How To Pull Yourself Out of a Rut- Time for 2.0 YOU

How To Pull Yourself Out of a Rut- Time for 2.0 YOU

It’s a really weird feeling to know that your current situation is wrong for you and that you need to make a change, but you just haven’t a damn clue on how to do it.

Hey guess what.

You're stuck in a rut.

Don't worry, I'm there with you.

The first time I was stuck in rut

Flashback to 20 something year old David.

I went through the motions of school and doing everything I was supposed to do:

Get good grades.

Get a car.

Get a good job.

Get a girlfriend.

Get a condo/house.

Get married (I was on this path but didn't do it) and work for 2 weeks vacation a year.

The problem was I never gave any thought to what I really wanted to do. I just went through the motions and then BAM, mediocre life.

I was quite obsessed with money, jobs and status

The more money the more successful right?

Money is certainly a sign of success…

It gives access to women and allows you to network with higher quality men.

But being one dimensional has it's traps too.

Lots of money with little time to enjoy it has very little value in all practical sense.

Great! I can take care of myself but I'm with a girl I'm not attracted to, I have a job I hate and I'm living in place I don't want to be.

Yea on the outside, everything is looking great.

On the inside, I was living a quite life of desperation.

Simple survival

Look, I always say things can be much worse.

Sam Bankman Fried is stuck in a prison cell for the next 30 some odd years. He is now just “surviving” just as well as the man who sits in a cubicle for 50 hours a week.

What's the difference?

The cubicle worker has money but limited freedom and feels like life is slipping away, the other has nothing but time to dwell and torture himself with his own thoughts on how he screwed up is life forever and obviously has zero freedom.

Both are surviving, but are both successful?


Success is not merely survival.

Success is also not simply having lots of money.

Success as I define it is doing work that is helpful to other people, work you take satisfaction in where you're making a contribution to society and making a healthy profit so you can take care of yourself and the people you love both physically as well as spiritually.

Anything less than this is not success.

Stuck in rut again

The only thing worse than not getting what you want is getting it and watching it slip away.

I got myself out of a rut the first time by going abroad to teach English in Thailand.

Yes, I quite my job, broke up with my then girlfriend, started dating this Thai girl who was an exchange student in Connecticut and realized I could go abroad and be an ESL teacher once she had to go back to Thailand.

That single decision to leave my world behind changed my life.

It led me to becoming self employed through running a few different websites, a YouTube channel and making real money online.

But things started slowly falling apart.

YouTube with invalid traffic.

My websites getting crushed by Google algo changes.

I spent wayyyyy to much time drinking, partying and going out with girls in Bangkok. All the while doing minimal work.

I stop being the person I was.

In Vietnam, I was making videos every week, writing blog posts, doing UX testing and teaching online a bit.

I was also in a healthy relationship with a high quality girl who loved me and wanted to see me do well.

We eventually broke up (my fault- huge painful lesson), covid lockdowns happened, I left Vietnam and went back to the USA for 6 months.

Once I came back to Thailand, I stopped behaving in this highly productive way.

I stopped being me.

Pull yourself out of a rut fast

Here's what I learned on how to pull yourself out of a rut fast.

We all can sit around and think about what we want.

Feel sad for the problems in our life.

"Why me."

"This shit only happens to me."

But transitions are gateways to transformations.

You just have to step through. Here's how.

Step 1 - STOP thinking about what you want, start thinking about who you need to become.

I realize now that I need to level up my business and my work.

Email marketing, paid ads, copywriting and selling stuff.

Not just blogging and making videos.

It's too one dimensional.

I have a good foundation set, but I need to work harder on the skills that can make me legit wealthy and can help other people in the process.

Ads, content, products, building a small team even.

Not just being a scrappy guy cobbling together an online income.

But a real online business that is making bank and helping people.

I also need to level up myself with regards to my relationships. I thrive best when I have the love of a good woman and flounder when engaging in hookup culture.

In short, I need to become a different person. I need to become someone new and better.

I need to plan out what I want and need for my life and the person I need to start showing up as to get exactly that.

Write out your dream lifestyle

Write out everything in a journal, tablet, phone, or leave yourself a voice message, whatever.

Get specific on your dream lifestyle. The relationship you want. Where you see yourself living. The amount money you're making. How you would feel on a day to day basis. Your physical fitness.

Everything. A new version of you. Don't stop until you're excited and then watch how quickly that vision of yourself becomes reality.

The goal is to get clarity through writing.

Keep what you write and periodically check in on it as it keeps your thoughts focused on the end goal so you don't get distracted.

You want to start taking action so you can begin bridging the gap between where you are and where you need to be.

This may lead you to making big moves like I did with going abroad to teach English.

