The Darker Side of Everything ‘Self-.’

You are not a project.

We are not ok, broadly speaking.

Everywhere we turn, we see what we would like to do or have, but we just don’t know how to get there.

It’s all within the reach of our hand, but somehow we still can’t grasp it. 

One of the main reasons we feel so bad is a lack of clarity: we don’t know what we should be doing anymore or what is expected of us; we often don’t even know what we expect from ourselves anymore, and why. 

The most frustrating part? We keep hearing that it’s all about us and what we do. Better still – that it is, in fact, easy! You just have to tap into your potential. The list of things we just need to do never ends.

And there is no shortage of those willing to sell us different recipes. So we buy, and we try, and we fail. 

We do as they say for a while, and when our lives don’t magically change after some time, we either questions the method or ourselves. 

The world got very complex.

Some see it as a fascinating playground, brimming with opportunities, while others see it as confusing, exhausting, and sometimes scary. 

Many successful people start their days by hitting the snooze button many times and not wanting to step outside to face the world – again. But as they don’t see a way out, they wash down whatever was prescribed to them – and keep marching. 

Sanctioned Insanity. 

The problem is, when you see everyone else around you live that kind of life, it becomes ‘normal.’ It’s what people do, how they live their lives. 

Insane? Maybe. But what are the options?

Maybe you do have a nagging feeling that the world around you is spinning a bit too fast to be sustainable, but at the same time, you’re not ready to call it quits and venture into the woods. 

So what do you do?

You create a Pinterest mood board with wood cabins and tranquil life you long for. You watch YouTube videos of those who ditched their busy lifestyles and are now sharing their adventures with others while collecting their likes and subscriptions. 

We have many problems, and the media make sure we know it.

One of our problems is that it currently is that you either hustle or quit. You’re either successful or a loser.  An either/or approach.

If you have a career with a minimum six-figure job and quit – and then write about it, create a course on how to do the same, create a podcast, and sell a couple of books on the subject — well, then it’s great! We have a hero journey nicely outlined.

But what about the rest of us who don’t have bright careers to quit in the first place?

Many believe that the worst thing that can happen to you is to be average. 

It’s all on you. 

Here’s the not-so-bright side of positive thinking. 

“Positive thinking always assures us that we can be more, that we can do more, that we can achieve and attain more. 

This is supposed to be empowering. It’s supposed to make us feel very good about our own capacities.”

– Josh Cohen

But does it?

With all the possibilities around us and the shift from being a cog in the wheel to being the captain of your ship comes a lot of pressure and responsibility. 

Everywhere we turn, there is someone telling us to take radical ownership of our lives. 

We got the memo; it’s on us!

When you succeed, it’s on you. We like to ignore the sheer luck in our lives, the timing, the circumstances. 

But when you don’t? It’s also on you. You don’t know why exactly, so you keep digging and try to help yourself with some self-help. 

We are always trying to fix ourselves: our bodies, our mindset. We become a project, a tool. Self-growth seems to be our main gig. 

But what is the end goal here?

Check with yourself if what you’re after is moving like the horizon?

We are tired. 

There are many ways to be tired, but there is this type of tiredness that doesn’t go away. 

It’s the mental fatigue, sometimes the burnout.

It’s the feeling you cannot really rest: you’re tired but agitated; you are restless.

You rest, you feel a bit better, but as soon as you get back to your usual grind – you get tired again, quickly. Because wherever you go, you take yourself with you.

It’s the feeling of being in a leaky boat: it seems like all you’re doing is to get rid of the water pouring in, only to stay afloat, and not even thinking of really getting anywhere meaningful. It’s the feeling that we are just putting out fires and fighting mosquitoes. 

And with this, for many, comes a deep feeling of disappointment: is that what adult life is about?

Managing expectation.

When I talk to people, no matter their age, I hear a lot of disappointment. 

But let’s think for a second: where does the disappointment come from? What is its cause?

Disappointment is what is left after you deduct reality from your expectations when what’s left is not as good as you had hoped. 

We live in pretty sweet times: safe and abundant, at least in comparison to the past. But the past is the past, and we are now exposed to way more temptations than ever before. 

If all you do every day is resist temptations, no wonder you feel drained. 

And when you feel drained, you are more likely to give in to some of those temptations. 

They’re a whole lot of wanting going around these days. 

We want, and we desire, we crave. 

We move through life while endless Sirens are singing in our ears: have me, taste me, get me! Yes, you can! You deserve it!

What’s around you matters. 

Where you live and what you’re exposed to shape your wanting and your expectations.

So, on the one hand, we have all this wanting going on, the dopamine-dripping world screaming ‘more!’, and on the other, we got rid of a lot of balancing chemicals: oxytocin, serotonin, endorphins. What’s a good source of these? Other people around us, positive touch, a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose, a sense of awe.

Take a second to acknowledge that You are here now. 

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