We live in a society of dreamers. The pursuit of happiness. And the bitter truth is that most people will try to sell you a way to make your dream come true, an easy fix, a quick step-by-step guide.
The six minute ab routine…
Well, the truth sets you free, but it also pisses you off.
In the trenches of day to day life we begin to understand why utopia belongs in dictionaries and science fiction, and never in history books.
If you want to pursue happiness, or chase a dream, you must first develop the ability to pursue happiness. And to do so you must understand how the world works, because brainwashing yourself into becoming a hopeless romantic.
From my limited life experience, a hopeless romantic soon becomes a helpless sinner, a gambler who has lost everything on the bet that life was supposed to grant him the right to pursue happiness unopposed.
Life Is Pain
“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” — William Goldman
In a society that makes it easy to become a guru, or at least act like you’re one, it’s become increasingly difficult to understand this simple truth of life.
In a world where there’s an app for everything, where everything is shipped to us within 24 hours or less, where our obsession with instant gratification has turned us into emotional crybabies, we often forget that life’s pain.
The fake guru tries to tell you differently, tries to sell you the “six minute ab routine.”
Well, the truth is that get your six pack by doing a six minute ab routine. Yeah. After you’ve done so many situps that you can’t even feel pain anymore, do six more minutes of ab exercises.
That’s how you get pretty much anything in life.
By becoming aware of the pain that the process demands of you. By expecting it. By welcoming it.
As the terrible cliche goes, pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.
Life Will Break You. And Sometimes You Will Become Stronger Because of It
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” — Lou Holtz
We all have to face at least a breaking point or two in our lives. As Hemingway said it, life breaks us all.
Under the constant stress of such a weight, most of us give up. We don’t want to share the same fate as Atlas, our knees buckling under the weight of the world.
We can’t avoid facing a breaking point, but we can manage how we react to it.
We can either make ourselves stronger, or we can spend the rest of our lives in hell. Both outcomes require the same amount of time and energy.
When you face a critical point, you are the only one who can save yourself. Winning or losing is not about the scoreboard, but about your inner game. The game is played inside your mind. It doesn’t matter what happens, but how you react to it. This is your karma. This is your destiny.
Few people are ever aware of the fact that your emotional reaction is everything — if you want to become stronger, you must change your inner game.
How you meet triumph and disaster, and the way you react to both, will determine your success and fulfillment in life.
The man who steps into the arena and keeps the same level of enthusiasm when fighting one opponent after another, is the man who wins in the end.
Even Angels Have Their Demons
“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”
― H.L. Mencken
There’s a part of us that we must become comfortable with. Our own desire for darkness.
Even angels have their demons.
But we always have a choice.
Do you listen to the intrusive thoughts that tell you to set the world on fire? Do you listen to the voice of love?
Keep in mind that a man is only ever good if he’s presented with the opportunity to be bad and chooses not to be.
It’s all a balancing act.
You’re Not Afraid of Failure. You’re Actually Afraid You’ll Give It Your All and Still Fail
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default.”
― J.K. Rowling
You can do everything right and still fail.
Sometimes it’s luck, sometimes it’s an imperfect plan.
We’re all aware of this on a subconscious level. That’s why we’re afraid of failure.
If you were to exercise perfect self-awareness, you’d notice this. We often become most afraid of failure the moment we begin to take massive action towards accomplishing a goal.
We realize that we might try as hard as we can and still fail.
What does this mean for us?
It’s easy to justify defeat if you gave 50%.
But when you give 100%? When you go all in?
Sometimes you have to accept the fact that you’re not good enough… yet. Other times your mental game isn’t on point.
Whatever the reason for your failure, the fact that you can give 100% and still fail is a truth of life you must accept.
If you don’t act because of it, you fail by default.
When you want to achieve a goal, there’s always the possibility of failure. When you don’t even try, failure is certain.
Unless you don’t do your best to mitigate your emotional response to perceived failure, you will never be able to keep going even in the face of obvious defeat.
And this is one of the most beautiful things a human can do. Fight in a losing battle and somehow manage not to lose it.
Don’t try to figure the odds. Play the game so well that even the God of Luck will think twice before trying to screw you over.
You Can Have Anything You Want in Life, if You’re Willing to Sacrifice Almost Everything Else to Have It
“There is a price for everything in life. Even what you receive freely has already been paid for by someone.”
― Sunday Adelaja
I’ve long adhered to the belief that ignorance isn’t bliss. Ignorance is pain and suffering and regret. Ignorance is having to live in hell every single day of your life.
One of the things that are born out of ignorance is envy.
Well, envy doesn’t make much sense.
There’s a price we must pay for anything. I have to pay it, you have to pay it.
The price of greatness is suffering. The price of success is countless failures.
You can have anything you want in life. That’s not the issue. The issue is, are you willing to pay the price?
Are you willing to give up on almost everything else for it?
Bonus truth: we often prefer known hells over unknown heavens.
We prefer the discomfort and heartbreak of what we know over the uncertain promise of a better future.
That’s why most people live in the past, even though it hurts them to do so.
Life is pain. Inexorably so. The more you try to deny it, the more painful it becomes.
But isn’t it true that we are the only ones who can choose how we react?
There’s not much you can do when someone points a gun at you, but you can always choose your last words.
These heartbreaking truths about life are not meant to discourage, but rather set you free mentally.
You can only become the captain of your own soul as long as you understand what battles you have to fight.