Lazy, But Illuminati
By: Kohn-Yay Richards East
Prologue: This will be the only self-help book I ever write because I think everyone possesses the power to help themselves. This statement is not meant to be taken politically. Politics and politicians get it twisted.
If you’re already happy doing your thing, whatever that may be, don’t read this. If you’re curious, check it out. It’s under 15 pages on Microsoft Word.
“It don’t cost a thing”
“But it ain’t free.”
Basically and simply, if you want love in your life, especially if you’re not a data-driven robot yet (no offense data humpers), you have to give it.
I suggest giving it first. Not with the intention to get it back for some type of sociopathic reciprocal karma, but giving love out of the goodness of your heart.
Love the people who raised you (even if they were dicks, unless they were huge dicks in which case don’t let them get to you), who befriended you, who had your back when you were down, and whose back you had. The latter is important. Latter means last in a list if I lost you there for a second high schoolers.
Before we get too lovey dovey, let’s talk about what I mean by love and what it feels like. It’s pretty simple actually. It’s usually the activities, people, and places you enjoy the most and have the most fun being around. That’s it. Look for those qualities, and spend as much time around them as possible.
For me, I love this one girl who I might mention later in this book or might not. I love baseball. I love creative writing and film. I love using humor and real talk to impart wisdom and knowledge. That’s pretty much all I care about along with helping people through favors and noticing when a person needs me. Other than that, I don’t give a shit about much. Real talk. You, yes you, should always give a shit about helping others besides yourself. 1. It’s the right thing to do, and 2. That’s how you get love reciprocated.
Let’s talk about how love is taken away. Kanye West has this quote I thought about a lot during the summer and fall of my 25th year on this planet. The song is “Can’t Tell me Nothing” which has an hilarious video featuring Zach Galifiankis.
“Check it Out!”- Dr. Steve Brule
The lyric is “when you try hard, you die hard.” For about 8 years, I took the love of the game of baseball away from myself because I was trying too hard. Never try too hard. Play hard and have fun playing hard and beating your opponent. Don’t give a shit what your coach, parent, or partna thinks. As soon as you worry about other’s opinions, you lose sight on what’s most important, which is your love for that special something or someone. Many parents, teachers, coaches, and bosses definitely have your best interests in mind and love you. However, sometimes they unknowingly get it twisted. It’s because they’re old. When you’re old and stop learning and changing, you start dying. Real talk.
I’m young and still love to learn. Coach Wujcik (readers, this part is for Richards readers specifically. Deal with it.) is older, but he still learns and is open for dissenting opinions. That’s part of the reason he wins so much along with being a bad ass. That man still scares me to this day, in a good way.
So, what’d we learn in this part of the chapter? Never lose your childhood love for something due to others opinions and expectations, and also, especially not for money. Money is simply a byproduct of playing or doing something you love at your best ability. As soon as you start bringing money into the mindset of the process, you lose sight as to what’s most important. More on money in a second.
At some point, if not already, (mad props to those that work in high school. I was lazy and didn’t), you will have to make money to be financially independent from those who raised you.
Loving what you do
Here’s how you choose what you’re going to do to make money: #FYP. The hash tag is a joke. Hash tags are usually stupid, but what follows this hash tag is mucho importanté. I heard it from my favorite college professor Rob Rouwenhorst the last time I saw him before departing the University of Iowa into the real world. FYP stands for follow your passion. My passion is helping people via meditation, real talk, motivation, and humor. I will be able to do this as a school psychologist and am starting a program in September 2015 at Columbia University, my second ivy league school, no biggie. (Just brushed dirt off my shoulders.) I’m probably the dumbest person to have ever attended two Ivy League schools, but I’m going to be able to because I’m funny, tough, and know what I want. I know what I want because I follow my passion. The point of this paragraph is not to preach how good I am.
Or “how good I look!” – Ron Burgundy
Bump arrogance. (Bump = a word that starts with F that I’ll try to refrain from using.) The point of the paragraph is to say that when you find your passion, that will certainly not come from having money in mind, things will work out if you will them to. See: The Alchemist. It’s a pretty sweet book. So, I hear. Read it. Or don’t, but be a bad ass and follow your passion, whatever it is.
