How To Escape Loneliness

Our family surrounds us at birth, and they’re present for the most part throughout your life, but they never warned you of the loneliness in this world. They never prepared you for the harsh truths and rough life that you may lead.

You were thrown headfirst endlessly seeking happiness and pleasure. Through the entire journey you fall and fail, and fall and fail some more, trying to find a speck of happiness in someone or something.

Your Social Circle

I depend on my social circle to a very large degree. I don’t know who I would be without them. I would be lost.

But before this blissful time, I was hopelessly alone. All through elementary and high school, I just had myself. I was ridiculed and severely unhappy.

In elementary school, I would pretend I was sick and stay home. In high school, I hung out with the librarian and that was where I would eat my lunches, while he talked about his war stories and medical history.

Neither of us enjoyed it.

Your significant other

One of the earliest memories of relationships was from grade 3. Susie was her name. Or maybe, it was Suzy? I told her I liked her, and she screamed and ran away. All the kids made fun of me. I was unhappy.

So what? If girls had cooties, I was okay with it.

Apparently, my peers weren’t. I never had another relationship until high school, which ended terribly and I was emotionally destroyed. After the break-up, I would work seventy-hour weeks just to drown out the emptiness I felt.

Work, work, sleep, and repeat.

Curtis had an xbox

The kid down the street had an Xbox. I hated him. I wanted an Xbox. I deserved one. I got decent grades and I never hurt anyone. Why did he get one and I didn’t?

His parents were rich.

Maybe you have both, friends and a significant other, but something is missing. Your social life is flourishing, but you need an xbox to be happy. That will impress others! If others are impressed, they’ll like you and you’ll be happy.

But then I got that Xbox, and I had a sense of bliss for a little while. But, no one was impressed, no one liked me, and I wasn’t happy.

What’s the solution?

I like to think all factors in my life as external factors. These only supplement happiness, but they don’t provide baseline happiness.

Baseline happiness comes from inside you. It comes from own self-realization that you’re worthy to be happy. Everyone can be happy, but it must come from within.

My friends provide additional happiness, but, first, the baseline must be achieved. In order to make friends, I had to be happy first. I had to realize that I am worthy enough to have friends.

I don’t have a significant other to share everything. However, I am happy, and in time, someone significant will come, but only after I’ve accepted myself wholly.

Xbox and copious amounts of money will not bring you happiness. It might make your life easier for a little bit. But it’s never enough. The richest people are also the most unfulfilled. They realized, the hard way, that money can’t buy happiness. You will be able to have anything you want, but in the end, those items bring just momentary happiness.

When you are able to be happy alone, everything else falls in place. You have to discover intrinsic happiness for yourself. Being happy will take work and time, but search for it.

Give yourself a moment each day to figure out what happiness means to you, what it will take, and how you can achieve it today. Happiness varies from person to person. Discover it for yourself.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

LIVE YOUR LIFE FOR YOURSELF

“Everything I ever do blows up in my face.”

He is slumped forward in his chair, avoiding eye contact and fidgeting with his hands.

“Everyone told me to get a car. ‘It will help’ they said. I didn’t need it, I lost everything I had worked for in eight months.”

“People told me to go to school, they said it would help. Now I’ve wasted four years and I’m in debt.”

I didn’t really know what to say to him. Most lessons we encounter in life are only remembered because they leave scars.

That day, he peeled back the scar tissue and showed me the painful lesson he had learned.

dont let

Don’t life your life according to someone else’s curriculum.

I recently quit my job. The place I work at was infamous for trapping people and keeping them forever.

I had been there seven years, I was making better money than I would elsewhere but it no longer felt right to me.

It was a toxic environment that was chipping away at my mental stability.

I was due for a raise and I figured that the extra money would make it more bearable. That I would be able to stand it if I just made a little more.

But the raise came and went, and I was still coming home feeling drained and depressed.

So I quit.

People warned me that I would not make as much anywhere else.

They poked and prodded me to find out what my plans were so that they could talk about me behind my back.

“He wants to go to Spain and travel for a year, he won’t be able to afford that.”

“This 2HelpfulGuys thing isn’t going to go anywhere. He should have just stayed here and saved.”

Living to appease those around you will never lead to happiness.

Our whole lives we are told what we should do.

People tell you that you should go to school, get a job, find a spouse, mortgage a house, raise a family.

I didn’t want to go down this path and I can feel how uncomfortable it makes people around me.

As soon as I tell people about my dreams, writing books, public speaking, motivating people, starting businesses, they immediately warn me of the inevitable outcomes.

“You only have a 1% chance to make it. What about retirement? Where is the job security?”

Whenever people tell you what you can or can’t do, remember that it is just a reflection of their own limitations.

These people never chased their dreams.

They left them to die somewhere in the past.

In a classroom where the teacher said they couldn’t make it. Or in their living room where there parents told them that they would amount to nothing without a degree and stable job.

I know too many people with degrees they will never use, material objects that bring them no joy and lives that leave them unfulfilled.

All so that people will say “Oh, that’s good for you.” When asked what they have been up to.

I have no idea where my future will take me.

What I do know is that as long as I am following what I believe is my purpose in life, I’ll be happy.

I know people don’t believe in me when I tell them my goals, but I don’t need their approval.

The only approval I need is from the man in the mirror. When I am home alone, contemplating my life, everyone else in the world may as well not exist.

