This is the last guide you will ever need to understand how to get what you want out of life. It seems too good to be true. It will also seem simplistic and we hate what is simple and obvious when it goes against what we want to believe. We like things to be complex when it means we can get a way around them to fit our narrative. More or less wants to challenge that the Sun is at the centre of the Solar System and that the Earth is orbiting it. But even today, how many more would challenge it if it meant it could give them an advantage or make them feel better?
This is why, spoiler alert, you will not like either of the two solutions presented below and you are probably convinced one of them is impossible for you. If you are here, you are probably interested in applying it to cure your writer's block or anxiety you are facing when working on your craft. But it really applies to any area of life and to any goal or definition of achieving success you have. The first question we have to examine is the exact reason why we want to create or achieve any goal. We like to thing we want to make the world a better place or make the arts flourish or any other noble motive. But at our core, we are much more simple creatures than that. Any goal or definition of success we have has only one goal: enable us to experience more positive emotions and less negative ones. And don't get me wrong, creating is the most fun activity we can do. There is nothing wrong with wanting to create, be free and happy. These are all natural inclinations and what makes life fun and interesting. The problem comes when you are looking for your creativity and goals to make you feel something. Then the goal is not to create out of a place of pure love but to extract positive feelings out of it. This is why children naturally draw, sing, dance and do all things of creative things out of pure joy but you do not. You are not drawing that spaceship out of pure joy but you have that it will bring you to a place where you are happier and can draw more little pretty spaceships which will in turn make somebody want to hire you to draw more and hopefully you will be happy than working on your current boring TPS reports.
There is a simple rule of thumb with any activity. The more you hope it will give you access to positive feelings or avoid negative ones, the more internal resistance, fear and procrastination you will feel about doing it. This is why so many people are blocked when they are drawing, writing or painting something. It is not something pure but a huge bag loaded with a large amount of different things which have nothing to do with art and everything to do with our misery. In essence, we are like drug addicts but our drug is positive feelings and our poison is negative feelings. This may seem like a crazy statement to make because it is so deeply rooted in the way we see the world. Nobody except a few crazy people like me is even saying that this is a question for debate.
Taking that into account, there are only two possible solutions to the problem:
1) We look for the best investment of our limited time and effort into reality in order to extract the best and largest amount of positive feelings and the least amount of negative feelings.
2) We try to find whether freedom and happiness outside of reality are possible and we try to enjoy reality as a bonus but not as a mean to influence the way we feel or to attain any positive feeling or flee negative ones.
And these are the two solutions we will examine now.
The first solution is to choose effort and sacrifice. We assume that it is only possible or too difficult to try to be happy by ourselves and we strive toward success and achievement. As anybody who ever tried to refuse the pull of a chocolate chip cookie will know, our mind is not an integrated organism under our full control. Having full and constant control of our mind is like trying to herd cats. And people never ask themselves why all of these cats are so uncooperative or even why they even exist in the first place. So the obvious solution is tyranny. If we are looking to achieve anything, we have to learn to dominate our mind using force and restraint. Every book about motivation and success will teach you exactly that. The best and most effective ways to use violence, carrot-and-stick and coercition against your mind in order to have it do whatever you want. As any skill, the more you practice, the better you get at it. This way is difficult but will help you achieve the goals you have. You will have to sacrifice as much as the positive you will get but you will get what you decided you wanted.
The people who are not necessarily advocating but explaining the best how this works are: Robert Greene, Grant Cardone, Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin, Joe Rogan, David Goggins, Jordan Peterson and Jocko Willink. These people taught me everything I know about motivatio nadn the way to make our mind do what we do not want to do. They are all extremely smart and successful and can teach you a lot about the ways the mind works. And I fully encourage you to watch their videos or read their books. You will learn a great deal about the way the mind and success work. In turn, it will allow you to udnerstand at a very deep level how society works and what motivates people at a conscious but also subconscious level.
The overwheling majority of people think that effort, sacrifice and making war to our mind is the only way to achieve success. We do not see any other way possible and our entire society is built on top of this principle. We have the belief that there is a scale with comfort at one end and success at the other end and we are constantly trying to find the maximized "happiness" spot between the two.
If herding cats is not your favorite hobby but you still want to be successful, you have to question whether instoring a dictatorship over your mind is really the best use of your finite life. Do you really have to live in constant internal conflict for your entire life? If the reason we are creating and acting in the world just to get access to positive feelings, isn't there a better way to get to them and a better way to live? Is life really only a chase for positive feelings? Maybe we are all just evolved animals with a thin veneer of morality and creativity. Each one of us born with a devouring need for affirmation, love, safety and pleasure. Our life being a mere struggle toward fleeting pleasures and dissatisfying satisfactions. Or maybe not, maybe we are more than that. Maybe we can get away from this forsaken state of constant need and seeing the world and other people as simple means to our own fleeting happiness. People often lament the lack of creativity of art today. If only people were more creative and less materialistic. Life would be so beautiful if people were less conformists and less standardized. But the world makes absolute sense when you see how empty people feel. They have such strong needs for love, validation, safety and guarantees. They have neither the time or energy to even think about what they would really want to do if they were not slaves to their need for positive feelings anymore.
Even thinking that it is possible to get rid of this addiction to positive feelings and our beloved herd of inner cats is crazy. It puts in question everything we have been taught in life and what our mind wants to believe. However some people say it is possible. This is what some people call duality in the context of the mind. You feel good then you feel bad again then good again and so on. You exchange negative feelings in the present for supposed positive feelings in the future. We are like traders constantly bargaining our efforts to get the best returns of investment.
The best ways to approach this possibility is to watch interviews or read books from Eckhart Tolle, Sadhguru, Jiddu Krishnamurti or Osho. They will teach you everything you need to know about the technicalities of living outside of duality.
I encourage you to watch videos from both groups of people and try to understand and even more importantly feel the difference between the two approaches. There is no right or wrong approach, they are just different ways to live. But they are the only two modes of being. Either you like the rollercoaster of positive and negative or you like absolute stillness. But the choice of positive without negative is not in the cards. And this realization puts the mind between a rock and a hard place.