Is my life the right life for me?
All around me I see my friends doing lots of cool things, meeting cool people, having success with their endeavors. But here I am and I can hardly get out of bed. I have my own passions, and on good days I have success with them, accomplishing something. But on bad days when I see my friends and even people I don’t know being successful, I get so jealous. I know I’ll never be as good as them. I’ll never be as happy as them. Then I begin to question, am I even doing the right things with my life? I know that I try hard and keep moving forward in my own way with my own passions, but all of a sudden they evaporate and I lose all of my self confidence. Instead of pushing forward with my own things, I constantly get distracted and have to analyze and re-analyze at what point in my life did I screw up. I know that I wouldn’t even enjoy doing the things that my friends do (such as acting) but when I see that it brings them joy and that they are successful with it, I question whether or not I was supposed to do that, if I should be doing that, if it’s too late to turn back and do those things so that I can feel fulfilled like they are. I see that at the root, I just want to feel happy and accomplished, but I get distracted about how they got there, rather than accepting the fact that I can be successful in my own right, doing my own things. Sometimes I see famous people and think, maybe if I was famous I would be happy. Totally neglecting all the bad things that come along with that. Or if i was in a relationship. But those thoughts are enough to throw me off course and keep me stuck in bed. All I want is to feel accepted, and like I’m worth something, but those feelings just seem lost to me.
Find out what gives you joy.
Also, we ALL compare ourselves to others in some fashion. But then even if we do, then we should learn lessons from what others do, and not be and/or copy them. We are all different, I can’t play football like Ronaldo, meh, I don’t give a shit, I can probably do many things he cannot.
I feel you on this one. This is what I wrote in my journal this morning. So I have decided to spend the day being productive, even in little ways. But here I am on the internet again…oops. Bye now.
“I spend so much time reading and consuming, I might as well be dead.
Why am I here? Just to exist and meaninglessly fight for resources to feed myself, my ego, and my own agenda?
What right do I have to fight for anything?
What right do I have to spend 3 hours every morning reading about how to live instead of just living?
Who am I to sit back and enjoy what everyone else is producing, without sharing any of my own thoughts and work with anyone?
Who am I to sit?
Who am I?
I’ve had this revelation for years and nothing has changed. The older I get, the less I create, the more I lie in bed with my laptop.
A generation with one enormous giant to fight every day….the monster of distraction.
From every direction we are ambushed by the chilly comfort of consumption.
I open my laptop to write and instead I end up automatically opening my web browser, reading and reading. I read how to conquer life instead of taking the small steps that I have read a million times to actually do it. I feel like I’m being productive because I read High Existence and Life Hacker instead of Cracked, but I might as well just be laughing.
I am rolling in my own defeat.
The world around me is created by other people. Why am I on this side?
I know I am paralyzed by my own insecurity and ideas of worthlessness. What do I have to contribute?
I am terrified of putting myself out there. A ridiculous terror since I am so small in the grand scheme of things. When will this end? When will I learn not to be so lazy?
Now, damnit, now. “
You don’t have to be anybody to exist. You have the “right” to exist regardless of your conditions. I think a lot of imaginative, curious, idealistic types interested in self-development are paralyzed mostly by perfectionism. That is the case for me. The space between the vision and the effort has to be settled into.
And you have to detach from the vision as well… playful practice. Imagination is for art and sharing. It doesn’t have to come true.
Also, the more internet the more disconnected non-internet feels and then why bother if life seems to happen through a screen. I think it just has to be pushed through…
I feel like you as a person have to redefine what success is to you. And its not just you but so much of society. Once you find out what you love doing you just have to put everything you can into it. Opportunities will rise and eventually you will figure out your meaning and what you want to do with your life. But comparing yourselves to others isn’t the right way to start. Let say that at heart you are a scientist or engineer and one of your friends is an up and coming actor. Why would you let it discourage you that he achieves his goals before you? He is most likely portraying some character who isn’t real in some fake reality that he will eventually get stuck in. For you comparing your life to someone else isn’t going to help the situation, you will eventually stumble on to something you love and when you do don’t hesitate to take it. If there is one thing I’ve learned from growing up in an upper-middleclass home where both of my parents hate their jobs, its that I need to find something you love. Aside from the rest of that stuff we live in a world today where you can make money from anything wether it be posting youtube videos, playing games, working out, having a famous twitter account….the list goes on. The key is hard work and persistence.
You focus on others far too much. You need to accept who you are, identify your qualities and try and change the things you dislike about you as a person. Don’t worry about others accepting you, be happy and live the life you want and you’ll find people who think the world of you.
