Frustrated that his friends and colleagues were treating him like a joke, Kyle Martin of Nashville, Tennessee, decided to take matters into his own hands and begin taking himself more seriously.
"Be the change you want to see in the world," said Martin. "I get it now."
As part of his endeavor to weigh more heavily on himself, Martin has begun chastising himself for making light of his own difficulties. "Normally I would just laugh it off when bad stuff happened to me. But now I'm learning to say, 'Not funny, man. Not funny!'"
He also often throws in a "That's unacceptable!" when he meets with adversity, which helps nudge him into an appropriate level of gravitas.
Overall, Martin says that his efforts toward self-seriousness are paying off in a big way, in the form of increased stress, anxiety, and a swelling sense of personal importance.
"If you're not stressed out, you probably don't have much of a life. 'Get your s*** together' is what I tell people who are always goofing off and having a good time. It's easy to find something to laugh about, but finding something to cry about is the real challenge. Then you know you're doing something right."
Martin acknowledged that his social life has taken a bit of a downturn as a result of his new, more sober outlook on life and what it all means.
"People tell me I'm no fun anymore, and I tell them that's the whole point. Like the Buddhists say, life is suffering. If you're not suffering, you're not fully living. And with this new adult life of mine, I'm living life to the fullest."
All that being said, Martin does still enjoy a hearty chuckle or two at his own expense - more often than he'd like to admit. "Guilty pleasure, what can I say. Honestly, I'm pretty hopeless at this life thing. But I'm working on it."