I WANT TO BE an independent writer and I want to be capable of handling my fears. That sentence defines everything I want from life. My values are clear; self-sufficiency and courage and my material aspirations are clear; making a living from writing.
More often that not, I have failed to live in line with these definitions.
When I started this blog, I wanted to write two articles per week, totaling roughly 2000 words. But between my work, heavy drinking, and drug filled late nights, I just couldn’t seem to find the time. I enjoyed writing, sure, that’s why I chose it as my dream job after all, but that was always based on when I felt passionate about writing.
When it was easy.
When I was tired, hungover, on a packed train coming home from work, on a come down, had friends to meet, a date to go to, a girl to have over, work to do, a house to clean or shit on youtube I wanted to watch – I never really wanted to do it. I never really wanted to find those little gaps in which to make my writing happen, to snatch any free moment, to decide that “Hey, writing is more important than my tiredness, my hunger, my laziness, my procrastination or my dick.”
Especially my dick.
Everything else was more important. I liked the idea of what writing was like, but I didn’t like the reality of how much colossal bullshit piled on with it. I was trying to fit writing into my life, rather than life into my writing.
So I limped along. And my results suffered.
IT’S ALL BAD NEWS
We often have conceptions of how our lives ought to be. Beginning as faint senses of our potential, these whispers mix with our sexual and social desires to create an image of ourselves that we wish to pursue. An ideal us. Around this ideal us, we populate the world with happiness and enjoyment, and social grace, and sexual power, and all the things found in trashy romance novels and James Bond flicks. Once this population reaches critical mass, we can now enter the world in any day dream we please; but soon, discovering that this isn’t enough – we seek to make this dream a reality.
Because in that world, we’re always happy.
And the best way we know of to do that is to (and I’m gonna do my best to use all the buzzwords); find our passion, live our purpose, be ourselves, follow our path, embrace our masculinity, empower our femininity, or become Batman.
Because this passion/purpose/path; it’s the way of living that’s meant only for us, and because it’s only for us, it’s a way of living that is completely in line with who we are, and because of this lack of discrepancy, there is no pain, and only blissful enjoyment, as we float into serenity.
Pretty great right?
Well, no – ’cause it’s a load of Disney horseshit that’s never going to happen. What will happen however is that you’ll struggle for years through things you largely don’t enjoy, gain a few more things you like, and a whole load more things you don’t. And that’ll keep happening until you die; maybe or maybe not disappointed with your life, wife, and children.
I hope that’s raised your spirits.
There are no easy roads.
If you have a dream, that’s the reality; most of it will be really fucking hard, and you have to learn to start enjoying the parts that suck. Hell, just look at the amount of celebrities being treated for alcohol addiction. Nobody’s happy, and life is going to shit on you. You may as well learn to enjoy the smell.
If you want to live with courage, you have to accept that a lot of the time you’re going to fall short of your high standards and that a lot of your actions are going to expose you to some serious emotional pain – in fact, you actively pursue that pain.
If you want to live with self-sufficiency, you have to discipline your life and ambition so that you’re financially independent; you have to struggle through bad relationships and being single and lonely to develop your emotional robustness; you have to throw yourself out into the world so that it no longer scares you or feels uncertain; you have to stop saying ‘yeah, I could do that’, and actually fucking do it.
Too often in our lives, we want something, but what we really want is the idea of what it would look like in our life. The best-selling book, the fearless confidence, the guy who relies on no one; rarely do we want the heartache, struggle and bullshit that defines it. But it is precisely that bullshit, struggle, and heartache that compose the staggering majority of our pursuit of what we want.
In other words, finding your purpose is more like finding your pain.
THERE’S THE 1 PERCENT AND THEN THERE’S THE 99 PERCENT
To hit you over the hit with this:
99% of life is a slog. The final 1% is what you fantasize about. But the two always come together.
When the reality of our dreams consists of 99% things we don’t want to do, and 1% things we really want to do; we owe it to ourselves to learn to find as much enjoyment in the pain of engaging with that shitty 99% as much as possible.
Most guys get into game to have sex with hot girls. It’s understandable. It was certainly one of my goals.
But to shit on their dreams for a second; sex with hot girls consists of less than 1% of that goal. The other 99% is extreme vulnerability and exposure, rejection, risking social embarrassment, awkward fumblings, blue balls, hurting girls feelings, running headfirst towards your emotional issues and taking a long, hard look at all the ways you’re a screw-up, and then trying over years to slowly change them.
And yeah, the whole process takes up a shitload of time you could spend making money.
In other words, most of it sucks.
Insert ‘life is like climbing a mountain’ metaphor. Feel good about self. Repeat.
But if you take pride in exposing yourself and being vulnerable, if you like braving rejection and embarrassment, if you learn to find awkward fumblings and blue balls hilarious, if you find you develop into a better man by making mistakes that cause yourself and others pain, and if you truly value assessing who you are and striving to be better, no matter how challenging and hopeless it can seem; if you can learn to not mind how much all of that sucks – then yeah, maybe 99% of that life is for you.
Because that’s the secret; that 1% – the hot, horny girls, the best-selling book, the chiseled abs, the rock-solid confidence – it’s all things anyone would want.
The trick lies in enjoying the parts nobody does.
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