In life, it is natural for us to go through periods of excellence followed by periods of negativity. We can have large trends in our lives, where the whole of our lives is in a general downward trend. Alternatively, we can live in an upward-trending manner. As men, we can constantly be working to improve ourselves and our station in life. Through hard work and persistence, over the course of our lives we can mold our reality to be one that we are content to be a part of. To accomplish this, however, we must identify small trends in our lives, which tend to be upwards or downwards. Over the course of days, weeks, or months, we all go through small trends. Sometimes we get caught in a negative slump until suddenly we have a mental realization, a spark to ignite change. We begin to make great strides in improving ourselves. Maybe we hit the gym, or we work on that novel we always talked about writing but never got around to. Then, some time later, we stop working quite so hard. We made a lot of progress and we feel pretty good about it. We allow ourselves to slip into a period of much lower productivity. These are natural trends in how human performance tends to function. People can’t operate at 100% maximum power every day or they’ll become exhausted. People need to take a breather in life. In order to achieve maximum productivity, you must identify downward trends in order to convert them into restful periods. You must also identify positive trends, in order to become as productive as possible during those times so that your restful periods seem earned, normal, and easy to break out of once you’re ready to resume working hard on improving yourself.
I believe that the most important thing in life is to have a mission. We need some ultimate goal that we can strive towards over the course of our lives. Some guys want to be a professional athlete or musician. A lot of people desire to be a writer, as well as countless other creative types. Some people dream of great success in business. Whatever it is that you wish to become in life, set out towards becoming that. A general positive trend in the direction of your ultimate goal is all that is required to guarantee yourself that if you haven’t achieved your life’s ambition in the next ten years, you will at the very minimum be significantly closer than you have ever been before. You’ll face ups and downs no matter what ambition you settle on. If you live your life every day to the best of your ability, focusing on gradually replacing bad with good in your life, you will achieve something. That’s all we need to be happy. Life is a journey and for most of us, it won’t take us in the direction we think it will. As long as we live our life in a general positive trend, we’ll wind up somewhere worthwhile, even if we haven’t arrived at the “goal line” we originally envisioned.
A final piece of advice: don’t take yourself too seriously. Focus more on getting shit done than on making it perfect. When we first start out, no matter what the avenue of interest, we’re going to suck. Skills sharpen over time. Our first draft of our book will suck. Our first attempt at songwriting will be shit. Our first joke will fall flat. As long as we’re making something we’ll always be sharpening our skills. No matter what goal you have in life, it will require skills to get there. Practice at becoming whatever great thing you wish to be. Do the things that you’d like to be doing in 10 years. Buckle yourself up in your big boy pants and make some quantifiable progress in your life.