It’s been months since I last posted anything, but thought about it almost daily. For some reason, trying to stick to so many self-imposed rules and goals became terribly overwhelming in such “unprecedented times.” There was no governing board that put the structure of self-improvement into affect, just the one big rule that we needed to remain home. This was the first time most of us had ever been in a pandemic, in a lockdown, in a state of being both physically and mentally stuck. Uncharted waters for most everyone on the entire planet.
Perhaps the self-imposed structure was put into place to keep myself mentally upbeat, to keep the progress I had worked so hard for. Productive habits that took months to build were lost in a day. Because it’s not that a morning routine is lost instantly, but it becomes a matter of procrastination until the day is lost. Before you know it, you haven’t done your meditation, writing, ______________ in 3 days and it becomes tougher to come back.
Sometimes it’s the self-criticism that keeps us away, at least I know it can for me. We can be harsh on ourselves when we slip, like the bully at school with no confidence. He laughs when we fall to keep eyes off himself. If we all point and chuckle at someone else when they fall, we take 0 responsibility for our short comings. If we don’t fall, the bully has no ammo, but it means we never tried either. It’s much easier to keep avoiding the treadmill than it is to muster up the strength to get your ass on it. Excuses can come easy. I’m sure we’ve all heard a saying or 2 about them…
How is it beneficial for us to be so difficult on ourselves? When we’re so critical of our failings that we can’t forgive ourselves for being human… how can we march forward? Failing means we’re trying and through the failures we need to learn. It’s cliche, but I’ve found that it always rings true. No one’s social media is filled with their own personal failures. They’re not glorious, prestigious, or uplifting. These are the genuine times that hide behind the scenes, but are important to admit and share. If we can share them, the sin of not meeting expectations becomes a far more forgivable offense. That voice in the back of your mind that wants to shit on everything you do can be shushed when we’re aware of how common failure is.
I’ve since regained steam from falling off the planet for a few months and have learned that to miss a day of practice or a habit within a day is OKAY. Forgiving yourself for stepping free of routine for a day is more productive than making yourself feel like shit for it. Every movie ever has a protagonist fail in one way. The story would be shit if they didn’t. To quote the ever prolific Joe Rogan, “Be the main character in your own movie.” The dude is spot on. Have you heard about MeUndies yet? Goddamn these things are comfortable…
We’re going to slip, fall, tumble – but we need to get back up. Come back with your lesson learned and your resilience a little bit stronger. Every great at anything never admits that they’re great… they all refer to putting in the time – minutes, hours, days, etc. all honing their craft to get to where they are. Scarily enough, they’re not comfortable where they’re at now, they all want to be even better.
Now, even if you have no intentions of being great, wouldn’t you rather be mediocre at something you love doing than not doing it at all? At least there’s passion in what you’re doing, whatever it may be. Writing, music, finger painting – who gives a shit? We can’t all the be the best at anything, we have limitations. We started later in life, we have families, jobs to maintain… it’s OK. Be happy you’re able to do it at all, be grateful. After teaching martial arts for years, the most common sentence from adults is, “I wish I started sooner.” But they were always appreciative of the fact that they could do it at all.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Is it though? Without knowing about the Wim Hof’s, David Goggins’s, or Mike Tyson’s of the world, we’d always settle for “good enough.” Sure, it can be good enough, but it can be better. There’s just steps to it. We can’t set out to start running a marathon a day if we’re out of shape. Run a little bit each day, set out a program, aim for a 5k, half-marathon, then a full one, just something with steps. But if you like running, just go running for fucks sake. Not everything has to be some massive goal, we can just enjoy shit to enjoy it. I don’t even beat most of the video games I play… they’re just fun to play. Once they’re not fun, I stop playing them. Simple.
The undying need to be creative is one that always gets louder. If this need does not find outlet, it will show itself to us in devious ways. The times that have been my darkest was when I wasn’t writing or creating. These were days without purpose, days where you wake up and it’s like being on the hamster wheel – go, go, go and get nowhere. The discipline to write was lost, the motivation to live was low. These were times that I’ll ever relive, but I learned how important creativity is to my life and also how important structure is to creating.
Ultimately, this post serves as nothing more than a kickstart to my creative flame. By no means will I make a bunch of outrageous goals and expectations for myself, but a promise that I’ll continue to post and it’ll something besides self-motivating redundant ramblings. I’m not saying that they’ll come to an end, just that I’ll write something else for once… maybe from the perspective of being grateful that I’m even able to live a life with my health, family, and cognitive functions?
…or maybe I’ll just review Cyberpunk 2077. Either way, I’ll be writing … and sharing.