How I Used Pain As Leverage

I’m unique.  I’m able to put a lot more on my plate than most people.  This past year I had A’s in all of my classes aside from car care (Who would’ve expected that to be a hard class?), was a starter for varsity soccer and a state level club soccer team, lifted weights three times per week, juggled for an average of two hours daily, regularly uploaded new youtube videos, and began writing for this blog.

I get a lot of questions from people asking, “Why do you do what you do?”  “How are you able to motivate yourself to get up every morning and just go out and beast it?”  The answer to these questions is really simple, but before I get into that I want to give a little disclaimer.

Because of something called publication bias you likely have a distorted perception of me.  I tend to write more about my successes than my failures because doing so allows me to talk about things I’ve actually lived through and understand.

I see lots of people creating websites about making money online when they’ve never made a dime off the internet.  Likewise, I see a lot pick up artists giving advice on social dynamics when they’ve never gone out a night in their life.

The reason I try to avoid doing that is because I’m not blogging to give you rubbish advice in the hopes of making a quick buck.  I’m trying to help people change their lives and become the greatest motivator this world has ever seen.  Obviously, this requires authenticity.

I never want you as a reader to put me on a pedestal.  I don’t want you to think of me as some kind of guru who’s on another level from everyone else.  I have struggles just like you, and I’ll be sure to write more about them in the future.

With all that being said, I’m light-years ahead of most people my age, so I’m going to tell you a little bit about what’s gotten me to this point.

Growing up I was a huge video game addict.  I played for hours everyday, and during my grade school years it wasn’t uncommon for me to go a whole weekend without contact from the outside world.

Along with being an introvert, this addiction prevented me from any regular practice of social skills.  I was never able to get any social reference experiences and as a result I was extremely awkward in almost all social situations.

Looking back I would diagnose myself as being depressed, but in the moment I was quite fine with being an addict.  I saw no foul play.  I found video games more interesting than people, so I thought it was only natural I gravitate towards them.

Fortunately I would begin to change towards the end of elementary school.  During fifth grade I realized I was a huge nerd and being the insecure ten year old I was, I worked to change that.  At this point I wasn’t willing to give up video games, but I was willing to change my behavior at school.

I didn’t make large changes to my behavior until sixth grade, but there were a couple things I began doing differently in fifth grade.

For one, I began using swear words.  My mom always told me not to use “bad words”, but since all the cool kids were using them I began to as well.  I figured, doing so was just fine.  I wasn’t hurting anyone, and she couldn’t be mad about something she’d never know about.

Another change I made was I began working to befriend the cool kids.  I thought they’d want to be my friend if I gave them candy and played football with them at recess.  In retrospect they probably thought of me as their little bitch, but at the time I didn’t know any better.  I thought I was just another one of them.

Ultimately, however, my middle school years were the time my personality changed tenfold.  After graduating fifth grade I realized going to a new school would give me the opportunity to build a new reputation.

So, when I got to sixth grade I put on a fake persona.  Just like everyone else, I wanted to be cool so I did exactly what I thought cool kids did.  I avoided the geeks, and treated them like shit whenever other popular kids were around.  I gave stupid answers in class and pretended to be cool because I thought it was the in thing to do.

The saddest thing was, it worked.  I sat with the popular kids at lunch and worked with them whenever we had group projects.

My most significant memory from sixth grade, however, was Friday, March 13, 2009.  I remember the exact date as it was just so far out there.  One of the most popular girls in the grade texted me, and said she had a crush on me.  Crazily enough, I had a crush on her too.

We sent each other more than 200 messages and texted each other for nearly five hours.  I feel bad because I was at a friend’s birthday party that day and I payed hardly any attention to him because I was so engaged with her.

Of course, as you can imagine it didn’t take longer than two or three days before she realized I wasn’t who people thought I was.  I was desperate to keep her, so in typical chode fashion I sent her an endless barrage of romantic, albeit somewhat stalkerish messages because I thought love was just like the movies.

