Cam Goes On A Crazy Rant! (Dreams, Inner Demons & Pushing Through Bullsh!#)

I’m tired and frustrated. I’ve spent the last hour trying to write a decent blog post. Unfortunately, my attempts keep coming out whack. I can’t seem to write anything of substance. I’m kind of pissed. I want to go to sleep.

I’m trying to fight back the evil voice in my head. Close the computer. Relax your eyes. You can get some rest, and then go eat a delicious midnight snack. Why not? Do it homey. Doooo it. Doooo ittt.

My will power reserves are exhausted and I’m on my last stand. Normally I wouldn’t be writing at this point. There’s a reason I recently went over two weeks without posting anything. Normally I listen to the fucker in my head. Normally I lose this battle.

Normally I give in. I mean I did better than most people right? I did what I was supposed to do right? I showed up for an hour and tried to write a god damn post. I started and stopped multiple times, but I just couldn’t do it.

I did what could reasonably have been expected of me. Most people would never have even managed to sit down to write. That’s what I would’ve told myself in the past. I try to hold the idea of being the weakest of the strongest men of all time, but it’s difficult to put into practice.

It’s easy to say you’re going to hold yourself to the same standards as the greatest men to have ever walked this Earth, but in practice It’s fucking hard. Should you pity me for that? No! Should I pity you when you’re literally twitching because you can’t resist not compulsively checking your little Facebook feed? No!

It’s supposed to be hard! Especially in the beginning. If it was easy everybody would do it. Maybe the journey doesn’t exhaust you to the same extent once you’ve already gained some momentum with it, but even then it’s still hard. You don’t get to coast and if you try your ass is going to get eaten up alive.

Even right now I’ve got a million demons screaming in my head.

“You know Cameron, this post just doesn’t have a whole lot of substance. Maybe you would be better just turning in for the night.”

“Dude. You’re 17 years old. You lack life experience and thus the potential to offer anything of value.”

“Shh… look behind you. See, nobody’s watching. If you quit now nobody will notice.”

Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh!!!

These little rationalizations are clever too and often they even have an element of truth to them. That’s why they’re so lethal. This shit is medusa. The rationalizations seem appealing, but will kill you! Just now I was about to quit.

I was again on the brink of giving up on tonight’s post as I’m not seeing the value here. I honestly just don’t know what you’re going to take from this post. Then something resonated in my ears.

“If you lose sleep doing what you love, you’ll eventually live the dream that you only would have dreamt.” – David Shands

Seriously read it again.

“If you lose sleep doing what you love, you’ll eventually live the dream that you only would have dreamt.” – David Shands

That’s it baby. Awareness of this concept is how you’re going to manufacture passion. The idea isn’t necessarily that you need to deprive your self of sleep, or adopt a polyphasic sleep schedule (though that could potentially help).

What David’s really saying is that if you’re willing to invest every ounce of energy you’ve got into the focused pursuit of your dream, then you can live it.

Summoning Your Vast Reservoirs Of Energy

As I’m writing this post I no longer am able to perceive the passing of time. You know why? Because I’m engaged. I want to deliver and ship the best product I’m capable of. A 5% difference in engagement could be the difference between me motivating someone to pursue their dream or give up.

A couple years ago I heard Tim Ferris say that he sets his goals high for two reasons. One is that there’s less competition. A valid reason and one that isn’t at all difficult to understand.

The second reason is one that I’d always understood on an intellectual level, but never fully grasped on an emotional level. Until now. Tim’s second reason for setting his goals high is because it allows him to summon more motivation in the pursuit of his goals.

Think about it. What would give you more motivation? Setting out to write a mediocre blog post so you can say that you fulfilled today’s writing requirement or visualizing the hundreds or thousands of people that’ll eventually read your post and aiming to produce a piece that’ll smack them on an emotional level and thus motivate them to strive towards living to their potential? It’s not even close.

Do something epic. Make it an adventure. Pretend that your life is a movie and run, jump, and claw your way to making it the most epic plot the world has ever seen.

When you write a blog post really write. Get into it. Don’t use perfectionism as an excuse not to ship a finished product, but really ship your product. Get into the process of creating and make your creation the best it can possibly be.

When you go out and socialize don’t seek to avoid rejection or embarrassment. Aim to make it the funniest, and crazy adventure of your life! When you hit on a girl put yourself completely out there.

If she likes you great. If she doesn’t make the rejection as awkward and funny as possible and get a cool story out of it. When your favorite song comes on stop worrying about what you sound like and just let loose. If you get bored of girls gather a crowd and challenge your friends to rap battles.

You can make rationalizations as much as you’d like, but at the end of the day you either produce a result or you don’t. You either have a great night out or you don’t. You either win or you lose.

Some days are easier than others, but there’s never an excuse. If you have writer’s block write anyway. If you had a long day at work go to the gym and push yourself to the limit anyway. If you’re trying to learn how to have fun but don’t have friends hide behind garbage cans and then jump out and scare people. Do whatever it takes to make things epic!

That’s where the drive comes from. The pursuit of epic is the source of motivation and passion. Aiming to make things epic is what will push you to continue when things get hard and your inner demons are screaming at you.

When the demons start whispering lies in your ear scream fuck you! I’ve got people who rely on me to and I’m not going to give up. I’m not going to let them down. I’m going to use your bullshit as leverage to continue pushing forward. If I go down today I risk setting a precedent that quitting is ok, and that’s one area I’m not willing to compromise.

It may be difficult, but I will persevere at any cost. I will fight for both myself and those around me. I understand that I’m not just fighting for my dream, but I’m also fighting to show everyone else that has a dream it’s possible to pursue and eventually achieve it.

