You can do better than that.
If you?re not intentional about your own life, chances are you will be wasting your fucking time.
I honestly believe that. And it?s a huge problem.
But I can help you (no, really!).
This is important.
It just takes 10 minutes to read this (I know: ?whaaaaaat, get outta here! I don?t have that time, I?m super lazy? ? erm I mean busy!).
Yeah okay. Just do it. It?s worth it. And I also talk about fucking a lot (don?t be offended by it, it?s just a word).
Also, this might change your life (I know, I?m being presumptuous ? but fuck it, it?s true).
Don?t Be A Sucker
Look, winning at life can mean a gazillion different things.
And although I believe that it?s similar things and experiences for all of us that ultimately bring about happiness and fulfillment, our paths to achieving or creating those things and experiences can look very different.
I don?t want to tell you how your path should look like. I mean, I can?t, even if I wanted to (I don?t).
However, I do want to tell you this:
If you don?t live your life proactively and with intention, you?ll waste much of it. You?ll lose. You?ll be a sucker.
Even if it sounds good, sitting around and ?just letting life happen? is a bad idea.
Unless, of course, things will just miraculously go your way? Which is, well, kind of dumb to expect.
Don?t be that guy.
You Can Be In Control Without Controlling Everything
Living life with intention means merely to become the leading agent of your own life.
It means to determine the trajectory you are putting yourself onto.
It means to be mindful of how you are spending your time (and thus not wasting it on dumb shit).
It means to create an environment in which you can strive and prosper and consistently grow as a person.
Living life with intention does not mean trying to control everything around you (which would be stupid because it?s impossible). It instead means dealing with shit properly.
It does not mean to rationally reflect on everything you?re doing. It instead means being mindful about and fully immersing into your experiences.
But it also means designing your life such that you will get more of those experiences that are actually worth it and less of those that are just superficial bullshit.
Fully immerse in experiences. But make sure they actually matter to YOU.
How The Fuck Do I Live More Intentionally?
Now, that is the big question. Obviously. (You don?t have to curse to get an answer, but it makes it more dramatic.)
Honestly, I?m trying to figure that out myself. But I have a theory. Or better, a way of thinking about this.
Allow me to share it with you (you are deep into this piece already anyway, so why stop now?!):
Five big pillars carry your ability to live life in an intentional way, and in a way that allows you to seize the time you have on this planet most effectively (whatever that means for you).
Let me break it down briefly. (Keep reading, now comes the ?changing your life? part):
These five pillars are:1. Understanding the world.2. Understanding yourself.3. Establishing the right routines.4. Cultivating inspiration & motivation.5. Creating a supportive environment.
Re. 1 ? Understanding The World
You don?t have to be interested in quantum mechanics (although I think you should be because it?s fucking awesome).
However, you shouldn?t dwell in your ignorance too much.
Because if you don?t have a kind of accurate model of how the world and the people in it function, you?ll get fucked.
Fucked by smart marketing people selling you shit you don?t need or even want.Fucked by the food industry making you fat and sick.Fucked by organizations making you believe what they want (often stupid bullshit).Fucked by social media and television stealing your time while making you dull, numb and ignorant.Fucked by the news convincing you that the world is worse than it is, making you cynical and depressed.
Wow, those are a lot of fucks. I just bought my one-way ticket to hell, didn?t I?
I?ll take the risk.
Okay, in all seriousness, if you don?t want to get gangbanged by all of the different agents around you, you better understand the various incentives making people, organizations, and institutions do what they do.
You better understand how you can be and are being manipulated.
You better understand the fundamental principles that constitute our living together, as well as what actually is and isn?t true (because you do have to make an effort to find that one out).
How would you otherwise know what?s possible for you? How would you otherwise know how to navigate the world such that it makes you happy and fulfilled?
You wouldn?t. Period.
This is you without a good understanding of how the world works.
Re. 2 ? Understanding Yourself
Most likely, you will never fully understand yourself. That?s a bummer.
