Buried

Alright, I have to admit something to you: I’m frustrated as hell.

That’s not why I haven’t been writing much – more the result of it. But sometimes that’s just the way it is.

Let me explain.

Actually, let me give some examples:

  • Experiments don’t go as planned, or take for stinking ever to give actionable, reportable results.
  • An injury in my neck that just won’t stay fixed gets in the way of exercise.
  • My microphone seems to have gone AWOL, and danged if I can figure out where it went.
  • Recurring obligations to others have not been finished off nearly so much as I need them to be.
  • A pile of serious expenses has seriously delayed pretty much everything I want to do.

Add to this the heat of summer at the edge of a desert, and the above troubles and more combine with a lack of energy to destroy any normal motivation. And speaking of heat, it’s over 80 degrees until at least 10pm. Even if I didn’t leave for work at 5:30am and return after 6:30pm, it would be a challenge to get much done around the house, where the most urgent, if least interesting, projects are. As it is, they tend to need both daylight and heavy lifting.

It’s very easy to become not just discouraged but despondent. The problems themselves form circles (or tangles) that reinforce each issue. Any one of them breaking free of the spiral could give the mental energy to blast through another, then another. Instead, they pile on and kill self-discipline, progress, and hope.

Does any of this sound familiar?

It’s hard sometimes to look at the bloggers who have their act together, have the time to schedule their workouts or projects whenever they like and give advice that only works if you do too, could drop everything and build their own business because no one’s depending on them and they’ve got no debt, or somehow have this well of self control that they assume everyone else has or can just switch on. You look at them and think, “Hey, some of us have a day job. Some of us are old before our time. We’re tired and don’t want to be tired any more, but are buried in crap and can’t struggle free. Some of us are really young, have very little life experience and no money and no freaking idea where to start and frankly we don’t want to go down the road everyone is insisting we take.”

This isn’t that kind of blog. Obviously. I’m telling you all the frustrations I’m slogging through, though I wouldn’t dream of telling people I know in person this sort of thing. We’ll get into why that’s the case another time, but for now, here’s the thing: I’m telling you because I want you to understand that I’m not someone who natively has it all together.

Yeah, I have a plan. I’ve seen and read and listened to and carefully watched hundreds and hundreds of people and their output. I’ve combined that with modern observations and ancient wisdom to arrive at a philosophy that I’m presenting here in this blog. I know it will work: it just requires breaking free of the horrible inertia that grabs hold and tries to convince you that more effort is just more effort that at best will yield nothing.

Note: I am not exaggerating. I am not intentionally letting myself settle into a hole because I know I can just hop back out of it to more impressive effect. I am showing you that this philosophy (observed structure of how things work) and praxeology (observed structure of how to make things work) can work for you because it’ll work for me, and I’m no different than you.

Now hang on a minute: Didn’t I start on this already?

Yeah. That’s the thing I’m trying to tell you, today. You’ve probably come across motivational memes and posters and whatnot that tell you that success is just a matter of getting up 1 more time than you fall. Sounds all very nice when you’re not in the process of your 14th fall.

Turns out, though, it’s true.

The troubles I listed above – and please believe me that it’s only a partial list – are not what needs to be overcome in order to move forward. They need fixing, but they’re not the point of origin of what might make me fail. The only thing that can actually torpedo my chance to pull things together is if I simply give up.

Consider this adage: “You make your own luck.” What does that actually mean? It probably deserves its own article, but the short form is that you learn and practice and prepare and build, knowing full well that your chance might not come along to make something of it.

That’s making luck? Yeah.

Because if you’ve done that, not only will you be able to take advantage of opportunities should they appear, but you’ll be much more attuned to the presence of opportunities in the first place. To the outsider, it looks like luck. It’s not.

You know the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed…”? I hate that saying. It gets used without thought and as a dismissive bit of feelgoodery. Thing is, it’s true. And if you’re buried in crap, and the whole freaking universe seems out to prevent you from getting anywhere, it really is the only thing to do.

Are you going to fail again? Probably. Driving yourself to do when you see absolutely no point in doing, when one idiotic glitch after another gets in your way, when you’re tired and brain-dead and dejected, is one of the hardest things in the world. We’ll work on that together. Like with various health items, I’ve been experimenting on myself to find out what works and what doesn’t. I’m sure this can be dealt with.

Failing isn’t a permanent state unless you make it one. Everyone who’s a success has failed, and failed a lot. If you don’t consider yourself a success yet, expect to fail more. It happens. Get out there. It’s true that you can’t fail if you don’t try – but that’s the thought that keeps you in your miserable place. The deeper truth is the other side of it: You can’t stop failing until you try enough times, and learn from each.

I had planned to jump into my core philosophy and build things from there, but I see now that it won’t make much difference unless the will to use it can be got to. So instead we’ll next discuss killing that inertia.

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