Positivity is bullshit, stop looking for it.

Positivity is bullshit, you can’t go looking for it, you aren’t gonna find it in some video of a guy, who you know is a douche, spouting out shit from his mouth of how you can make it, you can do anything. You aren’t going to find it in a personal trainer to help you lose weight, or a teacher at school telling you that you aren’t living up to your potential. The problem is, you won’t. Unless you have the conviction to get up out of bed at 5 in the morning every morning, no matter how tired you are or no matter how bad you feel, you never will get out of the warm bed. So, stop searching for positivity.

So, you ask, how do I make changes in my life to become more positive or better? A simple way to put it. Just start doing it. But its more than that. You have to do it in a way where it becomes a habit, where it makes you feel like shit that you aren’t getting out of bed, but instead wasting away beneath a blanket of bad discipline. You have to make that value change, where you value the benefit of doing the thing that you want to do, over the fear of not doing that thing. It can be getting up earlier or losing weight, running or stretching more, starting that new hobby or writing that book, starting that business. Whatever it is, you have to take full responsibility for it. Because no one will make you do it. So, stop watching that motivation video and start doing. It has been some of the best advice I have received and I will relay to others. Just start. Actions speak louder than words, don’t be that guy or girl saying that they will do this or that, be the person who is already in motion to reach their dream. I know that there is a lot of bullshit motivators out there, I was sucked into that vicious cycle of going through YouTube vid after YouTube vid, not actually doing anything. I would watch three 10-minute-long videos before going to the gym, as I look back now I think “fuck man, that was a waste of time.” I was that guy who would say “oh yeah I was thinking about doing that thing,” or “Yeah I want to do this.” What snapped me out of it was multiple factors that only I could experience for myself, I had to go searching for it, I myself had to find it all on my own. Once I took on the responsibility and stopped blaming people, situations, and life events, that is when I was able to set myself free. Free to realize that I had faults. Free to understand I have room to grow. And free to know and learn that I can change.

I know a lot of people in my life who are afraid of change, and in some circumstances so am I, however, I recognize it and am now able to work on my shortcomings. As they say, the first step is admitting there is a problem. For the people on the outside the problem is easily identified, but for the person who has the problem, it is extremely difficult for them to detach from the situation they find themselves in. When the person on the outside tells them that there is a problem they, dig their heels in and defend their position heavily. This is hard for people on the outside to be conscious about since they want the best for the person. However, for the person, they usually see this as a personal attack on them and their values. It is easier for a person to admit there is a problem when they tell the truth, as when you tell the truth to others one usually tells themselves the truth. I have often seen it in people who are addicted to something, drugs, work, a bad relationship, you name it. They lie to their friends and family and end up lying to themselves to get more of the substance they are addicted to. Once they finally admit that they have a problem, that is when they search for help and a way out of that addiction. Sometimes, unfortunately, the addiction takes over their lives and when they finally realize that, it is often too late. Losing friends and family, bad health, and a range of other consequences. Sometimes they are able to pick themselves up and repair all that has been broken but most cases can never see a way out of the darkness, and resort back to the addiction.

By listening to and reading about the right people to construct some values from, not for motivation, but to learn from their mistakes and from their experiences. I have been able to overcome many obstacles.Whether it be illness, not wanting to commit to anything, getting up and into the gym, losing weight, being a better person and always striving to become the person I see myself becoming. I hopefully can make an impact on someone and help them out, However, this is as much for you guys reading as it is for me. Taking responsibility for my actions and values and how I measure my life has allowed me to change for the better. I would like to think that by becoming an example for people, that they will also change for the better, because if your winning then I am too. I have changed one person’s life, now I hope I will affect more. So start doing, the positivity will come. The more you don’t care about being positive the more positivity you will receive.

So, get up, turn off this device and get after it, keep hammering, just do it, whatever phrase you want to use and change your life and those around you.

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See you on the mats.

