So of course we looking for outside help. We are hoping for that one stranger who is randomly passing by and comes to our rescue. We are eagerly waiting for that special outside event that magically turns our life around. We are begging for someone else to fix our life for us. And by doing so we become exactly that… beggars. And we give all our power away.
But what if nobody is coming? What if we are here on our own? And we are slowly but surely dying (emotionally, if not also physically) if we don’t do something about it RIGHT NOW?
Here is how you get yourself off the floor again, when life beats you down:
Good Reason, Real Reason?
There is a good reason I am where I am right now. It’s a really good reason, and I love to repeat it over and over again in my head, so I won’t forget it anymore. I also tell everyone about it, just in case.
And then there is the real reason. After a deep look into the mirror I have to face the truth:
- I am broke because I spent more money than I earned.
- I didn’t get the job I wanted because I was not qualified enough.
- She left me because I didn’t show her how much I loved her.
- I don’t see him anymore because I was too much of a coward to say “I was wrong, you were right”.
There is a good reason we are in a bad spot. And then there is the real reason. Facing the real reason gets you off the floor way quicker.
But first you have to accept that…
All Your Past Decisions Suck
“How did I end up in this mess?”
That’s the most important question you have to ask yourself when you are stuck. Where did you take the wrong turn? Where did you fall of the narrow path? What important decision lead you to this shitty place where you no longer like your own company?
The answer: all of them.
All you did in your past led up to this moment. And that’s a pretty depressing thought when things look grim. But it’s also liberating. It makes you realize that daily actions DO count. Mom was right about that small things can and will add up to big events. A bunch of small “bad decisions” quickly add up to a big nightmare. Over time. You are not getting fat overnight. It’s choosing a thousand burgers and fries OVER vegetables and “I’ll save that for later”. It’s the little decisions that look too insignificant to take them seriously in the moment which will stab you in your back a couple of years from now.
Momentum, consistency and persistence with your daily habits (however good or bad they are) is either your biggest asset or your biggest enemy. Because it will either propel you into new heights or kick you into your balls until you are lying on the floor in pain.
The Future Will Not Save You
The future usually repeats the past. There is no “rapid transformation”. There is not a single New Year’s Resolution that will save you from your shitty past life decisions.
The answer lies in the NOW. The present will resolve the past. This sounds way more zen and spiritual than it should be. This should be common knowledge. Unless you take better actions NOW, of course, the future repeats the past.
If you want to be at one specific destination but you are running into a completely different direction, no amount of effort will get you there anytime soon. That’s how people are digging their own graves. Or burn out. Or begin to feel empty and depressed. Or discouraged. Or lost.
As long as you don’t make a full U-turn, you’ll only send yourself further and further away from home.
But it helps to understand, that…
It’s ALL Your Fault
Taking responsibility over your fuck-ups is extremely liberating. And yes I know, it sucks to face the fact that I messed up and it was ALL MY FAULT. Taking responsibility can quickly turn into self-pity, self-hate and depression, if you are not careful.
Most people don’t like to be responsible. They’d rather not have the pressure placed upon their shoulders. And I’d love to get rid of it as well. But every decision comes with consequences. Either you make your own decisions and handle the consequences that come from it (good or bad) or you’ll hand off your power and let someone else decide over your life (and also handle the consequences – good or bad).
But I’d rather make them myself and stay within control. I’d rather be in charge of my own life.
ALSO NOTHING IS YOUR FAULT
Other times you can do everything right and always do the RIGHT THING and still life starts messing with you and beats you to your knees. That sucks. But it’s also just part of life. In these seemingly random and unfair moments we still have to find acceptance within it.
I know how stupid this sounds.
When you suddenly lose your job, your girlfriend leaves you, or your business crashes, it’s hard to simply “accept it”. The loss is too big to just move on in peace. It’s close to impossible. But eventually you’ll have to.
