I’ve been making many attitude adjustments lately. Many. Many, many. Many. It was time for some serious changing. I was growing sick of feeling stuck and down about life. I was tired of all this “Quarter Life Crisis” bullshit. I was tired of being “lost”. If I had to pick one change in attitude/thought that has completely morphed my life, I’d say it would be no longer believing in excuses. No more feeling like a victim of something. This idea that I can manipulate my life has ultimately allowed me to steer my life in a more positive direction. Perhaps it can help you too.
I don’t know many things. But I know shit happens. Terrible things will happen to you at some point in your life. You will have some lows (as well as highs, of course). Sorry to be the bearer of crap news. That’s a fact of life. Things will happen to you that over all just sucks a bitch. It might be a consequence of a bad decision you’ve made or it may be something completely random and uncalled for. However, it is your RESPONSIBILITY to recover from it. You owe it to yourself, no matter the circumstance.
This past year, my health failed me. In my case, I realized this was because I had neglected my health all my life and these poor choices had finally caught up with me (and my job contributed to my decline in health as well). I could’ve pitied myself and used it as an excuse to not move around or work out. As a matter of fact, I did do that for a period. “Oh woe is me. God has not given me the best health. I hurt too much to work out. Work tires me out enough as it is.” This may be true but I also didn’t take care of what I had, my body, for the last 2 decades. I tried to keep doing what I was used to doing without considering any change….yet somehow I expected things to change. That’s moronic.
It’s like a math problem. A+B = C. A refers to things beyond your control, like evil people and tough environments. B refers to you and your actions/attitudes. C is what happens to you in the end. So every experience is a product of what is happening to you and yourself (your own actions/thought/attitudes) added together. If you want C to change, either A or B has to change (just like 1+2 =3. If you don’t want a 3, 1 or 2 has to change. If they stay the same, you’re gonna always get 3). Since A isn’t or hasn’t changed (because these are things beyond your control), B has to change. That’s you. So change. That’s the only way. I realized that my previous attitude got me nowhere. I still hurt everywhere on my body.
I was being stupid and stubborn. What now then? Do I have so much pride and stubbornness that I cannot admit that I contributed to my health problems? What sucks more: hurting forever and ever because I refuse to change myself or admitting that I was an idiot in my youth (I hadn’t taken care of my body) then working to better my health? Being wrong didn’t seem so bad now since I compared it to a life time of deteriorating health. The problem was me and I knew it so I quit the job that was no good for my health and started to work out and eat right. Then BAM! I slowly felt better. I’m improving over time. I see and feel it in my bones, quite literally.
This advice applies to anything whether it be weight gain or losing your house or credit card debt etc etc. In cases where it is random and beyond your control (such as a mugging or adultery or death of a loved one) that traumatizes, I first would like to say I’m sorry that happened to you (whatever “that” is). But you need to take control of your life again. You can. You can’t choose what people do to you but you can choose how you feel about it and how you deal with it. It can break you or you can be stronger. It’s an old but true cliche. Learn. Let the mugging prompt you to take self defense classes. Let the failed relationship teach you what you are and aren’t looking for. Take responsibility for anything you may have done wrong in the situation (even though this does not excuse what was done to you at all). How can you be wiser? Let it make you grow. Otherwise, all you got from the awful experience is crap. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like crap. Wouldn’t you rather get good things from it? You can either consider yourself a victim and only a victim, or you can fucking be a champion survivor. It’s on you. Some circumstances are going to make your changes ten times (or even a hundred times) harder. The reward will be that much greater also.
I used to rely on my fears as an excuse for why I didn’t do things too. I still do. I’m working on it. Fear is crippling and I am the definition of chicken shit. I have lots of worries and fears. I don’t like risks. I like stability and safety. One of my huge fears is failure, which I heard is a pretty common fear. This fear is what delayed me getting a job then quitting that job, going back to grad school, changing my daily health habits etc etc. I pushed everything back because I was scared. Being scared is normal. Everyone is scared of something. The difference between scared people is whether they are willing to push past that fear. The people who push past the fear are still fearful but now they are also courageous.
If you don’t do something even though inside you know that you should, there is an excuse lying around somewhere in there. Find out what it is. Is that excuse something you use to excuse yourself from doing other things you should be doing? For example, if you know you are supposed to work out but your excuse is that you don’t have time. Think: do you use the lack of time as an excuse for not doing other things? You need to be honest with yourself at this point. You don’t work out because to you, it’s not a priority. You didn’t take out the trash today because it wasn’t THAT important to you. You didn’t study because drinking with your friends is more crucial to you. That’s why we don’t do things….It’s just not that important to us. That’s the bottom line. My mother always used to tell me “There is always enough time. It’s whether you want to do something or not.” You want to work out? Make it a priority. Have it trump all those other less important things. Work out instead of watching that movie after work. We waste a lot of our time and energy on things that are unproductive yet it’s a priority because you’ve turned it into one. I do it too. Stupid Facebook and Instagram (angry fist shake…at myself…because it’s my doing).
But I’m working to change things. I hope you do too. When you realize life is what you make it, that you choose what color glasses you see life through (whether that be black or rosy), that excuses are a waste of time, you will grow. And isn’t life all about growing? That’s the best part.