If I give up, not only do I give up on my dream, but I also unconsciously cause others to give up on theirs. No matter what happens, that’s something I’m unwilling to do.

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(Picture taken in Dallas during April 2014)

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Being A Reasonable Creature

If we were to be completely objective I think we could identify the majority of actions that are only to our own detriment. Procrastination on an important project, mindless web surfing, taking drugs, etc. When we’re able to remove ourselves from the situation and gain perspective we’re thinking with our objective self.

Unfortunately we don’t always think with our objective selves. Sometimes we get caught in the moment. We act on impulses rather than logic. Instead of seeing things as they are we see things as would be most convenient for us.

People often harp on the benefits of intelligence, but what they don’t realize is being intelligent also has a downside. If you’re of average intelligence you probably know when you’re screwing up. When you’re a genius you’re able to make all kinds of clever rationalizations for what you’re doing.

Earlier today I was beginning to rationalize reasons to indulge in a self-sabotaging habit. If you removed me from the situation and asked me to be completely objective I’d have told you that Cameron was about to indulge in self-sabotage. In the moment, however, I’d crafted a cunning argument justifying what I was about to do.

I was about to go off the rails when I remembered something I heard earlier today.

I was listening to his autobiography this morning and Benjamin Franklin had said,

“So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.”

Damn. I thought his statement was powerful the first time I heard it, but when it resonated in my head the second time I realized the true magnitude of it.

People are incredibly prone to rationalizing the behaviors most convenient for them regardless of how those behaviors will contribute to or inhibit their success. Being a logically driven person I found this idea shocking, but it led to an even more shocking conclusion.

Sometimes when you’re pursuing a goal being unreasonable is the only reasonable thing to do.

Meditate on that.

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Dig The Well Before You’re Thirsty

A few days ago I was feeling the worst I’d felt in probably an entire year. I’d isolated myself and destroyed the social momentum I’d acquired over the previous week, massively failed a challenge with my friend Huan, and repeatedly procrastinated my return to the community here. For a day or two I felt completely worthless.

Just as I was beginning to enter a period of self-loathing I had a friend invite me to a music festival. The next day a friend asked if I wanted to hang out at the fireworks.

Today Huan gave me a nod of encouragement, one of the readers here offered advice on what to do when I’ve got writer’s block, and my grandma even surprised me with lunch from Chipotle. How could I continue self-loathing when I’ve got love pouring in from all of you?

However, here’s the thing. None of these people owe me shit. I’m not entitled to free Chipotle merely because I exist. I’m not entitled to invitations to cool stuff just because.

No, no, no.

The reason I’m getting free Chipotle is because I keep my grandma company and help her with yard work. The reason Huan’s giving me encouragement is because I’ve linked to and critiqued his blog posts in the past. The reason my friend’s are inviting me to do cool shit, is because I’ve taken them on crazy adventures in the past.

It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. I help my crew when they’re down, and in return they do there best to support me when I’m struggling. You can’t just take from others. To receive you must first give, and that’s what I’d recommend to you.

When your social life is banging you might let it go to your head and think you’re above other people. I’m not proud to admit it, but I know I’ve fallen into that thought pattern before.

Try to rise above this inclination, however, and show love to everyone. If you’re nice to the weird kid everyone else bullies he might surprise you. Maybe he’ll teach you guitar. Maybe he’ll let you hang out at his family’s country club in the summer.

Maybe if you’re nice to the shy girl nobody else notices you’ll develop a close friendship and later be able to go to her for advice on anything.

You might not think much of someone now, but if you’re cool to them they may later prove to be the friend you need to get back on your feet after a setback. And truth be told, maybe they won’t be. But at least you’ll have put yourself in good standing with them and became a better person in the process.

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When Being Selfless Is Selfish

It’s been about two weeks since I’ve written anything for this blog. That’s the longest I’ve ever gone without posting. For that reason I’d like to apologize.

Initially I’d planned to take 4-5 days, maybe a week tops off of blogging to focus on getting my social life going again. My approach worked. I got my social life going again. Sweet.

Unfortunately, for more than a week after that I’ve procrastinated my return to the community here. If you’re a longtime reader you’re probably expecting a damn good excuse at this point. You probably expect me to say that I was on a week long trip to Dallas, or that I was at some 10 day meditation retreat pursuing spiritual enlightenment. Nope. I wish I could say that.

The truth is that I haven’t written in over two weeks because I know that I suck at writing after I take an extended break. Once I took a few days off of blogging I repeatedly rationalized putting it off because I knew that the first post I wrote after taking a break was going to be full of technical errors, and probably fail to provide you guys with any value.

That may or may not have been true. Maybe you think this post sucks, or maybe you admire the self-introspection I’ve subjected myself to. Regardless there’s no getting around the bullshit. If I want to once again produce the content I’m capable of I’m going to have to get my elbows dirty in the mud.

I can rationalize all day that the only reason I’m not writing is because I don’t want to give you shitty content. This argument, however, just doesn’t hold up. To produce the content you want I must first produce a few posts that you’re probably going to find mediocre and uninspiring. Oh well.

Is it ideal that I have to give you some shaky content before I can write you your chunks of gold? Nope. However, it’s still a lot better than the alternative; you getting nothing.

For the person that lacks social skills they may say that the reason they don’t go to social events is because they know they’re going to alienate and make others feel uncomfortable.

However, they’re vision is too short sighted and they fail to see that if they go through a year of two of social awkwardness they can be a valuable asset to the social support systems of others’ for the rest of their lives.

In short, if you’re a person who often puts the needs of others before your own you may fall into a similar stack of rationalizations. It’s easy to disguise blaming others for not taking action yourself as altruistic. However, the truth is that you’re failing to look at the big picture and are merely using others as an excuse for why you’re not facing your own fears.

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