If you hate your life it’s your duty to fix it. No one is coming to save you. The good news is that if you are an adult, you don’t live in a dictatorship, and you are healthy, you have the power to turn your life around.
Most people who hate their lives do nothing about it other than whining, hiding behind excuses, or playing the victim because it’s easier to point fingers and blame external factors rather than taking responsibility and getting uncomfortable.
Now, I’m not saying that the game of life isn’t rigged against you because it is. But since no one cares, it’s still your duty to do something about it. I’m not saying either that changing your life is easy because it isn’t. But life is hard either way. It’s hard to change a life the rules of which are rigged against you and it’s also hard to live a life that you hate. You’ve got to choose your hard.
Here are the 5 steps to turn your life around:
1. Get Pissed Off
The classic self-help advice revolves around activities that are geared towards soothing your anger against the shitty life you are living. Meditation, yoga, mindfulness, and practicing gratitude might help you to put up with a life that you hate but they do nothing for you to turn it around. The striking commonality between all these activities is that they are all easy to practice. Their easiness renders them useless because if changing your life was as easy as sitting on your ass and meditating, everybody would already be living like rockstars which of course is lights years away from being the case.
Unless you want it badly enough you’ll not be able to turn your life around. Go ahead and get pissed off at living a shitty life that you hate. If utilized in the right way, anger is a powerful emotion. Rather than soothing it, channel it into doing the hard work to change your life for the better. Let your anger fuel you into action.
- Are you broke? Get pissed off that someone who isn’t you is driving a Ferrari.
- Do you have a barren love life? Get pissed off that someone who isn’t you is rejecting more beautiful women than he’s getting.
- Are you stuck in a dead-end job? Get pissed off that someone who isn’t you is retired early and traveling the world with loads of cash in his bank accounts.
- Do you have no friends? Get pissed off that someone who isn’t you has a tight inner circle of close friends who will fight for him.
- Are you depressed? Get pissed off that someone who isn’t you is too busy living the good life that he doesn’t even have the time to sit down and get depressed.
No matter what you want from life, there’s someone who started off from zero and got it with hard work and dedication. If another man can do it why can’t you?
Get pissed off but be careful not to consume your anger with hate. Neither hate yourself nor others. Winners focus on winning. Use your anger to fuel your efforts, get you through persistence, and help you endure the drudgery of hard work.
I managed to turn my life around because I was pissed off at my lack of success in all the areas of life that mattered to a man: health, money, freedom, and women. I focused on value-building activities until I became the man I wanted to be. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it.
Get pissed off and let the right kind of your anger drive you into action.
2. Determine Your Goals
It’s impossible to get what you want without knowing what you want.
What are your goals?
- Making more money?
- Building better relationships?
- Finding a better job?
- Building a business?
- Moving to a better city or a country?
Identifying your goals isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Firstly, it’s essential that you focus on the things that are in your control. For example, “I want my wife to love me” isn’t a good goal since you have little to no control over the feelings of other people.
Secondly, it’s highly probable that you aren’t currently aware of the possibilities that might be available to you. For example, my trips abroad (first to Eastern Europe, then to South East Asia) opened up a whole new world of dating options to me. I saw with my own two eyes that it’s possible for me to date the kind of women that I find attractive. This pleasant discovery led me to search for ways to move to the countries within the regions in question, which in turn led me to discover the phenomenon of location-independent income.
The variety of ways we can live our lives is truly mind-boggling. After your basic needs (water, food, and breathing) are met, the sky is the limit for the rest. As in the examples I mentioned above, traveling abroad can especially be eye-opening in terms of discovering different ways of living. Without exploring different cultures than the one you’ve grown up in, it’s hard, if not impossible, to imagine the different (and in some aspects, superior) ways of living.
Unlock an abundance mindset. You don’t have to put up with bitchy women, annoying bosses, rush-hour traffic, car payments, bad climate, etc. Know that there are many people living their lives without having to put up with what’s currently making your life miserable. Travel abroad, read books and blogs, meet new people. The possibilities are endless. Don’t be stuck inside a rigid worldview.
