How to get out of a rut or a dark place and rediscover your purpose to reach your full potential.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who is stuck in a rut and having a really hard time focusing on and discovering his purpose. His dad cheated on his mother and left the family. They hardly ever speak. When they do, he’s usually just expressing his anger at his dad through text.
He says he’s just going through the motions these days, because he wakes up with no desire to live and is often just going through the motions. He fears he will struggle with women in life because he has daddy issues as a result of his parents’ divorce. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
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Even though he’s a young guy, he brings up a lot of things that pretty much most people struggle with off and on throughout their lives. And the reality is that life’s not all sunshine and roses. It’s not all going to be great, and wonderful, and full of beautiful music, and great things happening all at once. The reality is a lot of things happen in life that are disconcerting, unexpected. People die on you suddenly. In his case, he’s struggled because his dad cheated on his mom. I guess he had multiple affairs, then left the family, and he rarely talks to him other than through angry text. And so, that’s the stuff that’s kind of going on in the background of his life.
But other guys, I mean, it’s Monday, and for somebody that’s getting up — I know there’s people watching this video that are getting up and going to a job they absolutely hate, they’re not excited about it — it’s hard to get excited about your life when you’re not where you want to be. And so, what we’re going to talk about today is, how do you keep yourself motivated? How do you keep moving forward, even when life sucks, even when it feels hopeless?
The reality is, you’re going to have lots of these days. I’m 53 and things just happen. Like right now, Silicon Valley Bank, one of the largest, the 16th largest bank in the country, failed last week. And so, the talk over the last several days is, what’s going to happen to all of the companies that have millions of dollars in the bank? And yet, the FDIC only insures them for up to $250,000. And so, a lot of people are talking about, a lot of companies, a lot of start ups, are basically going to go out of business because they’re going to lose all of their money unless the FDIC, the Fed, backstops them and prevents everybody from losing their deposit or money.
Because you’ve got other banks that are doing business with this particular bank. And so, it can create a situation, kind of like a Lehman Brothers type of event, where you get one that fails, and it causes a whole cascade of other bank and business failures. And so, there are a lot of people waking up today, and they’re going, “I don’t have any money in my account. I can’t make my payroll this week.” And it’s just a Monday. So, no matter where you are in life, there’s always somebody that’s got it way worse than you do.
So, today is a good day to think about these things. Because you might be having a great day today, but there’s going to be days that you’re maybe one of the customers of this particular bank. And it looks like everything’s going to be backstopped, and nobody’s going to lose their money. I guess the shareholders and bondholders of the bank will lose what they had, but the deposit holders and the businesses that have their bank accounts with them, from what I’ve read, they’re going to be fine. But still, ultimately, when you look at just 2 or 3 days ago, for thousands of companies, they’re potentially going to be out of business today. And all those people that thought they had steady jobs are potentially looking at getting let go, because all the company’s money potentially will be gone.
And that’s just that’s the way life goes. Sometimes things are going great, and then somebody steals your car, or your car breaks down, or you get into an accident. Or things are going along great, and then you’ve got some kind of a health issue that comes up, or somebody’s really close to you dies. Like in this case, the guy is still dealing with the repercussions of the fact that his father cheated on his mother. Some of the stuff he probably takes personally, because that’s just what happens when kids are in these environments. They blame themselves. They think, “Oh, it must have been my fault that my parents split up.” And it’s not so much what happens to us in life that causes the trouble; it’s the meanings that we give to the circumstances of our life.
And so, you have to learn to get to a point in life where no matter what happens, you’ve got to take a step back from it and say, what’s good about this? What can I learn from this? How can I become better next time around? Because in life, you’re always looking at, what’s your downside risk? And obviously, talking about the Silicon Valley Bank, there’s a lot of people that might not necessarily have really had their downside risk covered to the degree which they should have. But that’s what happens when life comes along, and you learn from things like this.
And the people that are having a difficult time in business today, they’re going to learn a lesson from this. And maybe 10, 15 years from now when something like this happens again, because it inevitably will, it’s just part of the business cycle and part of the boom-bust of the central banking system. After going through something like this, they learn how to get through it. And then they become better, they become better prepared, they diversify more. They have bank accounts at other banks, instead of putting all of their eggs in one basket. Maybe they diversify their portfolio a little bit more.
