Quick and dirty.
Over the past few years, I spent a lot of time reading books about how to improve my life, be happier, grow business, etc. I thought there was some “hack” out there that I could use to magically become the person I wanted to be.
No matter how happy I was, I always thought there was something else that I could be doing. There was an image in my head, a dream that somehow represented what it all was.
There is a lot of power to self improvement – books, conferences, articles…these can all have a profound impact on people, even bringing them out of depression in some cases.
But I also have found that it's temporary – when you go and get the energy from someone else, you feel like you've changed but in reality, you're just feeling a huge influx from the outside world. Most of us aren't used to high levels of positivity (sad) and it can be “earth shattering” in most cases.
What I can say is that when I step back and look at what makes me happy, it's not the shit I see on Facebook or Instagram every day. It's certainly not sitting on a beach by myself with a laptop drinking a cocktail.
Because when you stop and think about it, that moment that you are “selling” on Instagram will pass and the likes will stop coming in and you're still going to be sitting there, by yourself, probably trying to find other ways you can connect with the rest of the world. What's happening is that you need to see other people's lives so that you can remember how much you don't want theirs. Or you need them to want yours so that you can be sure that you're doing something right.
The people that actually seek out those private beach moments for themselves certainly wouldn't be sharing it on their phone, they'd be listening to the waves.
My point is that while it's great to want to improve yourself and willing to do anything to figure it out, realize that the solutions you crave are not that complicated. It's all rooted in how you feel about yourself…and no amount of positive self talk or therapy or books will ever solve that permanently. You need to make something happen for yourself….on a personal level.
Ever notice how the biggest proponents of self improvement tend to talk about how it all works AFTER they get really successful? It's because they put in all the work that no one talks about to shift their inner voice. That's why people who become successful too quickly end up being MORE depressed – they didn't put in the work.
Get excited about your own life. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Success is measured how you decide it's measured. If you're going to build or share something, do it because the world needs to see it, not because you need them to like it.
Work is NOT a bad thing. The notion of a four hour work week is simply the best title that worked for sales. The truth is that you want to be working on AWESOME SHIT all the time. That's the solution. Free time does not lead to happiness, time spent on work you love does.