This might be more of a rant than a legitimate post. Bear with me, kids.
I love self-improvement everything. Books, podcasts, Twitter personalities – you name it. (If you’re on Twitter, please follow Ed Latimore. We’re not affiliated at all, but he’s the bomb dot com – great for hard-ass inspiration.) I love thinking about what I can do to be a better person, a better friend, family member, coworker, etc. If you read my post about podcast recommendations, you probably already figured this out.
I have devoted a serious portion of my life over the last couple of years to being better and doing better. To say that it has been easy would be a lie because it has involved some difficult points of facing down my own shadow, and I’m definitely not finished with it yet. Well, you’re never done with the shadow. But I have made a lot of progress, and I’m happy to say that good things have happened in my life as a result of my commitment to being better. Or maybe I just see the good things more easily.
I would say that probably the biggest problem for most people, including me, is procrastination and general inaction. People have wishes, not goals. They say things lie, “I wish I could go to Bermuda this year,” or, “I wish I had a great boy-/girlfriend in my life.” They don’t realize that you have to put in work to get these things. I have bemoaned my seemingly eternal singleton state, but the honest truth is that I’m divorced with three kids and I’m fat. The guys aren’t going to be beating down my door. The kids are non-negotiable, so I figure my best shot at getting laid regularly is to become a workout MILF. Truth hurts, man.
I do love to procrastinate, but my main problem is that I’m an intensely cerebral person. Please don’t take that to mean that I think I’m smarter than everyone else because I really don’t. I do think I’m a bit more inquisitive than average, but being intellectual does not equal having a high IQ. Basically, I just live in my head. I could read and write all day and be a mostly happy person. I do enjoy some socialization sometimes, but I’m happiest when I’m sitting somewhere comfortable with a stack of books, reading and learning about things that interest me. I would say that I should have been a professor, but the way college campuses are going, I think I’d end up being tarred and feathered.
The other side to my inaction is fear, which is true for pretty much anyone. Taking risks doesn’t usually mean that someone is unafraid, but rather they refuse to let fear hold them back, and that is all the difference between success and failure. If you never try, it is certain that you will never succeed. Even when I really want something, I have to force myself to face down my fear of rejection. Yes, rejection. I am afraid of failure, for sure, but I’m far more afraid of social rejection, which drives me completely insane. I hate the idea that I might be beholden to someone else’s opinion, and I know that I am.
Nevertheless, I push forward. I am working on something in my private life that is going to require some amount of rejection straight from the get-go, and it is going to be hard and will undoubtedly entail many awkward moments. But it is something that I want to do, and so I’m going to do it. I am not going to let someone else’s attitude bother me. The subject is too important.
In light of all of this, I have a couple of things that drive me completely batshit crazy anymore: negative attitude and shooting down potential options before research. I can’t stand people complaining about things that are easily amended, especially when it’s due almost entirely to a lack of self-awareness, and I think it’s ridiculous that there are so many folks that are down on the world. We live in an amazing time, and people need to find their gratitude. They also need to stop making lame excuses for why something won’t work.
When I start making suggestions to people when they are complaining about something, and they shoot down all of my ideas without offering up something in its place, I know immediately that they aren’t serious about making a change. This is frustrating and disappointing, but ultimately there is nothing that you can do to help or save someone else. They must make the choice to save themselves. Most people will not make that choice.
I have had to make some tough choices lately. I have had to do some things that I didn’t want to do in order to free up time and money to devote to getting ahead. But I consider that it will be sacrifice well made, and I will make amends for any harm done. I made that promise a long time ago.
There is this stereotype about libertarians generally and anarcho-capitalists most particularly that we are greedy, money-hungry bastards that want poor people to die without medical care and children to starve in the streets. That is a gross mischaracterization and blatantly untrue. This libertarian is only sad that she can’t do more. I give to United Way, I volunteer for a couple of organizations, and I’m cleaning out my pantry tonight for a food drive. It’s the least I can do. I’m lucky.
So I don’t have a lot of patience for ideas perpetually shot down. I don’t have a lot of patience for negativity or backbiting, and I don’t have a lot of patience for inaction. If you want something – really want it – you have to go for it. You won’t let the possibility of embarrassment or failure stop you. But most people will, and that’s a shame.
This is what’s on my mind tonight. I’m going to go clean out that pantry now and hope that this cold, October evening finds all of you safe, comfortable, content, and achieving. And if you’ve put achievement aside for the evening, at least enjoy a cup of Tension Tamer Tea and Stranger Things 2.