Sometimes, I come off as overwhelmingly positive. I tend to let things that tear some people to shreds roll off my back. I don’t get too bent out of shape, and I always manage to plow out of bad situations far better than I was when I got into them. Honestly, there’s no real magical formula to define why this is the case. But today, I was driving around listening to some good music with my windows down and the volume up, and started to think about exactly why I’m so fucking happy all the time. A few things sprung to mind.
I don’t get worked up about things outside of my control.
It’s a sick, disgusting, horrifying world. There’s all flavors of conspiracy, cultural manipulation, civil unrest, murder, disease, and death out there. My eyes are open. I acknowledge it, and do my part to stay informed (and active when it’s appropriate). But I absolutely refuse to lay awake at night worrying about the problems of the world. If I find myself straying too deeply into negative territory, or merely even lingering there for too long, I re-focus my efforts towards something positive. It works every time.
I am no longer tied to a career.
The feeling this freedom gives me is indescribable. Right now, as I’m getting my business ventures underway, I’m still working a part-time job to pay the bills, but it’s unbelievable how much of a difference this shift has made. I am no longer worried about workplace politics, projects, deadlines, or offending someone. Never again. There was always a black cloud hanging over my head at every job I’ve ever had. I knew full well that if I didn’t toe the line and made one mis-step, I’d be fired at the drop of a hat. I had to kiss the asses of some of the worst people I’ve ever met. All for the sake of enslaving myself 40-60 hours a week just so I would have enough money to keep the lights on, food on the table, and gas in the tank to get back to my cubicle the next day. When I walked away from my last job, I swore I would never do it again, and I intend on keeping that promise. My part-time gig has almost zero stress, and interestingly enough, although I’m earning less money, I’m spending a lot less, and saving a lot more. I’ve surprised myself on more than one occasion in this department.
I have freedom and independence.
This relates to the ditching of my job, but it also has to deal with the fact that I don’t have any lifestyle servitude. I live well below my means, in a small apartment. My car has been paid off for years, I have no debt, no kids, and truly answer to no one. Tomorrow, I’m jumping on a plane bound for Florida to visit a friend, simply because I feel like doing it. I’m not obligated to do anything I don’t want to do, and that gives me immense freedom.
I’m in a healthy relationship.
I have been in a stale, dead relationship with a girl who was a glorified roommate, and I have been in a tumultuous, dramatic nightmare of a relationship with an angry, parasitic monster. I’ve dated emotionally damaged girls, boring girls, alcoholic girls, and a couple of life-ruiners. After all of this, I had some fun and when I wanted to settle down again, I met my girlfriend with her “type” in mind. She’s shy, polite, feminine and pleasant. Every aspect of the relationship leaves me not wanting anything more. We enhance rather than complicate each other’s lives, but I can honestly say that I’m not dependent upon her for anything.
I am physically healthy and strong.
I have never, at any time in my life, ever been stronger or healthier than I am right now. I lift five days a week, and in warm weather, I’m on my bike six or seven days a week. Most of the time, I’m eating very well, but I don’t mentally beat myself to death over one or two cheat days here and there. Being strong enhances every aspect of life, and I can’t imagine it any other way. I still need to lose body fat, but this is a project (see below). I’m playing the long game with fat loss.
I refuse to rush.
I often drive my girlfriend to work during morning rush hour, and the things I observe are pitiable. There’s people going 55 in a 25 zone, blowing red lights, sliding sideways into telephone poles at intersections, honking their horns and screaming, red-faced with fury that someone else on the road would dare to make them late for work. After all, their asshole boss might decide to write them up for running in the door at 7:03. Because I don’t have to answer to anyone, I’m exempt from the tardiness game and never have to be in a rush to get from point A to point B. If I’m expected to be somewhere, I simply leave eariler than I need to, put on some good music and enjoy the ride. Should I hit traffic and I’m late, so be it.
I have eliminated the clutter from my life.
I like my life to be clean and simple, cut and dry, without needless fluff. I talked about going into self-imposed exile, and cutting all of the extra crap out of my life. Media, activities, and people that were time-wasters and got the axe. I deleted my social media accounts (aside from establishing a Twitter account, and even there, I’m very conscious to not spend too much time on the thing), gave up alcohol, and cut parasitic people from my life with utter ruthlessness. Communications with ex-girlfriends, dumbass friends, and overly dramatic extended family were severed, ultimately strengthening the bonds with the few people I kept close (due in no small part to the fact that I was no longer spreading myself so thin). I extended this mentality soon after to my possessions, as well. When I left my last aparment, I moved mountains of junk to Goodwill and the trash pile, and I haven’t missed any of it. Closets were emptied, I have a grand total of ten shirts right now. The things that remain in my life allow a stripped-down, lean-and-mean existence. Not quite minimalist, but simple and manageable. Even now, I have plans to give about 1/3 of the stuff from my apartment away over the next week or so. I don’t use it, I don’t need it. It’s fluff.