The point being is that when things happen in life, you’ve got to look at it like, what can I learn from it? Because it’s not all sunshine and roses. You’re going to have plenty of ups, and you’re going to have plenty of downs. And a lot of people today around the world are having lots of downs. Like this guy that wrote the email, he’s having a difficult time right now. But the reality is there’s millions of people that are way worse off than he is. Everything is perspective and the meanings that you give it.
I’m really struggling right now, man. My parents divorced after my dad had an affair and basically left us all behind. My mom’s taking antidepressants now to get through it. I barely ever talk to my dad, and when I do, it’s basically me yelling at him over text.
Well, one thing I want to say about this is, you’re probably not feeling this way right now, but some day as you get older, you’re going to look back on this and go, “You know what? My parents, my mom, my dad, they did the best they could with where they were at in life.” And the way I look at things like this, I believe in reincarnation. I believe that we choose our parents. I believe that everything is about the journey of the soul and how it can help us grow. And so, if it was me, if I was in his shoes, I’d be looking at this going, “Well, what’s good about this? What can I learn from this? How can this make me a stronger man, as I grow up and get out on my own and take care of my own life?”
Obviously, your if your dad was really happy with himself and really happy in the relationship, he wouldn’t have cheated and he wouldn’t have left, simple as that. And the fact that he’s mostly staying away from you and the rest of the family at this point shows that, probably, that’s for the best. Because, quite frankly, he can’t be the father that you need him to be. I was very pissed off at my own dad. Up until the time I was around like 30, 31, 32 years old. As you get older, you learn to let go of these things and you recognize, “You know what? My parents are screwed up. They came from screwed up parents as well, and everybody was just doing the best that they could with where they were at.”
And as I got older, I had empathy and compassion for my dad and what he went through, and I don’t hold it against him. I highly encourage you to read “Mastering Yourself,” which you can read for free on my website as well, because I go into extensive detail on all the ups and downs I’ve had in my life. And at the end of the day, what really matters is the meanings that you give to the circumstances of your life. And so, if you look at it and say, “Well, my dad’s not part of the family anymore, and that’s probably a good thing. Maybe part of his influence is better that he’s not around.”
And as a man, going forward, you’re getting to the point where you’re an adult now, and at the end of the day, everybody’s got problems. Nobody cares about your problems or my problems, and they’re glad that we have them. And the only thing you have control over is what you choose to do today. I’m 53 and life is just full of days where you wake up, maybe something’s going on. Like I said, you look at all the people in business and the employees of these companies that are dealing with Silicon Valley Bank, and they don’t know what their future holds right now. And that’s a bad day, but you might be watching this and you’re having a good day, but tomorrow you might be having a difficult day, like all of those people.
The only thing that really matters is that you’ve got to think about, what do I have to get done today before I go to bed? Even when you don’t feel like it, even though you might feel like ass when you wake up, it’s Monday, and you’re like, “Ugh, I hate my job. I hate my life. I broke up with my girlfriend over the weekend. My wife left me over the weekend. Somebody stole my car. I went out and I had a flat tire. My car wouldn’t start. I lost my wallet, lost my phone.” I mean, things just happen in life, and it’s constant, it never stops.
This shit is always hitting the fan intermittently in life, and the more it happens, the more you learn to deal with it. And so, this guy is dealing with the fact that his family is broken up. But I mean, at the end of the day, you’re almost an adult and you’re going to be on your own soon. You’re going to have a career, you’re going to have a job. Eventually, you’ll be paying rent, or having a house or a car payment, and you’ll have other problems. It’s like Henry Kissinger said, “each success you have, each victory, every time you solve a problem, it basically just buys a ticket to a bigger, more difficult and more complicated problem.”
And that’s what happens as you get older. Whether you realize it or not, you’re building muscle to take on big things, big difficulties in life and keep moving forward, even when you don’t feel like it. So, that’s the biggest thing is, you’ve got to think in terms of, what do I have to get done today before I go to bed? Even though you might not feel like it, when you lose yourself in the process of taking action to make your most important dreams and goals a reality, just like Dale Carnegie said, “Inaction breeds fear and doubt. Taking action breeds confidence and courage.”
And so, when you feel like shit, the best thing to do is lose yourself in taking productive actions towards the things that are going to help you to move your life forward. Maybe you’ve got a bunch of homework you’ve been putting off, because you’re not having a good day, or whatever. Just put your head down and get it done, because it has to get done, no matter what. And like I said, each one of these things makes you stronger, so you can take on bigger responsibility.
