Over the past year and a half, I’ve been figuring out the path I want to venture on in life. Doing so has made me realize the grind of achieving your dreams is as difficult as advertised. While this is not a complaint or something I didn’t fully expect, it’s a hard road and sometimes you gotta vent out what you’re struggling with.
So without further adieu, here are the things stressing me out at this point in the mission…
The not-producing-enough paradox
Basically, a year ago to the day was when I randomly decided to try and write a book. Now here I sit with one published book, a second written, a TV show pitch written, and the beginning of a screenplay drafted. I’m also in better shape than I was a year ago, have a better diet, am making and keeping more friends, and know I’m on the right path overall.
What I’m coming to find though, is that the more productive I am now becoming, the more I feel guilty for any time I spend not working. I don’t know yet if this is a symptom of still being new to this lifestyle or a just a thing in general, but I’ve used the following to try and ease my anxieties:
While this is technically still part of working toward something, intense activity always chills me out. Also, there is something about waking up sore that makes you feel like you’ve been productive, even if you took a day off on everything else.
Emotional Freedom Technique
I don’t remember where exactly I was referred to this method. It’s amazing what it can do though, in terms of bringing you to a state of relaxation. The technique involves tapping at different parts of your body. As silly as this may sound, the feeling you get if you follow the instructions moves through each part of you. Check it out for yourself here and feel the difference.
This is the least effective of the three for me, but if you can effectively shut your mind off then I could definitely see the benefit. The easiest thing about it too is that–for the most part–there doesn’t seem to be a, “right,” way to do it.
The time/fear-to-jump conundrum
“Juggling is hard. Much of the time it is also not wise.”
~Chieftain Orrin in Civilands book 2: Crystal Eyes
A common theme of any experienced reward is that a risk was involved. As a math person by trade though, my mind tends to aim toward taking calculated risks. This is what brings me to the question of when is the right time to just act.
I believe there is a difference between passion and stupidity so right now I’m trying to find a gap. All evidence from successful people points to my being wrong. Many advise to go all out right this minute. But I just don’t know if I’m ready to topple the house I’ve built yet. In my head I’m still drawing the blueprints for a new one.
For the time being, I’m going to keep plugging away until I hit a clear ceiling of some kind. My constant anxiety is wondering if I’d even be able to recognize it when I do. But I’m hoping I can because it isn’t easy to jump blindly.
The need-to-fit-in-to-be-accepted fallacy
On average I think I handle this pretty well and don’t worry too much about what others think or do. But most everyone wants to be accepted by their peers in some way, shape, or form.
Sometimes I worry about grooming, dressing, and saying the, “right,” thing at times. The issue with these for me is actually that I know the solution: stop giving a fuck. Knowing this solution sometimes leads to the other extreme though, which is worrying that I’m also not caring too much. Certainly enough of a circle to make one feel quite unsure of them self!
So here I think it might be best to find a balance in between, though I’m obviously still working on it. The trick is to convince your brain to always own whatever it is you want to be. Compromising based on what you think others want is the enemy.
The truth of it is that most people live their own lives and aren’t looking to make sure every detail of you is perfect. For those that do judge you, they likely aren’t worth the second thought anyway. If you be you and own that, your confidence will be infectious.
The way I know I should be thinking
Life is really very simple–too much so to take overly seriously. You shouldn’t hold yourself back from the things you want and it’s important to love and accept who you are inside and out.
Which brings me to this guy to the left who you might be wondering about…
Whilst experiencing the anxiety of the not-producing-enough paradox, I came across a Reddit post about this fellow who tried and failed several times to grow a pineapple. The man apparently failed enough times that when he finally succeeded, he took the pineapple to a professional photographer.
In the picture you can see that he was too excited to document this moment to even put on shoes. Beyond the shoes though, the grin on his face is so slight that there is almost a relief in it. Looking at his face you can hear his thoughts screaming with all the rage and fury of success, “Well, gosh darn it, I did it!” I’m almost certain this man has given human life to an actual child. But there is something about the vibrance of green in his pineapple. It would help me understand if he were to say that this was his crowning moment. The fulfillment is a sight to behold.
Moving past the tongue-in-cheek though
The simplicity of living for the little victories in life is the lesson here. This kind of happiness and pride should be what we all aspire for in all that we do. For me, receiving my first hard copy of book 1 was one of those moments. Times like that make any mental struggles I’m feeling now seem pretty insignificant!
Hope you enjoyed reading and are enjoying the Civilands series! Let me know in the comments below what you thought, what struggles you might be going through, and how you’re dealing with them as well.