You Can Mother F*cking Do It.
(Disclaimer: This piece will only make sense to some. To others, it may sound like gibberish now. If that’s you, put it down. You’ll return to it later when it’s time. Also, I recommend reading this while listening to the tracks “Lady Labyrinth” and “Nightbook” by Ludovico Einaudi.)
Hi, my name is Tatiana and today I’m your hype girl.
If you found your way here, you’re likely someone with a penchant for self development. You’re a learner. Someone who craves improvement in themself. You’re an answer seeker looking for the treasure map of life. My readers are often people looking to solve a particular problem.
The thing about problems is this though… once you solve one, another pops up. Then you’re back to the drawing board. Ah, the circle of life.
I want to lovingly posit something:
Maybe the question we should be asking is generally not, “How do I solve this problem?” but rather, “How do I keep my problems from derailing me?”
Because, guess what?
You know what all your problems have in common?
So, what’s the answer?
Flow. Grit. Resilience.
Yesterday, Jasmine Harrison, 21, became the youngest woman to sail an entire ocean. It took her 70 days, but she sailed the entire Atlantic. The NY Times described the ocean as “ill-tempered.” The Atlantic in winter? Yeah, no sh*t. They added lines like, “It’s not a sport for the faint of heart. Harrison’s 550-pound boat was twice toppled by rogue waves, sending her into the water,” “she had frightening close calls, including nearly colliding with a drilling ship at four in the morning” and “she missed her family and her dogs and cold drinking water. She also missed music. Her speaker, which had the English rock band the Wombats and Rachel Platten’s ‘Fight Song’ on repeat, had fallen into the water.”
So, needless to say, this wasn’t a leisurely boat cruise for Jasmine.
Nevertheless, she persisted.
Think of your life like an ocean. Your goal is to reach the other shore. That shore represents your goals and dreams. Do you think it’s possible to make it from say, Los Angeles to Sydney by boat with zero waves, storms or adverse events? Narrator: No.
As an American, I find one of the greatest problems in our society today is the idea that you can fix anything quickly with no effort. Headlines like, “Lose weight in 30 days!” “Find love in two weeks!” or “Become a legend with these tips I’ll teach you for only $199!” (Basically, every bio on Clubhouse.)
We do ourselves a disservice here by underestimating the difficulty of the journey. We need to teach resilience and grit, not entitlement and quick fixes. Stop sharing nothing but highlight reels and tell the truth. Life is f*cking hard.
Here are some truths I’ve learned in my career: Success takes hard work. Making it anywhere near the top means dealing with people who doubted you, treated you poorly and didn’t think you could. Politics are everywhere and generally suck. To increase sanity, find your tribe and keep that circle small. Playing well doesn’t mean you have to be an asshole. Too many people read Machiavelli when they should be reading The Four Agreements. Pick your battles and don’t fight a battle you don’t really care about. All of life is a chess game and you have to play the long game to win …with dignity and vision. Oh, and karma is undefeated. For real.
In review, life and work are hard. But as my mentor Nanea Reeves says, “Hard work builds self esteem.” No crafty bio will give it to you.
So, here’s the deal. Today may bring you some unfair things. It may also you bring you some amazing news. Who knows?! In the end, today is just today and it’s all you have. Your power is in your presence.
I want you to visualize what it would feel like to be Jasmine after 70 days seeing the shore and knowing you’re almost done. Stop and take sixty seconds and feel that feeling. What does it look like? Smell like? Feel like? It’s the salt water in the air and sun shining on your dry skin. It’s your breaths deepening in relief and elation. It’s flashing through all of the hardships and knowing it’s over. It’s a swelling sense of pride and an internal “I did it!” as you hold flares over your head.
Can you feel that feeling?
You created it.
And you can do that all day long.
When someone knocks your boat over, stop focusing on drowning. Focus on the damn shore. Feel sorry for yourself for 15 minutes then turn your boat over. No one will do it for you. Remind yourself what that shore is you’re working toward. Maybe it’s sobriety. Maybe it’s a new career. Maybe it’s losing weight. Maybe it’s a diploma. Maybe it’s a healthy relationship. You know what it is.
Remind yourself of your shore. Imagine yourself at that shore again. Create those feelings every time today gets you down. Happiness comes through flow, not through the absence of problems. I can guarantee you that storms are on the horizon, that people won’t always like you and that not every day will be great. So, master your mentals.
Your answer generator is YOU. Not me, not self-help books, not psychics and not other people’s opinions. Keep your eyes on the shore and run the damn race. You got this.