This Is Why Buddhism Bothers Me (before you yell at me, see also: The Philosophy You Can’t Stand Might Be the One You Need Most)
Friedrich Nietzsche’s life was up there with Romeo and Juliet as one of the greatest tragedies of all time.
He was physically disabled, he struggled with severe mental illness for his entire life, and he couldn’t sell a book if his life depended on it.
The story of his death is even more depressing.
As the story goes, he was walking in Turin, Germany one afternoon and he saw a horse getting beaten on the street. This triggered a psychotic episode that led him to his death just a year later. He died of a neurological disorder associated with late-stage…
When we watch sports or any other live performance on television, we only see a fraction of the work that is required to be a successful performer.
We see the slam dunks, the guitar solos, and the wicked fast knockouts. We don’t see the thousands of hours of practice, the 6 am workouts, the overcoming of injuries, the bleeding fingers, and certainly not the internal doubts and stage fright that many top performers experience. To the common observer, the beauty of performance is only seen on game day or opening night.
That’s just part of why athletes and performers are…
Most people are running around living like amateurs.
Sure, “professional” is in their job title (professional marketer, professional writer, professional teacher), but most people act like anything but true professionals. This might seem harsh, but it’s true. There’s a global time management epidemic, and it’s largely because people approach their time casually.
Most people have big goals, big plans, and a heartbreakingly small chance of follow-through.
Here’s another annoying fact: most people will never achieve their goals.
Let me rephrase that: if you have a goal, odds are, you are going to give up, fail, or quit.
So what are…
After a year of writing, I’ve developed more mental fortitude than I had in a lifetime of training competing in martial arts.
Why? Because writing is the art of organizing your thoughts, and by learning about the way I think, I’ve been able to identify the patterns and triggers that dictate my behaviors — both good and bad. The introspection required to become a good writer made me a better thinker, and the better I become at thinking, the more confident I become in confronting my thoughts that have long been riddled by cognitive distortions.
If you’re looking for quick…
When I was 17 years old, I was someone who I didn’t like being around very much.
I was anxious all the time, painfully insecure, and I based my self-esteem solely on my perceived spot in the social hierarchy. As a wrestler throughout my youth, I thought that my place in the social hierarchy was determined by my ability to win fights, smash people, and be obnoxiously aggressive — all things that I didn’t even really want to do. My only real goal in life as a 17-year-old kid was to prove that I was tough, strong, and athletic.
Someone once told me that time, not money, is the most valuable commodity in life.
I couldn’t disagree more.
Having a lot of time is just like having a lot of money: it means nothing if you don’t use it wisely.
If I have millions of dollars and I don’t help charities, travel, and give myself and my loved ones profound experiences, what’s the point of having money? If I have time and I don’t practice skills, spend time with people I care about, and practice mindfulness and other healthy habits, there’s no point in having all excess time. Time…
The internet has taught me more about life than anyone or anything else that I’ve encountered.
It’s not that my parents, teachers, and coaches growing up didn’t try to teach me about life, it’s just that there’s absolutely no way that they could possibly have kept up with the sheer volume of knowledge that I’ve accumulated from a lifetime online. The internet taught me about mental health, sex, art, love, science, psychology, and of course, loneliness.
I’m a Zoomer, and the internet has taught me nearly everything I know.
This rapid knowledge hasn’t been for free.
This is what long-term…
The first “personal essays” I ever wrote were text messages to a girl in high school who I had a huge crush on.
I was 15, and she wanted to know more about me, so I gave her everything. I told her about my hopes, dreams, insecurities — everything she wanted to know and more. It was the first time I was ever really “vulnerable” with anyone. I was really scared though, and I thought that because of this vulnerability, this girl would think I was weak and she’d no longer be interested in me. …
Discipline has been the victim of some horrible branding over the years.
I mean, one motivational guru I used to follow online built his entire brand on the discipline that he has to wake up at 4 am, every single day. You’ve probably heard of him.
But here’s the elephant in the room: why would anyone in their right ever want to wake up at 4 am every day? There has to be an easier way to become disciplined.
I don’t know about you, but I actually want to enjoy my life a little bit. I mean, we’ve only got…