Like I said, eventually you’re going to be paying your own bills. You’ll have your own car payment, you’ll have your own house payment. You’ll be buying your own food. It’ll be up to you to go out and find a job and get a job and convince somebody to hire you. These are all things that are just part of life and part of being a man that you’re going to learn to have to do. You might have a great job and everything’s great, and all of a sudden, boom, your your company blows up and now you’re out of a job and you weren’t expecting it.
It’s still possible that things go that way for all of these different businesses that are part of this bank or had their accounts with this bank, but it might not happen. But if it does, that’s just life. The economy doesn’t boom forever. Eventually, it has a bust and it goes into a recession, and the money supply contracts. And it’s very disruptive and destructive, especially if you’re in an industry that’s tied to real estate, construction, mortgages, banking, things of that nature.
I recently moved to a new school, and I’ve had trouble making new connections because of everything that’s been going on at home, which has led to me losing a lot of my friends at home (by falling out of touch) and having no one to go to when I’m struggling with it all.
Well, if you’ve been letting your friendships go and you just haven’t stayed in touch, you should pick up the phone and call or text those guys and ask them to hang out and reconnect. Because it’s just like a garden. You’ve got to water your garden. You’ve got to pull the weeds out. You’ve got to make sure it’s fertilized properly. You’ve got to make sure it gets enough sun And if you don’t pay attention to those relationships, over time, they will wither.
What you’ll notice is, you’ve got close friends now, and then 20, 30 years from now, life just happens. People move away. Like in this case, he went to a different school. They get married. they get jobs in other parts of the country, and it just happens. Then, decades later, you’re like, “Man, I haven’t talked to that guy in 20 years. We used to be really close. What happened?” And so, you’ve got to make the effort. And so, if you haven’t been a good friend to your friends, pick up the phone and call them, just to say hello, and see how they’re doing, and catch up, and get together with them.
These are all important things about having a well rounded and balanced life. You’ve got to take care of your friendships. You’ve got to take care of your health and your body. You’ve got to take care of your family relationships. You’ve got to take care of your job, your purpose, your mission in life, so you earn an income, so you can pay your bills and put money away for investments, retirement, and the things that you really want to do later in life. You just have to find a way to do it, because time is going to pass no matter what. And again, nobody cares about your problems, and the best revenge is to succeed in spite of it.
And as far as your dad leaving your mom, right after my mom died — and I wrote about this in “Mastering Yourself” — I found out that my mother’s father, I guess before World War II, he had a family. He was married, I think he had 4 or 5, or a bunch of kids. And then, for whatever reason, after the war, I think he was working at a bank, he met my grandmother. I don’t know if there was an affair involved, or whatever, but at the end of the day, he walked away from his family, divorced his wife, and never spoke to his children ever again. And so, none of us knew.
When I was growing up, none of us knew that he had a whole other family, and he just basically abandoned them. And he died when I was six, so I really didn’t even get to know him, because I was so young and we lived in different states. I only have like 1 or 2 memories of my grandfather anyway, my mom’s father. And then, right after my mother passed away, when I was 34 years old, I found out there was a whole other family involved that he just walked away from. And he didn’t tell his daughters, they never knew. We all found this stuff out after the fact. What can I do about it? That’s just like more weird crap about my family that I find out in my 30s. It’s like, what’s it going to do for me? How is it going to help me? It’s like, whatever. Cry more, nobody cares. You move on. That’s all you can really do.
I’m not going to lie, most days I wake up with no desire to live, or at best, I’m just going through the motions.
Well, in life, the most important thing is you got to know, what is your outcome? What do you really want for your life? What do you want to create? Where do you want to live? What kind of area do you want to live in? What do you want to live in? A house, an apartment, a condo? Do you want to live by the beach, on a lake, in the mountains? What do you want to do? Where do you want to live? What do you want to create?
You’ve got to know what you want. What is your outcome? What do you want to achieve? And then, once you know that, then you’ve got to know, why do you want it? You’ve got to have emotionally compelling reasons why you want the life and the lifestyle that you want. Because the emotionally compelling reasons are the fire. They’re the emotional energy that forces you to move forward and take action on days like today, or Mondays when you don’t feel like it. When you look around and you go, “Well, I’m really not seeing much progress.”
