You’re stuck in a dead-end job.
You feel you have no control. You want to break free, but it seems impossible...too scary.
Sign up for the No Problem meditation course.
You wish you knew what you “really wanted”.
But, even if you knew, would you have the courage to go for it? The motivation? The confidence?
You dream about having a mind-state that would give you the freedom to live life on your own terms rather than someone else’s. By the way, that’s why you meditate: to develop that mind-state (because why? What’s wrong with your current repertoire of mind-states?).
There’s an urgency to this.
If it doesn’t get fixed, you risk wasting your entire life never knowing what could be.
What about your body? Sitting at a desk all day will take its toll as the years progress.
At the end, you’ll be rewarded with:
“Here lies Michael. He may not have reached his potential, but at least he fixed his anxiety problem.”
(I'm assuming, of course, that you and I have the same name.)
In the meantime, you’re not taking your job seriously.
You’re using vacation time to do the stuff you actually care about. You’re browsing the web at work and you’re trying to cover up your low productivity. Of course, you resent the word “productivity”, because that’s just capitalism again digging its claws into your back.
Secretly, you crave a life without responsibilities or obligations. You daydream about how thrilling it would be if you refused to do work that wasn't personally meaningful. You want to gallop through the forest, pursuing your own interests wherever they lead.
But, you’re afraid to speak up because you don’t want to be an asshole.
You don’t even want to do a good job at work because doing a good job would mean doing it your way, and that's too scary.
So, you walk around like a zombie, your energy depleted, with no time to do anything fulfilling.
Your relationships suck, too, because you’re stressed out and dumping that stress on everyone else in your life.
Deep down, you’re ashamed of your inability to make a decision.
You tell yourself you ought to be more assertive, ought to be successful, to complete everything on your bucket list, to feel confident and motivated, to stack up favorably against everyone else.
And if you fail?
You hate to admit this, but you act like a victim.
You blame the demands of your job, your mean boss, and all your friends who “just don’t get it.”
If that doesn't work, you look inward and blame your personality, your brain chemistry, your life circumstances that have led to this point in time, or your parents for training you to neglect your own needs.
When all that fails, you blame capitalism and society at large for encouraging a 24-hour workday.
Even if you wanted to change, to do that thing you “really” want to do, you’re still a victim of lack of money, lack of connections, and the fact that you just don’t live in the right place.
You're overwhelmed by choices.
You could stay in this job (or this field) or you could break free and follow your passion.
That decision feels impossibly difficult. It tears you apart at the seams.
You agonize over fundamental values.
You know you need follow your heart. That much is obvious. But…you’re terrified it’s going to mean no money. Even worse, you’ll get judged for being irresponsible.
Do I choose freedom or money?
Do I be assertive or do I be agreeable?
Should I take a risk or choose comfort?
Should I be responsible and think of the future, or be authentic and follow my heart in the present?
You're struggling because you don't know yourself.
I want to save you some time barking up the wrong tree.
Here’s the deal. You must make the decision to seek pleasure. You can’t make these decisions based on avoiding pain. If you do that, you’re only going to feel pain no matter how you decide.
Every decision feels wrong because you're making it to escape from what you don't want, not to pursue what you do want.
Things feel hard because you're not integrated.
Decide based on pleasure. But, that pleasure has to come in the form of higher values. The only way to choose higher values is to know yourself. Not intellectually, but emotionally and physically. It’s all connected.
The quickest route to knowing yourself is through meditation.
It’s literally just sitting and watching your mind.
But, there’s a problem, and I’m sure you’ve already run into it (probably without knowing).
The problem is that society has taught you that meditation is about creating a state.
You’ve bought into the lie that your decisions should feel good, that you should feel good staying where you are, or you should feel good changing where you are.
But, you can’t do that, and it’s because you’re not integrated.
So, all your decisions suck.
You've tried "making it work".
You've tried being assertive, but you hate yourself so you can't quite do it.
Even when you manage to squeak out something assertive, it comes from a place of blame and resentment. People don’t like to hear that, so you don’t get the results you’re looking for.
- You try being happy with what you have.
- You try to relax, to have fun, to write in your gratitude journal.
- You avoid complaining, you say only positive things.
- You keep your head down and work hard, doing a good job.
- When you’re bored, you add stupid shit into your life to spice it up.
When none of that works and you feel completely defeated and depressed, you turn to therapy and pills.
None of that works because it's all coming from the wrong place.
By the way, there’s nothing wrong with any of it. Those things could work under the right circumstances.
But, you’d have to know yourself first.
