When you look at the face of the average person in society, their expression, what words come to mind?
Do you see joy, happiness, and creativity? Sometimes, but it’s so rare that when you see it, you feel it in a palpable way.
You usually don’t see positive emotions.
For the most part, you see people coping with life. Trying to get by. Eeking out an existence. You sometimes also see complete avoidance and escape — face buried in their phones, high and drunk on weekends, the anticipation of a Netflix binge on the face of people on the freeway driving home.
Ultimately, these emotions lead to bitterness. I love this quote from the movie Fight Club that I’ve used a million times and will use again right now:
“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
People do begin to slowly learn the fact that their fairy tale future isn’t going to come true. At least not on its own. Young people do have the spark. They are idealistic and bright.
Slowly but surely though, as people age, you see their faces turn to cope-mode, over-stimulated with distraction, apathetic, or outright bitter.
The unfairness of life ages you, hardens you, and although you’re well-adjusted and even happy for the most part, every once in a while you’re like “what the f*** happened to me?” in the back of your mind. You get bitter about it.
Of course, there are exceptions — people who do follow through with their dreams, retain their creativity, and enjoy life from beginning to end.
You only have two options when faced with the unfairness of life.
When your life spins out of control through no fault of your own. When people betray you, backstab, or try to tear you down. Or when you’re faced with difficult to overcome challenges.
Or Get Better.
Let’s look at option #1 first because it’s about 1000x more common than the latter.
Most people don’t start out bitter. When you’re a child, you’re the exact opposite of bitter — open, expressive, totally free. You retain this energy for a while and often keep it until you become a young adult. Then, life starts to happen to you.
Slowly but surely, you start to lose your idealism.
What was once a promising career soon becomes a monotonous bore. People with less talent and intelligence than you seem to get better opportunities. The people around you let you down. Society at large seems like a rigged game. You feel like your opportunities are shrinking or you feel like you have no opportunities at all.
See, once you realize that you’re not going to live this epic life of your dreams, it’s very easy to get bitter, jaded, and cynical.
That’s what you have going on in our current discourse. It’s not so much that people are actually outraged about everything all the time because they genuinely feel that way, but it’s a great refuge and outlet for a bitter person.
Society as a whole is mostly jaded, cynical, and bitter. We live in the most abundant times in terms of material wealth, but that doesn’t solve the meaning problem for people. People want to feel like they matter, and when they don’t, cynicism is right around the corner.
I just shot a video where I talked about old people who get into arguments at grocery stores over coupons. They have nothing else in their life to cling to but the petty and trivial battles a bitter person fights. It’s like they don’t feel control over anything else. This is what happens to you when you don’t get better. When you don’t find a mission in your life to fulfill.
Better to….get better.
Jim Rohn, my favorite self-help guru of all time said my favorite self-help quote of all time:
“Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better. Don’t wish for fewer problems. Wish for more skills.”
See, simply getting what you want won’t make you feel that much better. Give the same jaded and cynical person a bunch of money and they still won’t be happy in the long-run. Because they didn’t earn it. Because they didn’t get better.
As a human being, you’re wired to accomplish. This means you can’t replace the euphoria that comes from overcoming challenges. There’s just nothing quite like it. Alas, it’s really really hard to do sometimes.
I don’t blame you for not having time and energy to do a whole bunch of self-improvement. You got shit to do!
But, even though it’s a lot to ask, I do ask, urge, and encourage you to focus on getting better instead of getting bitter.
Because when you get better, you get the last laugh. See, the bitter person wants other people to feel bad, too. They want revenge.
But there’s a way to get revenge in a non-malicious way.
Just be awesome. Nothing sends a throbbing middle finger to haters and society at large than following through with your goals and dreams. Let everyone else look in from the outside while you win.
Then, over time, you’ll lose that chip on your shoulder and focus on getting better for the sake of it. Because it’s fun. Because it’s simply the right thing to do and the best option you have.
I’ve often wondered if I’m just projecting too much.
