I don’t know you, but I know this about you: like all of us, you have one goal you’re struggling to achieve. Maybe it’s a business venture, maybe it’s turning a passion into a source of income, maybe it’s your desire to get in better shape.
What usually happens is this: you begin to feel tired. Maybe exhausted is the better word to describe what you’re feeling.
What if the problem isn’t how much you’re trying to get done, but rather your mindset?
And this is how the 40% rule can help you achieve all your goals.
“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and — in spite of True Romance magazines — we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely — at least, not all the time — but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.”
― Hunter S. Thompson
Loneliness, defined as an unpleasant emotional response to perceived isolation. The key word here is perceived.
Loneliness, defined as social pain — a simple mechanism that forces us to seek others. The key word here is pain.
A perceived pain, for even one who is surrounded by others might end up feeling lonely. Some might say that’s what real loneliness actually is: feeling alone when you are, in fact, surrounded by others.
Today, when we’re all connected via invisible waves of technology, there are but two great tragedies: one is to be lonely alone, the other is to be lonely among others.
I often wonder which is the selfish option of the two?
Experience is what we are left with after we make mistakes
I am fast approaching 30.
Three decades of making mistakes, being broke, depressed, lonely, anxious, feeling guilty, powerless, hopeless.
Three decades of trying to conquer the world, trying to conquer myself, trying to change the world, or just those closest to me.
I’ve lost my way more times than I can count. I’ve failed, time and time again. I’ve tried my best, from time to time. I’ve cried, I’ve won, I’ve lost.
To be 30 means that my view of the world should have crystallized by now. Well, I still have almost six months to figure things out, but I can certainly say that wasting my twenties was one of the best decisions I have ever made without thinking too much.
Consider the following rules as me sharing what took me most of my twenties to figure out.
“Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood.” — Terrence McKenna
You are probably familiar with the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
We use it to justify the idea that one must focus on one thing, reach mastery, as this is the only way towards success and fulfillment.
As most simple truths in life, we use it because we don’t want to use precious mental energy in trying to understand the nuanced truths of success and mastery.
The nuanced point is that even the notorious specialists, such as Salvador Dali or Pablo Picasso, were masters of a multitude of skills and crafts, not the least of which is their charisma and their ability to market themselves.
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.
In this 24/7/365 world we live in today, there’s no off switch. There’s no downtime. There’s only the hustle.
Everyone’s trying to conquer the world or die trying. The dopamine rush, the goals, the business ventures. Always busy. Always doing. Always achieving.
These days, everyone’s got a side hustle. These days, everyone’s trying to emulate Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet or what have you.
And it all starts so early. A cousin of mine is 12, and he’s already got a YouTube channel. He knows more about cameras than I do. He knows how to edit his own videos. He hasn’t hit puberty yet and is already addicted to the hustle.
Some five hundred years ago, a 26 year old sculptor was given the task of turning a leftover slab of marble into a work of art. Other artists had tried to give life to the stone and had failed, but the young artist took on the contract, determined to shape the marble that others had discarded.
Early in the morning on September 13, 1501, the artist began to work in order to extract his vision from the piece of stone. He carved and carved until he set his dream free.
Later, artist Giorgio Vasari would describe the process as, “bringing back to life of one who was dead.”
In June 1504, the statue, a depiction of the Biblical character David of epic proportions, was installed at the entrance of the city’s town hall. The name of the artist? Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, known best as Michelangelo.
This story serves as a reminder that we are often wrong in assuming that in order to become successful we need access to resources.
It is quite the contrary. It is not the resources at our disposal that determine our success, but rather our resourcefulness, our ability to be creative in spite of certain limitations and setbacks.
Some two and a half millennia ago, in what is now Southern Italy, there lived a legendary wrestler by the name of Milo of Croton.
A six-time Olimpic Champion, Milo’s career spanned over 24 years, during which he was undoubtedly the best wrestler of his generation. He is said to have been able to carry a bull on his shoulders and to have burst a band about his brow by simply inflating the veins on his temples.
But what can this ancient wrestler teach us about success?
You’re not the mood you’re in right now, or the one you’ll be in two hours from now. You are not the tears you cry, or the laughs, or the moments of doubt.
You’re not your country, or your race, or your gender.
You’re neither where you’ve been, nor where you’re going. You are neither your successes, nor your excuses. You’re not the money you have in your bank account, you’re not even the money you have spent until now.
You are not the memories you cherish, nor the ones you hate to remember. You are not the aspects of you that you’ve hidden inside the drawers of your soul, nor the parts of you that you show even to a perfect strange you meet on a summer afternoon.
“In the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshiping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.” — David Foster Wallace
In his famous commencement speech given at Kenyon College in 2005, David Foster Wallace shared with us a few simple, yet valuable insights that could very well form the foundation of someone’s daily philosophy on life.
Near the end of his speech, however, Wallace makes his most daring claim: we all worship. He talks about money, power, beauty, and intellect as false idols worshiped by our unconscious collective obsession with making sense of what we don’t understand.
In a way, we are all inclined to worship what we can’t quite define.
We don’t understand why someone’s beautiful, or why someone’s amassed incredible wealth. We call those who are intelligent as, gifted.
Who offered them this gift and why?
Worshiping is our way of trying to find order in an inherently chaotic universe.