To steal a Kortzism (Coach Kortz is a Richards legend), “here’s the kick,” some of us will find multiple passions and some of us might have to take jobs that allow us to do our passions at different hours. Again, my passions are baseball, writing, film, psychology, and helping people. That’s pretty much all I do aside from loving hanging out with my partna and partnas. (Partna = my girlfriend, Carrie. Her name is actually Caroline, but I should probably change it. Shit. Partnas = my friends, especially the ones I grew up with.) A majority of my moula will come from my work as a school psychologist, which is plenty but far from mad bank, while I often make a little dough filming things such as short films, documentaries, and music videos.
I’ve never been rich and probably never will be rich which is more than fine with me. Rich people, aside from a few select ballers, are usually boring and basic. I used to think it was about being or becoming rich but have come to realize nothing could be further from the truth. Just look at Donald Trump. That guy is so sad and insecure that he had to put his name in huge letters on a Chicago skycscraper just to feel validated. He’s much sadder and more mentally fucked up than you and me. (Parents, sorry for swearing, but so it goes. Also, I dare you to find another educator like me on the South Side or anywhere in general. You won’t. So put up with my antics. Again, sorry, I’m a Kanye West fan (fellow Richards alum) who is part of the reason I’m arrogant. #DealWithIt.)
Does the world need ditch diggers?
Parents probably get this line from Caddyshack, but most kids won’t. Kids, what I mean by this is does the world need some people to do menial and seemingly pointless jobs? I’m too young to completely dissect this complex question, but I do know that some people like working with their hands, which doesn’t necessarily make a job menial and pointless. For instance, I taught a student in Atlanta that didn’t like math and knew he would be working with cars the rest of his life. He loves working on cars. How we came to an agreement though was if we viewed math simply as a way to think and a way to think more quickly about complex problems that can come up from a difficult car to work on, we could enjoy math a little more. Will the same analogy work for AP Physics? Don’t know, good luck.
If someone calls you a ditch digger for being a pipefitter, bank teller, plumber, electrician, cop, fireman, teacher (watch it), fast food worker, bump ‘em. Haters gon’hate. And haters are usually really sad people. My heart goes out to them which is part of the reason I’m almost always happy and never sad. I try to often turn the other cheek then explain my point or love for whatever it is I’m defending. Life’s too short to be brought down by the judgments of others. There’s also too many fun things to enjoy so find your fun and do that a lot.
Drugs and The Environment
On the subject of what fun involves for a second. I recommend it not be through the use of drugs or through the destruction of the environment. I often call my parents’ generation the worst generation of all time. Socrates said over a thousand years ago, “these kids today are awful.” Point being, that someone has always said that these kids today are shit. I don’t agree with that. Kids will be kids and will from time to time fail and do bad things.
“Doin’ bad things is fun.” –Latarian Milton.
The problem with continually doing bad things and not learning from our mistakes is that sometimes those bad things get us thrown in jail, or worse yet, physically or emotionally hurt someone or ourselves. See cheating and heroin.
I argue that hurting someone else vis-à-vis, bringing unnecessary pain to a friend, foe, loved one, or complete stranger is sometimes as bad or worse than going to jail. We jail way too many in this country, but perps need to learn from their mistakes so they stop hurting others.
If you’re dumb enough to get your ass thrown in jail, your ass deserves to be there. (Wrongful jailing aside, which is a tragedy and an almost unforgiveable shortcoming of our law enforcement.) If you also hurt someone in the process, shame on you. One of the keys to life is helping people and as soon as you selfishly hurt someone, you will eventually get yours.
“I guarantee it.” – Men’s Warehouse
Back to drugs, the environment, and how your parents’ generation is kind of the worst. Try to stay away from drugs. They are momentary escapes from reality. Be tough enough to enjoy reality. I’ll show you how to in a minute.
“I guarantee it.” – Why isn’t there a women’s warehouse?
If you’re an experimenter, just be safe and around people you trust if you’re thinking of making a “destructive decision,” that’s all I ask.
