A Little Free Advice

There are a lot of people in this world, usually for a lot of money, to tell you that you’re doing it wrong. To tell you that your effort isn’t good enough. To tell you that if only you’d do things their way all your dreams will come true.

Well guess what? I’m here, utterly for free, to tell you that if you’re doing anything, you’re doing it right.

You see, we live in a society that wants all the shortcuts to success. We don’t want to have to slug it out, enduring failure after failure, before we find our groove and start moving. We want hints and tips and tricks and everything else that will push us past the person on the other side of us doing the hard work and time to hone their craft. We love shortcuts, we’re addicted to them as a society. There is a whole class of people making a living on tips and tricks alone.

The horrible, insidious, and ironic thing is that tips and tricks alone rarely take away the complicated, hard work the truly successful endure. Because the horrible, insidious, and ironic thing about tips and tricks is that they may give you some pointers about what vector to use to attack a problem but rarely will a whole book of advice pave your personal yellow brick road. You’re the one that needs to do the work, put in the hours, and figure out what will work for you.

Now at this point, let me lift my hands and testify. I probably could have put a decent down payment on a car with the money I’ve spent on advice and self-help books over the years.

Fitness books.

Happiness books.

Success books.

I’m better advised than the President of the United States.

And the common thread in all of these books is that if I strictly adhere to set of rules then my total success as a  Human being is assured. You may even gain some amount of limited success over the short term. In the end though, all the rules get really hard to follow. Especially if you feel like you’re forcing yourself into a situation in the first place.

The truth is that long term success is paved with our, sometimes, constant failure. Through failure we learn how to attain success. For ourselves. It’s a hard truth to come to understand. Help is great but in the end we have to figure it all out by ourselves, no amount of rules or advice ultimately not meant for us is going to help.

So this morning, if you’re getting down on yourself because you don’t feel like you’re trying hard enough; just keep trying. Expertise is a muscle built by even a little bit of exercise every day. As that muscle grows you will feel like accomplishing more and you can level up from there. Don’t let anybody tell you that what you’re doing is wrong or not enough. Some days just getting out of bed can be an accomplishment in this messy and complicated life. I commend you for that.

Keep fighting.


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