Disclaimer: I have no formal training in psychology, the following is merely an observation.
Fading is a process that often happens in adult years when you no longer look forward to, or have a passion for anything. Not everyone goes through it, but it is pretty clear when someone has. They stop caring, they start quoting, "Life sucks and then you die." They give up on their dreams and side projects and instead devote their energy to simply existing. An empty shell of who they once were... I always promised myself that this wouldn’t be me. I had so many dreams and ambitions. I looked down on people that had given up. I blamed adults for getting themselves into situations where they could not pursue their passions. I apologize, my views were naïve. However I wasn’t wrong.
We can choose to ignore a simple truth, but the fact of the matter is that most of us made choices (many of which would even be considered good choices) that lead us to where we stand today. I think this point only deepens the nothingness that many of us slip into later on. We hate aspects of our lives and we chose the path that lead here... Ouch. There were consequences we couldn’t see, devotion that can only be spread so thin, and passions gone awry.
So here you sit, you have given up on your path. What now?…
There first step in stopping Fading is the easiest. The reason being that your brain automatically does it. If you have been able to relate to what I have said then you are already heading in the direction of recovery. In addition, if you have made it this far through my article, and truth be told, if you are reading articles on this website, there is hope for you. There is one thing in common with people that have faded: They don’t read. Why? Because that means they give a damn about ideas and furthering themselves. Neither of which are things that completely faded individuals have an interest in. Reading also hurts for faded individuals because in those paragraphs are contained stories they feel are unrealistic, advice they did not follow, feelings they have long since gave up on. So congrats, there is hope for you.
The second step is also easy. There is a natural, instinctual reason why Fading occurs, to survive. Not so much physically as much as mentally. When conditions are tough for trees they slow down growth, they lose some of their green. They dedicate 100% of their existence to surviving. Sound familiar? The trees have just went through the tree equivalent of Fading. As humans we are much more advanced, we actually get to deal with this phenomena mentally as well as physically. (Lucky us…) But that is unimportant, the take away from this is recognizing the reason this exists. Fading is a coping mechanism. Fading trims down on the things you care about because you have too much to worry about. The problem is that we respond to Fading ineffectively. We start giving up on our dreams thinking that they take to much time and effort. We may have to give up a few of our ambitions because we can’t do it all realistically. But dreams are as important as your relationships or work. We have to simplify to slow Fading. But we need to make sure that’s not at the expense of who we are.
Last step is a lot harder. You need to do something drastic to kick yourself off your downward slope. You know, those things you see others doing and secretly look up to them. Only to follow that thought up with, “But…..”. But I’m too old, but I could never, but I don’t know how, but I don’t have time… You know what I’m saying. I’m talking to the individual who has always wanted to run a marathon. To the person in his thirties with a dream of a black belt. To you who wants to write a book. To you who wants to make a video game. Everyone’s case is different but we skill have that one thing. The hard part is actually doing it. Let me offer you a secret on how to make this easier: Tell someone. Tell your wife, tell your child, tell your parents, tell your friends, post it on Facebook. Once your dream is out there not only does it feel more real but there may be people who can help motivate you. You need a cheer team. Facebook can be great for that.
One last thing. You have to actually do it. Thinking this is cool and forgetting about it 15 minutes from now when you go do dishes or check Facebook isn’t going to do squat for you. Take Nike’s slogan and make, “Just do it!” your phone wallpaper. I snagged one for you from Pinterest here. (Credit to creator, I’m just sharing).