In this journal entry, I want to design an exciting life and a way of living I would follow if I didn’t give a fuck what society and other people thought about me. More or less, to just do whatever it is that I want to do and live an exciting life (according to my standards). This, however, doesn’t equate to playing games all days and being lazy. No, this is more about designing my life to be exciting and then follow it.
As always, when I write a journal my thoughts tend to jump around. I expect this journal entry not to be any different. I also write these solely for myself, although I still feel the entries are valuable to share. Partly because it makes me look human, i.e., to share my failures, thoughts, problems, struggles, and not be portrayed as someone who has all the answers. But also partly because I would’ve loved to see the journal entries of people I follow. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let us continue.
It’s been over a month since I last wrote anything on this blog (almost two since publishing this entry). A big part of that is the anxiety and overwhelm I talked about in the last journal. A lot has happened since then, but also not a lot at all. To be honest, most of my days have been spent playing games. Some days I’ve listened to inspiring people or books. Other days I’ve taken action on a few minor things. The pace has been slow, but slow is okay. At least it was okay during that period.
Today though, I can say that I don’t have any anxiety, or at least that it doesn’t take any physical form as an aching pain in the chest. I’ve gone to a hypnotherapist that has helped me, and I’ve also found the answer to what it is that “I don’t want to,” and why I don’t want to fail. (I’ll write more about the hypnotherapist in another article.)
Fear of being alone
My fear of failure exists because I believe people will leave me if I fail; that if I fail I don’t belong anywhere and I don’t want to be alone.
I guess no one wants to be alone, but this fear of failure isn’t logical, and I know it. At least I know this now, but this wasn’t what I wanted to talk about.
The subtle art of not giving a fuck
Today I listened to the book “the subtle art of not giving a fuck.” That gave me some more ideas of how I want to design my life. To create values that I live by, and not strive to make my life perfect and always happy. Instead, I want to choose what kind of suffering I want to endure.
In the last month I’ve wanted to design a life like this, but with less suffering. But instead of wanting less pain and thus less courageous moments in my life, maybe I should create experiences and opportunities that require more courageous moments. I’m not sure if more suffering can be accomplished because there’s always suffering no matter which way we go. What I can do, however, is choose which suffering to focus on and create significant inspiring problems and pains to focus on from now on.
I need to start somewhere, so why not start with values. What values would I like to have? This reminds me of an old article I wrote back in 2015, Core Principles. These values are something I will strive to follow no matter what and the consequences. Even if I’m afraid of where these values might take me and what fears I have to face, I will follow through.
So what values do I want to have?
Life is an exciting game
One value and belief is that life (and work) is an exciting game. A game with its own set of rules and consequences. But as with any game, if you fail, you try again. There’s no harm in trying multiple times; it is in fact encouraged. You can only become better if you try and try again. I wrote a lot about this in my last journal entry, Journal Entry: Struggling To Finish Projects As An Entrepreneur. But basically, I want to fool myself into believing that I’m playing a game. At the same time, I don’t want to be inauthentic or think that I’m in another world.
I am honest
No more white lies. If I can’t or don’t want to come to a meeting, I won’t say its because I’m sick (if I’m not sick). I’ll just talk plainly about the situation. Some people might get hurt, especially if I’ve prioritized something else over them.
Keeping my word
If I say something, I will keep it; whether it’s keeping my word to others or myself. Keeping my word to myself is probably the hardest because I can quickly find a valuable excuse why not to do something. I used to be a lot better at this, but lately, it’s spiraled down. I don’t respond to messages, and I don’t do the things I’ve set out to do (with few exceptions).
Keeping my word includes things like doing things that I don’t want to do anymore. My highest value in life is fun, and I have a knack for making any situation fun, even suffering situations. But if it’s something I feel don’t have control over, or something I’ve been pressed to do, then I just can’t muster up the will to do the task. So I procrastinate. This habit is something I want to change. It doesn’t have to be comfortable all the time, but I always want to follow through and keep my word.
Not giving a fuck
At the same time, I know that if I push myself when I’m already stressed and overworked, it just gets worse, and I get burned out. And this is not what I mean. I mean that I should be able to reframe the situation and almost make the task effortless, in a sense, I want to give zero fucks. I procrastinate because I think I will fail and when I fail, I’ll be alone. So if I don’t care what others think of me, or about the outcome, the outcome journey becomes a lot more pleasant and the final result much better.
