Readers describe my writing as a gentle slap in the face. On the one hand, I get that life is inherently difficult so I want to meet you where you’re at and help you change. On the other hand, I also know that you lie to yourself, rationalize, and let a lot of BS get in the way of what you want, so I have to kick your ass a little bit.
Both are necessary. I use this process on myself. Over time, I’ve learned when and how to push certain buttons to keep myself motivated for the long-term. That’s what you want to do, too. Use whatever angle you need to keep yourself in the game long enough to win. Today, I’m going to share different sides of the same coin on three different concepts. Use them to push or pull yourself to victory.
You have time. Unless you’re really old, your odds of staying alive are pretty good. People die unexpectedly every single day, but you probably won’t. Since you have time, this means you can create an entirely new arc for your life. Your past doesn’t have to predict your future at all.
From the ages of 18 to 25, I did pretty much everything I possibly could to destroy my future. At a crossroads in my life, I decided I could change my narrative. From ages 25 to my present age of 32, I made a radical transformation and achieved most of my major goals. Complete 180.
It worked because I first forgave myself for messing things up and living below my potential. I wasted a bunch of time, but I knew I couldn’t get it back so I just let go of the past and started over. You can do the same thing, too. You’re not your past and you don’t have to let it define you.
You have no time. Your life is slipping through your fingers every single day. The more time you spend avoiding the path you know you’re meant for, the hardest it is to get started. Inertia sets in.
That entry level job you thought you’d quit eventually becomes a decade long career you feel trapped it. That ‘thing’ you were going to start becomes less and less likely as you age. Sure, people do change their ways and succeed in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and beyond, but they’re few and far between.
Most people slip into a life of quiet desperation and never get out. Unless you decide to do something, fast, that’ll probably happen to you, too. Will your life be miserable? No. But it’ll be okay, which is almost as bad, sometimes worse when you consider the dull pain you have to endure for your entire life to cope with the dullness of your life. Snap out of it. Do something.
You should give yourself more credit. You probably have a lot of doubts about yourself that are totally imaginary. Most people in life have a decent amount of talent and intelligence. If you’re taking time to read at all, you’re in that category. You’re way more capable than you know. Your ceiling is high and you’re nowhere near close to it.
Stop beating yourself up so much. Maybe you don’t live up to your potential as much as you should. That’s okay. Like I said, you have time. But you do have a ton of potential and you know it. I’ve always been a daydreamer. I saw myself being successful, running a business, and figuring out a way to reach my dreams somehow. I never let go of that dreamer’s mentality even when my life sucked.
No matter where you find yourself in life, right now, know that you’re good enough. You’re inherently worthy of whatever you want. You can live the good life. Somebody has to. Why not you?
I once heard a saying. You can wish in one hand and s*** in the other — see which one fills up first. Sure, you have potential. But unused potential is worthless. There are tons of people who know they could live a better life, but because they don’t do a damn thing about it, they stay stuck.
I know what you do. You live in Potentialville. See, in Potentialville, you get to mentally masturbate about the ideal version of yourself that you’ll probably never become. You want to stay there forever because you’re afraid of facing the the fact that maybe you’re not as amazing as you think you are. There’s more than a possibility that you can try as hard as you can and still fail. You’ll do anything to avoid that feeling, but facing that feeling is the only way forward.
Sure, I knew I had potential years back, but I changed because I looked at my current life and realized it sucked. I knew that if I didn’t do something soon, I’d be on a permanent path of mediocrity. Instead of fighting the fact that I wasn’t where I wanted to be and hiding in my own imagination, I accepted my present circumstances fully and resolved to change them. Brutal self-assessment and honesty are key.
I say this with sincerity. You don’t have to do anything to be successful. It makes more sense to be content with what you have. Chasing success won’t make you happier. Desire is a trap, too. You probably have a lot to be grateful for right now. Do you have a roof over your head, food to eat, people that love you, and time in your life to have a bit of fun? If so, then you’re good.
David Hawkins once said:
“No amount of riches can compensate for an inner feeling of poverty.”
It’s true. Insecurity drives the chase for success. If you didn’t feel inadequate, you wouldn’t feel the need to prove yourself to anyone. You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone. You can learn to become whole without using accomplishments to fill the void or seeking validation from others for those accomplishments. I bet you have a pretty good life just as is.
But here’s the thing. Some of you out there will never be able to be content. You’re like me. You have that itch to do more, to conquer something, to push the limits of your life to see what’s possible. And if you’re one of those people, living a domesticated and docile life will make you miserable.
“Chasing success is unhealthy.” No s*** Sherlock. If you want to be successful, you’ll have to do an abnormal amount of work and have an abnormal mindset. The road is often lonely and you won’t be able to relate to other people as will. You can’t have ‘work life balance.’ You can definitely caster relationships and leave piles of rubble in your wake on the path to success. You’ll have to make sacrifices, some of which you might look back on with regret.
So why do it? Well, there’s a certain spiritual element that comes with putting yourself through the wringer to get what you want. Mainly, you get to fight out if you’re really as great as you thought you were. If the answer is ‘yes’ then you get something few people are ever able to get. You get to know. That alone makes the journey worth it.