"Deep down inside I believe most people on the planet are heartbroken, why? Because they have betrayed the visions, ambitions, values, mission in their heart. They have betrayed their talent." - Gary Vee.
The Depression Center website tells you that no matter where you are in your journey, working towards specific goals can help you live the life you want while managing your mental health. And I cannot agree more. What is depression? Boiled down to its essence it's that little voice in your heads that tells you everything you don't want to hear. It's the big bad wolf that came to eat you up, and you're carrying it around all the time.
See, that little voice is telling you that you will never achieve anything important, you will never do any good because you are a failure. You are nothing, you will never be remembered. I'll tell you now, I believed that. I took that in and made it a part of myself. I figured I would never amount to anything and so I built walls. I built them to block out anyone looking in because in the end there was nothing to look at. That's what that little, tiny, massive voice tells you to do. And you do it. You did it. And eventually, you build so many walls you become an expert in doing just that, you even start building walls to block yourself out. I built the best walls. And I shut little parts of myself out. Well, guess what! I incorporated that voice, and you're damn right I could wall it out too! That's not just a coping tactic. Depression feeds off of you! That voice needs your attention to grow, to exist. Without it, I promise you it will start to fade.
But it's not easy. You don't just decide to ignore the demons that guided your life for so long. But you sure as hell can distract them. That is the value of setting goals. Because when you're working towards something, whatever that is, you don't have the time to listen to them. Do this, when you're done reading this take a piece of paper and write down, for three days, every time you hear depression whispering its words at you. Write down the time, and what you're doing. You'll start to notice that it's almost never when you're putting your attention onto something else. Distract the demons! The less they talk to you the more time you have to start building your final wall.
Discover your talent. Or discover your passion. If you haven't found it yet I'll give you your first task, goal #1 if you will. Discover what you want to focus on. Go and explore, try different things, try a lot of them. Go pick up a guitar, start learning a language, go skiing, skateboarding, hiking, do lots of things. Until you know what you want to put your energy towards. Now, my passions were cooking, guitar, nature, and psychology. I dedicated all my time between school stuff to advance my knowledge and skills in these fields. The hardest part about it? Finding the will to actually get up and do it. I just wanted to spend all my time watching TV, laying in bed, and "sleeping it off". Goal #2: Eat. Force yourself to eat properly. Eat your greens and eat your meats, don't order out. Most people with depression, including me, lose all their hunger and you don't feel the need to eat. Well if you don't eat you won't have any energy to get better. If you find it hard to prepare yourself meals every day, cook one time for the whole week. Meal prep. You can even subscribe to HelloFresh. I wish I had this option in all honesty.
This is not only going to distract the inner voices but help you gain confidence too. Once, you get better at something you start to gain value through that. No matter how little value you seem you'll earn, there is now one less thing the demons can bring you down on! It's a victory!
The most important thing I learned undertaking this journey, and something I wish I had learned much faster, was to set your rules. I would practice guitar from time to time, while I was playing my favorite songs I was almost like everything else faded away. It was just me and my guitar, the pain just went away. For a brief moment, I felt normal again. However, I didn't always play. A lot of times I would forego that, or learning about space, animals, psychology because I had "other things" to do. Of course, I almost never got around to them until the last minute, which is what I would've done if I still played guitar, or read my books. And I ended up not getting the full value of those distractions. But there is nothing more important than getting better. So don't skimp out on it! I told myself finally, that for AT LEAST one hour a day I would play my guitar, no matter what anyone else said, and what else I had going on. It wasn't just playing guitar, it was beating these demons I carried for far too long!
Set those rules, and follow tried and true methods for getting better at your passions, or your talents. Read carefully, these are the walls that keep the demons out! One of the methods I talked about for achieving something is through forgiveness, when you start forgiving yourself for not following your path, when you start forgiving yourself for not doing what you said, for not accomplishing what you wanted to, and then get up and do it again tomorrow. When you start doing that, where do you stop? Do you want to know what I learned from that? I learned to get up and dust myself off! I just kept picking myself up from fall after fall, within falls and falls. I just got up. You just get up! And forgive yourself. Because you're only accountable to yourself, and those damned demons are not yourself.
And finally, goal #3, remember that you are part of a larger cosmos, whether natural or not! You do have a purpose, you can make a difference, and you more than certainly can be remembered for what you did! Repeat this to yourself every single day. Say it out loud. Shout it if you have to! Put it on your bedroom door, on your fridge, on your mirror. On every mirror! I. Am. Important!
Here's the condensed recap.
Distract the demons
Discover your passion
Eat your greens and eat your proteins.
Set rules and follow them, your own rules
Goal #1: Go and explore. Try out everything you can think of, and find what you want to focus on. It doesn't have to be only one thing.
Goal #2: Eat and eat healthy. Cook every meal, or meal prep on the weekend, or use services like HelloFresh.
Goal #3: Recite this out loud every morning: I am part of a larger cosmos. I do have a purpose, I can make a difference, and I more than certainly can be remembered for doing good! I Am Important!
Thank you for tuning in to one of my first blog posts, there will be many more to come, but everyone has to start somewhere. Let me know what you thought of this article, what did you learn from this? What can I change about it? What did you really like, and what can I improve in the future?
Hi, I'm Matthew, my mission is to spread knowledge about motivation, productivity, and enabling people to achieve the best that they can be! I have a vast background in psychology and a passion for self-improvement. I literally can't remember a time when I didn't have a psychology book in my hands. On top of that, I've traveled around the world from a very young age, and seen many different courses of life, forming friendships with highly successful people, as well as people who are willing to do anything to make ends meet. My own life took me down a roller coaster of highs and lows, and I'm forever grateful that I've been able to overcome everything it threw at me. Now I want to take the opportunity to give back, and help others learn tools and methods for becoming who they were born to be!