Self Help Is Exhausting
We all wanna be better versions of ourselves but if you’re like me, you have no idea where to start.
My dad recently gave me a self help book titled “Make Your Bed” by William H. McRaven. His subtle way of saying “clean your house.” What he doesn’t realize is that I’m going for a subtle avant-garde look in my home. That’s why there’s underwear everywhere.
I’ve always been a somewhat rebellious person. Actually rebellious is just a cool way of saying lazy. I’m a very…very lazy person. I’ll eventually get to doing things, but on my own time. People telling me what to do has always ignited a fuck you mentality in my brain. If I had a spirit animal it would the character in Popeye who’s catchphrase was “I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” A true poet.
So it goes without saying a self help book is my own personal nightmare. One hundred and twenty eight pages of a retired U.S. Navy Admiral telling me what to do. I might as well go back to high school and have my old gym teacher tell me if I don’t stop coming to school high I’ll be flipping burgers the rest of my life.
My brain instantly shut down reading the first five pages of his military experience. I was a diehard anarchist during my teenage years until I realized that anarchist are actually complete psychos. My idea of anarchy was burning my draft card at 18 while I was hopped up on energy drinks and caffeine pills. So hardcore.
As I’ve gotten older the anarchist in me has been reduced to an angry pacifist. I’ve traded in my studded belt and mohawk for a New York Times subscription and a balcony herb garden. Part of growing up is accepting others points of views and taking advice from those who might have a touch more wisdom than yourself.
Although I’m not a fan of his military background, this William H. McRaven guy makes some good points. Here’s a quote from his book:
If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, the one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
This should ring true for everyone, it certainly did for me. In the current lifestyle that I’ve chosen, self discipline and motivation are key. I have set hours in the day that I drive for a food delivery service, times in the week where I make myself go to open mics to work on new material, and of course a two hour window to write and publish these blog posts. When I first left my day job to pursue my artistic ventures full time, that was not the case. I had the mentality of “meh, I’ll just work the day after tomorrow, another round of alcohols please!”
The title of this post is “self help is exhausting,” and I can’t stress that enough, because it’s hard as shit. When I had the structure of a regular job though, I wasn’t pushing myself. I had the ease of showing up to work everyday, telling people what to do, going to sleep, promising myself the next day was the day that I was going to write more and pursue my dreams.
Going out on my own was the right move for me. May not be the same for everyone, but for me I was able to combine my hatred of authority and my passion for expression into a lifestyle that works for me. But there are still flaws in my behavior that I deal with everyday like laziness, my aptitude for complaining, and my ability to blame my shortcomings on others.
So yeah, maybe a little military point of view in my life is going to do me some good.
But I’m not cleaning up my underwear.