I experienced everything you just mentioned above. to be honest, sometimes I still feel jealousy towards others’ great achievements. of course, who doesn’t want to achieve something? but think about it, between achieving something that you are proud of, that you have always wanted to achieve, that you have put literally all your effort and sweat into achieving it & achieving something that is meaningless to you but is something that others have always wanted, which one would you choose?
let me quote a phrase from The Master Key System by Charles Haanel, “Harmony in the world within means the ability to control our thoughts, and to determine for ourselves how any experience is to affect us.” master the world within and you will master the world without as the world without comes from the world within. you are not happy with your experience of not having accomplished anything while your buddies are living their successful lives because you are feeling jealousy towards your experience. something for you to contemplate on is why don’t you spend your time focusing on finding opportunities to accomplish something instead of spending your time feeling miserable about how much others have accomplished?
I used to think that being in a relationship is equivalent to being happy because all my friends were all in a relationship while I was the only single one who got to hear “you will find someone soon.” every time so I desperately settle down with any girl who wants to date me. so of course, I was not happy at all because we aren’t feeling anything mutual. she likes screamo music while I like chillout and instrumental. she likes to party while I like to stay-in and chill on the couch. guess what? I am now so much happier being single and I will only settle for someone who gives 2 fucks about me. at the moment, I shall just date myself and treat myself like I’m the only girl in the world.
one last thing, giving yourself self-love isn’t selfish. let yourself explore and do what you like. may your life be filled with success, love and good health (:
Your life is what YOU make it. If you aren’t happy with the life your living, it’s YOUR fault, and only YOU can change it. Period.
Alright bro, I’ll be blunt because you know the answers.
STOP. GIVING. A. FLYING. FUCK. ABOUT. WHAT. OTHERS. HAVE.
STICK. WITH. SOMETHING. OR. YOU’LL. NEVER. BE. GOOD. AT. IT.
Now I command you too look in the mirror every morning and say that.
You’re never going to get anywhere being jealous of what others have. You’re not in any form of competition with them. The only competition you’re in is with yourself to get over those feelings you know are dumb that are holding you back from accomplishing anything. Some people are going to not have to work as hard to get shit in their life, but don’t let it put you off. Role up your sleeves, put on some coffee and get shit done. You might not be conventionally successful, but you’ll have something to put your name behind and that’s what matters.
“All I want is to feel accepted, and like I’m worth something…”
This is a big problem for creative types (myself included) and I think it is the root of a lot of your angst. It may help you to study other successful, creative people. Not a short article that sings their praises, but a longer form like a book or movie that gets into their struggle.
There’s a fantasy we all carry around that has to do with hindsight. Once you’ve accomplished something, it’s easy to look back and assume it was inevitable. But when you’re in the middle of it, with no-one understanding or believing in what you’re trying to do, and feeling like you’re not even any good at it, and what’s the point anyway…it’s damn near impossible to have the confidence and perseverance to get through it.
Fortunately, there’s failure. I know, it sounds counter-intuitive, but failure is helpful. Failure is better than quitting or procrastination or fear or intimidation. Failure means that you have completed version 1.0 and you’re ready to try again, using what you’ve learned from the first attempt. I have a rule for myself: anything I’m doing for the first time, I assume that it will take at least one full, dedicated practice run to fail and iron out the kinks.
The other issue is related, and it’s more of a long-term thing. Ira Glass talks about the “gap.” It’s the space between what you know is good and what you’re able to accomplish at the moment. And it sucks. That’s where most people quit. You know you’re not good enough, so you give up or try something else. The only way through that awkward period is to do a lot of work. If you’re a painter, paint a lot of paintings. Photographer? Take a lot of photographs. Programmer? Write a lot of scripts.
Poet laureate Billy Collins says we’re all born with 200 bad poems in us. The point is to write them down and get them out of the way so you can start writing good ones…
It takes years of dedicated work in one vein to become good enough at something that other people will appreciate it, there will be a market for it, and you’ll be satisfied with it. In the meantime, you have to put up with a lot of disappointment and frustration and hard work and discovery.
I suggest creating a structure for yourself: go to school, join a local (filmmaking, writing, pottery, whatever) group that meets every week to share work updates and give criticism and network. Take an online course. Enter contests and festivals. Give yourself deadlines. Collaborate with other people to keep each other on task.
Floating around on your own as a nascent creative person and hoping to dedicate yourself to your task enough to get really good is not realistic. It’s nearly impossible. Everyone needs structure and support while they grow and develop their work. Create that safe space for yourself and you will grow into the role you want to. In the meantime, work as a bartender, live with your parents, live on an ashram, whatever. Just have a roof and food and enough time and mental energy to work on your stuff, and make that structure, that schedule for yourself so you HAVE to show up – class, meeting, deadline, collaborators, etc.
Good luck. No one said it would be easy.
Actually, I retract my earlier comments.
Look, bud. The world isn’t a fair place. Others merely have better talents, more connections, power and luck than you do.
You have all your answers, you just need to remember them when you’re stuck in bed.
“I have my own passions, and on good days I have success with them, accomplishing something.”
Just keep doing that, keep focusing on that. :) It’ll be hard at first, but be stern with yourself, remember your passions, and before you know it, being joyful will come naturally :)