Or you’ll stay stuck forever and keep on…
Suffering = Fear (Disguised)
Most people suffer. Some suffer from poor health (big problems), others suffer from being broke (small problems), and again others suffer from “I can’t do that! What will they think of me? I WILL BE RUINED!” type of issues (no real problems, just your ego kicking in).
All suffering is disguised fear. Whenever I suffer, I now know that there is some hidden fear that waits to be unmasked. My suffering is just the manifestation of that fear. My soul knows.
When there is fear, I am too focused on myself. I placed myself above everything else. When there is fear, I am not living up to my best potential. I am neglecting my core values. I hold back from doing what I truly want to do, just to please someone else, trying to live their life instead of mine.
In order to break free I have to understand that…
You’ll Disappoint Everyone Anyways
Father wants you to be a lawyer. Mother wants you to marry that one good girl who “is just right for you!”. Your brother wants to start that non-profit startup in India with you. And your friend wants you to drop and sell everything and join him on that Las Vegas road trip right now.
Please one of them and you’ll disappoint the other three, plus yourself. Because you will HATE yourself if you are building your life around the desires of someone else.
So what about trying to please yourself instead? If everybody would do that, everyone would have been taken care of.
Remember, you’ll just have to get it…
When I was in school I always got perfect score. And the one time I didn’t I cried my eyes out because I felt like I failed everyone and myself. I was always aiming for being right 100% of the times. Imagine the pressure I was putting upon myself.
But in real life, if you only get 51% of your decisions right and you’ll be a huge success.
If you are trying to get more than 70% right you are probably a complete failure instead (like I was). Then you don’t take enough risks and stay within the “norm” too much to express your individuality. You try to maintain your “perfect score” instead. Just don’t bump into too many people and definitely don’t get too much attention. You are playing it “safe” and then you die after a bored and meaningless life. Alone…
So risk to be WRONG more often. Learn to be OK with being WRONG as well. Then learn as much as you can from it as possible. And try again. The next one is going to be a winner. 50/50.
If you can’t, realize that…
Nobody Is Thinking of You
Sometimes I freak out before publishing a personal article on my blog. At times I have to muster up the willpower for days before I can make myself do it.
I am too scared of what other people might think. “What will people say when they read it? Will they still respect me? Will they feel offended? Also, what if nobody reads it? What if everybody HATES it? What if someone makes fun of me for being honest about something I deeply care about and I can’t deal with the criticism?” That’s a lot of pressure to deal with and it stuns me.
It helps to remind myself that nobody really thinks of me or even gives a fuck. Just like when you are out in a club and you think that everyone is looking at you. So you try to look super cool and just don’t do anything dumb, standing their in the corner with your drink, totally shoved into your head. And then you realize that – just like in any other area in life – nobody cares too much about you anyways. They are not even looking. Everyone is so focused on looking great in the eye’s of others themselves (worst case) or being busy enjoying his own life (best case). Either way everyone is fully occupied with themselves, there is no time for them to worry about YOU.
Now you can go and do whatever your heart desires.
You are free again.
Go publish that article.
Action > Gratitude
I love gratitude.
But it’s useless unless you use it to get into motion and follow up with precise actions to alter your current life situation. The cool thing is that gratitude usually gives you the power to do exactly that.
The “Hell, Yeah!”-Rule
There are no hard YES or NO questions in life. If it isn’t a “HELL, YEAH!”, it’s a “No”.
It’s easy to read about all these things. It’s a bit harder to write about them. But it’s extremely difficult to do them in real life. Once I shutdown the Macbook and go out into the world and meet real people and talk to real stories.
- It’s difficult to have the strength to do the right things (51% of the times).
- It’s difficult to say “No” to someone you care about.
- It’s difficult to tell your father that you don’t want to join him in family business.
- It’s difficult to find the real reason underneath all the bullshit excuses my mind comes up with.
- It’s difficult to take responsibility over my life, especially when bad things happen.
- It’s difficult to do all these things on this list.
But ironically when I do, I’ll somehow get myself off the floor again.
And then I’ll dust myself off and pray to God that I won’t forget again.