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The truth is true for everyone except you

“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.

This Post Has 12 Comments
  1. Your posts are like gifts. My bullshit is eloquent and her resumé is filled with success stories, which is why it goes on for pages. She was so good that I didn’t even recognize when she was at work. No more. No more invisibility, no more free pass. No more bullshit. I see her for what she is. She’s a tough eviction, but I’m working on it.

  2. Whatever you prefer to call the resistance to a new idea, yes it will be there always, and it does take a long time to translate an idea into a workable tool. It needs careful nurturing over a period. The problem is that people are not patient enough to convert a vague concept into a platform to work on. Out of a thousand ideas that may germinate in our minds, may be only one or two can work, and that too only if given a proper shape by us.

    1. Very good thoughts here.

      The problem is that people are not patient enough to convert a vague concept into a platform to work on.

      All too often, we are too hasty and uncritical in our acceptance of something as evidence of failure.

      Out of a thousand ideas that may germinate in our minds, may be only one or two can work, and that too only if given a proper shape by us.

      I have nothing to add on that one. But I really like that statement.

  3. When your initials are BS, you have the opportunity to learn pretty quick the “stories” are not too far away. I am swimming deep in stories these days and learning to get less cozy with them in that I am more comfortable with the not knowing … and not spinning another story QUITE so quickly to replace my BS. when it becomes apparent. What an adventure! Love this post, T.K. and love your spirit. YOU, my dear, enrich … that’s a story I can stick to.

    1. You’re very gracious, Bernadette 🙂 I literally laughed out loud when you pointed out that your initials are BS. Clearly, your intimacy with those initials has played a huge role in helping you develop uncommon wisdom. I love your thoughts. I’m enjoying your blog. Cheers 🙂 -T.K.

  4. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most
    certain way to succeed is always to try just one more
    time.” Thomas Edison (The Wizard of Menlo Park)

    After 8,000 experiments to find the right ingredient
    for the light bulb. (He had many more inventions.)

    I view this as a fresh take on “better to light one candle
    then to curse the darkness.” (Chinese proverb)

    1. Those are some classic quotes and they are timeless for a good reason. We can never be reminded enough, in my opinion, of the need to persist. While it is most definitely true that some practices need to be abandoned, it is also true that the ones that need to be kept must be persisted in for their true value to be seen. Thanks for sharing.

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