Updated: Oct 7, 2022
Your rules define your life. You think your life is ‘happening’ to you. Your life only changes if your mind does.
Let me preface this entire piece with this…If you’re truly happy, then carry on and share that energy with others, bring someone along with you.
If you’re not, then identify it, own it, and change it.
You are born on a path.
It is created by the beliefs and rules of those responsible for teaching you the ways of the world...
Parents teach you the rules of life. This is how to act, this is what’s expected.
Teachers teach you the rules of society. This is how to think, this is what’s expected.
Coaches teach you the rules of competition. This is how to win, this is what’s expected. Bosses teach you the rules of the adulthood. This is how to work, this is what’s expected.
The people shaping your life do so with good intentions (most of the time).
Even so, they inadvertently project their path onto you.
They instill their confidences, dreams and beliefs but also their worries, limitations and rules. These rules become so completely imbedded in how you think about your life that they impact all of your decisions.
This limits your freedom of thought as your rules become your path…your life.
Sit up straight, face forward, raise your hand, don’t question authority, get good grades, go to college, get a job, get married, get a house, have kids, pay bills, plan for retirement. Step by step, day by day. Stay on the path.
Your path is the safest place to be because you can blame it for everything.
It’s easy to tell yourself that life is out to get you but in your heart you know it’s bullshit.
You know you need to take ownership but leaving the path and failing means it’s your fault. You give up the scapegoat when you take the responsibility. You might be embarrassed in front of everyone if you take a chance and own it. Your entire life is your fault. At any given moment the results of your life are the sum total of your decisions.
“The day that you graduate from childhood to adulthood is the day that you decide to take 100% responsibility for the results of your life.” — Darren Hardy
Most people won’t take the responsibility necessary to change their lives. Everyone has a reason. Most often it comes down to the fact that you care about what everyone else will think and you aren’t willing to put in the work.
You can’t have dreams and goals unless you have work ethic, otherwise you’re just full of shit. The truth is, most people won’t put in the effort and sacrifice required to achieve the things they dream about.
The idea that you are not at the mercy of someone or something else gives you the power you need to stand up and make a change. Owning the results of your life is empowering, but it will take work and it will be hard. The reality is that life is hard in one way or another. You have to choose your hard, you have to choose your path.
You’re Lying to Yourself
Stress and unhappiness are simply a result of the lies you tell yourself.
When you consistently do the things you know you shouldn’t or when you waste time and resources it inevitably creates negative energy. You know you’re full of shit before anyone else figures it out. That’s why you’re trying to ignore it. So you distract yourself with the beers and the weekends or a new series on Netflix. You avoid the one thing you should be focused on…the mirror.
When you stop lying to yourself and become aware of the things impacting your energy then you can make a decision to do something about it.
You can quit buying shit you don’t need. You can quit watching 8 hours of NFL football on Sunday. You can quit getting caught up in shit that doesn’t matter. You can quit worrying about the neighbor. You can quit allowing others to place their limits on your life.
You have to seek positive influences. The things you read, the podcasts you listen to, the social media you follow and the people you surround yourself with influence all of your decisions. You care what ‘they’ think.
Someday you’re going be dead. I’m sorry if that’s news and I know it sucks but it’s not meant to be depressing. It should be motivating and empowering.
Life is just too short to ignore that inner voice that’s begging you to quit sabotaging yourself. It’s begging you to change. You have reasons for the things you want in life. Don’t let anyone talk you out of them. Understand that it’s your responsibility to figure out how to get there. You have to decide and go.
I quit spending time doing things that were not taking me where I wanted to go.
Over the past 7 years my life has taken a completely different direction.
I realized that I was never going to reach my goals or live the life I envisioned if I continued to do the things I was doing.
The intention is not to tell you that I have it figured out, I don’t. I’m going through the same things you are. This is part of my process and this is how I calibrate my own mind.
We all think our situations and feelings are unique but they are not.
We all struggle.
I’m simply telling myself, and you, that we can do something about it. So I’ve replaced the bullshit rules with some simple rules of my own.
Don’t make excuses. Take responsibility. Work your ass off. Be empathetic and considerate. Be a positive example. Impact others.
Look In The Mirror
Be honest about it.
Focus on the areas in your life that you are unsatisfied with and hash out the excuses you’re telling yourself.
Become aware to the fact that you are full of shit.
Audit your time. Remove the time you spend doing dumb or negative shit and replace it with good and positive.
Use this time to read and exercise, contemplate and improve, or socialize and connect.
We can’t change where we are immediately, but we can immediately change where we’re going.
Be someone you would look up to.
Focus + Fortitude