Sometimes I think of my life as a poor man’s version of Groundhog’s Day. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, shame on you. Go watch it.
I make this connection because I find myself in the same situation over and over again. Beating myself up for the same mistakes. Falling into the same bad habits. Lamenting my current state but rolling out of bed into the same shit. This happens over and over again. This blog is full of the same complaints. My journal (it’s a manly writing tablet, not a diary, dammit!) is almost a broken record. Why do I continuously think one way but act so differently?
At least in Groundhog’s Day he’s improving himself. Learning new skills and figuring out how to avoid repeating his mistakes.
I don’t know, man. Obviously some part of me must like the frustration and misery that comes from years of the same old. Otherwise, wouldn’t I find a way to avoid these mistakes? This time around, it’s coupled with living with my girlfriend in a new town with her relatives. Before, in these situations where I grow frustrated with myself, I would essentially hit the “reset” button and try to start fresh, but I don’t have that luxury. I have to keep supporting her until she figures her stuff out, and keep pandering to her relatives so that I may continue to live there. Not ideal.
But wait. Maybe I’m using that as an excuse to let myself wallow in self pity though. My brain is adapting to the new scenarios and finding a way to re-frame the same old narrative and keep me from feeling like improving things. I’m sure the latter is more likely than the former.
I’m allowed to change for the better any time I want, situation be damned. In fact – on that note, I recently wrote this little note to myself:
There is no secret to success.
People aren’t more successful simply because they know more than anyone else.
Think about it – most people have an understanding of what they need to do in order to achieve their goals. Or some people have “dreams”. But what is a dream but a goal for which you haven’t prepared?
People like to talk about these goals and dreams. They like to talk about waiting for that “perfect moment”, for a break to go their way, for motivation, or for things to “calm down” in order to achieve their goals.
Successful people don’t wait. They don’t have a laundry list of excuses. They simply act.
No matter what your goal in life is, you can’t achieve it by simply talking about it. Every moment where you aren’t actively working towards something else is a moment that can be used to further yourself in your own life.
But you’d rather watch some Netflix. Check the latest update on your favorite blog. See what’s trending on twitter. Maybe you’re feeling so very tired and need to just relax.
Meanwhile, the successful person is elbow deep in the grind. They understand that time is all we get, and a very limited amount at that.
Your priorities are what you do in your free time.
People like to say they prioritize exercising, creative arts, achieving whichever goal they have.
But if you spend all your free time wasting time, then how can you possibly say that and mean it?
Or are you saying it because you don’t want to admit you prioritize being lazy. Being unaccomplished. These are your priorities because these are what you work towards in your free time.
So very little of it is ours for the taking, but there is one silver lining.
It consists entirely of the present moment. You are not tethered to your past. You are not stuck waiting for the future. You are present.
And the gift of presence is ever rewarding. Have you been lazy? Take this very second to get up and change that. You are not who you were. You are who you are. You are given each minute to change your life as much or as little as you’d like. That decision is always and completely up to you.
What will it be? Will you turn on captions for Netflix so you can talk loudly about your dreams?
Or will you roll up your sleeves and use every precious moment given to actually accomplish them.
It’s like – the more I don’t want to do something, the more I should realize that I probably should do that exact thing.
I can sit here and write the perfect motivational speech to myself all day, every day. But motivation comes after you start progress. Not before. I’ve got to decide if I want to fully live my life or simply exist, and lament how “I’m not where I want to be”.
I’m going to try scheduling my weekdays out. See if that doesn’t get me in a groove. And I’m serious about it this time, which is nice. I’ve said “my life needs more structure” a billion times before, but never done anything about it. This time, I’ve at least written out a schedule and set alarms to go off on my phone for each new item on the schedule.
I think it’ll be good for me. But here’s hoping I can stick to it.