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How Only a Verbal Punch in the Face Can Motivate You to Change

I am finally going to use the word. It’s been 3 months in the making & a few days since it has crystallised in my mind. I feel like I need to be honest about it with myself.

The fact is, I’ve thought of myself as ‘unhappy’ over the last few months in this job, but it would be more accurate to say ‘miserable’.

I am miserable.

There’s no point taking the edge off it or painting over the cracks. There are too many warning signs to ignore this truth: it’s affecting my mood at all times, regardless of what I’m doing & who I’m with.

It is important to be honest with yourself for piece of mind, true. But it is also dangerous. Lie to yourself & you trick yourself into believing a false reality.

If I start thinking it’s not that bad then I’ll start believing it. I’ll start thinking it’ll be fine to carry on working in a job I find unfulfilling for another year, maybe even two. I’ll start believing that my current, miserable state is the norm. That happiness is, in fact, just a fleeting feeling you might get once a week as you leave the office on a Friday afternoon.

Don’t avoid the bitter reality: if you are miserable, then write it down on paper & let it sink in. Just take it like a jab in the face. Let it sting & wake you from your apathy.

 Let it fuel your fire

I don’t write this to garner sympathy or to feel sorry for myself. I write it to instil action in myself.

Could you look yourself in the mirror & accept that you will do nothing about being miserable? Would you not force yourself to confront the fact that things need to change? Would you be able to excuse inaction?

I know that I can’t.

By facing the reality that I am miserable, I am creating a deep, powerful drive in myself to change my circumstances. I am making a promise to myself that I will never return to such a state. That I will, at least, do everything in my power to live a happy, fulfilling life.

And the beauty of it? The worse it gets, the more driven you become.

I started realising this job was not quite for me 2–3 months ago. I started looking for the exit — doing a bit of writing, browsing for other jobs, having conversations with other entrepreneurial friends.

Yet everything was fine. The job was OK, the people were great, the perks were nice, I was out the office at around 6. It was all just fine, OK, nothing-to-complain-about.

In the last 2 months, I’ve come to face the reality that I was less happy than I realised — that I was miserable — & it was time to take concrete steps towards forging my own future.

So I went from browsing around for jobs twice a week to writing 1,000 words every morning, getting up at 6.30am & spending all of my free time working on a business plan & defining precisely what I wanted to do in life.

If I had just lied to myself & said that everything was ‘fine’, that I was ‘just a bit unhappy’? I don’t think any of this every would have happened.

Next time you look in the mirror, take a long hard look at yourself. Are you being honest with yourself? Are you willing to accept a life that’s just ‘fine’? If not, what are you going to do about it?

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