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An Anti Lazy P.O.S. Lifestyle Design Travel Story

This is the story of a man in China with no eyes and a funky looking guitar. It’s a story of a man that has very little means compared to us. It’s the story of a man about persistence, dedication, and commitment even through moments of strife.

There are a few things in life that typically will not take you to the vast far and wide places you wish to go. These are things like constant body odor, smoking (not sure if you heard, but it’ll kill ya), toxic friends, and most of all, being a lazy Piece of Sh*t.

Hey, sometimes there’s nothing I love more than shacking up in my Snuggie on a Sunday and watching The Office all-day-long. It’s okay to be a lazy POS in moderation every once in awhile. It’s good for the soul, and I love Dwight.

But what about the guy that never stops? What about the people that are doing good work and creating art and change 365 days a year, from sunrise to sundown, in rain or shine, no matter what the circumstance? What about the people that don’t have the freedom to by lazy?

THE CATALYST FOR THIS LESSON IN THE P.O.S. LIFESTYLE

There’s something about exploring other parts of the globe that seems to be one of the greatest catalysts in finding perspective and understanding in your life and in humanity in general.

When I compare the person I was before I lived in China for a year with who I was a year later, it is astounding that yes, at my root I am still the same goofy girl, but my overall self has grown and expanded in so many ways. (What a close-minded, narcissist I was before hand.;-) )

When you’re exploring uncharted territory unlike any place you’ve ever been, you’re bound to see things that blow your mind. You see the way a different culture and people interact – both in greater harmony than you’ve ever seen as well as hatred. You see their customs and traditions that are so different and so much older than your own. You see things that piss you off and humble you to a point where you think you’ll never take this or that for granted again. You  see So Freaking Much.

A STORY OF WHAT I SAW

That year in China I saw one of the greatest examples of persistence, of anti-laziness, of never giving up I have ever seen.

Rain or shine, scorching heat, heavy snowfall, harsh winds, pouring rain (you get the picture) there was a man who sat outside the Shuangjing subway station  a block from my apartment in Beijing from dusk until dawn playing his Chinese guitar/violin Erhu.

This man was blind. He wore the same clothes each day. He grew his hair long all winter and cut it once short in the summer. He didn’t beg, he didn’t lay on the ground and give up. He worked his ass off day after day without even making a frown.

He kept going. Every single day.

While I was was in China we lived through the coldest day in 60 years and the greatest snowfall in 50 years that Beijing had experienced. He was still out there playing his Erhu for the subway riders to hear.

That is commitment. That is persistence . That is dedication.

THE LESSON WE CAN TAKE FROM THIS

I spent a long time on those subway rides thinking about him. He humbled me every day. He taught me be thankful for what I had, showed me what a strong work ethic is, and truly inspired me. And among the many things I took away from having this man in my life for a year, I think the following two lessons are some of the ones I’ve held most dearly:

Keep Going – Keep going even when the odds are against you, it seems like every opportunity is escaping you, and it feels like the calm after the storm will never come. Let the story of this man humble you – someone who has been handed far less on a silver planner than you and I, and is still doing everything he can 365 days a week to live his life proudly and with passion.

Explore More – It is so amazing seeking out and experiencing things that are out of the box, be it through world travel or simply by trying new things and connecting with different people. The best way to expand your mind and to really grow as a person is to stretch your limits, open your eyes, let yourself truly, deeply feel, and simply explore the unkown. There’s nothing more exciting. 🙂

Life is too short and we have too many opportunities knocking at our door to simply live a Lazy P.O.S. lifestyle. Let’s take advantage of what we’ve got and make something great of ourselves! And hey in the process, you’ll likely inspire a lot of others to do the same.

PS – It is still okay to watch the Office in your Snuggie all day Sunday. (ESPN is different haha)

What are your travel experiences that have humbled you and made you a better person?

Are you giving yourself the work ethic you deserve to reach the far & wide places you wish to go?

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About Lauren Rains

Life gets pretty f*cking nuts sometimes, doesn't it? Every day I wake up more to myself and more to this world. This website is an expression of that.

Space Travelers is multi-layered exploration of our existence here on this rock we call Earth. We're going to talk about the matrix, UFOs, and astral travel, and explore our awakening into the divine masculine and feminine. We'll discover our bodies both the physical and subtle body. We'll contemplate the sacredness of mother earth and the concept of who/what the hell made this place in the first place?

I also aim to keep this website rooted and grounded, referring to topics that are effecting us in the here and now, such as fighting against the oppression of women worldwide, pealing away layers of social conditioning greedy capitalists are using to turn us into consumers, and navigating this insane technological revolution before the AI take over. I can geek out on consciousness up in space all day, but life happens here on the ground and this is the time we were born into.

This website is about integrating into our full human experience, aligning with ourselves and with each other, shedding skins and transcending into the unfolding layers of ourselves.

My wish for you, and for myself, is to unfold and evolve into our highest selves. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. We need not sell our souls to the status quo.

