I Don’t Know What To Do

confused

When I sit down with myself to have moments of reflection, I often think back to the times in my life that were a horrible shitstorm.

For me personally, 18-28 has been an unbelievably intense journey. It’s like, at times, I have to check myself and remember that I am in fact 28 years old. In fact, some times I feel like I’m 90. But, those intense journeys and experiences I’ve gone through in the past decade have often times found me in a situation where a familiar thought and feeling would occasionally creep into my mind:

“I don’t know what to do.”

Even now, I often find myself in situations where I just don’t know what to do. Maybe I’m starting a new project, or trying to write pages for my book, or create a piece of work for someone that will somehow help take them to the next level. It’s like the feeling you get when you imagine yourself holding onto the edge of a cliff with one hand, and your fingers are slowly slipping off.

“I don’t know what to do.”

A few years ago, I crashed out one night emotionally, so I drove down to the beach and just parked at a dead end where I stared at the water for over 2 hours. Things were really tough. I had just broken up with my girlfriend, and my business was going nowhere really fast.

“I don’t know what to do.”

Maybe you’re on the cusp of something amazing; some kind of breakthrough that you’ve been waiting your whole life for. And, because it’s so close within your reach, you feel that incredible sense of fear that comes over you when you realize that you’re this close to getting what you’ve always wanted.

“I don’t know what to do.”

Maybe you’re in a situation where a life-changing decision has to be made, such as switching majors in school. Or, dropping out of school altogether. Leaving your current job in order to find something better. Leaving your career behind in order to find something you actually and truly love. Going on a diet. Making a lifestyle change. Picking which book to buy at the bookstore. Figuring out which color paint looks best in your new home.

“I don’t know what to do.”

The funny thing about this statement is….we don’t always have to say it. It’s a feeling, or something that takes us over automatically.

No matter the challenge, no matter the size, they all have one thing in common with each other, regardless of who they belong to:

There’s a way to overcome them.

How?

Maybe like this:

1) See your problems as they are, but not worse than they are.

A garden with weeds is a garden with a weed problem. That’s it. No more, no less. We can’t sit, close our eyes, and say to ourselves, “My garden has no weeds! My garden has no weeds! MY GARDEN HAS NO WEEDS!” and just expect the weeds to go away. That’s not how things work. We have to put on our gloves, get in the dirt, face the weeds, and yank them out one by one.

Our life is our garden, and from time to time, it gets infested with “weeds” that we have to try and eradicate. Go get your gloves, get in the dirt, and eradicate those motherfuckers.

Don’t take the fact that your garden is infested with weeds as a sign that you’re a terrible gardener, or that your garden is a goner.

Just because you’re experiencing heartache or failure doesn’t mean that you’re a worthless person and a loser who should just give up. It doesn’t have to mean that you don’t have any talent, lack all ability, or that you’ll never be able to succeed at whatever it is that you’ve got your heart set on.

Just go get your gloves, get in the dirt, and eradicate the weeds.

In the end, you’ll be stronger. You’ll have faced a challenge and won it out. Confidence gets boosted. You’ll have gained a little bit more experience, seen where some of your shortcomings are, and realized what areas of your self/career/life that you need to improve and sort out. That’s inspiring, and it means you’re now one less step away from achieving what you’ve got your sights set on.

2) Believe to the core that there is always an answer, and then become obsessed with finding it. 

One of the most dangerous things a person can fall victim to is learned helplessness, this sense that every problem in your life, and every challenge you’re going to face, doesn’t have an answer, and your problems are permanent.

They aren’t.

There’s always an answer. There’s always a way. During the darkest moments, it’s really hard to see the answer, because the darkness is so dark and the dread feels too deep. But, there is a way. Life improves and happiness happens when you choose to stop the rot, face our problems, and genuinely desire to find an answer and a way out. I know that’s easier said than done, trust me. But, so is everything else in life. Nothing is ever easier done than said. So, that means we have a choice.

“Do I want to worry about this? And, if so, will that help my situation?” Or, we can say, “I choose to look forward. I don’t like feeling this way. I don’t accept this. There is a way out.”

When we experience these kinds of pain, we have a choice. Do we focus on the problems, and bring about more problems, or do we focus on the solutions?

I know which one I’d rather believe in.

3) Take comfort in knowing that being alive means there are always going to be times when you suffer.

It’s inevitable, isn’t it? I’ve yet to see a single person in the history of human existence who led a life that doesn’t involve some kind of suffering. In fact, Buddhists believe that suffering begins the day we’re born, because the second we’re born, we begin our journey towards death. That doesn’t have to be something we get depressed about. The opposite, in fact. It should be a rousing and inspiring realization that shows us that our time is limited, and that we can’t afford to waste even a single moment on emotions that makes us sick, thoughts that make us lost, and people/jobs/relationships/moments that pull us down and tie us down to fear. Do don’t that. You’re wasting time. Do you really want to spend your precious gifts of time on things that make you feel like shit? Make the choice.

When we really understand that suffering will always happen at some time in life, that it will always rear it’s ugly head from time to time, we no longer have to feel like life is torturing us, and that we’re somehow a victim, because we know that everyone is experiencing the same sufferings and the same pains. We’re not alone. No one is.

“I don’t know what to do.”

It’s a signal. It means something is off. Something needs changing. Something needs to be sought after, chased down, or tackled. Whatever it is, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. That will happen when the aliens come to earth to start abducting us, or vaporizing us with their laser photon pistols.

Now that’s a challenge worth getting inspired over.

 

 

 

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