The Best of Times and the Worst of Times

I want to talk about how I recently flip-flopped on an issue that I had held strongly for many years.  I used to get upset with people who complain about their lives or their problems in general.  I would declare that we live in the best time in all of human history, and have it amazing compared to generations past. Running water, anesthetics, literally all of human knowledge in our pockets – we indeed live in an amazing time.  I used to compare how humans used to have to plow the field all day and pray the crops would survive so they could feed themselves.  People toiled all day to barely survive.  Before that, in the medieval days, people couldn’t even own land/real estate.  It all belonged to the king. There was no way you would ever get rich unless you were born into it.

I would compare our modern day “paradise” to those difficult days and get pissed about how anyone could complain about their lives.  Even poor people in the US can get food stamps to survive, section 8 housing assistance, and still have modern day comforts.  Why are these people unhappy and complaining?  Why why why?? I would ask myself and get upset over this and feel right on this issue.

I recently “flip-flopped” on this issue and feel that we actually live in a very difficult era, just difficult in a different way. Instead of struggling to survive, people are struggling to find purpose in their lives. Surviving is quite basic, similar to animals. Finding meaning and purpose and achieving self-actualization; these are more advanced tasks that require significantly more effort and brain power.

The problem is most people are average.  Think back to stats in college at the standard bell curve. The vast majority are quite ordinary people, yet we now have the ability to see the absolute best humanity has to offer.  Just browse around on Youtube and you can find incredible musicians, people who engage in extreme sports, and the pinnacle of human achievement. You can find amazing artists and people making a huge impact on the world. Then you do what everyone does, you compare. You say I’ll never be able to accomplish even a fraction of what these amazing people have done, and you shut down.

It’s not just the best of the best, it’s also your peers and people you grew up with. Facebook is a true double edged sword in that it is can be an awesome tool for staying connected and a platform to lead by example. It can also be a very depressing place because everyone is putting their best versions of themselves on there, and again we compare. We tend to measure ourselves against those around us, and if we are falling behind or not achieving as much, it will bring us down.

There is so much distraction in the modern world; endless entertainment – access to every TV show, movie, music, ever created.  Video games, junk food, modern day comforts and a society that demands everything at a moments notice.  What people have forgotten is the process.  It takes a lot of time and effort to become good at something. People tend to forget this in our instant everything world and will give up when they don’t see immediate results. We all want everything right now, whether that is the miracle diet pill, get rich quick scheme, or perfect relationship.

This deux ex machina event is very unlikely to happen, and even when it does, we throw it away. Look at past lottery winners and most of them have pissed away millions of dollars in an extremely short time. Find that perfect partner without accepting yourself, and you will quickly alienate them as you will feel there must be something wrong with them for being attracted to you, when you don’t accept yourself completely or put in the work to be a person of value.

So with all this going on around us, most people are just stuck. Whether that is analysis paralysis in trying to find their “passion” (when many studies have shown that passion only comes AFTER proficiency at something – check out Cal Newport’s writings) fear of failure, or just plain laziness and being too comfortable living in mom’s basement, I have indeed changed my mindset on this issue.  Nowadays people have it way harder than in the past.  Those were “simple” times. Keep your nose down, get the work done and don’t question authority. Nowadays people have endless options for what to do with their lives and access to all of human knowledge to achieve it. So if people have all the information and generally want to make something of themselves, why do most people fail to achieve their hopes and dreams?

A big part is, like I mentioned earlier, fear. Albeit irrational fear, but we are conditioned at a young age that failure is a bad thing, when we should be seeing it as a learning experience. Another big part of it is people don’t realize that it takes time to learn a skill, improve yourself, or change your mindset. It’s the little actions everyday that add up to the final product years later. If people were to read just 10 pages a day of a life-changing book, after 1 year that would be 3650 pages. That would likely be over 10 books of life-changing, reality-shattering, mind-blowing information. 10 pages a day. That is NOTHING. Yet most won’t do it. It’s the little things daily and creating good habits that will help people get on the path of achieving their goals.  There is no instant result for this in our current society who worships getting everything now now now.


