What’s the most difficult thing you’ve ever done? Finding a partner? Raising a child? Getting through college? We run into things like this all the time. Challenges big enough to become goals. It makes me wonder: Is there a blanket strategy to fix them all?
Sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. If there was one thing you could do that would sort of fix everything, wouldn’t you like to know what it is? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a solid starting point for any problem? Wouldn’t it be nice to not be clueless? Because I think I’ve found it. And you’re going to hate me after hearing it. But I promise, it works. But first, let’s talk about crippling depression.
I joke about this now because I’ve come out the other side. Plus, it was my own battle. But don’t get me wrong, if you’re struggling, get some help. Seriously. In my case, though, I make fun of my existential melancholy because it wasn’t serious. I mean, it was serious. But it was purely a fabrication of my own mind. Nothing was really wrong. The only problem was I couldn’t be creative.
You see, my brain makes Picasso look like a lawyer. I’m not saying it’s better than Picasso’s — because the quality of creative work depends on a lot more than creativity. But it certainly takes the open part of “openness” to a whole new level. But that’s not always a good thing.
Growing up, I was perpetually uneasy. Because no one tells kids to pursue a hard life. Everything is soft. Everything is about comfort. Safety. Defense. Which doesn’t work, since I’m practically designed for offense. I’m a fighter. I belong out there in the mud. Put me somewhere warm and comfortable, and I spiral out of control.
This problem felt astronomical at the time. I didn’t know what to do about it. It’s not like I had a reference. And it felt stupid to give up comfort. So I did the only thing I could: I kept trying different things. I showed up to the war room every day and tried something. Anything. After about seven years, I’m finally getting somewhere. Now, I run a tech company making trading bots. While writing actively on Medium. And producing my first album — songs I’m writing for the sweetest girl in the world. But I only found this sweet spot by showing up over and over again. Even when I didn’t know why.
And that’s the disappointing answer you’ve been waiting for. The best way to achieve any goal you have is to simply show up. A lot. And keep showing up. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing. When you put yourself in that environment, things happen that you can’t explain. And maybe one of them will lead you to something good. Besides, it’s not like you have any better ideas.