The Thing That Holds You Back

Your perception is different from reality.

You think things are a certain way when they’re not.

You expect people to treat you a certain way but they don’t.

You wish for things to happen in your life that never do.

I’ll say it again:

Your perception is different from reality.

And because of your perception, because of this detachment from reality, you do nothing.

Better to remain safe and take no action, you think.

Better to not reach out. Better to not engage. Better to not learn.

Better to keep your head buried in the sand.

If you don’t take action, you will remain safe.

If you don’t write that blog post, you will not be ridiculed.

If you do nothing, you will not be disappointed.

This is not groundbreaking stuff. The idea that we are our own worst enemy goes back to the days of the ancient Greeks and found within such myths as Hercules andNarcissus.

So, if this stuff is common knowledge, why do so many of us fail to make the changes in our lives we know we need to make?

Why do we give up when we don’t have to?

Why do we constantly get in our own way?

It’s because we don’t let this little fact sink in:

Your perception is different from reality.

You can imagine all you want, but that doesn’t change the state of things.

The way that you view yourself and the world around you is different than what actually is and what is possible.

Once you start to realize that and let it seep into your being, life starts to make a little more sense, and you can set aside your fears and doubt.

Then you can move forward.

Do something about your inaction

I’ve got another 40–50 years left in me, if I’m lucky. In that time, I want to do things that have meaning.

This means I try to spend as much time as possible learning, creating and taking care of myself.

It means I spend a lot less time sitting in front of the TV, scrolling through my social media feeds and eating shitty food.

I do this because I don’t like the thought of drifting through life on a sailboat constructed out of ignorance and complacency.

I have spent too much of my life living in fear and doubt and it has gotten me nowhere.

If you’re reading this, you likely have similar doubts.

Living in a constant state of fear does not make for a healthy, fulfilling life. You could argue that the more one learns about the world, the more one has a tendency to feel unsettled. This leads to people lashing out against one another because they’re afraid.

Aside from angry tweets, this behavior rarely results in action, though, and knowledge without action is useless.

They lash out because they know they won’t actually do anything about the problems in their own lives and the injustice they see around them. And they won’t because they think they can’t.

We can all do something, though, however small that might be.

It all starts with the desire to accumulate knowledge.

If you are always in survival mode, if you don’t first invest in yourself, that desire will never manifest.

Ignite Desire

But how does one achieve such a desire? Especially when there’s so many other things to do, like watch Netflix and scroll through Twitter?

The desire to be constantly entertained dominates our lives.

How much time do you spend each day watching TV?

How much time do you spend on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all the others?

Do you get anything positive from all the media you consume?

These services have their place, but too much of a good thing is…

And it gives us absolutely nothing, except maybe conversation fodder at the water cooler the next day.

That constant consumption fuels anxiety and depression.


Life generally looks like this:

  • Spend your entire childhood in school, learning how to be a cog.
  • Go to college and learn how to be a cog some more.
  • Get a job in which you are a fully-formed cog.
  • Die, wishing you had done things differently.

This is a commonly held belief about what life and death is and what has been drilled into our brains from birth.

You spend your entire day working according to someone else’s agenda and your nights in front of the TV and your phone.

And you wonder why you don’t feel gratified.

By ignoring the thing that holds you back you are ignoring yourself.

But the more time you spend seeking answers to the problems that plague your life, the more likely you are to find them.

Take a look at yourself.

Find your own answers.

Don’t settle for less.

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