Traveling abroad opened my eyes to the fact that I can date a feminine, pleasant, and demure woman. Reading blogs taught me that it’s possible to make money online and become location-independent. Reading books taught me how to achieve my goals. Meeting new people allowed me to discover further possible ways of living. As a result, a typical day of my life today looks nothing like it did 6 years ago. The only commonalities are eating and breathing, and even those are different now as I eat better now and I no longer smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day.
Believe that anything is possible unless you have unrealistic expectations and set your goals accordingly. Within just a few years, you can be living a completely different life than the life you are living today provided that you are dedicated to turning your life around.
3. Identify What’s Holding You Back
The degree to which your life sucks is tantamount to the accumulated effect of the mistakes you repeatedly make, either knowingly or unknowingly.
Some mistakes are easy to spot because you probably already recognize them as mistakes but you keep making them either because you don’t want to give up the instant gratification they provide, or you are reluctant to leave your comfort zone.
Examples of such mistakes are:
- Wasting extended amounts of time with mindless entertainment that provides instant gratification such as playing video games, watching porn or TV, consuming social media, or drinking, and so on.
- Not exercising.
- Eating too much and unhealthy.
It’s essential that you didn’t skip Step #2 (determining your goals) because it’s harder to get rid of your mistakes without setting goals that you are enthusiastic about. For example, I hated my life in 2011. I would come home from work and drink beer all night on weekdays and drink even more at the weekends. I figured that my drinking habit was holding me back in life and I quit drinking for 3,5 months hoping that my life would automatically correct itself. Nothing changed in my life within these 3,5 months other than losing a few pounds of weight because I didn’t have any other goal in my mind other than quitting drinking.
Fast forward to 2015, I quit drinking with an unbreakable resolve because I was building a business and I couldn’t afford the wasted time with nights of drinking and mornings of hangovers. If your life has no direction you’ll find it pointless to quit your bad habits. This is why I dedicated an entire chapter to goal setting in my book How to Be a Superior Man. If you don’t have ambitious goals, you will find it hard to quit your bad habits.
The second type of mistakes are the ones that you are repeatedly making without recognizing them as mistakes. These mistakes are usually the result of following the rules. Examples of mistakes you unknowingly make are:
- Being an effeminate nice guy and wondering why you are single or why you end up getting into unhappy relationships with low-value women.
- Working 9 to 5 at a supposedly good job and believing that living paycheck to paycheck provides financial security.
- Being selfless and wondering why you end up getting exploited and used by others.
- Going neck-deep into debt to buy nice cars, houses, useless college degrees, or other things that you don’t actually need.
- Getting married to the wrong person especially in a western country.
- Stopping to educate yourself the moment you graduate from school.
- Avoiding failure and rejection at all costs.
- Treating time as an endless resource when it’s actually the only resource that’s scarce.
These mistakes are harder to correct because the majority of people don’t even recognize them as mistakes. Even after you wake up to the truth and realize that you made some or all of these mistakes, they can be difficult to turn around.
For example, if you are married to a nagging, unpleasant, fat wife, it can be difficult and costly to get rid of her. It gets even more complicated if you have kids with her (in which case a divorce should be out of the question).
It’s hard to switch careers when it took you years to build the necessary skills for your current career. For example, if you are an experienced architect, it’s tough to throw away the years and effort you put into your profession and start a business totally unrelated to architecture. I had to throw away a bachelor’s degree in Economics in favor of a career in Computer Programming, only to throw it away after 13 years of job experience in favor of an online business. It takes time to develop new skills until they become monetizable so you have to be prepared not to make money for a while.
Getting yourself out of debt is no cakewalk either. Few people treat their debt as an emergency and refuse to downgrade their living standards even when they are neck-deep in debt. Since debt severely limits your freedom, it should be treated as an emergency. Live like a college student if need be. Needless to say, it will be easier to get out of debt when you are single.
On the other hand, correcting some of the mistakes that you unknowingly make can be as easy as flipping a switch – i.e. a change in your mindset. For example, you can stop being a nice guy simply by changing your mind about it and adjusting your behaviors accordingly. Similarly, if you aren’t married it’s easier to get out of a toxic relationship that’s making you miserable.