Maybe people don’t need to have epic dreams. Maybe people are happy working 40 hours a week doing the corporate thing, wearing clothes they’d almost never wear otherwise, and having weekends and vacations to de-compress.
Sometimes I suspect I’m just overly ambitious. Maybe I’m the problem. Am I just delusional to believe that everyone should be passionate about life, chasing wild dreams, and live a life of freedom?
I evolve my thinking over time and the verdict is still TBD.
Here’s the thought I come back to. Would people live this way, the quote-unquote normal life, if they genuinely believed they had other options?
Who would choose to work 40 hours a week instead of working a flexible schedule on their terms?
Would anyone opt-out of doing things like traveling the world, making millions, building the relationships without settling, being in perfect shape, and spending every day in the present moment just “rocking it out” in life?
I highly, sincerely, doubt it.
Instead of trying to be one hundred percent right, I just try to observe as realistically as I can and talk about what seems to be true based on those observations.
I’ve thought about this carefully, and I tend to still see mental prisons, limiting beliefs, people living in the matrix desperate to escape, the invisible odorless gas of quiet desperation pervading society.
It’s up to you to decide whether or not I’m describing you. Only you know, and you’re also really good at lying to yourself. Think about it. Am I right? Am I wrong? Or am I somewhere in between? Use that answer for your benefit.
I’ve also come to this important conclusion — most people are screwed, done for, cemented. They’ll never change and this is their life.
Now, instead of trying to influence the masses, I’m simply trying to unplug as many individuals as I can.
Are you one of them? I hope so.
When you become someone who chooses to get better, you transcend reality.
The way I earn and living, the living I earn, and the comparative amount of work I need to do it simply doesn’t fit most people’s paradigms. That’s why I don’t even bring it up. I just tell people “I work for myself,” and keep it moving.
I see opportunities that most people can’t fathom because it’s just too outside their realm of reality, in a way that’s much deeper than most people understand. This has nothing to do with arrogance. I don’t think I’m inherently better than anyone else. But I have spent the past half-decade getting better.
When you spend years trying to get the best from yourself mentally, spiritually, creatively, financially, etc, you start to realize many things:
As I network with more entrepreneurs and creatives, I realize the stairway to heaven never ends. They’re doing unfathomable things. But I believe I’ll one day fathom them because I’m going to keep getting better, creating new normals, ascending.
My mission in life is to help you see reality for what it is — a video game. A psychological paradigm you control, but won’t succeed in until you take control of it.
I don’t blame people for not living out their dreams. Breaking these paradigms is pretty hard. Almost impossible. Almost.
I was watching this documentary on black holes the other night — massive gravitational fields dozens, hundreds, even thousands of times the size of the sun.
They’d show these visuals of how big they are compared to our sun, planets, solar system, etc. and it messes with your mind.
I always get the same feeling when I watch documentaries about space:
Watching documentaries about space helps me think about my ego. How stupid it is to want to protect it.
Anytime you experience a limiting belief, it’s your ego talking.
Anytime you feel self-doubt, it’s your ego talking.
Your ego supposedly wants to protect you, but your focus on yourself is why it’s so hard to follow through. Counterintuitively, the more you “care” the less you accomplish.
So when I hit limits in my mind, I try to just continually ask myself why the hell I should care so much?
I’m sitting here in the middle of an infinite universe caring about a little setback or belief that I probably won’t care about six months from now, but feels so heavy and palpable in the moment.
It’s a tough nut to crack, no doubt. But I’ve found that this attitude is one of the few ways to make things happen in this life.
You’re essentially dead already. Your life isn’t to be taken so seriously all the time. You’re an ape living on a rock in the middle of nowhere.
Why care so much? Why so much self-doubt? Why give a f*** at all? To what end?
Why not be free and make your life an adventure?
Why not take setbacks on the chin and just keep going easily because…why the hell not?
Often, when I fail, I try to take the attitude that I’m in a video game. I failed the level, but the game just keeps letting you start over and over again until you “turn the game off,” which only happens one of two ways:
Well, you’re alive. At least as of right now. You’ll die, and you won’t see it coming.
Might as well get better, now, while you can.