They will come and go like seasons in my life. The only opinion that matters is the one staring back from the glass.
And right now he is thinking “You’re doing the right thing, you’ve got this.”

The Minimalist Experiment

I’ve entered a new phase in my life. I’ve realized that over the many years of life, I have amassed far too much crap.

Crap that just sits there, collects dust and tricks my mind. Tricks my mind into happiness, contentedness, and security. I threw out most things and donated the good ones.

My mom yelled in the background, “What are you doing? This is still good!

It may be still good but there is just too much clutter in my room. I can’t think with all this noise. Everything just sits there, staring at me.

I was introduced to minimalism recently.

My Definition of Minimalism: The process of having few personal possessions, limiting the need to want.

I don’t need all these things. I’ve held onto these items forever and can’t bare to throw out anything. Do I need them? Everything changed when I went on that donation/throwing out rampage. I’ve kept these items in a vain attempt to physically manifest my perceived happiness.

Most of these things mean nothing to me. I have no real attachment to them, but I still feel the need to have. These items did not bring any happiness to me. And when they did, it was only momentary.

My money and time was invested in physical items that had little or no value and producing little momentary happiness. I’ve kept all the items that I hold dear: books (knowledge), some clothes (personal well-being), and assorted birthday presents (memories/treasured possessions).

Everything else went in the trashcan or the donation box. I feel good. I feel less cluttered. I can finally think and navigate my room with ease. I can breathe easy.

I’ve realized that the more things I had, the more I wanted. Surrounded by clutter, I had the subconscious need to have more clutter.

“What’s one more item in the sea of items?”

I kept spending frivolously on items that did not bring me long-lasting happiness. Now everything changes. I will start to save my money, spending them only on experiences.

I will spend on gifts for friends/family, social events, knowledge and trips. I will save and invest. I will invest in long-lasting happiness and treasured experiences.

I am fortunate enough to have everything I need. For most people, they can’t say the same. Yet, people live on next to nothing and still hold a gleaming smile.

“How? Why?”

People do not need much to be happy and strive. The basic essentials, good friends and experiences are all a person needs. We have been brainwashed by consumerist ideals.

They convince us that we need more things for happiness. A bigger house, a new car, a 100-inch HD 3-D television. In the grand scheme of everything, these things mean nothing.

I realize that now. Those items meant nothing to me. I can live happily without the clutter.

I feel like it has taken me 23 years to realize this one incredibly valuable lesson. I have the rest of my life to look forward too and I feel like this is a major epiphany in my life.

I urge you, my beautiful readers, to do the same. Petty items will not produce long-lasting happiness. They will clutter you, consume you and trick you into happiness. I urge you to live simply and simply live.

Speaking for myself, I already feel at ease. I am experiencing the calming effects of minimalism. Maybe it is just in my head. But, I figure, that’s the only person I need to convince. Myself.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

minimalist-room

3 Skills To Improve Your Life

The previous post outlined that learning skills are important for success. I whole-heartedly believe that. However, some skills are significantly more valuable than others.

Some skills are rated higher than others. Some skills are used more often than others. In this post, I’d like to outline three of, what I think are, the most valuable skills to improve your life.

Building Skills

1) Public Speaking 

The majority of people have serious anxieties speaking to large groups. The entire process is intimidating. What if they boo? What if they laugh at you, instead of with you?

The majority of people avoid public speaking at all costs, but I feel it is an important skill to learn and improve. Firstly, if you can speak well in public, you are set above the majority of the population (that’s a HUGE advantage).

Try joining a Toastmaster’s program. They are a large public speaking group that I found extremely helpful. I had a post on public speaking earlier in my writing ‘career’ about improving public speaking.

2) Accounting

Basic accounting skills are so important as an ‘adult.’ You need to keep track of your money on a basic spreadsheet (at the very least).

Every year, during tax season I see my friends scramble to H&R Block to get their taxes done. They have no idea if they’re getting the correct return or that they are overspending for something that can be easily done in your underwear.

If you do not know basic accounting, how are you supposed to verify accounting agencies? I don’t feel comfortable trusting anyone (let alone a large corporation) with my money.

Basic accounting skills can be learned easily with a two day course (that most places offer for free) and through YouTube. Lastly, TurboTax (these companies seriously need to pay me for these endorsements) is an excellent resource for filing taxes in your underwear.

C) Conversation

“Wait a minute, Leroy. Conversation is the same as public speaking.”

I would disagree. Public speaking is more geared to groups. Conversation is for the one-on-one interaction. Too many people are buried in their cellphones and social media.

People have forgotten the lost art of conversation and shudder at the thought of having any human interaction. Most people just talk, which is not the same as conversation.

Conversationalists have learned techniques that are surprisingly nonobvious to most people. The core secret to conversations is introducing yourself and asking questions until you find mutual interests.

Most people want to talk about themselves. This is not a bad trait. In fact, it makes the conversation skill surprising easy to grasp. Ask questions and allow the recipient to answer.

Find common ground and establish a relationship.

Conversations are important to befriend, plan, exchange information, persuade, seduce (to have sex), entertain and form lasting relationships. Too few people have a grasp on strong conversational skills.

Just remember to smile, ask questions, and allow the stranger to talk. Everyone likes to talk about his or her life, and everyone appreciates a sympathetic listener.

Out of fear for making this post too long, I will end the skills here. There are so many more important skills to improve on. If you have any valuable skills, leave a comment below and I will write another article for a future piece.

Be bold, be free, and love on.