Analyzing, diagnosing, and getting rid of the mistakes that are holding you back will not be easy but each mistake that you manage to get rid of counts as a giant step towards turning your life around.
4. Declare Yourself The Captain Of Your Own Ship
Turning your life around is only possible if you declare yourself the captain of your own ship. Unless you take full control of your life you’ll not be able to turn it around as you can’t steer a vehicle that you aren’t driving.
The moment you understand that everything in your life is your own fault is the moment you realize that you can turn it around. Think about it. If your current conditions are your own fault it means that you have the power to change them.
Realizing this simple fact was a major step for me to start turning my life around.
It was my fault that I…
- Wasted my twenties by treating work as a nuisance and squandered my leisure time with fruitless activities,
- Got drunk every weekend, wasted my time with partying,
- Drank beer and watched porn every night,
- Stopped educating myself after graduating from school,
- Didn’t take risks and preferred the comfort of a paycheck,
- Blamed the bad economy when I made less money than I wanted,
- Didn’t look for better dating options,
- Bought an expensive car on a 5-year loan,
- Ate too much fast food and got fat (I was so ignorant that I didn’t even bother to research how calories work),
- Didn’t exercise regularly and got out of shape,
- Hated myself, sought external validation for my shitty life choices and fell into oneitis with every woman that I was involved with.
After making all of these mistakes over and over, I still had the temerity to blame others (including my parents) for living a shitty life that I hated. In reality, it was my own fault that my life sucked.
It was only after I admitted that I was the only one to blame that I left the excuses behind, took responsibility, declared myself the captain of my ship, and turned my life around.
Too many people wait in vain for someone to come and save them. They wait for an imaginary person to come out of the blue and rescue them or some politician to be elected and fix their living conditions without any effort on their part.
Other people, including your family and friends, neither have the capability to help you transform your life, nor they care as much as you do about your own life.
Declare yourself the captain of your ship. Take full responsibility for your life. If you sincerely believe that everything in your life is your own fault, you’ll feel the power to turn it around. It will not be easy but it will be worth it.
5. Start Working On Accomplishing Your Goals
The last step to turn your life around is the most obvious but it’s also the hardest. All the steps outlined above mean nothing unless you actually put your plans into action.
Having to take action intimidates many people because action requires being uncomfortable usually for extended periods of time and with no guarantee of results.
Expecting a smooth ride is a fool’s errand because failures, rejections, and setbacks are not only inevitable but they are also necessary. You must be mentally tough and have an unbreakable resolve.
The good news is that you don’t have to wait until you accomplish your goals to start feeling good about your life. The key is to set an upward trend. When the trajectory of your life is pointing to an upward direction, you’ll start to be more optimistic about the future which will help you to keep working on your goals. Don’t hesitate to go for some quick wins. Starting to dress better and getting in better shape are easy and straightforward ways to start feeling better about your future.
It’s OK to change your plans along the way because things will rarely follow your original plan. You’ll probably find out that some of the things that you thought you wanted weren’t what you actually needed or you’ll discover better ways to reach your goals. Don’t hesitate to update your plans as you go.
Don’t give up until you get what you want. It will be hard but no one said winning is easy.
Bonus: How To Deal With Self Doubt
-But Lane, I don’t believe in myself, isn’t some sort of self-belief required?
Self-doubt is not only normal but it’s also expected.
If self-belief was something that came naturally, frustration wouldn’t exist and everyone would be successful.
Self-belief is earned. You won’t give up in the face of failures and rejections, you’ll keep going, and self-doubt will slowly replace itself with self-belief.
Be sure to read:
- How to Be a Superior Man, Chapter 3: Gain Direction
- Do You Really Take Responsibility For Your Life?
- How to Get Your Life Together
- “I’m not good (enough) at anything” – How to Stop Feeling Inferior
- “I Hate Myself”: How to Stop Self-Loathing
- 24 Ways to Get Rid of the Victim Mentality and Adopt a Victor Mentality
- Why Is Life So Hard? (And What You Can Do About It)
- What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do with Your Life