Mark Manson is a professional blogger, entrepreneur, and former dating coach. Since 2007, he’s been helping people with their emotional and relationship problems. He has worked with thousands of people from over 30 different countries.
“One day in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful”~Sigmund Freud
1. What Struggle Are You Willing to Face
One of the best questions that you can ask yourself in life is not “what are my goals” or “what am I passionate about” but rather “How much pain and struggle am I willing to go through?”
Because the simple fact is this, there is no great achievement in life without pain.
You will not become successful at business without going through the pain of sleepless nights, losing money, and having products fail. You will not have a happy fulfilled marriage without first going through rejections, marital struggles, and painful self work. You won’t get a great body without getting off your ass and hitting the gym.
There is no achievement without pain, so the question that you need to ask is “How much pain am I willing to endure?” There is no right or wrong answer, but if you tell yourself that you want to be a bodybuilder, millionaire, playboy and you aren’t willing to get up, go to the gym, do work on your business, and go out on dates, then you need to reevaluate your pain tolerance and adjust accordingly.
2. It’s Important for Life to Suck Sometimes
Many self help gurus would have you believe that life is all sunshine and roses and that nothing bad ever happens to you if you just say this one affirmation every morning. But that’s a load of bullcrap.
Life is going to suck sometimes, if you do things wrong, it’s going to suck a lot of the time. However, this is not a bad thing. No great man was ever forged without first facing some adversity. It is the times where life sucks that you will have your biggest breakthroughs and learn the most about yourself.
Embrace the suck, and use it to make your best life.
3. Happiness Comes from Problems
In continuing with the theme of pain being a positive in life, an important realization to come to is that hapiness and fulfillment do not come from a lack of problems, but rather from solving worthwhile problems.
For some people, this means solving problems in business and figuring out how to impact more people with a limited budget or how to launch a new product when the last one failed. For others this is how to build and raise an amazing family when your marriage is strained and your children don’t respect you.
If you are unhappy in life, chances are the quality of the problems that you are fixing is very low, or worse yet, you aren’t actually taking action to fix the problems you have in the first place.
Realize that solving problems is what brings fulfillment and if you are feeling a sense of lack in your life, simply find better problems to solve whether they are physical, relational, financial, or spiritual.
4. Screw Finding Your Passion
Guess what? You are not entitled to anything. So many people today will tell you that you somehow deserve to make millions doing what you love as if that is one of our “God given and inalienable rights” but the cold truth is that it isn’t.
Instead of focusing on finding your passions, simply do more of what you enjoy doing already. If you can find a way to build it into a business and monetize it, then great, if not, then work a job your enjoy and follow what you are passionate about on the side.
Just because you’re passionate about playing Jazz flute doesn’t mean that you should pack up from your high end executive job that you enjoy, pays well, and allows you to be around for your children to pursue a career as a professional musician, because the simple fact is, even if you do that, there will come a time when playing jazz flute sucks.
No matter how much you love something, there will come a day when you simply don’t feel like waking up and doing it that day. Passion or no.
5. Do Something
Do something, anything.
Do something, anything.
As Churchill once said “The best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
If you are struggling to find the motivation or passions in your life, then just do something. Take a trip, start a new job, launch a blog, just do something.