Our parents’ generation has continually allowed our environment to be destroyed, despite overwhelming scientific data and 99% of scientists (this ain’t no bull shit 3/5ths compromise) agreeing that global warming/climate change is occurring and it is man-made. If you want to get stomped in an argument and cite Ted Cruz Republican data, “bring that shit to me man.” –Pedro Cerano.
“I will break you.” – Drago
So whatever fun you decide to be your utmost fun, just make sure it isn’t hurting the environment too much. Granted cars aren’t the best for the environment, but currently we need them.
Also periodically ask the question, “is my fun also fun for others and I am hurting anyone (myself included) while having fun?”
Also, please stay away from heroin and hard drugs. I have a sad story on that note to share shortly.
Don’t Be Scared. Go With Your Gut.
If you can’t feel what your passion is from your gut, look back to what you wanted to be when you were 10 years old. If you can’t remember what you wanted to be when you were 10, do less drugs. If you didn’t make it to 10, I’m sorry. However, after a friend of mine, most sadly and unironically died from a heroin overdose before making it past 25, the last year of adolescence for our youth now, I got back in the car after the funeral. After turning on the radio, the first song was a favorite Bob Seger song of his. The second song was “Only The Good Die Young,” by Billy Joel, I shit you not. Freaky, but in a good way, right? This is most certainly not to say that if you become old that this is bad. That’s good. But it is to say that I think depression need not continue after losing a loved one. The loved one wants you to be happy whether they’re in a better place or not. So figure out what makes you happy and do more of that. It’s pretty simple.
“Life’s about farting around, don’t let anyone tell you different.” – Vonnegut
“You never know when you’re going to wake up and get hit by a bus.”- My Grandma
How to not be scared and go with your gut.
I used to be scared of everything – spiders, girls, failure, you name it. I was living in a world of continual Irish guilt and fear. Then I found a little success in one of the things I loved – baseball. The success earned me a Big Ten scholarship. While at the Big Ten University, Rob Rouwenhorst gave a lecture in his Consumer Behavior class about going with your gut. It is now the only way I make big decisions.
A BIG DECISION – defined by me as whom you marry if you want to go that route, what you do professionally or unprofessionally with your life, what career changes you make, where you move to, what car and house you by. In that order. The car and house don’t nearly matter as much.
I’ll try to sum up my life with the least amounts of words as possible so you can go on living yours.
My parents made love. At least I hope they made love, compared to screwing. There’s a difference. Sometimes I think they screwed when they made my brother. That’s a lie. Believe it or not, he’s a better man than I.
I was born in the Morgan Park/Beverly area of Chicago. My brother and I attended South Side Catholic school until 3rd grade when we moved. After we moved, a different Catholic School was going to allow me to enroll but not my brother. Thanks a lot Catholics.
And also no offence Catholics. Pope Francis is a g. I love him very much, no joke.
So we went public after that, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me and why I’m so funny and have such an expanded world view now. This is also no joke.
Public grammar school, public middle school, public high school, public state University.
After hearing that talk from Rob, I eventually received an e-mail from Teach For America. I went to talk to a representative at Starbucks loved what I heard and decided to apply. I was wait-listed not once, not twice, but thrice. After getting in and accepting, I had three days to move to Atlanta. I did but failed a portion of a math certification exam I needed to pass in order to be considered a highly qualified teacher.
I came back to Chicago then received an e-mail a week later saying that I could come back but needed to pass that portion of the exam. I went back, studied, and made it happen. Alchemist moment baby.
Didn’t know what I wanted to do after my second year with TFA so I just hung out and waited for my gut to come in. It could be considered another Alchemist moment. I should probably read that book.
Ms. B next door comes in and asks if I want to go to a talk on a graduate school of education.
I say, “no. I have to coach baseball after school.”
She says, “you’re lame.”
It ended up raining that day. Baseball practice got cancelled so I went. I was asleep during the first 45 minutes of the presentation then woke up for the last 15 minutes and had that undefinable feeling again. My gut feeling, if you will. So I was like, “ya, this is what I’m going to do.” The school was Harvard so I studied real hard for 2 months for the GRE and got a good enough score to get in.
I graduated from that place in only 9 months with a degree in Education Policy and Management and an unofficial minor in film.
I proceeded to follow a band around to make some music videos and mini-doc for them. It was super fun. But it was also super-unstable, nothing against that life style.
