This winter has been a life changing experience for me. My internship, writing this blog, and reading many insightful books has really opened my eyes to a new light. I can’t believe how much I’ve changed in the past two months. Socially, I am completely different. I can approach people, maintain eye contact, and for the most part speak in an articulate manner without stuttering. My outlook on life has changed as well. I want to learn as much and accomplish as much as I possibly can with my life.
Here is a list of six epiphanies I’ve had this quarter that have changed my life.
The World Isn’t Going to Change Because You Want It To.
I’ve often walked through life thinking that I would do things different. I thought I would beat the system. That I could be shy and shallow and somehow gorgeous women would flock to me and start making out with no questions asked. I thought I could submit a couple of on-line resumes and get hired on the spot. I’m glad I found out sooner than later that the world doesn’t work that way. You get out of life what you put in it. The world isn’t going to change. Learn to live with it or die a bitter human being.
Don’t Seek Outside Approval. No One Cares.
Last year I had a huge problem with this. Mostly because a lot of good things happened to me and I wasn’t really accustomed to having good thing happen to me. This was especially bad when I got my new job. I gloated about it on Facebook almost every other status update while my former coworkers where still stuck in misery. When I got a new car I mentioned it to almost everyone I met. The same thing happened with my internship. “Look at me I’m writing in the paper.” Soon everything became about me. Facebook in general was just bad for me. I used to write a ton of jokes on there. I would receive tons of likes from them. This positive feedback was feeding my ego. It pretty much dictated how my day was going to go. If I wasn’t getting complemented in the real world or liked in cyberspace I would get depressed. I know it sounds pretty pathetic but that’s the way it was. The truth is no one really cares about your achievements except maybe your close friends and family. Truthfully no one is envious about my used car, my retail job, or the articles I wrote. What’s the author’s name of the last news article you read? That’s what I thought. I’m not saying it’s bad to celebrate good things that happen to you just don’t go overboard with it. Self-improvement should be for your own happiness. You shouldn’t fuel your happiness off other people’s approval.
Get Over The Spotlight Effect.
Shy guys and gals this one is for you. The spotlight effect is the tendency to believe that other people are paying closer attention to one’s appearance and behavior than they actually are. You wash your hands and you accidentally get water on your crouch. You then spend the next ten minutes pulling your shirt down in hopes no one will see. It can be even worse than that. For example, I wanted to go shopping at a nice clothing store because I desired to change my wardrobe but all I had were my crappy clothes. I was scared to death to enter the store. I was afraid that people would laugh because I didn’t look like them. It really got to the point where everything I did, everything I said, every action I made people were watching me and judging me.
In short, stop thinking that people care because they really don’t. Do you care if someone spilled their coffee? Are you going to laugh at them? Do you care that the person next to you in class wore the same shirt twice in one week? Do you care about what other people at the mall are doing, saying, wearing? No and they don’t care about you either. You are an extra in their life as they are an extra in yours. Think about this the next time you’re in a public setting. It will help.
Don’t Give a F**k.
I cannot stress this enough. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things you should give a f**k about. Just stop caring about the little insignificant things. Stop caring what people say/think about you and most importantly stop over-analyzing everything. If you want to say something don’t wait for it to pass through the Senate and the House in your brain. Just say it. If you sound stupid don’t worry about it. Chances are the person you were talking was so worried about what they were going to say they didn’t even hear you. Don’t dwell on the conversation later that night. Don’t let the small things ruin your day.
This message gets pelted into people’s heads on a daily basis that I think we’ve kind of ignored it but it’s so true. It’s a shame that many people never really realize this. People can see when you are being someone else. I have this weird problem whenever I watch a movie or a T.V. show I start acting like one of the characters. Why I have no idea. Maybe because I think they are cooler than me and if I act like them I will be cool. I will act like them, talk like them, have the same facial expressions, etc. This fails miserably every time I do it. When I act the way I want to everything is better. There are fake people everywhere. Life is too short to live someone else’s life (unless you’re an actor of course).
It Isn’t About How You Fail. It’s About How You Respond Afterwards.
“I’ve often said that man’s character is not judged after he celebrates a victory but by what he does when his back is against the wall.” -John Cena
This winter has changed me a lot but I can’t say that it would’ve happened if everything went according as planned. I hyped up this winter so much. I thought this would be the quarter that I would make new friends and my social life would finally balloon. I thought my friend and I would get back into lifting and I could make some gains. This didn’t happen. I continued to be the same shy guy I always was. I was really disappointed with my first few articles because I was too worried about my social anxiety and talking to sources rather than focusing on what they had to say. My friend was so swamped with schoolwork that I couldn’t go over to his place to life. It basically resulted in me spending five days out of my week at home, alone doing nothing. If it was former pre-2011 self I would’ve got depressed and spent the entire time video games. Instead I took advantage of my solitude. I started a blog. I started reading…a lot. I became a sponge absorbing all the information I could get. I worked on improving the quality of my articles. I started lifting at school and my house instead. Sure it wasn’t the same but it was better than not lifting at all. Now I’m stronger, smarter, and more inspired than ever. It may be hard but always try to make a positive out of something negative. Don’t give in to it.
I just wanted to say thank you for everyone that has read/commented/liked my blog. Writing this has helped me grow a lot. Mostly it has helped me enforce that I am practicing what I preach. I hope it has helped you as well. Good luck to all of you with your dreams and goals.