I'm on the journey too. I write this blog to speak to others who are waking up, or who desire to wake up. Because we can't do this alone.

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  • I concur with you whole-heartedly Lauren – there is much to be learned from other cultures and people throughout the world. Having tasted a few, it just gives me a hunger to learn and experience more. Life is too short… We need to break through that near-sightedness and began to see how much bigger the world is and the vast opportunities that are available to all who see them.

    Have a great weekend : )

    • Hey Mark!
      Great way to put it! – “We need to break through the near-sightedness”. That really is a lot of it, ya know? It’s not so blurry and difficult to read and understand once you LET yourself see.
      I’m the same way though – once you’ve tasted what it’s like to experience different cultures and people it’s a fascination that you just want to keep exploring.
      I’d love to hear more about the places you’ve gone and the lessons you’ve learned.

      You have a Great weekend as well Mark! 🙂

  • carole

    i wonder what he told himself every morning that kept him going. i could use some of that.

    • Hey Carole!

      I think he told himself, “Today I am going to work my hardest and do my best for the people I love and that love me, because I deserve nothing less than to try my hardest, and because this moment is all I have.”

      I could definitely use some of that mentality on my off days as well and to push me even further on my on days.

  • Lauren,

    I loved this post. There’s an amazing lesson in persistence here. Most of us give up so easily on what we really want in life. At the first sign of a hurdle or a barrier we throw in the towel and then we start making our list of reasons why we can’t do things. Then you read a story like this and you realize how easy we have it and how made up most of our own excuses are.

    • Hey Srini!
      Yea it’s pretty crazy how made up our excuses can get. There’s always always always a reason not to do something, ya know? “I want to workout everyday, buttttt I’d rather sleep in – I hate sweating – I’m already too out of shape – it’s too cold / hot.” We throw in the towel before we even try half the time!

      Every once in awhile we get to witness something like this that reminds us not to throw in the towel because we are way more lucky and fortunate and have some much more potential than we often let ourselves admit.

  • Fatts

    There are many time I feel the same you you’ve describe here. Just yesterday after a long 12 hours of work, I was dead tired, feeling weak and kinda down. When I saw the BaoAn who stood there at attention (kinda), I felt lucky to be working with something I love and do very proudly. I have a choice, he doesn’t.
    Tks Lauren!

    • Ni Hao Husain!
      As you know I can totally relate. I definitely have my fair share of days just like that. BUt, yea, I mean, if we let ourselves be humbled enough to realize what we have even when we’re at our worst, well, we still have reason to smile 🙂

      There was so much I experienced during my time in China that made me grow and open my eyes. Another thing for you to be happy about – you’re still there! I know, I know – Beijing is not the easiest city to live in haha. But, in all honesty, I miss it a lot sometimes. Just the whole everyday is an adventure. Learning life lessons constantly just by the things I saw and the people I met and experiencing that culture. Don’t forget to take advantage of that too! You’ve been there for awhile so it’s easy to fall into the “I just live here” mode. You’re still on the adventure Husain!!!

      I hope everything is going GREAT w u these days Husain and that you’re holding things down nicely in the JING! 🙂

  • You own a Snuggie? Oh dear…

    I have 2 travel stories that have humbled me:

    1) A 30-day mountaineering trip in the Canadian mountains. When packing, the guides laughed at my attempt to bring deodorant and scorned me for trying to bring more than 3 pairs of socks and underwear. It ended up being the worst June weather EVER in South-West Canada which meant travelling in white-out blizzard conditions day-after-day. I thought I would be grateful to have a warm bed and dry socks after the 30-days but instead I was frustrated and annoyed hearing “normal people” complain about silly shit.

    2) A month in Ecuador. I traveled to a town that hasn’t had running water in over 6 years. Tanker trucks haul water in a couple times a week and people shower with a giant hose in ally ways. Ironically, they seemed happier than people in North America. How could they have so little but be so content?

    Next place I want to go is India. I’m sure my North American snobbery will be bitch-slapped out of me on that trip.

    Great story 🙂

  • Hey Collin!
    Wow both those experiences are fantastic!
    1st of all – 30 day mountaineering trip! that is AMAZING. I recently started dreaming up plans to hike the entire Appalachian trail. And while I think that that trip may be on the back burner for awhile, I’m dieing to do a long term, get my ass kicked, total immersion trekking trip like that.
    You have to read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. It’s about his experience hiking the entire Trail – hilarious. My favorite line from it so far is, “When guys in camouflage pants & hunting hats sat around in the 4 Acres Diner talking about fearsome things done out-of-doors, I would no longer have to feel like such a cupcake. I wanted a little of that swagger that comes with being able to gaze at a far horizon, through eyes of chipped granite and say with a slow, manly sniff, “Yeah, I’ve shit in the woods.” (hahah – classic)
    Truly a humbling experience though. You’ll never take a pair of socks and a warm night’s sleep for granted again.

    And as far as your month in Ecuador – It’s interesting how we are shown images and videos of people living without all the things we have – like running water – and oftentimes it never really hits us until we actually see it and experience it. It must have been a truly humbling experience to spend some time there.

