lot of complicated stuff out there that I wish I knew how to fix. But who am I to save the world? Right now, I can barely take care of myself. It’s certainly not for lack of desire—my apartment harbors plenty of evidence of an alternate, perfect me. A copy of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has cluttered my nightstand for a year. While I devoured perpetual lifehacker Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Body book—white foods bad! gut bacteria good! red wine ok-ish?—the closest I came to following his “superhuman” diet plan was posting it on the fridge. I even considered proto-productivity guru Benjamin Franklin’s strict hourly schedule, which he scrupulously tracked in a virtue journal—until I got to the part about a chaste, sober, and totally sincere life.

Perhaps it’s time for a new strategy. Instead of all these piecemeal failures, I’m going gung-ho on every lifestyle tip I can think of, all at once, within the span of a single day. Can a 24-hour optimization boot camp overhaul my undisciplined mind, leading to that ever elusive perfection? There’s only one way to find out.


[quote position="right" is_quote="true"]A copy of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has cluttered my nightstand for a year. [/quote]

5 a.m. Wake early. Ben Franklin greeted each day with a Deist power mantra: “O powerful goodness! Bountiful Father! Merciful Guide! Increase in me that wisdom which discovers my truest interest.” My truest interest! I can’t wait to find out what that is.

6 a.m. Get organized. Franklin liked to “contrive the day’s business” in that virtue journal he was so fond of. I do the same in a bullet journal, a trendy to-do list/sketchbook that aims to maximize productivity by forcing you to write things out by hand. Also, you use icons for some reason. An open circle indicates an event; a bullet point is a task. I log my agenda for the day, which includes whittling down my belongings, fitting in some super-efficient exercise, turbo-charging my creativity, and becoming a better person. NBD.

7 a.m. Spark joy. I put away laundry using minimalist phenom Marie Kondo’s methods, such as: Treat the act of folding as an appreciation for the way clothes support our lifestyle. It’s true. This bra has supported me often. But do these pants “spark joy” in my heart? Merciful Guide, they do not.

8 a.m. Hack my metabolism. According to The 4-Hour Body, I can prime my metabolism by doing a series of deep knee bends and chinups whenever, wherever—even in a bathroom stall! Luckily, I’m at home, so I can squat unseen. I do 10 moves in a row and celebrate by crossing out a task. Damn, that feels good.

9 a.m. Manifest my destiny. I half-listen during a meeting and jot down a few standby affirmations from that old self-help chestnut The Secret. The one that tells me “I have as much brightness to light up this world as anyone” puts me in the right mindset to tackle a project due EOD today: a marketing deck for a body wash that, according to our copywriter, smells like both a rare ghost orchid and your first kiss.

[quote position="full" is_quote="true"]Brainstorming in a cool co-working space with exposed brick walls and a foosball table isn’t doing it for me anymore.[/quote]

10 a.m. Realization. I don’t care about selling body wash—not even on behalf of a resumé-boosting multinational client employing innovative scent technologies. Brainstorming in a cool co-working space with exposed brick walls and a foosball table isn’t doing it for me anymore, either. Bullet point: “Be own boss 1 day.”

12 p.m. Be charitable AF. To maximize my lunch hour, I donate my joyless pants and stop by a coffee shop to jot down startup ideas. The best one has to be “Uber for Showers,” an on-demand, portable spa facility. For every 10 showers booked, one will be given to someone in need. So generous! I keep up my benevolent attitude by lowering a $10 bill slowly into the tip jar so the barista will perceive me as a kind, glamorous stranger with moonshot ideas. He doesn’t notice.

2-5 p.m. Be mindful. I close my bullet journal, and finish up that deck. We dazzle the client with our insider millennial insights! And yet, while my mouth says body wash, my heart murmurs Uber for Showers.

6 p.m. Engage. I arrive home to enjoy “supper, music, diversion, conversation, and examination of the day,” just like Franklin. I cook up lentil chili (#4hourbod FTW!) and discuss the day with my wife. I put on the most inspirational music I can dig up—Beyoncé’s “Flawless.”

9 p.m. See the big picture. Before bed, Franklin always asked himself “What Good Have I Done To-Day,” so I take stock. I streamlined my household pants supply, squeezed in a workout, and thought outside of the shower stall. Will my startup be my “truest interest”? Probably not. Based on today’s exhaustive wisdom, greatness is just a matter of time. •

Articles
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

Keep Reading Show less

September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
Health