Accepting the Worst…

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Anyone who knows me knows a few things about me.

  • I am worrier; the compulsive type.
  • I am a man of action, I have to be doing something.

These two things seem contrary and they are.  That’s kind of the point.  I worry about a great many things.

When I was a little kid I would worry about my older brothers wandering off in the store and getting taken.  I had nightmares about my family being in danger.  This was like when I was four.

I became paralyzed with worry for the first time when I learned my Dad was going to die.  I was seven and my mom told us that he’s sick and he’s not going to be getting better.  I went to the backyard of my grandmother’s house and sat in a tree and cried.

I was worried.

I remembering telling myself, “This is it.  This is how people become homeless.  No one is born homeless, this is how it happens.”  I was also obsessed with the fact that I now would only have one parent.  If anything happened to my mom I would have to live with my aunt who I did not get along with.  It would mean moving away too.

My life was over.  In that moment our house was gone and my mother was dead along with my dad.  The worst case scenario played out in my head.

I remember feel like I couldn’t do anything.  I felt compelled to try but couldn’t.  I racked my brain for hours, days, weeks, and months.  I had to do something.  I accepted the worst circumstances as realty and decided to prepare myself for them.  I started to discipline myself, read more, and become more self-reliant.

As a result, to this day I am more self-reliant than any of my brothers.  I know how to fix things, reason things out, take care of myself, improve myself and be self-reliant.

Do I worry less?  No.  Not even a little.  Possibly more.

There are things you can change.  This whole blog is all about being your best yourselves.  Sometimes acceptance of a limitation is the first step finding your best self.

You can change how you act.  You can change how you respond.  But deep down…

I will always worry.  Again, compulsively.

BUT it doesn’t stop me.

At the next lowest part of my life I was out of shape, newly divorced, fresh out of foreclosure, deep in debt, and living in a rented room at a friend’s house.

I had plenty to worry about.

And I did.

But it didn’t stop there.  I had to act.  Act or die, literally.

I accepted the worst scenarios of circumstances as realty and started again.

 

I decided who I wanted to be.

I decided what I needed to do.

I decided who I wanted to be with.

 

A lot of people say that worry is like a weight that wears you down.  Their advice is take it off and put it down.  I wish it were so easy.  It sounds like a fairy tale to me sometimes.

You look at people drowning in debt and unable to stop.  You look at people dying from eating and can’t stop.  They constantly break down and cry (it’s all very TV/Facebook friendly).  Why can’t they just put down there worry?  Because they fucking can’t!

You can’t just stop having your problems.  You just can’t stop worrying.  It doesn’t work like that.  You need to own it.  Harder yet, accept it.  Its not going anywhere.

 

My advice, for those who find themselves like me, is learn to lift it.  Learn to be stronger.

 

It will bend you, but it won’t break you.

It’s heavy, get stronger.

Learn to rest, but only when it’s earned.

 

There is no magic formula to stop worrying.  You just learn to be stronger.  That’s it.

No pretty pictures.  No inspirational quotes.  You will fail.  Let me make that clear.

You will fail.

You will fall.

You will have bad days… weeks… months…  but you will get stronger.  Do the work and you will get stronger.  Head down, shoulder in, be savage.

It will hurt.  Listen, that’s life!

When you are worried, and you feel paralyzed, face it.  Accept the realistic worst case scenario as fact.  Acknowledge the world has not ended and do something.

You are in debt.  You will have to pay it off.  It will take years.  It is going to hurt.  Accept it.

Do your budget.  Cut deep.  Get it done.

You got dumped.  You are alone.  What was your fault and what was there?  It hurts.  It won’t kill you.  You will move on because you have to.

Decided who you want to be and who you what to be with.  Do what you need to do.  Accept what you need to accept.

You are sick and out of shape.  You can’t fucking eat like that anymore.  You have to exercise.

Find an exercise you like and do it.  No excuses.  No being tired from work.  No being stressed.

You are tired and stressed because you didn’t exercise.  Face it.  No one made you this way but you.

You don’t like your condition, where and how you live.  What are you going to do about it?

 

Finally…

 

You are not wrong for worrying.  Stop beating yourself up about it.

You are entitled to your worry as long as you earn it.  If you are a fucking dynamo of improvement, work, and self-reliance then you are entitled to worry about whatever you want.  You are entitled to your worry, your happiness, and the life you make for yourself.

Did you do something today about what you worry about?  Then you earned it.

 

Worry won’t stop you.  Keep going.  You will be stronger.

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How to treat a Man… 

 

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Right now in the world there is a lot of talk against men.  The very thought of this article is probably going to be met by many with a “Fuck em… they need to learn what it’s like to be on the shit side of life for a while!”  If that is your response that so be it.  It is natural to want to attack those who have attacked you.