However, you can gain deep insight into what your real desires, dreams, motivations, needs, goals, aspirations, (insert buzzword) actually are.
You can understand a lot about what actually makes you happy. And what doesn?t.
And you can learn an awful lot about how you function most effectively without making errors in judgment and choice all the fucking time (which, sadly, is the default for most of us).
In short, you can gain a good understanding of what to chase and what to leave behind, what to focus on and what to ignore, what to seek and what to avoid ? to get what YOU want out of life.
If you don?t understand yourself in that way, you will be nothing but a pawn in the hands of the agents around you.
A puppet whose strings are being pulled by whatever our environments give birth to. False ideals, meaningless goals, intrusive triggers for dumb behavior, hollow values. All of that. And more.
So if you want to live your life in a way that is meaningful to YOU, you better learn what that means (again, not something you should take as a given).
?I found myself sitting on a rock, staring at the stars?, said no one ever. It?s work, and often it?s uncomfortable.
Re. 3 ? Establishing The Right Routines
What is the most active factor impacting your life? God, obviously.
Okay, not really (no offense).
The number one thing that defines your life and where it will lead is what you do consistently.
It?s not what you think you should do, or what you want to do, or what others do ? it?s what you actually do. It?s YOUR actions.
Now, there?s a reason why you so often hear that routines are extremely powerful.
A routine is you doing something consistently. And that can have a powerful positive influence on how your life will unfold. Assuming, of course, you don?t have an a-bar-of-chocolate-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away routine.
The interesting thing about routines is that once you have established them, it isn?t that tough to keep them up anymore. They will actually free up some mental energy.
This allows you to then add more and more routines and habits over time (good ones, preferably ? not the chocolate-ish ones).
Not a good routine.
Until a routine sticks, however, it often is hard work. Just think about exercising regularly, eating properly, or reading daily.
So you kind of have to consistently work for it until it works for you consistently.
Mostly, you want to build routines that will make and keep you fit and healthy, both physically and mentally (think about training & nutrition).
Routines that make it easy for you to learn about the world (think about reading), and that provide a tool for your understanding of yourself better (think about meditation, journaling, etc.).
You also want to build routine-like behaviors that make your life more enjoyable and full of positive experiences (think about asking good questions, being open to different perspectives, being kind to others, etc.).
Re. 4 ? Cultivating Inspiration & Motivation
If you?re not inspired, you won?t have direction.If you?re not motivated, you won?t get going.
It?s that simple.
Now, neither inspiration nor motivation is this mysterious feeling that just randomly pops into existence.
I mean, that happens. But you shouldn?t rely on it too much.
The good thing is, YOU can trigger it. And you should try to do that frequently.
As a disclaimer, I?m not an authority on semantics and thus can?t claim my use of the terms ?inspiration? and ?motivation? is correct (actually, I know it?s not really correct). But I don?t care. I think it?s useful.
We are not entirely rational beings (which is probably an understatement). As humans, we are being driven by our emotions all day long ? if we like it or not.
And although I think it?s super important and valuable to learn how not to fall prey to our emotions and let go of them if necessary (which is not the same as controlling them, because that is impossible), it is evident to me that our inner drives can be potent fuel. Fuel to do cool shit.
I?m sure you know how it feels to be pulled towards an idea, towards an image of how the world could look like and how you contribute to it. This feeling of seeing openly in front of you what kind of reality would be awesome to have. In the micro or the macro. For you, for someone else, or for all of us.
I?m also sure you know how it feels to be pushed by an inexplicable force to take action. To get going. To get out. To create. To do something that has an impact. In the micro or the macro. On you, on someone else, or on all of us.
Now, how do we get inspired and motivated?
Well, usually it?s by exposing ourselves to some kind of mental stimulation.
To ideas and thoughts, to novel perspectives, to interesting people and stories, even to good arguments.
And it?s by observing others doing something that?s cool or impressive.