Before the tour, my brother came home from out of town and brought me to a football game. At the football game, I met the new vice principal of my alma mater whom I thought was an hilarious security guard or English teacher. He told me to come into Richards and offered me a job. I had that feeling again, went with it, didn’t think twice, and now I may work there the rest of my life because I love it so much.
If you would have told me I’d be working at the place that I was bullied at, made many scared and selfish decisions, and could not wait to leave I would consider performing a tap dance on your face. Not really, but I’d be like, “you crazy.”
Now I have learned how tough that place made me and would like to help kids find their jams earlier, compared to later or never. It’s our job as educators who love kids to inspire, enlighten, and help students find, strengthen, and hone their passions. If you’re a teacher who doesn’t feel this way or feels incapable of performing this necessary duty, do us all a favor and figure it out or get the f out.
I rarely get angry.
“You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” –The Hulk
But when I am, watch out because I will bring the house down on people who don’t want or know how to help kids. Watch yourself.
Happy, inspiring transition sentence to an unrelated chapter about baseball.
The mindset you need to hit a baseball – the hardest thing to do in all of sports.
You must realize that is infinitely far from the hardest thing to do in all of life.
No matter whom the pitcher is, LFG. L stands for let’s. G stands for go. You can figure out what the F stands for.
When the pitcher beats you, which is constant and why hitting is the hardest thing to do in all of sports, your mindset must instantly be, “So what?” – Miles Davis & Brian Wujcik. Then it’s instantly back to step 2.
’s pretty much it. See the ball and use the barrel to hit it hard somewhere.
When in Doubt...
...do what makes for the best story. –Some comedian. If you’re the comedian, e-mail me.
Use with discretion. See the chapter above about not hurting others, including yourself.
What I mean by “Lazy, But Illuminati”
I’m not really lazy, and I’m certainly not Illuminati because I have no idea what the bump that is. What I mean by lazy is after you pick your passions, do them to the best of your ability which will become effortless after you get good enough, do whatever you want with that time. The key is you have to keep helping people unconditionally and out of the goodness of your heart. If you don’t you’re a dick and most people won’t like you as much compared to if you’d help other people. If you don’t like people, I’m sorry that I’m not sorry for your mindset. Figure out how to enjoy your time here. That’s a big part of it. It being how to live. Get it. Figure it out.
How to figure it out.
“I just started pushin’ the right buttons.”
Shawn Achor is a Harvard Psychologist who has, I argue, the most important Ted Talk. Others are good or very good, but his is transcendent. Transcendent in that I feel if you follow his program, which I’ll write shortly, it will help you out no matter who you are and what you’re about.
Just do the following.
Journal Positive Experiences
Random Acts of Kindness
I do all of this daily, and it takes only about an hour and half a day to accomplish all of these things. Take that P90x.
How to do these things.
Sit Indian style on a blanket or something that will make you comfortable. If you’re old, sitting upright in a chair works as well. Touch your thumb to your middle finger and place the backs of your hands on your knees. Just breathe. Don’t think or try not to think. Just be. Invading thoughts may linger in, but eventually they’ll linger out.
When you get good, which I argue can happen as early as 28 days if you do it every day, (doing something for 28 straight days creates a habit which makes whatever it is you’re doing easier and more effortless) you might start feeling your third eye or a sensation on the top of your head and/or down your spine. It’s kind of cool.
I meditate 3 times a day – morning, noon, and night – for 10 minutes each time. If you don’t think you have time to do this, bump you, and tell your boss to bump off. Peak performance involves meditation and mindfulness so your boss should accept that you need a break to do this. If he doesn’t, tell him to talk to my Harvard degree and overall level of being an arrogant, know-it-all bad ass. Treated. Not you, your boss.
I do Vinyasa yoga for about 30 minutes, but you can do whatever. Run, lift, pump, push, pull, whatever. Do it hard with short breaks for 30-45 minutes. Take days off so your body can recover. I work out 3-4 days/week. You don’t need to run marathons or do the crazy intensity workouts. Those people, no offense, have inadequacy and hubris issues.