I am courageous
The last months, I’ve been everything but courageous. I’ve tried to live in my small comfortable shell, not doing things outside my comfort zone. Honestly, I’d like to be more courageous in my life. But what does more courageous mean? I guess it would be not to give into my fears as often as I do. But it could also be to practice being courageous actively, even daily. Steve Pavlina, mentioned in one of his coaching calls for CGC (Conscious Growth Club) that courage is like a muscle. If you practice being courageous it becomes more natural in a sense. It can still be hard to push through your fear, but since you’ve done it so many times, it’s a lot easier to follow through.
So in one way, I’d like to have different ways of slowly practicing of being courageous. I’m not sure if I should focus on specific areas I want to improve in or just being randomly courageous. For example, do I want to make a brave move in my business or relationships, or do I want to start talking to random people when I’m outside, or maybe lie down on the floor of a coffee shop à la Tim Ferriss.
Metrics of ‘success’
In the book “the subtle art of not giving a fuck,” Mark says that you might want to change how you measure if you’re being honest or have good relationships. He didn’t say precisely that, but the idea that if you measure the intimacy of your relationship by how often someone calls you, then that’s probably not a useful metric.
How can I find useful metrics for the various values I have? No idea at the moment, and I feel like this is the perfect place to stop writing for today and come back tomorrow. I’ll probably get a lot of ideas during the remainder of the day 🙂
First memory of being left out
I just now decided to do something about my fear. So I used one of the hypnosis exercises I did with my hypnotherapist. I can still feel the fear, so it wasn’t as effective as a guided hypnosis, still it’s better.
The first memory I have of being alone and not be accepted into a group was from playing soccer in school when I was six years old. I wasn’t very good at soccer, and I regularly felt left out. Partly because no-one wanted to have me on their team, and partly because I thought that I sucked at soccer and would always be bad at it. At least that’s the story I’ve been telling myself since then. Logically, I know this isn’t true. I might have interpreted the experience this way, but it doesn’t have to be what happened.
Lessons from the fear of being left out
The purpose of the fear was to protect me from getting hurt. But I still got hurt because I wasn’t playing soccer and I ‘knew’ I wasn’t good at it either. But the real lesson I learned from revisiting the memory is that even though none of the teams wanted me (if that’s true) doesn’t mean that they dislike me. It’s just that I wasn’t particularly good in that company. Being bad at something is always relative, and I might have been one of the worst soccer players in my class, but that doesn’t actually make me bad.
But again, it doesn’t matter if I’m bad at soccer because I was good and popular at a lot of other things. Overall I wasn’t left out of school activities; it’s just that those moments when I felt like I was being left out hurt a lot and I decided to focus on those.
So even though I fail, I’ll never be alone because the people still like me for who I am, and failing at one thing doesn’t mean anything.
Next step: 30-day courage challenge
As I mentioned previously in the journal entry, I haven’t been courageous lately. I’ve been thinking about how I can be more courageous in a useful way. Focusing on things that I want to improve in my life, and not just facing all my fears that might not lead anywhere as I did in Use Your Fear To Take Action On Something Else. But I’d like to practice taking one courageous action every day for 30-days, starting today, Sunday.
I know from experience that I might cheat on this, doing something I’m mildly afraid of. Thus I’ll only accept things that are I rate as 5+ in fear. A 0 would be no fear at all. For example, I have no fear of brushing my teeth or putting on my socks. A 10 in fear is something I feel like I’d rather die than do, and I mean it. A good start would be to take action on something that’s 5–7.
Taking action on things that matter
The question is then, what should I take action on? What areas do I want to be more courageous in? What actions can I take to make my life look more like the life I truly want and can have at this very moment. Not in the future, but today.
At the end of each day, I’ll decide on the next day action to take. During that time I’ll also ask myself
Is this the action that will move the needle forward? Is this a worthy action to take?
I know my inner workings quite well, and I can’t lie to myself when I ask these questions. If I know that I would want to take another action but I’m too afraid I’ll know that and decide to take that one instead.
Taking action in a specific area?
As I’m writing, I’m also asking myself if I should only focus on one area or several areas. I’m not entirely sure. For now, I’ll take action in several areas. But which are the areas I want to focus on?
How I want my life to look?
There are a few areas I know I want to grow in. Social interactions, friends, relationships, work, having fun, exciting of life, and being myself. Hmm, this was hard to pin down.
One thing I do know is that I want to meet friends and be social more often. About 2–3 times per week. I want to see friends more one-on-one and have deep and meaningful conversations with them. But I’d also like to cuddle more with people I love. Maybe go out and meet new people too.
I also know that I want to take more initiative to sexual situations with my girlfriend. The same fear lingers there, and I’d like to be present and playful in that relationships 🙂
Phones and reaching out to new people is a bit hard for me. Especially phones. So I’d like to have some challenge with phones and calling friends. This seems as good as it gets.
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