You get girls enough flowers and give them enough compliments and they’re stuck loving you for the rest of their life right?  Wrong.  She said that being boyfriend/girlfriend just wasn’t going to work out.  I cried.  In retrospect it was good for me, but it definitely stung in the moment.

Fortunately, it got me headed back in the right direction.  I was still far from authentic in my interactions, but I stopped forcing the fake cool kid persona on everyone else.

Seventh grade was relatively uneventful.  I began running track, playing massive multiplayer online games, and crushing on a new girl.  Other than that, not much happened.

Eighth grade was the year that changed everything.  By this time I had dropped the cool kid persona completely and accepted that I was just going to be a nerdy, loser for the rest of my life.  Only, I wasn’t.

After my last relationship was conducted completely through text and ended before we had ever gone on a date I was pissed.  After more than a year of crushing on a girl I decided I was going to ask her out, IN THE REAL WORLD.

Well, at least I tried to.  After school one day a girl told me to follow her to my crush’s locker as today was my day to ask her out.  My heart began beating rapidly and I started panicking uncontrollably.

When we arrived at her locker I summoned all the courage I had.  Unfortunately, all it amounted to was a half-assed, shaky “You go out with me?”

Just looking at her I could tell she almost felt sorry for me.  She didn’t even have a chance to reject me, as I turned my back and ran the other way.  Déjà vu, heart break #2.

After a couple weeks I was back to normal and I actually began crushing on a new girl.  I was surprised as prior to this my heart wasn’t the type to jump from girl to girl.

I went back to what I knew best and got the girl’s phone number.  I must’ve been really good at text game, because after a few weeks the girl said she had a confession… She had a crush on me!

The next day, the whole school knew about it.  I received tons of congratulations and sat by her at lunch.  I felt awkward the whole time as I had never talked to the other girls much and I sensed they were uncomfortable too.

At recess I hung out with my friends as I’d had enough of her friends’ awkwardness.  But wouldn’t you know it, they found me.  They wanted me to do something romantic with her.  Whether that be hugging, kissing, whatever.  The whole thing made me completely uncomfortable so I turned around and booked it out of there.

I could tell she felt embarrassed she was with a guy who was such a loser he couldn’t even hug her in front of her friends.  I’d feel the same way, but back then my social anxiety was so bad I simply couldn’t.

I felt horrible. It was one of the worst days of my life up to that point and school wasn’t even over yet.  The worst part was things were just getting started. Things were about to go even more downhill.

We said our goodbyes at the end of the day and an hour or so later she texted me.  Just like the last two girls, she just wanted to be friends.  I LOVED this girl, and less than 24 hours later she dumped me.  I was crushed.

I spent the whole night crying.  It was the saddest I’ve ever been.  My family went out that night for dinner because my aunt was in town, and holding back the tears was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

I was depressed.  Big time depressed.  I don’t think I smiled once that whole weekend.  I cried constantly. I barely touched my food.  I don’t recall the exact amount, but I remember losing 5-10 pounds that weekend.

Fortunately, as the saying goes, “A setback is a setup for a comeback.”  It was during this time I discovered personal development.  I thought it was absolutely amazing that people could change their lives and I began making an effort to do the same.

I had a chip on my shoulder.  I began training for soccer every single day.  I began running several miles to get in shape every single day.  I started reading for hours every single day.  I was pumped to turn my life around.

I USED THE PAIN AS LEVERAGE.  I was an out of shape, socially clueless loser, and I hated it.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  The only advantage I’ve ever had over other people is I hated being a loser more than ANYONE ELSE.

I was so fed up with my circumstances that I had no choice, but to change.  Your life is the result of whatever you tolerate.  So when losing was no longer an option, when failure was no longer an option, that was the day my life changed.  That scared little boy’s decision to change is what made me into who I am today.

You’ll never do what you want to do, you’ll never be what you want to be, until success is your only option.  

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