Most suffering is self-inflicted.
2 min read

Most suffering is self-inflicted.

Most suffering is self-inflicted.

Why over-optimizing for outcomes leads to depression, anxiety, and burnout.

If look back on my success to date, it’s simply a function of trying to win the game that I’m in.

It started in elementary school. It was easy.  I hated it.

University - likewise.

Building a company was really hard, but I managed to make it work after a decade.

I built the company I wanted - travelled the world, solved for money, created more time. I didn’t enjoy nearly enough of it.

The worst part of my psyche was unveiled after I got my first big win - selling my company right before the pandemic hit.

I spent the next 12 months stressed out.

Stressed about missing out on huge stock market gains.

Stressed about the insane housing market.

Stressed that the new company I was trying to get off the ground wasn’t moving fast enough.

I immediately switched from one game to another, without even taking a week to figure out if it was the right game.

I’ve never been truly happy. Not generally.

Acutely, for sure. I have so many moments of joy, love, and contagious laughter.

An amazing partner, incredible friends, a great family,  and a hilarious dog.

I have time. I have money. I have freedom.

"All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone."

Put me alone in that room, and I fail the test.

What am I so stressed about?

Part of it is chemical.
Part of it is inherited.
Part of it is habitual.

It’s all self-imposed.

Scroll through Twitter right now.

Some guy just raised $13m.
Some gal just hit $50k MRR on her newsletter.

I’ve made the damn money, and I still get that twinge of anxious energy.

“Fuck that, I can do better.”

That feeling that I should be moving faster, doing more.

Why not just not worry about it?

Our lives are so good. We’re so fortunate.

Anyone that has chosen to start a company has chosen a hard path. There are infinite variables - of which luck plays a factor.

The effort is necessary, but the anxiety is not.

In reality, it makes things worse.

Last December I finally cleared my schedule.

I walked. I rode my bike. I hung out with my dog. I wrote.

And I got more productive work done than I had in 5 years.

If you’re already wired to go hard - you don’t need motivation.

You need to chill out. Be kinder to yourself.

Let the work flow.  

Enjoy the process.

Clear your Monday mornings. Cancel your Wednesday meetings. Go for a walk.

Get outside.

Get back to your laptop with the right energy, and the work will take care of itself.

Stop worrying about the outcome, and focus on what you can control - your psychology.

At least give it your best shot, like I am.

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