We’ve all heard – or said – the following:
“I know I should go to the gym, but I didn’t feel like it this morning.”
“My self-esteem tanked after my divorce and now I have a hard time believing I’ll ever be complete again.”
“I just want to find happiness, but I don’t know how.”
“Life shouldn’t be this hard.”
Fuck your feelings.
Life is going to throw us curveballs. How are you going to respond? Will you stand there and get hit? Will you practice dodging them, then complain about it when you watch life sail past you and leave you in the dust? Or will you call a time out, get your gear on, and settle in to catch and return everything life’s got?
We both know what I recommend. Get in the game.
First, get your gear. You have to protect yourself. Remember that no matter your equipment, this is going to hurt – but if you invest your time wisely, you can mitigate a lot of the pain. To protect your mind and body, I recommend first reading Extreme Ownership (Willink & Babin). You are responsible for yourself. Learn that. Absorb that. Own that.
Then read F*ck Feelings (Bennett & Bennett), but only take half of it to heart. These two books are somewhat contradictory, but the idea that our feelings don’t matter is what I want you to take from here. Internalize the practical advice. Sometimes folks are diagnosed with depression or anxiety, but that’s no excuse for a life half-lived. Learn your condition’s limits, find all the tools to mitigate them, and lead your best life. Some people get hit by curveballs like rape, abuse, divorce, etc. Every one of these situations can knock us on our ass. It’s on us to stand back up and find the tools we need to make it through.
Next, read Antifragile (Taleb). You want to embody this concept. Don’t be fragile and break when life hits you. Don’t be resilient either – ‘bouncing back’ to the same as you were before is useless. Be antifragile. Actively grow when you’re presented with challenges. Get stronger when you get hit. It’s the only way to move forward.
Then figure out what tools you need to be successful. There is a massive amount of information available for free online, already tested by incredible people. Look through this blog and the Resources page. Email me if you need specific suggestions. Ask Google really good questions. The tools are out there, but no one knows what you need except yourself.
Now, take mindset out of the equation. Get rid of “should.” Turn it into “did.” You should go to the gym? No, you DID go to the gym. Life shouldn’t be this hard? Guess what?
Life IS this hard. Now what are you going to do about it?
Your feelings don’t matter. Do the hard work and your feelings will change. If you feel like a failure, stop failing. Start learning. Learn how to win. How do you feel now?
If you see yourself as an overweight blob, rejoice in the gift you’ve been given – a problem you can solve with hard work! If you’re clinically depressed, dig into the solutions available to you. Try the meds. Learn about gratitude. Get exercise. Learn about your body. Dig into neurochemistry. Talk to good doctors. Remove yourself from draining people/situations. There are always solutions, but it’s up to you to find them.
Build yourself. Gather your tools. Stop making excuses.
You’ve got one life.