    Sometimes you just have to be IN THAT MOMENT in order to truly learn from it.

    Thanks for sharing those awesome stories Collin!

    Honestly, I know you have a bromance, but

  • Did you ever go up to him & try to talk to him???

    As I read this story I said out loud “HOLY SHIT”. I seriously and still like wow this man is the real deal. Talk about dedication it cant get better than that. Wow I feel like a POS now for alway complaining about what I do and all the lil things that bother me. Imagine doing that every day. To top it off I am one of the most lazy people in the world… like for real I am so lazy I sometimes wonder how the hell am I going to travel the world. Well at lazy I am not too lazy cus I am making sure I make my dream happen.

    • Hey Jaime!
      haha, you know what? I never did go up to him and talk to him. Although, I think not knowing his story also made the whole thing even more intriguing.
      But yea, he puts most of us to shame! haha. And you can’t be that lazy if you’ve got the initiative to travel around the entire world and you’ve build up a kickass blog! That takes effort not laziness 🙂 You just gotta give your fine self some credit! As your girl Kelly Clarkson sang, “Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this.”
      And while I think she was singing about a kiss & being in love, let’s just change it to the moment when we take some damn action towards fulfilling one of our dreams. 😀 Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like that!

      You’re definitely not as lazy as you think! 🙂

      • That is true… I guess it makes every thing more intriguing. I just think after a year I would have been to curious to know his story for sure. Well at least now it will intrique you forever and in your mind you can make up a million things.

        Thanks about me not being lazy. I guess you are right I am planning a big trip and well that is not lazy and well my blog… Im not lazy when I post. Sometimes i go weeks neglecting it and then post jaja.

        LOVE THE KC quote!!! That can be about anything. I think any song is up to interpretation for the situation you are in.

        • Jaime!
          I’m curious about everyone’s stories in general, but I you can’ t help but wonder the stories behind the men and women that are living on the streets. Even worse – their children. A few weeks ago I was in Central Park, NYC walking around the fountains and there was this young looking homeless man sitting in the corner of an old pavilion while another family was singing “somewhere over the rainbow.” The guy was just sittin there listening, and he looked, well, empty. How do people get in those places, ya know?
          What was amazing about this man in China was he wasn’t sitting in the corner looking empty, he found something to fill his heart.

          And if you’re lazy, it’s all good. There are def. people far lazier than you – they’re called 35 year old men that still live with their moms and have big nasty beer bellies and no personal hygiene haha.

  • Lauren,

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. It certainly gives us perspective on how lucky we are to be able to have those days of curling up and watching the office marathon (guilty!).

    Our places of humbling were in both Bolivia and Ecuador where some communities live on and have so little yet seem so much more happier in life. There is so much more a sense of community and family, and if you get to spend extended time here (which we are able to do) you become part of that community and realize why they are content in life.

    I earnestly agree with both of your lessons to take from this, and we try to do those every day.

    Thanks again,
    Peter

    • Hey Peter!

      So amazing you’ve gotten to spend such time in Bolivia and Ecuador. Two countries I would love to and plan to visit. I spent 6 months living in Argentina and did a lot of volunteer work outside of the city limits with teaching kids and one of the things you really get a sense of in those types of areas is that sense of community.
      I feel that here in the US it’s very hard to find that family community feeling. Too many people out for themselves, too many people caught up in the race, ya know? We’re given more than we realize on a silver platter and oftentimes when that happens we forget to stand back and look at the things that really matter.
      I guess that’s what this man in my story and the people that live in these rather humbling communities have in common – they seem to understand that there’s more to life than just competing in the race. You have to enjoy, and FEEL every moment of life and always be thankful for what you have. 🙂

      Thank you for sharing Peter. May the both of us continue to fallow these lessons every day 🙂
      LAUREN 🙂

  • Great story, Lauren! It really goes to show you how much of a difference you can make in someone’s life, and in the world, without even knowing it! I wonder how many other lives this man has touched…and how many more lives he will touch through you sharing his story.

    It really makes you stop and think about the way you are living your life and the kind of “ripples” that you are sending out into the world. We are all shaping the world, every day, whether consciously or unconsciously. Like you, I also enjoy a lazy day here and there, but it’s good to be reminded of those who don’t have that privilege. It’s good to be reminded that what we do…and don’t do…matters.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  • Your writing cracks me up Lauren – I love how you are both crass and eloquent at the same time – it packs a punch.
    I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments. I too was once the naive and narcissistic young woman you describe – two+ years in the Peace Corps working with human trafficking and teaching young adults changed me forever in so many wonderful ways. Travel for me is always an affirmation of and discovery of self; it leaves me humbled and with passionate feelings of solidarity with the world.
    Well done!
    Melinda
    p.s. I like your website so well I’ve added you to my blogroll. 🙂

  • This is a great story. Thank you for sharing it. Even though it was written several months ago, I just discovered your blog through your interview with Natalie Sisson.
    It is just what I needed to read~ thank you so much.