Never being forced to apologize.
I don’t report to anyone, so I have no one to apologize to. If I want to say something, I say it. If I want to do something, I do it. I don’t set out to cause damage, but I tend to offend the thin-skinned in certain circumstances. I realize, however, that their reactions are not my responsibility, my views and opinions do not warrant an apology. The only time I feel the need to apologize to anyone anymore is for being a dick to my girlfriend when I’m awakened after too little sleep. In this case, an apology is appropriate. There really is a fine line between being an asshole and being a dickhead.
I always have a project.
I think big, and I have a lot of works in process. I’m getting businesses rolling and forming new sources of income generation (which is the key to sustaining my lifestyle). I’m dropping body fat, as my body is always a project. I’m moving to the other side of the country, which is a huge undertaking. And then there’s the smaller stuff. Individual blog articles. Ruthless junk elimination in my home. Buying a dirt-cheap truck and turning it into a reliable cargo hauler. Refurbishing the paint and doing maintenance on my existing car. Re-finishing the fork on my Freeride bike. Turning standing deadfall into firewood for my parents. All of it. They’re all projects, and they keep my mind and body busy, productive, and building towards something that will improve my life in some way. The projects I’ve finished have turned into some of my proudest achievements, and the ones I’m working on will leave those accomplishments in the dust. Always be building, always have a project.
I am active, rather than passive.
Years ago, I would have, and did, spend $800 on a new TV. A device that I could plop down on the couch in front of, to watch other people running around “doing things” on. Now, that money is spent on a trip, or put towards the fund that is moving me across the country. It’s why I don’t have any interest in spectator sports. I want to be the one on the screen, doing exciting things, not perched on a barstool, staring at a screeen, watching other people feel the rush of victory. When I go to mountain bike races, yeah, I watch the Pro guys’ race runs, but it’s either before or after I’ve blasted out of the starting gate to attack the same course they’re also competing on.
I have an abundance mindset.
Ah, here’s another nugget of wisdom by Mike Cernovich. Abundance. I didn’t know much about it until I became familiar with Mike’s work, but it’s a subject worth learning a great deal about. To summarize, “I have enough, I am enough”. When a person begins building, there’s a sort of weight that can hang over them, a weight I used to have. It’s a feeling that what I’m doing isn’t enough, jealousy that the next guy is doing better, or has a better life, a better car, a hotter girlfriend, or more money. It led, in some cases, to self-sabotage, and a reckless, spastic approach toward life. It’s easier said than done, but be abundant. Let go of the jealousy. “I have enough, I am enough”. You are focusing on what you HAVE, and not what you are lacking.
I love my life, I love who I am (this sounds like touchy-feely shit, but bear with me). I’ve been through the ringer, and come out of some nasty situations a lot better off than before “disaster” had struck. I’m thankful that I’ve become who I am, and understand that shit happens. Shit has happened, and shit is going to keep happening. Because I’m abundant, I know I can use these messes as opportunities and turn a “woe is me” situation into a positive. I can think of dozends of times over the last year when an abundance mindset has resulted in a measurably positive outcome of a bad situation.
I am always learning new things.
There’s millions of books, blogs, and interesting, applicable information in the world. We have a staggering abundance of knowledge in 2016. I can have any book delivered to my door within 48 hours, or on my ipad instantaneously. What I’ll never understand is why miserable people spend their time hiding from reality, escaping into soul-sucking TV shows, when there’s endless resources available to give them the knowledge they need to reverse everything shitty in their life. I’m incredibly thankful that I started seeking out and utilizing this information before it was simply too late for me. Never stop soaking up knowledge. Life is too short to spend sitting in a cubicle, or laying on a couch, staring at a TV.
I’m not the happiest guy in the world. I’m certainly not the fittest, the richest, or the most well-connected. I fuck up, I get in bad moods, and I piss off people I care about. But when all is said and done, I’m doing things better than I ever have. I’m truly having a blast with life, and I intend on continuing to do so until I’m underground.