Keeping yourself up to your expectations
Whoever coined the term self-respect has obviously never had any self-doubt, and I’m sure as hell that I’m going to get lambasted merely for thinking this, let alone letting it run wild out there in the free world.
The thing with self-respect is that you should know and appreciate your internal values and that you should never give in to doubting yourself — that whole ‘fake-it-till-you-make-it’ attitude that seems to plague the whole world.
I admit I’ve used that same phrase to motivate myself and others, and I’m no stranger to its powers. But is it truly wise to be using that phrase, when we could use the phrase ‘you suck and you’ll keep on sucking, but after a while you won’t suck anymore?’
I know, I know. It’s not very considerate of me to tell anybody in the face that they suck. And truth is, I don’t often tell others that they suck, even when they do. But I’m sick and tired of the whole go-getter attitude being advised in situations where you especially have to be told that you suck. And how on earth could you stop sucking when you have no fucking idea that you suck?
Here comes the rest of society, feeding the brains of the inept with praise for a job well done on mere participating. And sure, I admit that it’s good sportsmanship. But consider this. In most of the cases praise is given for anything. And I do mean anything. How in hell am I going to improve if you lick my balls for every stupid little thing I do? If I wanted to get a ‘good job!’ everytime I wrote something, I’d write only for my mother. But also, consider this. If I wrote something and I had no idea about the differences between then and than, would you tell me straight in the face? Odds are, you wouldn’t.
People are social creatures, but as true as that is, we mostly rely on pointless interaction. I know I won’t explain to somebody the difference between then and than unless it’s part of my job or it’s an obligation. That’s the case with most people, and it’s understandable. Nobody wants to get in a shitty argument that’s just a time-sink. And since nobody wants to lose precious time, they’ll just give a stupid little compliment just to get rid of you, pass along an uninspired fake quote to prove they’re smart too, and run along to their busy little lives.
Now what happened? Nobody gained anything substantial. Instead of receiving the cold truth that they didn’t like your work or didn’t even get to see it because they’re selfish — you got praise. Hooray for you, you got your ego inflated. Well, I got news for you. Not even your friends see your stuff. You still suck, and you’ll keep on sucking for a while. You better expect the situation to stay the same. Don’t lie to yourself.
Why am I saying this? Of course this is not constructive criticism. Almost nobody has time for that. What I’m trying to imply is that instead of being filled with some fake notion of self-respect or courage, you should more often-than-not be filled with thoughts of doubt. Always doubting is good. Doubting everything is not. Because who wants to end up a paranoid person who’s always afraid of their own shadow?
It’s not like it’s easy to just understand that you’re bad at what you do but at the same time know you’re improving. That takes almost Olympian perception. And the whole clichéd practice-makes-it-perfect won’t help, at least not always. Supposedly Mozart said, to be a master at something you should practice for at least ten thousand hours. What if you have no idea that what you’re doing is fundamentally wrong? Then that would make a master at sucking.
So, what do you do? What can you do? Well, sorry, but nothing. Except for maybe one thing. Lay down small, bite sized goals. That won’t stop your sucking, no, no. But it will help compartmentalize and categorize and highlight the place where you do suck big time. At least only if you look hard enough.
Yay. We’ve reached the end of the course. I will now stop giving such helpful advice, since it improved the world drastically and overnight.
Tell me. When was the last time you took advice? And I’m not talking about the colloquial advice, the kind that tells you how to mow your lawn, or which classes to study first, or even some friendly neighborhood advice about dating. No, numbnuts. I mean the kind of advice which shakes the very foundations upon which your very being is built on. You’re a writer (self-referencing 101)? Here’s where you should improve. You’re an athlete? Exercise this. You’re a programmer? Make this just for fun, since programming is all about sitting in front of the computer and typing things.
Oh, it’s hard to accept such advice? Why, I never would have guessed. Nine out of ten times you simply nod your head and say yes sixteen times in a row just so you can shut the other person up because they obviously have no idea what they’re talking about? What about that tenth time? What about that time when you go all ‘Hmmm….’ and take a mental note? What do you do then? You create another layer of expectations.
