Whether it’s a cure for procrastination, a way to beat the stock market, a method for hacking your brain to achieve total clarity, or the one diet that will help you shed pounds without giving up your favorite coconut cream pie, there’s no lack of people will to offer you “the answer.”

Greetings to our Philadelphia-area readers.

Yet why don’t the experts’ directives live up to their hype? Because the true answer to the pressing issues you’re facing right now is this: there is no answer. Each life is a curious amalgam of genetic markers, family skeletons, previous experiences, and standardized test scores. There is no one-size-fits-all answer in any category. Nor can anyone give you assurance that the path you are on will lead to your hoped-for destination.

Think you’re in control of your destiny? This mathematician proves otherwise.

“Abandon the search for reason” is the ancient Daoist healing practice to unshackle you from the desperate need to get things right. When the questions arise in your mind, like “Why me?” or “Where is God now?” or “Who put soy milk in my no-foam latte?”, you can be freed of the burden of having to find the answer before your time on earth is up.

Translation: “I don’t know” in Cantonese.

It’s much more enjoyable spending your days living in the mystery, where the real excitement can be found. This way, you can plunge ahead, taking actions that might be right or wrong. Or neither. Only time will tell.

Lift the veil, from the 7th century B.C. to the 7th century A.D.

As for the bellicose authors, control-freak life coaches, and cardboard spiritualists with their ALL CAP PROCLAMATIONS OF 30-DAY MIRACLES, you can confidently answer their come-ons with the powerful understanding that they do not have “the answer” — for in fact, there isn’t one!*

*However, if you find yourself in legal trouble, make sure you consult an experienced attorney.

Everybody knows that Batman was a crimefighter who relied on a gaggle of gadgets to battle the ne’er do wells of Gotham City. They were all contained in a belt around his waist, and gave him unique powers that upped his mortal capabilities to that of a superhuman.

Yet the caped crusader didn’t always have such an elaborate storage unit for his prized possessions. At first, Batman wore an ordinary belt that sported a single utility – a simple bat rope, complete with grappling hook.

It was with  Detective Comics #29 that the Batman busted out an expanded tool-set, starting with small glass pellets that released a large cloud of gas when tossed at the bad guys. As his adventures continued, he added a giant balloon figure of himself that can be inflated remotely, as well as Shark Repellent Bat Spray.

Which brings us to the question: what should the practicing SuperOptimist equip themselves with in order to best turn every negative issue into a positive outcome? Aside from a handy guide to overcoming every obstacle you may face, the first order of business right now is a procuring a trusty mask and gloves.*

After that, it really becomes a matter of comfort and style (on a budget of course). Rather than burden yourself with clothing, we’re comfortable recommending a sarong instead. Assuming you’ll continue to work from home for the next several weeks, there’s no need for pockets to carry keys, wallet or money.

*When it comes to full protection from bacteria, you’ll want to augment your attire with an N95 respirator once they’re available again to the general public.  But for now, stay 20 feet way from other humans, which shouldn’t be a problem when wearing your bat mask and sarong combo.

If ever there was a day to consider your quirks, ticks, neuroses, body dysmorphia and secret thoughts to be your most valuable assets, it’s Friday.  So let us help you disengage from the race of the rats for a few moments and celebrate all that is freaky, beginning with the first true oddballs who paved the way for the iconoclasts we rally around today.

While today it can refer to anyone who chooses to take the road least traveled in search of new experiences, ideas or behaviors, the term “freak” originally referred to those with physically deformities or strange diseases. Superstition lead the masses to label these creatures as bad omens up until the 16th Century, when they were brought out of the closet  during the reign of England’s Elizabeth I. Public curiosity led to the development of the “sideshow,” with many of the genetically-challenged agreeing to be publicly displayed in return for a cut of the profits.

Over the centuries, people with physical abnormalities grew into a highly profitable market, specifically in England and the United States, with P.T. Barnum and the Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. popularizing the circus sideshow to the delight of ticket-buyers.  In turn, performers of all stripes took this as a cue to develop more outlandish acts in order to shock and titillate audiences who had “seen everything.”

So where do we acquire our current understanding of what “getting your freak on” means? During the early 1960s, former marathon dancing champion Vito Paulekas and his wife Szou established an art studio and boutique in Hollywood that become the epicenter of a new movement combining semi-communal living with free-form dancing. Along with their friends and fellow artists, they called themselves “freaks” or “freakers” and became well known in the area for their unconventional behavior.  Among the musicians and performers of the day who congregated at Paulekas’ place were Frank Zappa, David Crosby, Don Van Vliet, and The GTOs.

It was Zappa, leader of the seminal ‘60s group The Mothers of Invention, who attempted to distance the freaks from being narrowly defined, preferring to champion an aesthetic that eschewed fashion or political leanings in favor of independent thought. He described their behavior like so: “Freaking out is a process whereby an individual casts off outmoded and restricted standards of thinking, dress and social etiquette in order to express creatively his relationship to his environment and the social structure as a whole.”  It’s no surprise that Zappa’s first album with the Mothers was entitled “Freak Out.”  Also noteworthy is that it was the first double album debut in history, which was a freaky thing to do.

At the Mothers’ first concerts, audience members were invited to express themselves however they wished, whether shouting, dancing, playing kazoo, or letting a band member spray them with a foreign substance.  Unlike the hippies with their emphasis on drug-taking and socialized protests, a freak could behave in whatever way they deemed creatively satisfying.

Naturally, being freaky and letting one’s freak flag fly was taken up by popular culture to mean any sort of fun, mischief or invention that could be had at the expense of normality. One way Zappa defied even the normality of being a freak was to make friends with the television avatars of pop music, The Monkees.  According to ’60s historian Barry Miles, Zappa was a fan of The Monkees, and actually invited Micky Dolenz to join his band.*  While that didn’t happen, The Monkees got Zappa to appear on their TV show and in their subsequent feature film,  “Head.”  Co-written by Jack Nicholson, Zappa plays “The Critic,” who commandeers a talking bull on a leash.  In his scene, Zappa tells Davy Jones he needs to work on his music because the youth of America is depending on him.

Today, letting your freak flag fly is something anyone can do, even if you spend most of your time behind a computer, inputting code for a social network.  We invite you to get up from your desk, walk into the hallway, and express yourself however you please.  Just make sure no one from Human Resources is nearby; they don’t let their freak flags fly until no one is around.  Then you should see what they’re up to!

*Shown above: Frank Zappa and Mickey Dolenz, both freaks of nature.