Because success is making progress in life, and there’s going to be lots of days, and weeks, and months, and years, and even decades where you’re going to feel like, “I don’t really feel like I’m making much progress.” But yet if you think about the things you want to create, and all the fun, and the joy, and the love, and all the good things and good feelings that are going to come from achieving that, that’s the fuel that gets you to take action, even when it looks or feels like it’s hopeless.
So, first and foremost, you’ve got to know what you want, you’ve got to know why you want it, and then you’ve got to have a plan of action to make it happen. Then, you’ve got to actually take action to make it happen. Because remember, inaction breeds fear and doubt. Taking action breeds confidence and courage. And so, it’s totally understandable, getting up and you’re just like, “Oh, it’s another Monday. Aww, this sucks.”
Like I said, there are a lot of people waking up today, finding out about this bank issue. There are people that did their payroll on Friday, and none of the payroll went through because of the issues with the bank. And all of those employees are expecting to get their paychecks, and they’re waking up today looking at their bank account, and they’re like, “Damn, my money ain’t there. I’ve got rent to pay, I’ve got a car payment, I’ve got to buy groceries today,” or whatever it happens to be. And now they’re scrambling around calling people to borrow money from, people or trying to get a credit line increase in their credit card, or whatever it happens to be.
So, everybody’s got problems, and this is just life. Problems are a sign of life. It’s actually a good thing that you have problems, because it means you’ve still got work to do.
That’s why I’m emailing. I’m usually a very highly driven person and I’ve never struggled with stuff like this before.
Well, dude, guess what? This is not the first time you’re going to struggle with this, and it’s certainly not going to be the last. Ten years from now, you’re going to have all kinds of problems, and they’re going to be completely different than the problems that you have today. And that’s just life. It’s just constant. It never ends.
How do I get out of this rut that I’m in and work through it?
Ask yourself this simple question: “What do I have to get done today to move my life forward, to help me get closer or do something that I can see some kind of incremental, small progress towards the things I really want to create in life?” And then, just lose yourself in the process of taking action to make that happen. Because what’s happening now is you’re sitting here and you’re doing nothing, and you’re looking at your life, and you’re imagining your life in the future, and you’re going, “Well, I’m not where I want to be today, and therefore I probably won’t be there tomorrow.” Well, yeah. If you don’t do anything.
You’re going to end up somewhere, because time is going to pass. But if you don’t do anything to help yourself, you could be moving closer towards the things you want, but if you’re not taking action, you’re basically along for the ride, and you’re definitely going to end up somewhere that you don’t want to be if you don’t take action to shape and change your destiny. Because that’s on you. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. We either choose to be productive, or we choose not to.
I think a lot of this is that I’m struggling without a strong male influence, which was my dad. He’s done so many disgusting things, I can’t look up to him.
So what? That’s your dad. You can’t change it. All you can do is accept it. You can say, “Well, you know, my dad, the way he’s behaved disgusts me. But you know what, I’m going to be a better man than my father, and I’m going to be a better dad than my father when I eventually have kids.” That’s a good way to look at it. You’ve got to choose an empowering meaning.
Again, anything that happens in life, you’re determining what it means to you and how you feel about it based upon the meanings that you give it. So give it a good, empowering meaning. What’s good about the fact that your dad did all these disgusting things, that he cheated on your mom? You could say, “Well, you know what, I’m going to be a man of integrity. And if I’m not happy in my relationship, I’m not going to lead a girl on. I’m just going to get out of it. And then I’m going to seek what makes me happy.”
I’m also worried that this will affect my relationships with women going forward, since I’m now a member of the prestigious “daddy issues” club. How do I find purpose and persevere?
Again, that doesn’t really matter as far as the daddy issues. The only thing that matters with women is they don’t care what a good guy you are. They don’t give a damn about your background or your daddy issues.
The only thing that women care about is how they feel about you. And so, how they feel about you, as you’ve been reading in “3% Man,” is how you’re showing up. What are your actions? If you act like a man is supposed to act, even when you’re having difficult days, they’re still going to find you attractive.
What men do is they take care of the things that need to be taken care of. In other words, they take action. Even when they’re having a crappy day, they take action anyway. Why” That’s just what us guys do? That’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s a sign of competency and confidence. Women love confidence in us guys. And what really turns a woman on is that when you’re going through a difficult time, you still find a way to get the things done that you need to get done, and take them in the bedroom, and give them a proper seeing to.
