At some point, you've probably had the idea of a multi-universe reality where there are multiple versions of yourself.
Some doing very well, other versions... not so much. Where are you at?
I just wrapped up a wonderful 1-month trip visiting my family and one painful realization set in that I want to share:
This past year I didn't really progress.
I'm a year older making less than I was this time last year (which has never happened for me. Everything has only gotten better each year).
I'm now a year older with fewer options, less flexibility, it's my own damn fault and I feel so stupid about it.
Well, I lived it up in Bangkok a bit too much - I know that's a lame excuse but that's what happened. Bangkok is a fun city and you either control it or it controls you as I've come to find out.
I fell off with what got me here in the first place and that was being a content creator (learn more on how to work for yourself).
When I was living in Vietnam, I was just way more productive.
Working a full schedule every day, making YouTube videos, making Skillshare and Udemy courses, blog posts, doing brand deals and creating and promoting digital products. All the while going out once a week or so with friends or my then-girlfriend.
Instead, once I hit Bangkok last year I stopped making videos and did the bare minimum to manage my websites because I was always invited out to some fun event in Bangkok.
It was not uncommon for me to go out 3-4 times a week having fun.
Never really saying NO and always lying to myself that I'll get to it later. I got caught up drinking and partying too much and that is a whole lesson in and of itself (in short, being a weekend warrior / "social drinker" with alcohol will severely limit your growth if not stop you dead in your tracks).
Well that ends now.
I'm writing this as a warning shot to you, but also as a lesson learned for me. I'm lucky that I only lost one year to stupidity and nonsense instead of my entire life because extrapolated out, that's what's at stake.
Let me explain...
True suffering is creating a personal hell that's totally your fault
It's easy to fool yourself into thinking that giving up cheap dopamine like video games, nights out drinking, bad food or cutting back on spending time with friends and family is somehow an unreasonable expectation.
But it's actually what's required for you to get to that next level with regard to your fitness, finances, and relationships. As I like to say, become a "man possessed" as it relates to your work ethic and focus on a singular goal.
"Hey, life is short and you only live once right?"
That's the easy justification for this sort of behavior of delving into cheap dopamine and I get it. Life is actually short, you don't want to model Gary V and be this one-dimensional workaholic.
You do want to strive for a life that is dynamic and where you have a choice.
This requires sacrifice and discipline:
Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want the most. -Abraham Lincholn
Because real suffering is when you create a personal hell for yourself where you wake up and you're in your mid-30s 40s and realize you made a lot of bad choices.
THIS is the cost too many nights out drinking with friends, weed and porn, not following a healthy diet regularly and becoming consumed by family expectations.
Just floating along from one thing to the next. Not steering the ship that is your life.
Hell is when you look back on your life, income, and personal growth and realize you're pretty much the same person now as you were 10+ years ago.
It's just that you're now in an older, fatter, aging body. With the same exact options you had when you were 24.
Except you're not 24 anymore.
You're not some young guy where it's totally fine to not really know what you're doing as "you're figuring things out."
You're an adult and you should be in a position of leadership where you're guiding the younger generation.
As opposed to being some loser needing a bailout.
You'll also discover that all your experiences become utterly repetitive because you choose to do the easy thing that fell into your lap while medicating yourself with cheap pleasures like weed, porn, booze, and casual flings with random women.
Regret starts to happen when you start getting outclassed
Regret really starts to set in however when you see people who 10 years ago were in the same place as you who are now light years ahead.
In physically great shape, makes tens of thousands of dollars a month, doing interesting things each year, dating beautiful women, or perhaps they have a wife and family of their own.
Dressed sharp, looking and feeling great with a high-quality woman at their side.
Living a life in the grace of god (avoiding degeneracy which is all too easy to fall into), a life that is something aspirational. Full of ever-increasing options as they age.
Experiences that are now off-limits to you
The easiest way to give up the "cheap stuff" is to really think of the pain you will feel if you ever meet these people again, seeing how they can experience things that are totally off-limits to you with regard to passion, power and money.
Other people who had the same advantages and perhaps even less than you but are now doing better than you in every measurable way simply because they made the decision to live and give up the easy, the comfortable and the now for the difficulty of pursuing the great.
You by contrast will be mid-life and full of regret as you look at yourself in the mirror and have to come to terms with your poor choices that led you to just being an older version of the 24 year old you were with the same exact life options.
Starting over and full decade behind where you could have been.
That is hell
That is pain.
That is a hard life.
It will come for you if you don't give up the small, bad habits you have. Life is not about the big things and the big moments as many think, it's the small things.
Your habits like the food you eat, exercise, and the things you do each day are what make up your life. Make the hard choices now so you don't wake up older in age burdened by struggle and haunted by your poor choices.