So I was on a date with the Catholic-my latest charming lady. Quite fun, but some tiny innocuous comment hit me. She asked my age-24 and then asked what I'm still doing in school and if I started late. I've gotten the question before so I replied "changed my major a couple times". She replied with "oh cool". The conversation moved on but she said something about me needing to stop being a man-child still in school. It was meant to be playful but...
She's absolutely right, I do. It made me realize I've been playing a ridiculous game. I learned a long time ago that appearances can be everything. When someone asks how are you-you say fine and smile. Even on the tough days. But it's far from my truth. And I've been deluding myself by thinking that no one else could tell that. It's obvious to some 19 year old-brilliant though she is- who still has a lot of growing up to do. If she can see it, so can anyone who looks at me and that forced me to realize how superficial I've been of late. And I don't like that-that I've been so superficial.
So let's get real here-in the public, for anyone to read, with only the tiniest veil of anonymity to keep my stupid little ego safe. That'll make it far more real for me.
The truth, in a weird conversation between myself and other Mike
So Mike, you're not happy with your life. Let's start with an inventory, what is your life right now?
Well Mike, short story is I'm a 24 year old failure that's done nothing with my life besides rack up 30G's of debt and collected a few ridiculous mega blok toys.
I'm not asking for the short story, let's get long and detailed here.
Okay-I broke up with a love of my life because I was bored sexually. While that was a large part of the reason, the latchkey reason was that my failures were starting to accumulate and some part of me didn't want anyone close enough to see it. Once she left, I tail spun to the point of not paying rent, of nearly getting evicted, of basically failing out of college, and dropping helplessly into a self-created pit of depression. I clambered out met a new girl then ditched her to go back to the original girl that I was bored with sexually. Then we tried that as a long distance relationship and that was stupid because the problem was me. She left again. After-I really didn't have anything else to live for so why not end it? Well I've got a lot of college debt. No one's problem but mine. And then... She came along.. A karmic bitch slap in the form of a girl who made me needy... who I got addicted to (I'm used to being the cool, not needy, addicting one), who needed me to train her in combatives. Debt and training her, that's what kept a sword out of my belly. So I again clambered out of my little depressive pit.
Hoped she would fall in love with me as I so badly wanted to love her. But guess what, she could see I'm a total loser and the guy she's with and has been with for 5 years is my age and way ahead of me. Has his degree, established financially, has something for a 401k, probably has a Roth IRA and is thinking about buying a house for her and him to live in. Me, on the other hand? I'm about to be 30G's in debt if I can ever manage to graduate, I fail a lot of my classes which has entirely wasted nothing short of about 4 semesters worth of college credit-so graduation might not be something I need to worry about, I have trouble staying on my bills even now that I'm living so cheaply... and I'm smart to top it all. I ace my classes when I try which is the stupidest part of all. I can do it but I DON'T. I breezed through my last test without studying for it... I'll get the results in about 8 hours but I already know it'll be high 90's. So, why do I ever fail? Why am I such an idiot with money? Neuro psych tells us that it's because short term goals give the highest bump in dopamine and I have an impulsive personality. As things loom closer I do them-like cramming for a test that I think I'll fail, but long term is a challenge. I could blame my mom for not raising me with enough discipline, I could blame the universe for taking my dad from me and not providing another father figure, I could blame anyone else. Truth is, it's me. I'm really stupid. Sure I have the intelligence but I never use it which makes me far worse than anyone less intelligent than me. I'm severely underachieving and why? Why is this?
Is it something fruity like a lack of purpose? A lack of drive? I've been tracking myself. Last week, BY MY OWN CODING, I've literally wasted at least 20 hours. That's classed directly as "waste time" in my tracking system. That's not counting "reading", "chatting", or other things that would land in "Wast time" if I was being more honest. How much time did I spend on homework/studying? Close to 5 hours... yeah, four times as many hours are spent literally wasting time by my own measure. Why? What's wrong with me? Well what about my passions? What about my combatives and working out? That's what I'm supposed to be driven towards... how much time did I spend doing that? Less than 5 hours "body improving". No time spent on "combatives".
Wow.. that's quite a mouthful other Mike. You are a fucking loser. So what are we going to do about this?
I don't know. Nothing changes for long, I always end up back here. I don't know why.
Not good enough. We need something.
I've tried tons of things. Fruity self-help books, making to do lists, tracking where my time actually goes, just doing things immediately when they pop up... I always fall back to where I am now.
The formings of a plan
Yeah I get that, I'm you remember? But we need something. Already the support system we've been eeking by on is collapsing. You HAVE TO stand on your own two feet before it completely is gone and you SHOULD HAVE been on your own feet long ago before we got here. So what are you going to do?
Well... All those tricks are pieces of a working system. Each one works for a little bit so if I can just stick with them, turn them into habits and do several in tandem I might actually get back to accomplishing things. The time tracking is the first step of the reality check.. It pisses me off usually. So let's make it social. I need to start sharing it somewhere where anyone who knows me can see it. Since I'm all about superficialities (word?) anyway, let's play off of that. Next up my failures that resound through time... I need to own them instead of hiding them under a confident persona. Hell, maybe I'll start talking to girls that way... that's a hell of a way for me to want to change it. "Hey I'm Mike, I'm 24 years old, have done nothing with my life, fancy myself an entrepreneur but never get out of the gate, I have wasted no less than 2 years in college doing nothing, I am having trouble paying my bills and can't afford to buy new clothes... at all. Oh, and I'll be graduating with 30G's in debt.. and you are?"
I like what I'm hearing.. but what if you fall back into your old habits, what's so different at all about this time?
I can't fail. Like you said, other Mike, our system is dying. I can't use it as a crutch for inaction anymore. It's time to grow the fuck up and be a man.
Okay. The only way to stop bad behavior is to replace it with something else. You waste time as a habit so what are we going to replace it with?
Why not actually replace it with my first business idea that worked? Reselling liquidated items, with 20 hours per week devoted it should nearly double my income.
Good, but it has to become your everything. It has to become what you think about near constantly, else and you'll just waste time again. Are you ready for that?
No, I need it posted somewhere I see everyday.
God, you're talking about a stupid list of affirmations aren't you? Whatever, if it works, let's go.
Alright other mike, time to start this shit up. Every morning I need to see my list. I NEED to. I need to know why I'm doing it. I need a coach, I need a dad but I'll never have one. He's gone so I need to coach myself. Eyes on the prize, Mike. Let's go! More than enough time is wasted. And I need to leverage my desire to appear "together". I need to show people who I really am so I can become what I need to become. I also need to decide exactly what my prize is. Right now, it's classes to graduate and starting a business.
Then those are your priorities, your only priorities. Get it? Don't make me beat your ass. Nothing else matters besides those two. Print since you need it, but don't forget this. I can't fail anymore.