I?m sure he watched some training videos before he put on his Superman tank.
What keeps you from proactively seeking those impulses?
What keeps you from regularly exposing yourself to different people with different ideas? From visiting new places? From watching others do cool shit? From listening to people talk passionately about what inspires them? From reading about how others see the world (just as you are doing right now!)?
Exactly. The only thing keeping you from that is your fucking laziness (which I understand, it?s hard for me too).
Honestly, though, just read books on random subjects, watch inspirational videos and listen to motivational speakers on YouTube, travel to new places, go to events, engage in discussions with different people.
Cultivating your exposure to triggers that can mentally and emotionally stimulate you, is a powerful life hack.
Just apply it.
Re. 5 ? Creating A Supportive Environment
?If you don?t create and control your environment, your environment will create and control you.? ? Benjamin Hardy
Our environments might be the most active factor influencing what we do on a daily basis.
They are so intrusive and addictive, so filled with triggers, that we barely can withstand them. Our willpower is not enough.
As individuals, we are too fucking weak to resist the structures of triggers and messages around us.
We are too fucking weak to constantly and fully resist the temptations of immediate pleasures, of meaningless sensationalism, of shallow entertainment.
That?s a fact.
Oh, and people. Don?t forget people.
?You are becoming the average of the five people you spent the most time with,? Jim Rohn once said.
Well, I don?t know how accurate that number is, but one thing I do know: The more you surround yourself with negative, cynical, stupid and lazy pricks, the more you?ll become a negative, cynical, stupid and lazy prick yourself.
If you surround yourself with teddybears a lot, you probably won?t become a cynical asshole.
Much of what our environment consists of has been more or less intentionally designed to make you think, feel and behave in a certain way, a way that often doesn?t benefit you.
Designed to make you believe in superficial ideals, to crave new shit, to lust for certain foods, to opt for quick entertainment, and to focus on things that actually don?t fucking matter.
As I said above,
if you?re blind to this, you?ll be gangbanged by all of the influences around you.
And it?s not fun.
However, you don?t have to succumb to either the viciousness of modern environments or the stupidity and negativity of the people in it.
Step one is to understand how influential your environment is.
Step two is to acknowledge that your default environment is full of triggers that come in all shapes and forms and that have been designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to manipulate you.
This is you if you don?t pay attention.
This might sound like a conspiracy theory, but it?s the truth. And you know it. Just don?t be so damn ignorant.
Step three is to consciously construct and shape your own environment such that you are less being acted upon and, instead, can act in a way that allows you to get more of what you want out of life.
This requires you to, for example, intentionally choose which media content to consume (regular TV is rarely the answer), what to have and not have in your house (hint: a whole cupboard full of snacks falls into the latter category), which people to seek and to avoid in your life (which is hard and sometimes painful).
You will probably never be able to circumvent negative environmental influences fully or to completely avoid giving in to powerful forces trying to fuck you in one way or the other.
The secret lies in creating your own positive and supportive default environment of stimuli and people and, then, trying to get fucked only a little here and there.
Alright, that was a long one. Did this change your life already?
Not yet? Okay, sorry for the false promise.
But it?s your turn now to take those ideas and perspectives and see how they apply to your life.
Which is hard, and painful, and annoying, I know. But it?s also necessary (and I?ll help you with that with my future content).
Just do it. Don?t be a sucker.
Call to action update
? 1. I?ll publish my first e-book (it?s called ?You?) on February 7, 2020. I?m proud!
? 2. Every Thursday, I?m sharing one insight that doesn?t take longer than 35 seconds to read. I call it Thursday?s ThirtyFive.
If you head over to philhagspiel.com/you, you will get to see the nice design of my ebook (which I?ve been unexpectedly complimented for a lot) plus you can get on my list which will give you access to the exclusive launch offer when ?You? comes out aaaaand you?ll receive my weekly Thursday?s ThirtyFive note.