I have made a goal to write way more often and just want to improve my writing in general as well as get into the habit of writing.  I’m shooting for 25 min per day minimum and also plan on incorporating the Pomodoro method into my life to increase my productivity.  I’m not sure how I will have enough topics to write about, but I am planning to pump them out, whatever topic they may be.  I understand the articles may be a bit unorganized and scatterbrained, but since I am just writing on the fly, I hope I can maintain some sort of structure.

Today I wanted to talk about worthiness.  I honestly feel that a lot of people do not meet various goals in their lives because they feel unworthy of achieving them.  Let’s start with one of the biggest desires and wants people have – the desire for more money.  Ask literally anyone on the street if they’d accept 100k right there on the spot with no strings attached, and I’d say everyone would say yes.

The problem is that while pretty much everyone wants more money, they couldn’t handle a large sum like that and would most likely spend it.  Deep down they would feel unworthy and undeserving of the money, and would spend it all to return to homeostasis.  Generally speaking, the more money you have, the more VALUE you have provided to the world.  Simply looking at jobs, there’s a reason why doctors and engineers make more money than cashiers and floor sweepers – they are providing a more valuable skill to the world and are thus worthy of greater compensation.  The same can be said about the richest people in the world.  They have provided a valuable product or service that has helped millions of people in some way.  Whether that’s writing books about a teenage wizard, developing a software company, or creating a social platform online; these billionaires are worthy of their riches.  They have given an insane amount of value to millions upon millions of people the world over.

Do you think the cashier who lives in mom’s basement and plays games all day feels truly worthy and deserving of a large sum of money?  Even if he were to win the lottery, do you think he would be able to hold on to, or even increase his winnings?  Highly doubtful as he would not feel worthy of the money and would do whatever means necessary (spend it) to revert back to the status quo.

The same can be said about relationships.  Let’s say you are someone who is very socially anxious, and has never had a girlfriend.  Again, you stay in your parents basement playing games day and night, are extremely overweight and are mildly depressed. Let’s say an amazing person somehow drops into your lap, is drop-dead gorgeous, fun to be around, amazing personality, the total package, and this person falls madly in love with you.  Even if you go along with it at first, eventually you would think to yourself, “why does this person love me?” You would begin to question their love because you would feel unworthy of it.  You have nothing to offer them.  Nothing of value.  You would eventually either directly or sub-consciously sabotage the relationship because you would feel unworthy of this person.

Most people want to blame someone or something else for their problems.  They blame their parents, society, the government, the media, being bullied or abused at a young age, growing up poor, and on and on.  While most people do have some skeletons in the closet, the key is total acceptance

When it comes to feeling worthy of any of our wants and desires, we must first and foremost be completely accepting of ourselves.  If we do not love ourselves fully and without reservation, how can we expect anyone else to do likewise? Even if you are not your ideal self now, you must be fully accepting of who you are, where you are in life, and have a positive vision of your life for the future. You must let go of the past and accept where you are in this present moment.  Just by making the decision to take full responsibility of your life situation, you will be in the position to better your life.

I know it’s way easier said than done. It’s incredibly difficult to get over your personal issues and most people never fully will. The thing you need to understand is that you are worthy of love, if you can come to love yourself. Striving to be the best version of yourself will put you in a better mindset to feel worthy of accepting all the things you want in life.  For people to achieve the goals in their lives, a huge part of that is having the proper mindset in order to do so.  Mindset is key.  Having the right mindset can pull you from your bootstraps out of a life of misery, but that is a deeper topic for another day.

TAN: For now, just get in the habit of practicing daily affirmations.  Look into the mirror and tell yourself, “I am worthy of love, and I accept myself where I am at completely.”  I know it sounds a bit silly, but by doing this you will start to change the negative thought patterns that go through your head.  What we tell ourselves whether out loud or in our heads is incredibly important.  The universe is completely unbiased; whether you fill your subconscious with positive or negative thoughts, they will literally create the reality you live in and I have seen it in my own life and others directly. This is not some new age frou frou crap. This is a fact and I can point to countless real-life examples. Your thoughts are incredibly powerful.  Once you begin to shift your mindset, you will get to the point will you will feel worthy of receiving your greatest desires.  And you will attract them into your life.