If you are a woman whose been “kept down” (even if it is really a creation in your mind) by men then you see all men as the enemy.  Ok, you choose that relationship with men.  You choose to make an adversary of half the population, and namely the other half of the human identity.  It’s a bold move let me know how that works out for you.

For those of you that don’t want to have an enemy in 50% of the world’s population here is a guide to helping some of the men in your life navigate the negativity in their world and to be their best selves.

 

Your father…

Forgive him.  You won’t understand his role in your life until you are him if ever.  Could he have done better, probably.  If you are a grown adult (which if you are not stop reading, this site is not for you) then accept he did what he did.  It may not have done his best but there is no changing it.  If you are angry at him you are just hurting yourself.  Distance sure… but forgive.

If none of the above apply, and you had a great time even some of the time.  Show him gratitude.  He’s been freaking out for years that you are screwed up and it’s his fault.  You can take the weight off the shoulders of someone who loves you to just let him know, “I got this.  Thank you for getting me this far.”  Gratitude is other side of forgiveness.  It sets you free.

 

Your brother…

Understand him.  You can think things were different for him than you.  Being a guy… yeah they were.  But look, nothing is easy for anyone.  He dealt with rejection in a way you don’t understand.  He dealt with every bit of identity and personality issues you did.  Just different.  He probably didn’t arrive where he is now without some damage, just like you.  If you want to talk difference, well he can’t show it.  He might not even be able to acknowledge it.  If he didn’t have an example of what being a man is today then he may be lost, confused, angry, or all of the above.  Be patient with him and encourage him.  If nothing else be a good part of his life so he knows where the peace is when he needs it.

 

Your lover…

Help him.  Really.  Tell him you love and support him.  Show him you love and support him.  Never take him for granted.  Help him be his best self.  Above all, don’t be difficult.  Be an active partner.  It’s not just you that likes romantic gestures, flowers, and candy.  When was the last time you got him a gift?  A comic book at the grocery store… candy… a toy… anything?  So many women don’t but at the same time expect flowers and surprises.  It’s not fair.  Guys accept that, but it still sucks.  You may never know the stress of having to be leader in a relationship, it can be the source of his greatest strength and his greatest stress all at once.  Help him.  Whenever possible don’t be difficult, pick a restaurant, plan a date, do something different for him.  The biggest thing you can offer is your affection.  Simply put, guys love to chase you… if you love him be easier to catch.  Treat him like he is the best man in your life and he will rise to that occasion.

 

Everyone else…

Be at peace with them.  Trust me, I know you need to be or at least appear strong to get by in the world.  Instead of treating everyone like the enemy and letting hate into your life, live by this principle, “Make savage the body, Civilize the mind.”  Be ready for an enemy, but have your mind ready to accept dialogue and make peace.  Think over the events of the last few days.

My principle are…

To be at peace with myself and the world.

To be ready for war with myself and world.

To be my best self and help all those would want help to be their best selves.

 

I hope you share these principle with me.  The events of the last few days are not the actions of those who are at peace with themselves.  They are the actions of the scared, the hurt, and angry.  While that is understandable it is not a place of peace with one’s self and therefore is a poor place to go to war from.

Be at peace with yourselves ladies.  Work to be at peace with the world around you.  Prepare for war, but seek peace.

Planning Part 3: This Time It’s Personal

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So it comes to this.  The final requirement you need for a plan.

I’ll keep this short because it is pretty clear.

 

Progress.

 

A plan is nothing without progress.  Really think it out folks.

You can follow step 1, make a plan, write it down, and create it.

You can follow step 2, share it, be accountable, and put yourself on the line.  However, without step three what do you really have?

Nothing.  You have ideas and paper.  The world is filled with people who have ideas and paper, though now it is all Facebook posts but the idea is the same.

Without acting on those ideas you have nothing but intention and that’s not much.  Trust me.

 

So, back to step three…  Can you show me your progress?

Can you show me your work?  Only if you did the work.

Can you show me the change you made?  Only if it was successful.

 

Action and success are the blood and heartbeat of a plan.  Everything up to now has been building the bones and brains of the plan but without the blood and heartbeat of doing your plan is a corpse.

 

So why do I need show progress?  Why can’t I just have progress without showing it others?

 

Because you need to face that fire.

You need to face the criticism and your work will speak for itself.

You need to see those raised expectations and be challenged to start this whole process again.

 

Eat your failures for fuel.  Enjoy your wins and ask “If I came this far, how far could I go?”

 

So here we are… you have plan?  Great, do something!  Every day to get there.

People will tell you that you need to make the choice every day to work on your plan.  I disagree.

You only need to make the decision once.  Your heart makes the decision to beat once and then cannot stop.  Think of your plan and the call to action the same way.

 

I will work out every day.  This will get me to my goal.  This will help me be the best me.  Without this I will be stressed, I will be tired, I will be weak.  I am deciding in this moment I don’t want to be like that anymore.  I am declaring my will to be better.

