In recent months (and really, this entire year) I have been a very busy man with a lot of different projects and personal goals set up. A lot of frustrations and pain alongside that too, because no goals are without struggles or mishaps.

That said though, I’ve managed to effectively achieve almost everything I have set out to do, so far. I’ve met deadlines for commissioned work (and even hit them early), I’ve maintained my health and fitness as well as adhered to my rule of daily yoga; I’ve worked on my own problems and successfully solved/eliminated most of them, I’ve had major successes in dating and intimacy, etc. There are countless things I’ve managed to achieve within the past 4-7 months. I looked at how many words I have written this year, and personal journals alone have netted over 45,000 words – this does not include the blog posts I have pushed out, too, which have not only been of high quality and quite detailed, but of tremendous help to many people, who have paid me for it.

The point here is not to gloat (although I do deserve the pride and confidence I have, as it’s earned), but the point is that no matter how difficult or painful this year may have been, I put my head down and did the work necessary to get to where I want to be – and that is what yielded my results.

In other words, I took the ideas I had seriously. I took whatever principles I hold to heart and applied them to my daily living. No, I didn’t do it perfectly – I made plenty of mistakes, but the point is I reflected and re-oriented, asking myself what worked and what didn’t, and how I could improve. I held the mindset that I can be, at minimum, 1% better than the day before. I did the work, I stumbled, I dusted myself off, I got better. The one thing I never did is self-deprecate or disrespect myself – I cultivated it and helped internalize just how powerful I truly am.

Part of why I write this is because it frustrates me quite deeply when I more often than not see people wasting their potential away or succumbing to self-defeating beliefs or the climate. There’s always a reason that people point to for their failures – it’s the culture, it’s my depression, it’s COVID, it’s my family, etc. Everything is to blame – except themselves.

It’s a victim complex. You’re not suffering because life sucks, you’re suffering because you’re not trying to shatter the obstacles. You’re working through the same mindset that you’ve held for years, and it’s not working. You’re not trying anything new, for whatever reason.

It’s victimhood and defeatism. The reality is, if you want things to change, you need to change. You need to become aware of your faults and bad ideas. You need to be brutally honest with the facts in front of you. You need to think about them, refer back to reality, and ask “how do I fix this?”. There are no buts, and there is no compassion behind this plain truth – to sort your life out and make it better, do the fucking work to get it done. That’s reality, and no softening of it will make it any less true.

You need to start being creative. If COVID prevents you from doing things like socialize, then build yourself in another area. Start writing more. Start painting more. Do things that build you in some way, whatever it is that interests you. If you’re not feeling good, focus more on your reasoning than your feelings – stop putting your emotions ahead of your mind. Use that pain to motivate yourself away from it, don’t dwell in the damn emotions. Accept, understand, bury it, and move forward.

There are incredible amounts of resources available to you on how to better manage and optimize your life online. All this information is out there, ready to go, and hell, even my blog has several golden nuggets for you in the realm of cognitive therapy. These things work, if you take them seriously. If your life isn’t going anywhere, you need to take a step back and think about why, and what you need to change to get out of the insidious pattern you’ve glued yourself to. Again, there is no compassion or emotion that’ll soften this truth – you need to do the work, and regardless of external circumstances, you can still make your life better.

Suffering is a choice. Make the decision to bury it, and choose life.

Do the work.

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