Think about a time when things didnt go your way… when you did everything you could… but it just didnt work out. Maybe its not a once off, maybe it happens all the time. Maybe somedays, it feels like the universe is kicking you in the ass!
I used to feel like that all the time, no matter what I did, no matter what I tried… it just never worked out.
I wasnt attractive enough for that girl to like me.
I wasnt rich enough to afford an overseas holiday.
I wasnt enough of a kiss ass to get that promotion.
Im just an ugly fuckin’ loser, so I may as well just be an ugly fuckin’ loser.
Surprise, surprise… McCain Superfries… self fulfilling prophecy. The inside of my head was a toxic wasteland of negativity based on what I perceived to be happening around me. We live in an age where everything is hyperconnected, where everyones insta-perfect lives are on display for everyone to see. Where the pretty people seem to be having the most fun, whilst us trolls are left to do the actual work. They group together to conspire against us trolls… to mock and ridicule us because we are not as perfect as them.
This is a pretty juvenile way of looking at things. When you’re a teenager, everything is happening right now. If things arent perfect right now, your life is over! As with most things however, as you get older you realise that shit happens, assholes cause it.
If you’re having issues, chances are someone else has had the same issue. Thats not to say your problems arent your own, you need to own that shit, but if you were to ask 100 random people if they feel attractive enough, do they earn enough money, are they happy with their life… chances are a huge percentage of them would say “Oh HELL NO!!!”
Say you happen across a magical wish granting genie who does a reverse Shrek on you, so you’re rich, hot and given everything that would make you happy… Im guessing you’ll be asking “Whats next?”.. As a species, we are conditioned to never be happy with what we have, we focus on what we dont have… so you have a brand new Ferrari… in a few years its not so new… you have a trillion Insta Followers and get firehosed with products and promo opportunities… that trip to the tropical paradise will feel more like work than a holiday.
You see a trend here, todays solutions are really just the start of tomorrows problems.
So ask yourself, which problems are you willing to put up with? What problems are you willing to endure to feel like you’re living life.
If we’re being honest… one of my problems was my commitment to the Emergency Services. I’ve been doing in the service for nearly 20 years (15 years in the current service). I’ve been with my now wife for 11 years now. It was my thing. I was all in and I was lovin’ it. I was out all the time, I was somebody in the unit…
Then we moved, bought a house in a different area so I had to move units. Where I ended up, was not a good experience for me. I might address that in a future blog post. Long story short, I was nobody, I was over eager too early and I had some issues with certain things. Like a true idiot, my ego convinced me I could fix these problems.
- These problems didnt want to be fixed.
- I went about it the wrong way.
I was pissed off, I was upset, I was annoyed… and it showed. I was slowly starting to hate the service because everywhere I turned it felt like I was wasting my time. I would bitch to anyone who would listen (and sometimes still do)… but only to make sure people are aware I was actively against the toxic environment.
The follow on effects was that my personality changed… I was bitter and cynical. I was always looking at how fucked up the entire situation was. The problems I was having was systematic of the service as a whole, not just in one specific location. Other people having an awesome experience would often shout me down and I think I started to get a bit of a reputation. I wanted to change the entire service so that changes would be required in a specific area.
In all honesty, it was like David and Goliath, where Goliath completely fuckin’ owned David in a nanosecond.
On the home front, this caused issues because I was not a good person to be around. I would pick fights or start arguments cos I was always in a bad mood and one thing lead to another.
In my mind, I knew if I just persisted, I would finally triumph. People would see my logic and reasoning and finally I would get my justification. My wife, initially supportive, basically washed her hands of it. She was sick of hearing it. She was sick of the bitching. She was sick of the drama. I couldnt even talk about it. If I did, she would just shut me down and tell me she didnt care.
Throw in some other stuff happening, and as a team we made the decision to do something about it. I used to think short of moving to a new place and making a new start there was nothing I could do.
So we decided to move to a new place and make a new start.
This didnt come without problems… finding money, dealing with banks, being perpetually broke, dealing with builders, making time to do the inspections, having the “discussions” (arguments) about what we want to do in the new house, finding more money to pay for the upgrades to fixtures and features.
It was frustrating as fuck, but I loved it. I knew I had an out from a shitty situation, I had something positive to look forward to and my wife was happy I was being more positive.
Of course, no good deed goes unpunished and work started to suck, but I nipped that mofo in the butt really quickly too. Also another blog post for another time.
The point Im trying to illustrate, and the one Mark Manson says, is to concentrate on the problems that you are happy to put up with. Deal with the problems you can actually do something about. Problems that speak to your character, to what you believe in, to what matters most.