 

Tomorrow…

 

I don’t feel like it…

I’m tired…

 

FUCK IT!

I’m not dead and it’s not my choice.  I’m not sick.  I’m not going to harm myself.  In fact quite the opposite.  I AM HARMING MYSELF IF I STOP!

I HAVE TO DO IT!

I made the choice in a solemn moment when I set a goal and made the choice.

I MUST DO IT.

There is no choice.  It is the heartbeat of my plan.  Without this my plan dies.  I will not let my plan die.

You do not have a choice.  You made the choice.  Do something!

 

Give LIFE to your plans and be your best selves.

What’s Wrong with Superman? In Defense of Lex Luthor: Libertarian…

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I recently spent some time thinking about some of my favorite heroes.  With the resurgence of my childhood heroes (Marvel Cinematic, Voltron on Netflix, etc. etc.) I have been thinking about the heroes I liked as a kid and now as an adult and how that’s changed.

I came to the hero of heroes… Superman.

As a kid I didn’t really like Superman but as an adult I did.

Why was that?  For me, when you are a kid you don’t really know pain.  You think you do but you don’t.  You don’t know paying the rent.  Disappointing someone you love.  You don’t know the first time you have a major medical scare and realize you won’t BE forever.  That’s pain.

When you are a kid you don’t need Superman.  Superman is the guy that wins.  He’s always so powerful and so good that he can’t lose (Even when he died he won!).

The mind rejects the idea of Superman losing.  Superman shows up and cleans everything up and the good guys win.  When you are a kid you reject that story because you foolishly ache to grow up so you reject the Superman that fixes it all.

When you are an adult you want the Superman to come back.  You struggle with your own mortality and your daily mounting problems.  You want to believe in the idea that an all-powerful guy is going come down and help you.

And that is why Superman is wrong, bad for us, and needs to be stopped (Or at least we need to stop depending on Superman or the Superman figures we’ve built for ourselves in real life).

So it turns out Lex Luthor was right.

Lex Luthor’s gripe against Superman has taken different forms through the years but it essentially comes down to this: Lex Luthor is a humanist.  He believes in potential of humanity, mostly because he feels he exemplifies it.  He thinks he is the real Superman.

He makes the argument that Superman holds people, humanity as a whole, back.  He is the all-powerful nanny that keeps us from growing up.  The crutch that the human race will never get off.

(Insert your big government political metaphors here!  They fit quite nicely!  I mean the guy with all the power gets make the decisions right…  And if we give anything in life all that power they’ll be just like Superman right… that’s how it’s worked out right?)

People look at Luthor as the villain but he is just playing the long game.  He believes that long term humanity needs to struggles to advance.

He is not wrong.

It’s easy to hate Luthor.  He’s not like Superman who has born with all the power and cannot fail (Like say a massive social structure that is powerful by its nature and only gets stronger).  He’s just a really smart guy who is comparatively frail, weak, let’s be honest just like us.  We want to believe in the illusion of Superman being so much better than us that Luthor becomes the dumping ground for what hate.

He’s the evil corporation (though he makes jobs, provides health care, and advancement for thousands), with his evil technology (though he must be selling something people want… L-Phones or something), and he is just wants people to suffer (by making them reach their true potential through hard work and shit).

Compare Luthor to other comic villains.  Other villains will go after other heroes, Luthor is fixated only on Superman.  He only has issues with other heroes when they get in his way of going after Superman.

Why is that?

I think he sees other humans gaining power as a good thing.

He looks at Batman and thinks “Way to go!  Wished you agreed with me on the alien holding us back.” (Which he sometimes does)

He looks at Cyborg and thinks “Alright, progress!  Shiny!”

He looks at Flash and thinks “Well that’s good, but such a waste!”  He doesn’t have the hatred for him even though he can be argued to be more powerful than Superman (I mean time travel at will… come on!)

So what’s the point?

Maybe it’s time we all grew up a bit and looked for heroes that bring out the best in us not fix our problems.  Maybe it’s time we decided to do more than we think we think we can.  Maybe it’s time we stopped waiting for Superman (Or some other all-powerful overarching nanny figure… -cough- -cough- government) to come in and…

Figure out what we should eat…

Figure out what we need to spend our money on…

Figure out who we should help in our daily lives…

Maybe it’s time we took back the power to save ourselves.

Why Something Rather than Nothing?

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So this is a topic that I’ve been reluctant to write about for some time.

When I started this little project I wrote some basic relationship advice that basically just comes from making to my age and interacting with other people.  I always felt that nothing I think much less write is really unique; no deep secrets here.  That being said it appears that some people out there (guys I imagine most but if you are of the female persuasion and find some value here good on you) need a mental exercise to help them out.

