To Anyone Who Thinks They’re Falling Behind in Life

To Anyone Who Thinks They’re Falling Behind in Life
You Don't Need More Motivation

You don’t need more motivation. You don’t need to be inspired to action. You don’t need to read any more lists and posts about how you’re not doing enough.

We act as if we can read enough articles and enough little Pinterest quotes and suddenly the little switch in our brain will put us into action. But, honestly, here’s the thing that nobody really talks about when it comes to success and motivation and willpower and goals and productivity and all those little buzzwords that have come into popularity: you are as you are until you’re not. You change when you want to change. You put your ideas into action in the timing that is best. That’s just how it happens.

And what I think we all need more than anything is this: permission to be wherever the fuck we are when we’re there.

You put your ideas into action in the timing that is best. You put your ideas into action in the timing that is best.

You Don’t Get to Control Everything

You’re not a robot. You can’t just conjure up motivation when you don’t have it. Sometimes you’re going through something. Sometimes life has happened. Life! Remember life? Yeah, it teaches you things and sometimes makes you go the long way around for your biggest lessons.

You don’t get to control everything. You can wake up at 5am. every day until you’re tired and broken, but if the words or the painting or the ideas don’t want to come to fruition, they won’t. You can show up every day to your best intentions, but if it’s not the time, it’s just not the fucking time. You need to give yourself permission to be a human being.

Sometimes the novel is not ready to be written because you haven’t met the inspiration for your main character yet. Sometimes you need two more years of life experience before you can make your masterpiece into something that will feel real and true and raw to other people. Sometimes you’re not falling in love because whatever you need to know about yourself is only knowable through solitude. Sometimes you haven’t met your next collaborator. Sometimes your sadness encircles you because, one day, it will be the opus upon which you build your life.

Sometimes the novel is not ready to be written yet.Sometimes the novel is not ready to be written yet.

We Are the Same Until We’re Changed

We all know this: Our experience cannot always be manipulated. Yet, we don’t act as though we know this truth. We try so hard to manipulate and control our lives, to make creativity into a game to win, to shortcut success because others say they have, to process emotions and uncertainty as if these are linear journeys.

You don’t get to game the system of your life. You just don’t. You don’t get to control every outcome and aspect as a way to never give in to the uncertainty and unpredictability of something that’s beyond what you understand. It’s the basis of presence: to show up as you are in this moment and let that be enough.

Yet, we don’t act in a way that supports this lifestyle. We fill every minute with productivity tools and read 30-point lists on how to better drive out natural, human impulse. We often forget that we are as we are until we’re not. We are the same until we’re changed. We can move that a bit further by putting into place healthy habits and to show up to our lives in a way that fosters growth, but we can’t game timing.

Timing is the one thing that we often forget to surrender to.

We can't game timing.We can’t game timing.

It Will Make Sense Later

Things are dark until they’re not. Most of our unhappiness stems from the belief that our lives should be different than they are. We believe we have control – and our self-loathing and self-hatred comes from this idea that we should be able to change our circumstances, that we should be richer or hotter or better or happier. While self-responsibility is empowering, it can often lead to this resentment and bitterness that none of us need to be holding within us. We have to put in our best efforts and then give ourselves permission to let whatever happens to happen–and to not feel so directly and vulnerably tied to outcomes. Opportunities often don’t show up in the way we think they will.

You don’t need more motivation or inspiration to create the life you want. You need less shame around the idea that you’re not doing your best. You need to stop listening to people who are in vastly different life circumstances and life stages than you, tell you that you’re just not doing or being enough. You need to let timing do what it needs to do. You need to see lessons where you see barriers. You need to understand that right now becomes inspiration later. You need to see that wherever you are now is what becomes your identity later.

We believe we should be richer or hotter or better or happier.We believe we should be richer or hotter or better or happier.

We Can’t Game It

“There’s a magic beyond us that works in ways we can’t understand. We can’t game it. We can’t 10-point list it. We can’t control it.”

Sometimes we’re not yet the people we need to be in order to contain the desires we have. Sometimes we have to let ourselves evolve into the place where we can allow what we want to transpire.

Let’s just say that whatever you want, you want it enough. So much so that you’re making yourself miserable in order to achieve it. What about chilling out? Maybe your motivation isn’t the problem, but that you keep pushing a boulder up a mountain that only grows in size the more you push.

There’s a magic beyond us that works in ways we can’t understand. We can’t game it. We can’t 10-point list it. We can’t control it. We have to just let it be, to take a fucking step back for a moment, stop beating ourselves up into oblivion, and to let the cogs turn as they will. One day, this moment will make sense. Trust that.

Give yourself permission to trust that.

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Muhammad Idrees
1 year ago

Superb! Thanks for the awesome article.

Karen Nolen
4 years ago

I do not agree with this distraction of the word “fuck. ” It’s as sacred a word as any. Sometimes more. I tease my clients sometimes not to worry for such a slip. Hold your head high and say the word 3 times with intention. “It is rumored to clear the throat chakra,” I say lovingly with humor.

But the point of the article is well said, thoughtfully constructed, and a needed reminder for this creative soul. When my writing muse takes a back seat, say when the seasons change, or taxes are due, I forgive myself. I pull out older writings and enrich them. I write about about my favorite animals and wonder if one day they might have their own voices.

4 years ago

I just discovered this site. The article is amazing! Thank you so much.

(The ‘word’ does not bother me at all. In fact, it goes with the article.)

Steve caulfield
4 years ago

Hi, just read this with great interest,every word,including all the f ones! It so gels,having listened all my life to where I wasn’t good enough,could do better,wouldn’t ever come to much etc,from parents,teachers, partners, I’ve made shrinks very rich and still am left with feelings of inadequacy,futility and pointlessness. This article gave me permission to just LET GO far more and believe that there is a reason for, and its ok, to be where I am. Thank you,could I please download this for daily reference and how do I do that? At 62 I’m not well up on on techy stuff! Thank you again, so much

Cynthia Whitmire
4 years ago

I thought it was motivational, inspirational, and all about change.

4 years ago

I LOVE THIS ARTICLE! And I CONSIDER IT TO BE REQUIRED READING!!! Reminds me of the four agreements And he fact that it has been written and well received is proof that The Westbisnindeed evolving.

4 years ago

Great article! Same reaction here as the first commenter. That word is used way too much and I suppose it doesn’t bother a lot of people, but it does me. It’s used as a noun, adjective, adverb, verb … it’s just silly. “Fuck! What the fuck! That fuckingly fucked fucker just fucked that fucker to fuck.” Overused.

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