Stop Getting On The Crazy Horses
I felt like a gun shell.
A bullet was fired a long time ago. Now empty inside. Without potential.
There was no meaning in my life.
The existential dread kept me up at night. I was afraid of going to sleep. Because of the fact I did nothing of value. And if you can’t sleep, you never fully regenerate. You become that empty shell.
It’s a vicious cycle.
What’s worse is that people assume it’s normal. Normal to feel fear of being alone, to fear going to sleep or eating in silence. Normal to feel like you’re wasting time because everyone does, right?
A good night’s sleep is a powder for the bullet. But to get that, you must do something of value. How to do that if you feel powerless?
Avoid wasting energy.
Here you have some things to avoid and what to do instead. Get that sleep and start building your life with the energy from it.
Running Away From Dreams
You’ll surely miss your goal if you don’t know it.
No goals mean no direction. The result is a wandering life without purpose. Not in a good sense. You can wander and wonder, which is excellent, or wander to pander, never wondering.
I didn’t know what I wanted, and I wandered to pander.
I felt lost. Whenever I noticed a new shiny thing, I wanted it. There are so many things society told me to care about. Money, sex, fame, fun, and I dug that like a sucker.
As I couldn’t filter out the nonsense, I got great at things I didn’t care about.
“Learn how to separate the majors and the minors. A lot of people don’t do well simply because they major in minor things.”
— Jim Rohn.
I knew which tv series was great, but I had no idea how to enjoy living.
No direction made me ultra hesitant. Any decision took ages. Having no priorities is like building a tree starting from leaves. You fail all the time because there is nothing to hang them on. So you’re collecting things you don’t need, and none satisfies you.
And you sleep worse.
You are lying in bed without the feeling of fulfillment, empty inside. There are so many things you want you’re paralyzed by not knowing which one to chase first.
What to do instead
But life doesn’t have to look like this.
When I defined what I wanted to achieve and who I wanted to become, I created a filtering mechanism. I got the ability to filter out what I don’t care about.
A rough direction where I wanted to go gave me the life I thought was impossible. To put it in words, I know I’ll do my best to live a good life. I know I’ll face all the problems, challenges, and failures. And that gives peace.
Get your brain in check and decide what you want.
Getting On The Crazy Horses
Thoughts in your mind are like the wild west.
They come whenever they want, and they run around like wild horses. Think about the wild west for five minutes to experience what I mean.
And if you’re like, your wild horses are trying to kill you.
They all neigh, and you hear:
- you’re not good enough
- you’ll fail and more motivational speeches.
Then you can have all the world’s riches, and you’ll still be miserable f*ck inside.
A running mind is not a sleepy mind.
You constantly get notifications about unwanted shit. Do you remember that thing you did in high school? You’d want to forget, right?
Bye-bye, good night’s sleep.
Now you’re fully awake. Constantly stressed because your brain always reminds you of shit that is not even important. You can stress out about paper towels running out. I did.
Once, I was lying on the beach with my girlfriend. Sun was warming my skin. The ocean made the sound I love the most, the one that soothes my nerves and makes me tranquil. The white noise of the waves hitting the shore.
Then bam, bam, bam, YOU WANT A DRINIK.
F*ck me. Immediately, all the pleasure was gone. I jumped on that horse and wanted to get to the hotel RIGHT F*CKING NOW.
I lost the ocean and the sun because I didn’t know there was a way out.
What to do instead
The problem is you jump on those horses and then ride like crazy.
You become one with the horse. The way out is simple. Let them run around. Eventually, they’ll stop, and you’ll calm yourself down.
Filling The Time With Cheap Dopamine
Do you know why you like binging shit on Netflix?
Because you hate your life. You can’t stand it. If you’d like it, why would you waste your time watching a screen for hours if you could go for a walk? Watching tv can be a time for resting, that’s sure, but before rest comes to work.
You look busy because there are so many dumb things you’re doing.
You have hobbies like Netflix, parties, and scrolling Instagram/TikTok/9gag/Facebook/Twitter, and you love traveling. Every time you eat, you need some noise in the background.
The dread of meaningless life is your excuse to be a dopamine junkie.
But when the show is over, you must face the reality of being alone with your thoughts. And it frightens you.
You supply dopamine from effortless activities because, else, you’d have to accept what you are.
So you have all those external tools to help you cope. You can drink, go party or watch another show, everything to avoid yourself. But in the end, doing so makes the problem worse.
How to sleep when you’re afraid of being alone with your thoughts?
You can do me and drink every night. Or watch another show until 2 am, so you’re so tired you’ll fall asleep. Will you wake up refreshed the next day?
What to do instead
Do anything that brings you closer to your goals.
No matter how small your actions are, they’ll add momentum. Create value in your life. Follow your goals. Make your actions so small you can do them after a restless night.
Step by step, you’ll build a feeling of doing something useful.
The long-term strategy is to switch from effortless dopamine to effortful dopamine. For that, you must start small. Like reading 1 page a day. Go the easiest way, so it seems almost as easy as doom-scrolling.
Making Responsibility a Prison
You can easily f*ck up your life if you mistake responsibility for guilt.
You hear from every place to take more responsibility. But this is different. It’s about the fear of not living up to expectations.
Responsibility is what gives you a feeling of agency.
But only when it comes to your actions. Taking responsibility for the outcomes is a tough nut to crack. Act like it’s on you but do not feel guilty.
The guilt makes you miserable.
I felt guilty when people were disappointed with me. They wanted me to do something, and I didn’t want to. Then they commented on how I could do that (or not), etc.
It never helped me. It never helped them. I took them down with me when I was miserable because of guilt.
That’s not how responsibility works.
If you assume the feeling of guilt is the responsibility, you have a lot of things to contemplate about. And again, a running mind is not a sleepy mind. You have to make it tired by watching till late or drinking. Or you will spend the whole night reminding yourself of what a disappointment you are.
What to do instead
First, focus on yourself.
You feeling great is what makes others feel great. Try it. Watch how they act when you’re radiating joy. Then watch how you make people feel when you’re a sad f*ck.
Second, take responsibility to gain agency, not to feel guilt.
You can be guilty of making a mistake, but feeling guilty won’t help you fix it. Deliver value instead of pitying yourself. If you want to correct your errors — correct them. Don’t apologize, and do the same shit later.
Sleep came when I accepted who I was.
It wasn’t an event. It’s a process. I do my best to accept myself. My thoughts are mine, but I’m not theirs.
Instead of living in denial of what you want, admit it.
It’s always better to understand what drives you. You can control your actions better if you know what you’re aiming for.
Use what you want to filter the bullshit society serves you.
Instead of chasing cheap dopamine, earn your rest by doing the work. Chase your dreams by doing projects out of them. Start small to cheat your brain into thinking it’s easy as scrolling Instagram.
And when you take responsibility, take it to feel the agency.
You’ll make mistakes, but feeling guilty won’t fix them. You being in your prime state, may. Or at least in a stable and reasonable state when you don’t sabotage every step.
Sleep great knowing there is nothing you can do about yesterday but a lot you can do now to influence tomorrow.
Do you sometimes wonder how your life would look if you could get what you wanted?