September 22, 2023


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A friend Don M was writing about "self sabotage", in his kids and himself. I wrote the following:

Three things tangential to this, or maybe the same damn thing:

* it feels less bad to not try and not succeed than to try and fail: the objective results are roughly the same, and the former is much easier on the ego. Your limits aren't put in such sharp relief.

* Also: what if you put in the grind, and succeed? Well, should it have really been that hard? (Imposter syndrome rears its ugly head)

* Or what if you succeed, and it isn't even that hard, and you get what you want, and life still sucks? what then?

The antidotes for these aren't obvious, and even harder to put into practice:

* You have to take the observation of Jake the Dog to heart: ""Sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at somethin" - and put aside the natural hope of the ego to just be naturally effortlessly good at everything.

* You have to realize that the point isn't necessarily to be good at The Thing, the point is to get better at leaning into challenges - because life is ALWAYS challenging! Like if it's not challenging, someone would already be doing it

* As part of a larger life goal thing, you need to be able erect an Andy Warhol "So what?" field around things. "I'm going to do a bad job at this?" "So what?" "Well I'll feel less good about myself!" "so what?" "well i'll end up further from my path at being a millionaire?" "so what?" It's an especially harsh but easy to remember form of Buddhist detachment, about not connecting our current contentment to the rest of the world being in a certain way