When the going gets tough, the tough get…no, that’s not reality. In reality, when things get hard people quit. They give up. Instead of breaking a sweat, shedding a tear or losing a little blood they take the easy route and do nothing. It is easier to accept defeat & tell yourself that it is too hard, that you aren’t smart enough, you aren’t pretty enough, strong enough. For every inaction we find an excuse that will suit our situation. Hell, we may even convince ourselves.
It is time to stop making excuses. It is time to quit being a quitter. It is time to get off your ass and do something with your life. Yes, you might struggle. You might feel pain. You may even cry but if you don’t do something with your life why are you even here? It is time to start living. It is time to stand up and punch life in the face.
Too often we accept our lives the way they are, even if we aren’t happy with them. We are miserable at work, our relationship with our spouse sucks, our kids hate us, we waste our time doing absolutely nothing. Our joy in life is derived from a bottle; we can’t even relax without a glass of wine to settle ourselves. This is our life and it sucks.
When I was 16 years old I was a loser. My life was consumed with drugs and alcohol. If I wasn’t high or drunk I was in the process of getting there. Two days after I turned 18 I was arrested. I had just gotten high a few minutes before being handcuffed & taken to jail. I spent that night in my cell thinking about where my life had gone wrong & how I was going to change it.
I realized that I was fucking up my life. It wasn’t only the drugs & alcohol that were the problem. I was wasting my time. I couldn’t turn the clock back and recapture those years. They were gone & there was no getting them back.
In order to change my life I had to turn my back on everything & everyone. This was hard for me. It meant losing friends. It meant making major changes in my life. I had created a lifestyle for myself & people expected me to be that person. For a while I struggled to get sober. I didn’t want to disappoint my friends when they wanted to get high with me. Eventually I came to realize that I needed to change my life for me and not live my life as a consequence of other people.
Once I figured this out I made the changes I needed. I quit drinking & doing drugs entirely. I have been clean for almost 9 years.
What does all of this have to do with you? Maybe you don’t drink or get high but I have no doubt that you are wasting your life with things that are just as stupid; video games, television, Internet, gambling, celebrities, work…anything that takes time away from the person you want to become deep down inside.
It is so much easier to do nothing than to do something. If I hadn’t been arrested & had the time to sober up and reflect on where my life had come and where I was going maybe I wouldn’t have changed. I wouldn’t have traveled around the country & now the world. I would probably still be sitting in my bedroom taking hits from my bong and eating Milk Duds watching the world move around me.
Get off your ass and grab life by the balls. Do something that you’ve always wanted to do but have told yourself you “couldn’t” for whatever reason. Stop lying to yourself. Life will go on with or without you. Just remember that you can never make up for lost time. Never.
I read a passage recently that basically said that as humans we “own” absolutely nothing, no matter how much we may have paid for something. In the end, everything is given back. Our only true posession is our time. For that reason, we should not waste our time in life.
Really, for me, that means making the most of life. However, that statement is truly unique to the individual, in that “making the most” is tied directly to happiness and personal preference. Sometimes that may be doing something you thought impossible, other times that may be sitting down, having a high end whiskey, and watching a classic with friends.
While I don’t advocate the reckless use of narcotics or liquor, sometimes recreational and social use in the right circumstance can be both fulfilling and enjoyable.
However, your prior situation is an excellent example of what happens when we lose focus and rely on quick fixes, like narcotics, to provide our sole source of satisfaction. But, the same could be said for any addiction.
While sometimes you do need to “grab life by the balls” or “punch life in the face,” other times you may just want to relax and embrace its simplicity for the gift that it is.
I don’t disagree at all. As a matter of fact, you might say that I’m an advocate of simplicity & enjoying the smaller things in life. There are times, though, that we need to grab life by the balls & make huge lifestyle changes in order to become the person we envision in our minds.
First…great comment Noah
Second…I like your thought Steven about grabbing life by the balls. I think too often we idly sit around and don’t capture what is out there.
Thanks Dave for the comment!
Sometimes I think people, myself definately included, expect life to come to them. Rarely that happens. Instead of living passively I think it is time that we live not just actively but aggressively. We can’t do that from our couch, we need to get off of our asses & live.
“I have no doubt that you are wasting your life”
You’ve never met me. For all you know, I’m Ellen MacArthur, or Neil Armstrong, or Sir Edmund Hillary (I guess not him, he’s dead).
Or maybe I’m nobody so renowned — but I looked through your list of 116 goals, of which you’ve checked off 14. I counted up the ones I’ve done, and I’ve completed 26. These aren’t even my goals, they’re yours, and I’m beating you at them without even trying.
I’m not pointing this out to be a dick, but you’re the one who automatically assumes your audience is a bunch life-wasting failures. Give us some credit, some of us are actually doing alright. Just because you’ve made progress recently doesn’t mean that everyone else in the world is lagging behind you.
Good luck on your goals. Maybe in all your travels you’ll meet some interesting and different people that make you realize you can’t generalize the entire world to fit into broad, insulting categories.
I am not writing to insult people or imply that I am somehow superior to them. I write to share my journey in hopes of inspiring people to accomplish their own goals. Maybe you have done some of the things that I hope to someday accomplish and that’s awesome! I’m glad that you have had the opportunities to do so. Does that make you better than me? No. Am I better than anyone else for the things I have done in my life? No. That is not what this is about. It is about making changes in order to become the person you hope to be. It is about being proactive in your life to make those changes possible.
Nowhere in the article or on my blog do I ever say that I am somehow better than anyone. I don’t assume that my audience is a “bunch of life-wasting failures”. As a matter of fact, I believe exactly the opposite. The people who come to read my blog are those people who are doing something with their lives or those who want to make changes. I don’t measure anyone else’s life by the accomplishments of my own. That wouldn’t make any sense because everyone has a different idea of what it means to be successful and not everyone finds happiness in the same things I do.
My statement “I have no doubt you are wasting your life” is a generalization. You’re right, I don’t know you. How could I possibly know what you have done with your life? Still, I have no doubt that ALL of us could be doing something more to make our dreams a reality. I’m not trying to say that my readers are “wasting their lives” in the sense that they are failures. I am included in my generalization. Not every moment of my life is in pursuit of my goals. I could be doing more. I could be working harder. I could turn off the TV, the Internet but I don’t. I also don’t think that I need to live EVERY MOMENT obsessing over my goals.
Thanks for your comment, I understand where you are coming from but I have to disagree with you for all of the reasons I mentioned above. Thanks for reading my blog and I hope that you will stick around and read more of my writing. I am not some egotistical prick who thinks he is better than anyone.
Maybe you don’t drink or get high but I have no doubt that you are wasting your life with things that are just as stupid; video games, television, Internet, gambling, celebrities, work…
why would u see work as a waste of time?some people actually love what they do!
ande how come you did not include some simple things like spending time with the loved once into ur priorities or do u see it as waste of time too?
Sure, there are people who love their work…but there are people who don’t yet continue working at the job, even though they are completely miserable doing so. Are loved ones a waste of time? Of course not. I cannot possibly include everything that constitutes importance in someone’s life. There is much variability between individuals & what makes one person happy does not necessarily mean it will make another person happy.
If you read some of my other posts, I’m sure there are examples where I DID discuss the importance of spending time with loved ones. Thanks for reading, its nice to hear from you.