Me, I’m the king of expectations. I create all of these expectations for myself, ones which I definitely must reach by any means necessary. Most of those I never even think about again. Why? Because *spoiler alert* I suck at holding myself at the level of those same expectations. It’s the same with practically every person out there, albeit most of them don’t write about it, and haven’t even thought about writing it. If they don’t put it into words, somebody has to, and that somebody might as well be me.
I personally like this topic. If I was famous, this is the thing I would have been famous for. But I’m not, so here goes an ill-fated attempt at fame and recognition.
In order to achieve and maintain that level I mentioned earlier, you have to ask yourself. “Am I being a badass motherfucker?” — Then throw that phrase out of the window with a heavy metal ball attached to its leg. Now ask yourself the real thing. Am I focused on improving myself? The first answer is almost always pure unadulterated pile of bullshit. Skip that first ‘yes, of course’ and go with the gut. Take a deep breath and think. If the real answer is yes, then you’ve saved yourself a few moments. If not, no worries. There’s a solution for everything. Well, I wish I had it, and since I’m still looking for the solution myself I can spare you some trouble. Even though it’s a solution, alcohol is not the solution. Now don’t get technical with me, and just drop it, you know what I mean.
If you were the smartass that answered yes, share your findings with the rest of us mere mortals. If not, we’re on the same journey. What does it take to keep yourself up to the expectations that you’ve set for yourself? Some say ironclad will, others might say a unicorn. Maybe it’s a big heart. Or a clear head. Or maybe it’s all of these things. But you know what I think? I think it doesn’t really matter. No one’s perfect, no one can just go and quest for these things like some knight in a medieval romance story. In the end practically all it requires is to look back and recognize the moment where you done fucked up.
In the actual end, you die. And that’s it. Since there’s no true end in the everlasting quest for self-improvement, there’s not much you can truly do. You can lay down plans, you can practice willpower, you can even change you entire lifestyle. I’ve heard it worked for some. If you want the easy and fast way, you can just go ahead and read through the latest ‘Ten Things Successful People Do’ or maybe the new ‘Ten Reasons You Are Poor AND Unsuccessful.’ Either way, it’s up to you.
Me, I’m just going to lay back and hope things simply go my way. I think I’m going to do nothing, and I won’t even start convincing myself that I’m going to be even reasonably successful one day. I’ll just keep reminding myself that I suck, until one day people realize that I don’t suck as much as I think I do. Maybe I’ll do something with my life, maybe I won’t. In each case, it doesn’t even matter. Sucking is a natural part of life.
It took me a few weeks to even motivate myself to write this. And you know what I’ve realized? I don’t want to be motivated. I want to be disciplined. I just wrote over a thousand words of pure nonsense just to get to the real point. Expecting of yourself to become something valuable is pointless. Disciplining, on the other hand, is key. Spank yourself and drown your expectations. It’s time to wake up and smell the ashes of motivation. Make something of yourself while you’re at it.
How do you make something of yourself? Well you’ve made it so far, haven’t you? In life, I mean. Not just in this text. You’ve made it so far because you’ve expected things to happen, and they did or didn’t — at least to some degree. Now, imagine what would have been if you expected nothing. If you went on with life completely devoid of all expectations that everyone — including yourself — have put on you.
It would be nice to have a blank slate, wouldn’t it? Wipe that shit clean, take a deep breath, and just remind yourself to do it. In the wise words of Shia Labeouf: “JUST DO IT!”
Expectations be damned! You don’t deserve anything, so why should you expect something? Especially something of yourself. Go, fucking take what you need, do what you love, and stop using conventional wisdom. It’s only common sense.
Don’t keep yourself up to your expectations. Surpass them. Nullify them. Be your own master of your thoughts. So, can you stop sucking already? Can you?!
This guy completely expects you to stop sucking, and thinks he’s done a decent enough job at writing about pointless things. He also expects you to click the follow button somewhere on this site. Maybe even follow him on Twitter. That would very much inflate his ego, but he deserves it wholeheartedly. Don’t be a zombie. Click follow. Whoosh. Brainwashed.