Book Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

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I have just finished The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, written by Mark Manson. It is one of those books that challenges one’s views and has changed my life for the better. Manson is a writer that gives life and relationship advice on his blog which has hundreds of thousands of monthly viewers, found at https://markmanson.net/. In a world that says that you should always be happy, you should aspire to be this and have that. Where success is only measured by money and how much shit you have, a house that the bank owns and a car that you can’t afford. Manson gives the reader an operating system to work off and use throughout life. By learning where to give and not give fucks.

 

First Manson starts with changing your view of yourself, not putting so much pressure on yourself but also being okay with where you are currently. Starting by being comfortable with yourself as being a failure, in the sense that in societies terms of a failure. Someone who isn’t always positive. The current culture that is so obsessed on being happier, healthier, smarter, faster, richer, sexier, etc. Part of being comfortable with yourself is that you should avoid searching for success defined by other’s values, society says your success is measured by your happiness or determined by how much money you make/have.

So instead of searching for happiness or success, one should solve problems that come up in life. If you don’t like the job you are in move on to another firm or change careers altogether. If you are in a toxic relationship that is weighing you down or causing you stress, leave them. However, being able to understand that once you solve a problem then other problems will arise. Changing jobs, for instance, you have to write up and distribute your resume, then having to let your current employer know that you will be looking at leaving, then once you get into the other job getting to know how they operate and making new work relationships. To get out of the toxic relationship, you have to make the hard decision to leave, then you have to deal with adjusting without them which won’t be easy but you will ultimately benefit in the long run. “Problems never stop; they merely get exchanged and/or upgraded.”

 

When you start searching for happiness and you often get into, what Manson describes as, the feed-back-loop from hell where you are sad, then wonder why you’re not happy, then you are even sadder because you aren’t happy and so on. One way to combat this loop is by not giving a fuck and applying the backwards law as stated by Alan Watts, a famous philosopher. Which, is the idea that the more you chase something or want something to happen the less likely you will achieve that thing as it reinforces that you lack that thing. The law is:

“The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”

Therefore, you have to not give a fuck about being successful, same goes for being happy, don’t care about not being sad. Once you do that then you might start to give a fuck about more important things.

Blaming others for your suffering and pain is a quick high, you feel good for doing it because it isn’t you, even though most of the time it will be your fault.

“People deny and blame others for their problems for the simple reason that it’s easy and feels good.”

The root problem will still persist, however, only when you realise that life is suffering then you can deal with the problem. So, one has to learn how to effectively deal with pain and suffering, by sorting out and solving the problem that life or a situation is throwing at you. Manson integrates the story of the young prince who became Buddha, who had many realizations one being that life is suffering, where “The rich suffer because of their riches. The poor suffer because of their poverty.”

Manson moves from the spiritual and philosophical reasoning of Buddha to a more biological one, where suffering is ‘nature’s preferred agent for inspiring change.’ When we are hungry we eat, when we are tired we sleep. Obviously to higher degrees of dissatisfaction. “it’s the mildly dissatisfied and insecure creature that’s going to do the most work and innovate and survive.” Pain is the body’s most effective way to initiate action. An example would be when you have known about an assignment or a project for a while but only really start and complete it when it has been left at the last minute. Obviously, a bad example but you get the point. Pain and suffering are good and should be used as fuel to drive your actions.

Understanding that life is suffering, not every day can be a sunny one, however, it is up to the individual to not run from their problems but solve them. Blaming others for your circumstances is only a quick high, and only serves to make the problem persist. The only way you will change your situation is by facing the problem head-on.

 

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is a hardcore book. One I enjoyed reading, learned a lot and has changed a lot of my views and way I conduct myself in life. Manson does a great job of giving readers a healthy reality check letting them know that they are not special and that you must tackle your problems head-on. Failure is just the process of getting better and that everyone suffers but it’s up to you. It is not a book about not giving any fucks, but one where you choose where you distribute the fucks you give and to only things that matter to you. “a simple way of reorienting out expectations for life and choosing what is important and what is not.” Manson has produced a great read. One I needed. And one I recommend for everyone to read.

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See you on the mats.