What you can learn from the greatest make-out scene in all of literature.
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If you’re keeping track, today is the last day of the Library Challenge.
This is a 4-day event I’ve undertaken to turn a random page from 4 different random books into valuable content.
While I was browsing the books, I anticipated that the first three would be relatively easy. Non-fiction usually has something to work from on every page, otherwise it’s simply too slow and nobody will read the book.
So for my final challenge, I opted for a fiction book. And the one I picked may have been a mistake.
From what I gather, the market is teenage girls. The book is called Chaos, by Sarah Fine, and it’s is heralded as having some of the best make-out scenes in all of literature.
So it’s got that going for it.
At first glance, I had no ideas what I was going to write about.
I thought I would fail the challenge here.
But we all have human nature in common, and despite not having any ideas jump out at me at the bookstore, I was able to find a gem this morning when I revisited the page I captured.
Here’s the set up:
Two women plunged into the depths of hell to rescue a man they both love. He has been mauled and is unconscious. Now they must work together to carry him out of hades without getting caught and trapped there themselves.
The observation that the main character makes is that she “was grateful for the physical effort and clear goal, which left no room for worry or indecision.”
This is a powerful line. It’s a paradox in today’s world.
We’re told by every media outlet, IG model, famous YouTuber, and everywhere we look that having less and doing less will leave us feeling unencumbered, free.
We’re supposed to want the life with complete freedom to do whatever we want each and every day.
We spend all our free time yearning for life to be different.
And instead of happiness, we find misery on this path.
The author points out the antidote to this misery of wanting:
Hard work and a clear goal.
Simply by having a lot to do, you won’t be able to sit around and wish you were less miserable like your favorite psychopathic IG model.
Let me give you an example:
I know a young woman who is a single mother. She works a decent job, but it’s not super high paying. She lives in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Seattle. She takes her kid to school every morning then runs off to work, then picks him up and somehow has time to cook, clean, and have her son’s friends over for a sleepover.
She works hard and has a clear goal. And this leaves no space for indecision or worrying.
The busiest people are often the most productive. The people who have no time to waste are able to produce the highest quality work in the shortest time frame.
It’s those who have the leisure time to reflect on the difficulty of their existence that languish in the worrying and fear.
Here’s another example:
Marriage. Society tells you that you really want the freedom to sleep with whoever you want, hire prostitutes, and be completely unencumbered in your sexual life.
Yet, humans have known for thousands of years that commitment to one person in marriage is significantly more fulfilling by every possible definition of the word. There is no comparison.
With marriage, you have a clear goal and you have to work hard to maintain it over the years.
You think you want freedom but what you really want is purpose.
What is your goal? Is it perfectly clear?
The more you can fill your time with the pursuit of that goal instead of the daydreaming about success and freedom, the better off you’ll be.
You might even be able to rescue yourself out of the depths of Hades.
And that's the finale of the Library Challenge.
If you want to go back to Day 3, click here.