It’s funny, really, that in a world which is spinning ever faster there is also an ever growing desire to feel happy every day. It’s almost as if feeling unhappy, depressed or simply unmotivated are seen as a pathological sickness, whereas those are simply human emotions. We are humans because we are self-conscious and as such we can and have to feel the highs and downs of life. It’s ok to be sad, man.
Life would be one gigantic nightmare if we felt the same every day. Yet, I see a lot of people that try to feel awesome all the time, fired up by motivational Youtube videos or some pseudo-philosophic bullshit their favorite entrepreneurs discharge onto their social media accounts.
We meditate, we work out, we only eat vegetables, we go to bed early, we drink 5 liters of water a day, we read a book before sleeping, we are grateful, we work 16 hours a day, we try to live forever, love ourselves, love everyone…it sounds even worse than Orwell’s 1984.
Guess what, trying to feel your best every day will simply make you feel worse every day because you fail before you even start the day. When I wake up in the morning and want to drink a Coke and have a BigMac, then I go for it without having a bad conscience. I don’t eat carrots for breakfast because that makes me depressed. Most of the time I just do what I want, what my body tells me to do, and I do fine.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to feel motivated every day, we are not machines. Listen to yourself.
However, here’s a crazy thought. You can still do what has to be done and be efficient at it without feeling like a Hollywood teenage star on 5kg of antidepressants or trying to pretend to be one of those “I HAVE SO MUCH ENERGY EVERY DAY AND I LOVE MY LIFE IT’S AMAZING”-entrepreneurs.
These people are just as sick as clinically depressed people, trust me (if they aren’t just selling their stuff on social media and as soon as the camera is turned off they smoke a pack of cigarettes, which is the more likely variant). They don’t have a stop-button, it’s self-destructive, even if a byproduct of this sickness is morbid happiness and a million dollar bank account.
Now I’m not saying you don’t have to work hard because you have to if you want to stand out of the crowd. But you can actually hate it – the point is, you just have to DO it. And you can do it well even without feeling motivated. What truly kept me back for many years was that I was looking for something I truly loved doing, but whatever it was, that thing was accompanied by something I hated, as well – and that thing I hated was exactly what I needed to do in order to succeed.
People, that’s just how life works.
You want to be a rock star, you have to take care of the business side of your career. And you also have to sit down and learn that new riff for hours even if you don’t want to.
You want to be a professional streamer on Twitch because you love video games, well, soon you will hate them. You have to stream 12 hours every day in a highly competitive market and you have to talk all the time while doing so. Some days you won’t want to go on the stream because you don’t want people watching you every day, and then you lose subscriptions.
You want to be a trader, you need to work hard on your journal, reviewing trades, planning trades, introspect yourself. The things that you LOVE to do, like playing music, playing video games, trading the charts, you get to do those as a hobby, that’s fine. But when you want to turn what you love into a career, then you HAVE to do the things you HATE. There is NO WAY AROUND IT.
And you are absolutely allowed to feel bad about it. On some days I wake up in the morning and feel like staying in bed. “Ok, not getting up today. The world can kiss my ass.” And then 5 minutes later I still get up because I have learned to be disciplined and efficient, no matter how I feel on a particular day.
I no longer try to feel good about everything I do. I am certainly not happy every day even though I get to live the dream life every day, I travel, I trade, I run my own company. I mean, it is definitely better than being stuck in a cubicle but it’s not all sunshine every day. That’s just an illusion because life never is all about sunshine.
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” – Jim Carrey
You see, running after a never-ending happy high is like looking for the holy grail, it doesn’t exist. You just have to extract the information from the emotions you are feeling, and then let them pass by. That is how you become efficient at operating under any mood.
If you are always stuck at “I want A, and then everything will be okay”, you will never be happy. Because once you get “A” – if you get it in the first place, that is – you will be happy for a bit and then there will be a new “A” that you want.
Once you realize that life is all about ups and downs and not about constantly feeling happy and living forever, life will turn from being a constant torture to a huge theme park of opportunities. This is the truest truth in life, there will never be a greater truth than this.
You feel bad today? Accept it. Think about why you feel bad, extract the information, let the emotion pass, then do what you have to do. Are you feeling high today? Why is that? Extract the information, then do what you have to do and let the emotion pass.
Every day I do what I hate, what I fear, what makes me uncomfortable, but I know it has to be done in order to succeed. Because – this is another revelation for you, read closely – if life feels the same, whether you are poor or rich, then you might as well do what makes you rich.
Being fat is a lot of work. Being lazy is a lot of work. Being rich is a lot of work. Being healthy is a lot of work. If everything is a lot of work, then all you have to do is to decide what you want and go for it. It is really that simple. Just do what has to be done, no matter how you feel on a particular day or how you feel about what you have to do.
There is really no difference between sitting on a couch and watching TV or working out for 6 hours. I feel like shit about both, but one activity gets me the results I want while the other activity might give me something to talk about with my coworkers the next day. It’s really all about the results you want.
Climbing the Mount Everest is not harder than eating 20 Big Macs. Heck, nothing in life is hard or easy. It’s just transformation of energy into a certain result. And here comes another truth. Wanting to be someone or something but doing nothing to get that something or to become the person you want to be is actually MUCH harder than just doing what needs to be done, no matter how the fuck you feel about what has to be done.
Let that sink in.
- Realize that people who say they feel awesome every day are liars or clinically sick.
- Social media is just a snap of a person’s life to sell you something, not the truth.
- You won’t and can’t feel good every day, but you still can do what has to be done and do it efficiently. Accept that you are a human, not a machine.
- Being poor or being rich only shifts your problems – but there will always be problems. Accept this and free yourself of the illusion of the “happy” life.
- Wanting something but not doing anything to get it will inflict more pain in the long run than just doing what you have to do.
Why do successful people never stop, even after they have reached everything they possibly could? Because they realized life is not about getting “A” and then being happy for the rest of your life, it is instead about doing “B” (the grind), and constantly getting different “A’s”.
The best night of sleep you will ever get in your life is when you go to bed exhausted after a day full of work, giving you the feeling of achievement and getting you slowly closer to the “A” you are chasing at the moment, knowing that when you reach that “A”, you will simply look for a new “A”, but that happiness truly comes from “B”, the grind.
Do what has to be done, no matter how you feel about it, accept emotions as they come and go, extract the information from them, and then keep doing your thing. And sometimes take a rest, look at the world flying by you, observe, be present, then jump right back into the stream of madness. That is what life is all about.
You won’t reach enlightenment through meditation, working out, eating healthy, getting up early, BLA BLA BLA. It’s all marketing crap to sell you the newest product.
Only the grind will give you what you need. But don’t work 16 hours a day. 8-10 focused hours is more than 95% of the population ever do. You will be a champ in no time. A champ with good days and bad days, but a champ nevertheless, and a champ that does what was to be done, whenever there is the need for concentrated, focused action.
Embrace the suck. Period.