The world is full of excuses. And sure, I’ve never been the kind of person to rely on self-help books and motivational quotes to kickstart me toward a better life. If that’s your thing, great! You’re cool and I’m definitely not judging you for that because deep down I wish I was that motivated to constantly seek self-improvement. But here’s the thing: I’m what you could call an apathetic realist. I’ll dumb everything down to an elementary level no matter how many layers I have to peel back, especially if I don’t care – which is most of the time – in order to make my point.
But even beyond all the self help and motivational quotes, there are huge lies we tell ourselves every day as a way to convince ourselves that this is the way life is. Well, guess what? Your pants are on fire.
4. I Just Don’t Have the Time
Do you really not have the time, or are you just a lazy sack of crap with zero time management skills? You’re a giant tub of goo because you just don’t have enough time to go to the gym. It’s definitely not the fact that you’d rather watch Netflix when you get home from work for 6 hours until you fall asleep.
The truth is that you’ve got all the time in the world to do whatever you want. But you allow yourself to get overwhelmed by one thing that it drains you of your energy to do everything else. I’m not saying you have to stop caring about your responsibilities, but you don’t have to obsess over them. My job requires me to manage 100 clients every single day. If I obsess over every single detail, there are 50 clients who don’t get attention. Be confident in your abilities. You’re not as much of a failure as you think you are.
3. Things Have Never Been This Bad
Oh, you’re scared about the world because Trump is President? I didn’t vote for him, but I am aware enough to realize that things have been way, way, way worse before. Per example: There was a time when an angry Mongolian hoard would show up in your town, rape all your women, and then slowly but brutally murder you and your entire family. There was a time when Presidents and social leaders were routinely and not surprisingly assassinated (see JFK, RFK, MLK, and the rest of the 1960s). Oh yeah, and then there was this:
If you think the world is as bad as its ever been, you did not pay attention in history class. And that really just paints the broader picture of the fact that all of your fears are based on your own ignorance. If you take the time to learn about the world around you, then you gain the ability to put everything into perspective.
2. Beer Is Good
You know how many people I’ve met that actually enjoyed the taste of beer the first time they tried it? ZERO. Instead, everyone I’ve ever talked to has said the exact same thing: “You have to get used to it.” In other words, you have to beat your own taste buds into submission so that your brain just gives up and tolerates the taste. You never actually find a beer you like, you just find one that tastes the least awful.
At this point, I realize I’m fighting a losing battle against a monster industry, especially in Charlotte where going to a brewery is everyone’s favorite activity. But stop lying to yourself by saying you’ve acquired a taste for beer. You haven’t. You’ve simple allowed yourself to be okay with drinking things that taste awful.
1. Happiness Is a Tangible Goal
Back in my college days when I was a brooding ball of apathy and realistic semi-depression, I would have framed this in such a way to insinuate that no matter what you do, your world would always be a victim of entropy and that you’d never actually achieve the happiness you’re looking to attain. But not anymore. Instead, we’re lying to ourselves whenever we think that pure happiness is some tangible goal. Oh you think being a millionaire will make you happy? You think getting married will make you happy? Having a kid? Getting a promotion?
Sure, all those things are fulfilling. But something happens once you achieve your goal – it immediately changes. Sure you just became a millionaire, but now you want 2 million. Maybe you just got married. Now you want to buy a house or have a kid. When you have success, you’re too wrapped up in your achievement to realize that you’re experiencing pure happiness. And maybe for brief moment, you have that moment of happiness. But you also realize in that same moment that it’s not how you thought it’d feel, which is when you move on to the next goal.
That’s not to say you won’t ever experience true happiness, but a lot of us don’t take the time to appreciate what we’ve got. And I realize I could’ve just said that in the beginning and you’d be on your merry way by now. But I write books, and I’m getting really good at saying something in 100 words that I could’ve said in 15.