You’d have to be integrated and doing it all for the right reasons. Then, and only then, would it feel empowering, like you’re loving yourself and other people. Not like you’re fighting.
I want to know you’re serious about integration.
Otherwise, I’m worried I’m wasting my time.
So, I’m asking you: are you ready to finally stop running from yourself? If so, great. Let’s meet you where you are.
I’m giving you permission to stop running.
I'm encouraging you to lack confidence and assertiveness, to be anxious, to not know what the right decision is.
Even to be a total screw-up.
When you feel so much pressure, it's hard to stop running.
Society (which is responsible for this pressure in the first place) has given you some platitudes to help you feel good about decisions without having to acquire self-knowledge.
For example, it tells you, “you’ll regret either choice.” Uh, OK…what am I supposed to do with that? Choose randomly?
You should be making decisions based on love, not regret. But, you can only do that when you know yourself. You’ve gotta know what love feels like.
You tell yourself, “enough is enough!” and you vow to break free and not let anything get in the way of your emancipation.
But…that’s fear driving the boat now, isn’t it?
You literally can’t tell if it's fear or love, can you?
Hence, your stress.
Listen: the goal isn’t to make the right decision. You don’t know what the right decision is, and you’ll never know.
Instead, the goal should be to take an action and handle the consequences.
Go deeper. Hear the voice inside yourself.
Learn to hear the voice that's deeper than the layers of social programming which are designed to make other people comfortable. Deeper than the layers that are designed to make other people uncomfortable.
Exercise: Using social media for self-knowledge
Let's try an exercise right now that will show you what it feels like to take an authentic action.
Go on social media and post something you know is going to be unpopular.
If you know yourself, you'll be able to do this. If not, you won't. Instead, you'll be fixated on what other people think. You'll either refrain from posting or you'll post as a big "F*** YOU". Either way, you're under social control.
I want you to post as an exercise in self-understanding, like practicing an instrument. It's a solitary activity, between you and the instrument.
That kind of self-exploration is what happens in meditation. You literally watch how the mind works.
- 1Go on social media and post something you know is going to be unpopular.
- 2Notice how you can make that decision, even with bad consequences.
- 3Then, wait for someone to react negatively.
- 4Notice how you handle it.
- 5Ask yourself: am I capable of finding a good strategy to handle it? Either you are or you aren’t. Watch what happens and be the judge.
I made the No Problem meditation course to give you self-knowledge.
It will give you the ability to watch how your mind works, to see it without judgment, so you can meet yourself where you are. Then, when you do stuff in the real world, you’ll notice the consequences. That’s how you get integrated.
- You don’t need any meditation experience to do this course.
- It’s 6 lessons, and you can complete it in 6 days if you do one lesson per day.
- Each lesson has a video and 15-minute guided audio meditation.
It will teach you how to look at yourself.
If this sounds like it might be for you, I invite you to click the “sign up” button below.
“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.”
Some years ago, I was working as a computer programmer while semi-secretly wanting to be a musician. I sent this email to a career counselor:
“I absolutely hate doing computer programming as a full-time job (in small doses it's fun). I'm an overpaid clerk. It's boring, physically uncomfortable, and only tangentially related to what I went to school for.
If I wanted a job in what I went to school for, I'd need a PhD, and a whole lot more motivation and interest than what I have. Also, most people with PhDs do end up programming, since academic jobs are so competitive.
I would love to do something in music. But that's hard since I have no music degree. Getting a bachelor's might be difficult, since you can't get most scholarships if you already have a degree. Also, the level of intelligence of undergraduates at all but the absolute best schools leaves a lot to be desired, so I might get frustrated. A master's degree might be feasible, but that would need more preparation (music schools require an audition). Also, since I don't have much experience, it's not really possible for me to honestly answer the question, "why do you want a degree in music?", since I'd have to try more things before knowing if that's what I want to do. I also need to work on cultivating the snobbish attitude and massive ego necessary for success in music.
I'm pretty sure there's no job that I both want and am qualified for.”
Poor Michael 😢
If I’d asked him what he thought his problem was, he might've said:
“Should I quit my job and take a risk as a musician, or stay here and make the best of it? Both seem bad. I think I’m not confident/assertive/brave enough. Also, too anxious.”
“This is social conditioning. You're trying to live up to an idealized image of who you’re supposed to be. You were TAUGHT you should be confident/assertive/brave/non-anxious and you obsess over it because you want to be GOOD.
You won't feel confident if your decisions are based on pleasing/displeasing others. Explore yourself and trust your ability to handle the consequences of your actions.
That’s why you’re attracted to meditation, but your misconceptions mean it'll take several more years before it helps.”
I think he’d be intrigued.