It’s late. Rather, it’s early. At 1 am, it could be a bit of both.
You’re sitting at home, still working to finish the latest spreadsheet for your boss. As you stare at the clock, you reflect on the choices that led you here.
You try to pinpoint that moment when you made that one wrong choice that drove you to where you find yourself today – single, 30lbs overweight, passed over for promotion twice in a row, and asking your buddies for help with your Tinder profile.
You wish you could rewind that clock. Make smarter decisions. Quit your job, become your own boss, and take your golden path through life. Lugging your Macbook around, taking coffee shops by storm. Corporate life can be damned because you’re going to do things your way.
But here you are, slaving away making somebody else rich. Wishing, blaming, wondering, brooding…
If You Had Just One Wish – What Would It Be?
What if I told you I had the power to grant you one wish. One wish that can be anything. One single chance to fix all of your problems.
What would you wish for?
Chris, give me enough money so I would never have to work again!
I almost guarantee most of you would wish for this. Money is always the answer, isn’t it? Money fixes problems, it pays the bills, it can buy you freedom and the life of your dreams.
It’s all true… Except, it’s one big lie.
The Biggest Problem in Life
Thinking that money will fix your problems implies that your issues aren’t your fault – they’re someone else’s. You’re blaming your parents, your boss or your society for giving you the short end of the stick. If only you had the money other people have, you’d be all set.
People who think like this are the same ones who listen to motivational podcasts while they walk on the treadmill. They buy countless self-help books, attend seminars and collect inspirational posters.
Yet they find themselves in the exact same spot year after year. They’re constantly maneuvering, trying to game the system, jockeying for position at the water cooler, telling everyone how “the man” is trying to hold them back.
And it’s 100% bullshit. The truth is it’s all their fault.
Every little problem in your life is your own doing and all the motivational videos in the world won’t help. YOU are the problem – not money, not other people, not anything.
And there is only one person who can fix all of it – it’s you, and only you.
No inspiring Instagram post will save you here. Relying on others is going to get you nowhere. Sinking money into books you don’t even read won’t help you.
You must be the change in your life.
I Was There Too, Believe Me
Shit, I’ve been there many times. In fact, I was there last night writing this post.
Stressed out, worrying about everything. My bosses hate me, will I get fired from my job? I can’t get clients because I’m too busy, will I be able to pay rent this month? Should I have gone to college? Why do I feel so alone?
For every question and self-doubt, there was an excuse as to why it wasn’t my fault. Each question built upon the next, and it felt like an ever growing weight on my back. It built to a crescendo – everything just felt hopeless. Life singled me out, and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
I thought and thought about the reasons for this until I ran out of excuses. I had unwittingly stripped them all away until all that was left was me, and the only answer was that it was all my fault.
That conclusion felt both liberating and terrifying. Liberating, because I knew how I could fix all of my problems. Terrifying, because the only real problem I had was myself.
It’s so easy to blame the world, but taking ownership and challenging yourself to change is so much harder. The amount of effort it takes to exert real change into a situation that you fucked up is incredible.
Just like it was writing this stuff about myself.
It Begins and Ends With You
Everyone laughs at Shia LeBoeuf’s TED talk. Sure, it’s easy to make fun of the guy. He’s loud, half-crazed, and that beard is hideous. But the dude is right.
You are what’s holding you back. Nothing else. If you want to actually accomplish something in life, go out there and do it. If you want to fix something, go fucking fix it.
Stop complaining about your life, take responsibility and find the solution.
Take 30 minutes today to write down 2-3 things that really piss you off about your life. Write down what they are and why you hate them. Next, write down one action step that you can take immediately to start fixing each one.
Anything that will start the process of fixing these problems will do. It doesn’t have to be an immediate fix, it just needs to start moving things in the right direction. No matter how large or terrifying these seem, if you write them down and take that first step, you’ll be amazed just how easy things will get afterward.
Here, I’ll start: The one thing that pisses me off the most right now is how much I work for how little I make. I hate it because I feel like I barely get anything for all of the effort, passion, and time I put in.
What am I going to do to fix this? Set time aside to write at least 2 hours each day. Write programs, blog posts, guest posts – I’ll figure it out as I go. But the first step is to sit down and start writing.
Stand Up For Yourself
Write your list.
If you want to be average, blame others, and keep going through the same mediocre existence year after year, then keep doing what’re you doing. Blame others for your problems and live without making any changes.
You want to become someone great? Stop blaming others. Look at what you need to fix about yourself and take action right now.