So, if you’re taking care of your life and the little things you need to be taking care of, you are displaying masculinity and what a competent man does. And as you become successful in life, especially successful at making yourself happy and becoming proud of your life, then women will like that and find you attractive and want to be a part of your life. Because if you’re not excited about your life, you’re not going to be able to get a woman excited about it.
So, the most important thing to you is focusing on your mission and purpose and finding ways to get excited about your life, excited about your future and what you’re going to create, and the life and the lifestyle, and the friends and the people that you spend it with. Because when you’re having a good time in life, you’re going to smile more. When you’re smiling, you’re going to be the most attractive guy that you can be.
So, worrying about whether women are going to like you or not is a non-issue. You’ve got to get to a happy place first. As Jim Rohn said, “I’ll take care of me for you, and you take care of you for me.” So, if you want to take care of the things that need to be taken care of so women find you attractive, focus on your mission and purpose. Focus on creating a great life and lifestyle that you’re proud of. And once you do that, when a cute girl comes along and smiles at you, you’ll know what to do, because you feel good about your life. You’re proud of your life, you’re proud of yourself, you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished. You’ll overcome this difficult day and difficult thinking.
And, quite frankly, this is one day, bro. There’s going to be thousands of days in your life where you’re going to feel like this. Especially as the decades roll on, that’s just part of life. It’s finding the balance. You’ve got the good days, you’ve got the bad days, but at the end of the day, the sun comes up in the morning, and it goes down in the late afternoon. And then the moon comes up, and the moon goes down. There’s always another day.
P.S. I love your work, man. You’ve already helped me through some really tough times, and I’m still (somehow) succeeding with women through all of this. Reading 3% Man 8 times has brought me a lot of success.
Well, again, it’s part of the grind. As Ray Lewis said, “grinding is my rest.” So you’re going to have lots of bad days and unpleasant days. And like I said, no matter where you are, there’s always somebody that’s got it worse. And if you’re going through a difficult time right now, I highly encourage you to read a book called, “A Child Called It,” by David Pelzer. Anybody reading this, we don’t really have reasons to whine or to cry, “Oh, poor me.” I mean, as this guy was growing up, for whatever reason, his mother was an asshole to him, and she chained him up in the basement. And she treated the rest of the kids in the family really sweet, call them by their name, loved them and everything. But for whatever reason, his own mother would not call him by his name. She just called him “It.”
She chained him up in the basement, and she abused him physically, emotionally, mentally, just tormented this kid. And when you read that book, you’re not chained up in a basement, your mother’s not referring to you as “It,” you’re not getting beat downs just because you exist. It’s like, there’s always somebody that’s way worse off than you. If you want to feel better about yourself, if you’re having a tough time, if you’re feeling bad about your problems, or like in this case, your dad cheated on your mom and then left the family, read that book, “A Child called It.” It’s like, you ain’t got no problems.
We ain’t got no problems. You know, we live we live here in the West. And we can sit here and whine about our problems, or whatever. You could be in Afghanistan, you could be in Ukraine right now. You could be a Russian guy or a Ukrainian guy, and you’re basically cannon fodder in the wars between the elite, and the oligarchs of Russia and the West, and the other people of the World Economic Forum, and the rest of these jerkoffs.
Unfortunately, regular men and women are having to suffer because these jerkoffs can’t get along and work out their differences. So, they send other people’s sons and daughters to die and get slaughtered on the battlefield. And this is the way it’s always been throughout human history. So, if you’re not chained up in a basement somewhere, and you’re a little kid and your mother’s referring to you as “It,” and you’re not stuck in a trench, dodging bullets and bombs all day long, you don’t have any problems and, quite frankly, you really shouldn’t be whining about them,
Because, no matter where you are or where you’re at, no matter how bad you think you’ve got it, there’s always somebody that’s way worse off than you are. And so, the only thing you need to focus on is, “what do I have to get done today before I go to bed at night in order to move my life forward?” And then, lose yourself in the process of doing that. Because tomorrow’s another day, and then there’s another day after that, and another day after that, hopefully. So, grinding should be your rest. You’ve got to keep moving forward, no matter what. Eventually things turn around. But even when things go good, it’s not going to last forever. That’s just life.
So, if you’ve got a question or a challenge and you’d like to get my help, go to UnderstandingRelationships.com, click the Products tab at the top of your screen and book a coaching session with yours truly.