Just Stop Your Wasting Your Time Already

If you are anything like me, you’ve signed up for countless free classes on a myriad of things over the years. There are emails that you routinely delete because you can’t even remember what the sender was originally from, but you’re sure that some day it might be useful. So, you ignore them thinking you’ll get around to reading them “some day”, but if you are honest with yourself, you’d know that you’ll never get around to them. (Yes, I do it too.)

Ryan said it best in his post on Medium:

You are reading books, blogs, and how-to guides. Watching youtube videos, & listening to podcasts looking for that one golden piece of information that is going to help you have more will power, more self-control, or just make you feel more content.

You are continuously looking for some new idea that will allow you to feel productive, happy, & satisfied, but you already have everything you need to be happy.

 Why do we all do this? 

Let us think about this for a second. Why do we keep searching for a magic pill/book/class/video that will make life better? Part of me thinks it is because we truly want to become better than we are today, but we are overwhelmed with where we really want to start. And part of me thinks it’s because we are overwhelmed with society’s demands on us that we don’t know where to start. There are a lot of pressures, both internal and external, and so many options and demands, it’s hard to tell the difference between what we “should” do and what we really want to do.

And it’s a fine line, too. I wanted to be an archaeologist and work in the Middle East. I am fascinated by trade and business, and where else would be as amazing to study business than on the infamous, grand, and magnanimous Silk Road? I was told I should take Latin, Ancient Greek, and all the anthropology classes I could handle. Primatology was forced on me, though I could care less about one ape from another. I had to take countless classes that Purdue thought would make me well rounded — most of which were completely useless in both the short and long of things.

I can feel your pain when you say you should “learn a new language some day”, “take those yoga/Zumba/fad exercise classes”, or whatever society has told you “should” do. But ask yourself this, what ought you do to make your dreams come true?

Cut out the bullshit, that is what you should do.

What I really needed to study in the Silk Road in the Middle East was a working knowledge of the modern languages I would be speaking — taking Arabic would have been far more useful than Latin — a variety of history and cultural courses related to that area, and possibly even some business classes so I could put the Silk Road into perspective. I, personally, would have benefited from all this being done in the field rather than a classroom so I could be applying it as I went, not by rote. What I didn’t need was a history class on North American Indians — that could have been saved for a library book in my spare time.

And I know I’m not the only one to bitch about this setup. I did not hear a single one of my 1000+ classmates in any of my 7 years at Purdue not complain about some class or another that was a complete waste of time and money. And those are just the ones I talked to or sat near. I can only imagine how many more disgruntled, unsatisfied clients (for that is what students are) of the university there were.

So, why would you do the same to yourself when you have control over your present and future you? Why would you waste resources and money in hopes that this time it will be the motivation that will set you free?

 You don’t have to play by those rules any more.

Stop buying all the e-courses. Stop buying all the e-books. Stop signing up for every email class that comes your way. Stop clicking on the click-bait headlines that tell you what you “must” do. Just stop.

Instead, apply what you’ve learnt, find out what works, what doesn’t work, make your own intuitive leaps, and take a chance on you. You’ve already got what it takes to succeed in your world. You just have to trust yourself to drop the ball and fuck up a little bit, rebound, and learn from your mistakes. You already know what makes you happy, so go out and do it. Stop taking all the BS fed to you by everyone telling you what you must do.

Make your resolutions about you, not about what they want.