I have a note on my phone that I update daily before bed with a few sentences of things I enjoyed during the day. Could be something as simple as a cool breeze or seeing a student I teach or player I coach overcome adversity.
Give money to the poor. Offer a friend help to move. Leave a genuine, heartfelt gift in a classmate’s or coworker’s locker. Write a note to someone you care about. Visit or at least call a grandparent or relative. It could be very simple, and what I do is often very simple.
When I’m done writing the daily positive note on my phone, I write three new things I’m grateful for every day. Clean fruit, running water, windows, beautiful paintings, walks with Carrie, sturdy shoes, clean clothes. You’ll find something new every day, and you won’t even have to look that hard.
“Just do it.” – Nike. If they didn’t come up with this, I would like to think that I would have.
Dealing with death and sickness. Be it physical, emotional, or something I haven’t even considered.
One of the sad facts of life is that everyone gets sick and everyone dies. Accept it. Deal with it. The sooner you do, the less you’ll worry. The less you worry, the happier you’ll be. The happier you are, the healthier you’ll be. The happier you are, the better you’ll be at whatever you do. That Harvard psychologist Shawn Achor proved it through his research. I’m writing this book in one day so you can look it up.
I am individually insignificant but can be powerful with others
The only characteristic proven to curb depression is being social. As in, you’ve got to hang out with people. Lucky for me, I’m an extrovert and love hanging out. I’ve never been depressed so I happily or sadly, depending on how you look at it, can’t fully empathize with a depressive personality. At the same time, this doesn’t refute the above research that if you do what I recommend in Chapter 10, you can’t be happier. I do it, and I’m happier that I’ve ever been. If you want to find something else out to do to increase your enjoyment of the human comedy, figure something out yourself and holler at me. No joke, I love hearing about different methods to achieve happiness. I’m just lazy and like sticking to that process.
Picking a process and sticking with it
Figure out what your jam is and keep doing it, believing that it will always bring you what you need. Again, see The Alchemist. Screw it, here’s the quote. “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
Bad times will come your way, but you can shorten those bad times by having a growth mindset. A growth mindset compared to a fixed mindset welcomes adverse situations. An adverse situation can be a bad test grade, a rejection, or whatever pisses you off. Knowing that things will get better and having the resiliency to make them better by not letting the adverse situation bother you too much makes you a bad ass and will continue to make you bad ass that others want to associate and be around.
Pretty much just be a bad ass that’s not scared and always cares about others well being.
That’s all I got for you for now. So do some of this stuff and enjoy life a little more.
“The mass of men and women lead lives of quiet desperation.”
-Thorough, who actually didn’t put women in that quote because he’s a chauvinist
Me in response to Thorough -“So don’t.”
And don’t forget, “so what.”
So...do your thang. Whatever that may be.
Yours truly. And cheers,
Kohn-Yay Richards East
Disclaimer: Louis CK had no involvement in this website or writing this book. He probably doesn’t want to be president, but I argue that he gets it more than 99.9% of politicians if not 100%. I don’t know how good he would be at foreign affairs stuff, but he’d probably still be better than the politicized, spineless selfish shitheads we have running this country right now.
This is ad-free information. If someone wants to contact me about a book deal, you can reach me at email@example.com Thank you. I’m going back to grad school next year and would like more money so I don’t have to work 3 jobs to afford rent again. I don’t like doing too much.
All of my family, especially my mom or “ma,” as a I call her, for putting up with 3 wretched boys.
Also, my dad, despite him thinking he’s always right. Wonder where I get that from.
Definitely my brother.
All of the selfish weaklings, power-hungry sociopaths, and wet blankets that make me look cooler than I actually am. If you’re one of these types of people, you may want to take my advice. Or don’t, in which case you will be material for me in the future. Sorry ‘bout it.
And most of all, I’d like to thank those that are tough enough to ask for help along with those who never get a chance to ask for help. I love you and will do my best to in some way, shape, or form, inspire you to figure out how to live your best possible life. Whatever that means for you.
And Bill Bodell who doesn’t know shit. Figure it out dude. Come at me again, and I may have to make an amazing film that someone might actually watch.
The mic has dropped. Do that yourself as much as you can. Dropping the mic, that is. I’m out.