“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” – Jordan Belfort
I have a theory. It goes something like this:
Good ideas always come with a special exemption clause.
That is, once you attempt to make practical use of a constructive concept, you’ll be immediately confronted with convincing-sounding reasons for why that concept won’t work for you.
Stephen Pressfield, author of The War of Art, refers to these convincing-sounding reasons as “resistance.”
I prefer the term “bullshit.”
We all have our own unique forms of bullshit that are capable of making even the most universally applicable ideas seem utterly useless when it comes to us.
Take any potentially life-altering insight, try to act on it, and your circumstances will “magically” present several arguments for why you ought to grant yourself an exception.
My favorite story from the Bible is the one where God tells Moses to tell the Pharoah “Let my people go.” In a classic example of “Yup, that’s totally my life right there”, not only does the Pharoah tell Moses “no”, but he actually increases the workload for all the slaves Moses was trying to set free.
Moses did what he was supposed to do and it made everything worse.
Those were instructions from the mouth of God and they didn’t even work.
If it wasn’t for bullshit like this, life would be easy.
You could just do whatever it is you need to do and everything would be fine.
But that’s not how it goes. In reality, your therapist, your self-help books, your intuition, your inner voice, science, religion, God or whatever tells you what to do, you go do it, and not only does it fail, but the universe punishes you for even trying.
In the end, you end up feeling as if you’re better off not believing in anything at all.
But that’s just your bullshit talking. And once your bullshit starts talking, that’s when the real work has finally begun.
The question, is not “can I change my life?” or “can I do something remarkable?”
The question is, “how am I going to respond when, not if, my bullshit speaks up and says ‘hell no’?”
What makes us special is neither our knowledge nor our passion, but rather our willingness to remain committed to dealing with our own bullshit no matter what.
Alex Haley wrote, “Either you deal with what is the reality, or you can be sure that the reality is going to deal with you.”
Don’t give up on life.
Don’t give up on yourself.
Deal with your bullshit before it deals with you.