Step 2 - Reconnect to the old you

Vietnam David was crushing it.

I was making $12K+ a month when I was in Vietnam during the Covid nonsense.

My main YouTube channel started printing money, my website about teaching online and abroad started making $800-1200 a month (and $7000 a month during back to school season).

I was doing UX reviews on Fiverr.

Had a great relationship and friends, traveled casually in Vietnam.

I was also in great shape.

In short, what were you doing when you were at your peak? What was your lifestyle like?

Sometimes it's not doing something new, it's reconnecting to what you did in the past that you now stopped doing for whatever reason.

Step 3 - Work towards something & plan stuff

You don't want your life to be like that movie "Ground Hogs day" where everyday is the same thing.

When you're working towards something, it's pleasurable.

Like if you're working a crappy job, but you're putting that money away towards something like a trip.

It makes that crappy job easier.

This is why I did the wine marathon in France with my friend Johnny. You don't want each day to repeat and repeat.

You need to break your patterns.

So where are you? How did you get there? Are you growing or are you coasting? With growth comes adventure, flexibility, and uneasiness. With coasting comes rigidity, predictability, boredom, death, and the feeling: “I can live better than this.”
This expands to all aspects of life.
You’re body knows this too, it’s telling you, are you listening?
The easy is doable, but is is worth doing? I’m not so sure. Starting is easy, but to really do anything takes persistence, luck, knowing what the hell your doing, and a few thousand hours.

This is big stuff, but also do it with the small things too.

Like, a weekly call with a friend that puts you in a good mood, a TV show you watch with someone else or a once a month lunch you do where you leave feeling food.

Little wins stack up.

So do small defeats.

So start winning.

Stop pretending that everything is fine when it’s not

Pretending can be lots of fun!

Thinking about what it will be like when x,y and z happen is enjoyable.

With that said, pretending that everything is fine when things are really starting to fall apart is not okay.

It’s like a smoker saying they know smoking is bad for them and they should quit but they just don’t know how.

...or someone in a fwb, casual relationship but whoops, they start really liking the other person and they have to accept the painful realization that this other person is just...not...feeling... the same.

But hey it's fine, I'm okay with just a casual fwb relationship.

But you're really not.

The reality is that love is your drug and you need to cut off that fwb relationship because it's gone from fun to toxic. It's bad for your mental health and soul.

What is the thread that ties these two together? 


Denial prevents you from surrendering to the truth

Most things in life you’re a fool to give in and surrender.

Except for love and truth.

Then you are a fool to not give in and surrender.

As it relates to denial, denial and pretending are just stupid things people do because the truth is scary and it can give a sense of powerlessness.

Coming to the realization that your relationship is a joke, your job sucks but what are you going to do?

Your not where you thought you would be...

These thoughts and realizations are painful…but also very liberating.

Breakups, transitions, ruts are painful, but one thing is true.

When you lose something, it allows you to drop it and make room for something bigger an better.

My biggest growths spurts have always come after some mini crisis in my life, some huge transition. Pain is stimuli.

It forces you to change.

No one likes having these realizations. Stop pretending and embrace the truth. Even if it gives you a feeling of powerlessness.

Powerlessness is better than denial or ignorance because it makes you clear headed.

You’re able to make decisions based on the reality of the situation and not wishful thinking. Once you do surrender to truth then you can start becoming the person you need to start showing up as to get what you want.

So stop pretending

I covered my own ruts here, take some overview of your situation:

  • How are you doing financially? This includes savings, investments, debt and so forth. Are you able to live or do you worry about money?
  • How are you doing in your relationships? Are you able to attract the right people into your life that uplift you and help you achieve your goals? Or do you attract vampires and bums? Do you have a healthy social circle of friends?
  • How are you doing physically? Are you fit and healthy, or overweight and tired?
  • Are you being challenged enough in life? Do you think you are learning and growing as an person, or have you flat lined, is life groundhogs day?
  • Are you doing work that is meaningful to you or someone else? You don't need to change the world, just do something of value to other people.
  • Do you have standards for yourself and are you living up to them? Standards are things like going slow with emotionally investing in someone, getting up early to get a start on the day, making time to work out.
  • Lastly, are you having fun? Are you enjoying your life overall?

Write 2-4 sentences answering each question, then give yourself a grade.

This will give you a broad look at your life to spot areas that need attention and areas where you can relax a bit.

If you give yourself anything less than a B you have room for improvement. Really you want A’s and B’s. No C’s or D’s.

Get out of a rut ASAP

So reinvent yourself. Small wins compound (as do small defeats).

Don't just think about what you want - you do need to think about who you need to become, who you need to start showing up as for both your work and relationships.

Life is only going to get better when you get better. You don't have time to waste.