As I’m sitting here I’ve had the life force sucked out of me. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a complainer piece or a cynic piece. This is a warning piece. Something everyone needs to hear.
It is vital you live through your true self. It’s so popular these days to “self-improve.” It’s even more popular to just emulate someone or something else entirely. Consider the Jungian idea of neurosis:
“Jung’s theory of neurosis is based on the premise of a self-regulating psyche composed of tensions between opposing attitudes of the ego and the unconscious. A neurosis is a significant unresolved tension between these contending attitudes.”
Do you see where I’m going with this? Let’s consider the definition of neurosis:
“a relatively mild mental illness that is not caused by organic disease, involving symptoms of stress (depression, anxiety, obsessive behaviour, hypochondria) but not a radical loss of touch with reality.”
It’s biologically, spiritually, emotionally, and time expensive to try and be someone else, to keep up a facade, to keep that conscious mind revived so high. It’s important to understand the difference between fortifying or growing from your core, the healthy kind of development, and constructing a false identity.
I’ll go straight and to the letter with this. I was weak, useless and insecure as a young adult. I dropped out of college because I didn’t fit, but mostly because I was untrained and unwilling.
I entered the real world working an uninspiring entry-level trade job, and then quickly realized I wanted something else for myself.
This is when I found self-improvement. I began to learn about what makes for a wealthy person and a wealth generating system. I noticed the discrepancies between that and who I was and what I was doing.
I was fearless and up for the task and decided I’d engineer myself into the kind of person that could accumulate wealth. At the time I was meek, easy going, agreeable and had little work ethic. I was basically a monk, not someone who puts themselves forwards.
I sought to live through the identity of an overachiever and was quite successful in doing so. I became someone who ran companies, made a ton of money, managed others. I generally made things happen.
My work ethic was off the charts. My charisma was labeled “rockstar” even. However, during this development, my ego was hungry for dominance and needed to prove something. I completely ignored the fact that I was in the middle of an internal war — I was deteriorating from the inside out.
My sleep patterns became erratic. I started experiencing periods of mania and then depression. I became more emotional instead of level-headed. I became impulsive. I even started to develop panic attacks— in general the inner conflict, the internal discrepancy between who I had engineered myself into, and who my true self is, forced me into a high stress state.
Every day was a fight or flight response. In the beginning the fight won, but as you feed that hypervigilance eventually flight starts to kick in in the form of panic attacks, increased stress, plummeting serotonin, and a host of other less than desirable aspects. I was too afraid of who I am and where I was going. I didn’t believe I on my own was good enough.
High Crime Against Nature
You are born with natural tendencies and most of your behavior is largely outside of your control. You are what you are. The summation of your genetics, the imprint of your experiences during your upbringing, and your aggregate biology. Society is largely operating on these conditions, with hormonal and evolutionary elements being downstream of the genetic factor.
“You are born with natural tendencies and most of your behavior is largely outside of your
This means that the vast majority of you is inborn. With that, what’s crucial to understand is that it takes a lot of different people to make the world go round. Not only is it going to split your soul to pieces while they fight each other and drive you crazy, but the world needs its great variety. It needs its paupers and its princes. It needs its janitors and brain surgeons all the same. Both are as valuable since without any of one the system grinds to a halt.
If we all try to be whatever is most cherished and favored on television or social media, then a myriad of essential roles will go unfulfilled. The ecosystem will lose its balance. It’s a modern plague. Many seek to become something prestigious, like a doctor or a lawyer, and when they don’t, wherever failure lands them they will resent. Their work will channel this resentment and bitterness.
It’s extremely brave to take up whatever work you’re best at even if it doesn’t pay five figures a month and live modestly in this day and age. It’s true courage despite the programming of Hollywood, to be a dutiful subordinate and do the grunt work for a fair wage. But this only works if we all do it. And there’s absolutely zero shame in your spare time looking to start a business (don’t start a side hustle, that’s just another job. Start something you can scale and do full time, and then delegate away all the labor up to wealth). Do that absolutely.
But don’t insist you be treated like some kind of rockstar, king or chosen one like the six million video games and movies you’ve consumed have suggested you are. Deprogram yourself from the TV and PlayStation. Dissolve your defense mechanisms and delusions of grandeur. Live through the very core of your being. Develop your soul, not your ego. Live through the true self.