by Craig Hysell
Knowing when to go in and when not to go in can be vexing, even terrifying. But how you play this game deeply affects your happiness.
What follows is a concept for you to savor and do with what you wish.
There are times when to hold back and there are times when to plow forward violently. Some of this is instinctual but much of knowing when to stay out and when to go in is cultivated through time spent struggling “in the arena“.
In short, you must fail in order to figure out how to be happy. (Maybe you should read that sentence again.)
If you are consistently afraid to fail, you will never be happy. You will be afraid to try new things. Meeting goals releases dopamine. Dopamine is your body’s chemical “pat on the back”, it’s your body’s way of saying, “Good job, my friend! What do you say we do that again?” Used morally, it’s your brain’s “progress drug”.
A person who feels they have no goals or no purpose can literally become sick; and sick enough to suffer death.
Likewise, a person who acts on every impulse with recklessness or short sightedness also seems destined for despair and, perhaps even an undue demise.
We are all going to die. Nobody has ever gotten out of Life alive. But, how will you Live? Happy or afraid? With intention or with impulse?
Discipline creates freedom of thought, purpose and achievement. Discipline creates happiness.
The discipline of self awareness will teach you how to fail forward.
The discipline of empathy will teach you how to serve mankind in a beneficial manner.
The discipline of listening will teach you what is important.
The discipline of persistence will teach you fortitude.
The discipline of open-mindedness will teach you how to adapt.
The discipline of courage will teach you that fear is necessary, illusory and that discomfort holds the keys to happiness.
None of these come naturally for most of us. These are traits we can grow.
Like anything, the f*ck it button can be abused, misunderstood, mishandled or misread. Rarely is this an all or nothing principle.
How do you cultivate your understanding of when to act and when to stand fast? By intelligent practice. Begin small.
Scared of beginning at the gym? Hit the f*ck it button and set yourself a goal. Go 3 times a week for 5 weeks.
Scared of being vulnerable? Hit the f*ck it button and, over the next 30 days, ask your favorite 5 people in your life where you can improve in your interactions with them.
Scared of quitting the job you hate to do what you love? Hit the f*ck it button and instead of getting up late or staying up and watching tv, use your free time to develop your idea and see if the market is interested in your product for the next 6 months. Then, adjust accordingly.
Note than none of these comes with too high of a risk but all come with a bit of discomfort, a simple goal and a time frame. Let the dopamine in and the lessons begin.
Always remember two things: 1. everything is a beginning and 2. action conquers fear.
Live with Conviction.