So let’s get started.

It seems so fundamental but it’s the best place to start and end.

When I studied in college I took a philosophy course or two.  They were helpful in organizing my thoughts and developing the cold analytical machine you are reading here.  One of my particularly wizened professors once told the class that his ultimate question was “Why something rather than nothing?”  Whether you believe in nothing, something, or any combination there in you must admit that the universe (i.e. reality) exists.  Was there a point that it didn’t?  Don’t get caught up on whether everything exists because of an old man in white robe or random chemicals doing random things.  Think past that and ask yourself not how but why does everything exist?

Right about not you are asking, “What the absolute fuck does this have to do with relationships?”

Well, it’s simple really.  Often times relationships become our world and we get so caught up on the HOW we forget the WHY.

 

How do I make them happy?

How do I find time for them?

How do I pay the bills to get them what they want?

How do I do everything they need me to do?

 

It is important, perhaps the most important thing, to ask yourself throughout and regularly…

 

Why am I with them?

Why do they make me happy?

Why do I make them happy?

Why am I not alone?

Why are they not just a friend?

 

So instead of asking “How do I make this work?” dare to ask the harder question, “Why should I make this work?”

Often times we (guys especially) end up focusing on the doing.  We are task orientated creatures.  However, tasks without purpose can be very bad for you.

You would not run daily to prepare for a weight lifting completion and you would not lift weights to prepare for a marathon.

 

Why are you in the most all-consuming relationship of your life?

 

If you answers read

 

Because they said yes…

Because they need me…

Because I’ll be a bad person if I don’t want this…

Because I don’t know what else to do…

 

You deserve better.

Fundamentally, you are an aberration in existence.  You are a unique person among nearly 7 Billion today, much less the Billions throughout human history.  There has been and only will be one you.  This is your story and if you are spending the best chapters on reason like the ones above I tell you that you can do better.  Doing nothing is better than doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons.

 

Worse, it’s selfish.

 

They are every bit as unique as you.  Instead of letting them live up to their potential (which may be a painful thing) you are crippling them by making them use the crutch that is your relationship.  They will never grow and heal if you keep carrying them.  You are holding them back because you don’t know what else to do.  Go through the pain of letting them go through the pain.

 

So, right about now you are pretty bummed and asking “Well then what are the right reasons?”

This is not a comprehensive list but here we go…

 

Because I am truly the best version of myself when I am with them…

Because they inspire, not shame or trick, me to do more…

Because they believe in me and when they believe in me I believe in me…

Because I know when things go bad they help me up and not put me down…

 

You only get one trip through life.  Be the best version of yourself.

The work you dedicate your life to should have meaning.

The people in your life should be better for having known you.

The person you make your partner should make you better.

 

Money, jobs, houses, things…  If you leave this world having spent your life on someone who does not make it better you are wasting the one thing you will never have more of… time.  So ask yourself…  Why?

The Problem with Being the Hard Edge

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This is going to be a bit on the philosophical side so bear with me.

 

At a fundamental level all life is movement.  At the basest levels you heat exchanges and chemical reactions all the way up to body movement and social movements then onto the cosmic movements of the universe.

All life can be summed up as movement from point another.  So with everything moving you are bound to have collisions.

In these collisions the bodies in motion change, they react to collision.  They will change direction or shape.

As you improve your mindset and your life you will begin to move in a clear direction, with purpose and intent.  Some will follow or emulate your actions and follow the path you cutting through the universe.  I follow from people who have gone before and try to emulate their path when it goes in the same direction to my own.  It’s natural in the strictest sense.

Others will attempt to derail your progress as you set forth goals and standards, particularly if they fall outside of those standards.  For the most part there is a collision and you go your way and they go theirs.  But every once in a while you encounter a person that requires you to be what I call a hard edge.

You have set your standards and your plans to get to where you want to go and there will be someone in your life that wants to get there but wants to do it outside your standards and your goals.  They will not simply collide and go away they will push, they will pull, and they will cut against you.

You will need to be the hard edge they fall against as you make your way to your goals.

This is not simple, there is a problem with being the hard edge.  It hurts.  It dulls you.  It slows you down.

You will question yourself.  You will lose sight of the goal ahead and with it motivation.

As much as conflict can make you strong, it can also tear you down if you are not properly honed.

Being intellectually honest with yourself is key to staying the hard edge against the pull of other people.  To stay honed ask yourself these questions and answer them as honestly as possible.

 

  • Are you doing the right thing to the best of your ability?
  • Are you trying to accomplish something that is good /purposeful for you or others?
  • What is their motivation?

 

If you can say that you are giving your best effort to do your best work then do not worry.

If you can say that you trying to accomplish something of meaning that will help yourself and/or others then do not worry.

If you can examine their motivations and find them to be less than pure do not worry.

 

Be the hard edge.