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Top 10 Ways To Kill Your Spirit

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UPDATE:  Obviously I had not expected it, but in looking at my site stat logs it seems that this post is coming up in some internet search results for those researching suicide.  If you are feeling hopeless or suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or visit their site at www.Save.org.  Please call them now.  Help is available.

Welcome to 2008!  The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to take a brutally honest look at your life or your business so that you can correct mistakes, refocus on what’s important, and rekindle the passion that may have been lost along the way.  If you feel like your energy for life is worn out, but you aren’t sure why, please take a minute to read this list.  It could make all the difference!  So, without further ado, I give you the Top 10 Ways To Kill Your Spirit:

  1. Finally let go of those juvenile notions to have an occupation that you enjoy.  You’ve got to stay at that job that you hate and suppress your desire for a career change because, well, that’s what everybody else does.  After all, you’ve got several more lives after this one to do that thing that you’ve always wanted to do.  No need to have a sense of urgency.
  2. Stay committed to that significant other that doesn’t believe in your dreams.  So what that they ridicule you for wanting to become a contractor, or that they call your hobbies a selfish waste of time.  They know you better than anyone else, and therefore know what’s in your best interest.  And who knows, maybe with time those feelings of resentment and bitterness that you harbor will just fade into a mind-numbing, soul-sucking disconnectedness that you so admired about your now-divorced parents’ relationship.
  3. Don’t show too much enthusiasm or emotion.  People might think you’re weak.  Worse yet, they might gain a glimpse of the real you, and the real you might make them wish that they were leading more authentic lives.
  4. Ignore and suppress the talents you were born with.  Never mind that you were put on this planet with the express purpose of writing that Pulitzer Prize-winning book that would help sway public opinion in such a profound way that it resulted in the election of a President who’s revolutionary ideas would end world hunger and the AIDS epidemic.  You’ve got more important things to do, like spend 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, for the next 30 years writing cheese-ball, one-liner greeting cards that will end up in the garbage anyway.
  5. Don’t stand up for yourself.  Self-respect is overrated, and your boss is probably right: you are a worthless idiot.
  6. Don’t rock the boat.  The way things have always been done is the way things should always be done, period.  Malcontents like George Washington, Thomas Edison, the Wright brothers, and Rosa Parks just made the world more complicated.  Who needs air travel, anyway?
  7. Refuse to apologize for mistakes you’ve made.  After all, it was a long time ago and they probably don’t remember, just like you don’t remember that time 39 years ago when your best friend in high school borrowed your car and then wrecked it before skipping town.
  8. Refuse to accept apologies because, well, you’ve never made a mistake in your entire life, and holding onto that anger is doing wonders for your blood pressure.
  9. Don’t take risks.  Whatever is out there beyond the horizon might hurt or frighten you or, God forbid, allow you to learn something new.  Besides, everybody knows that the greatest, most influential figures in history preferred to play it safe and take the easy bets.
  10. Read something like this and tell yourself that idealism is for the young, the naive, and the stupid.                

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • DeskMonkey January 3, 2008, 9:41 pm

    As a wage slave and aspiring contractor myself, I’m finding your blog good reading and motivational. Keep up the good posts. Thanks.

  • Scott January 4, 2008, 12:03 am

    Thanks for the comment, DeskMonkey. Down with wage slavery!

  • Chris Cade April 7, 2008, 2:36 am

    I couldn’t agree more – these are definitely ways to just smash the spirit to smithereens! I know because for a long time I’ve been a cubicle-jockey… taking the job that paid the best for the least amount of effort.
    I’ve now realized I have a BIG problem. I have the best job in the world. The problem is, I have a job.
    I want to be helping more, following my spirit and really aligning my income/sustenance with my creative and spiritual endeavors. It’s so hard in this day and age, and now that I have a wife and son there’s even more complexity.
    But in the last few months, I’ve made sure that doesn’t stop me. Now I work my “2nd job” at night after they go to bed… anywhere from 3-5 hours per night just building, creating, following my dreams.
    One day, the cubicle will be a thing of the past. For now, I’ll keep taking those steps every single day to shine the bright light on my soul and follow my dreams… because those dreams WILL become a reality.

  • RC April 10, 2008, 12:09 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Chris. I know what you mean. It can be tough pursuing your dreams when you have a family to support and financial obligations. I think you’re going about it the right way by keeping your day job but pursuing your passion on the side. Hopefully at some point your “side-job” becomes lucrative enough to leave your cubicle-job behind, and when that day comes I think you’ll be amazed by how liberated you feel.

  • richard teglovic carpentry January 25, 2013, 6:24 pm

    Hey Scott, its was nice stumbling across your website yesterday. I know it’s gonna be a help to me and reminds me of a time when I was salmon fishing and there was a guy that lived on the river and was greeting new fisherman and saying, “Here’s the bait you want to use here because…” I’ve been doing remodeling type work for many years for contractors and have since got my license a couple years ago. What I need to learn is how to get more business. Am sifting through your information and it looks great.
    At the risk of rambling on I’d like to make a quick point that may help some readers.
    I use to drink a lot….like many of our fellow constuction workers- and I dont think I could ever manage a business in that condition. I saw firsthand my boss who tried to manage a business and alcohol and the alcohol won, rest his soul. Perhaps this could be a point in your information for fellow aspiring business owners. Keep up the good work! Rich.

    • Scott January 27, 2014, 8:36 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Rich. There’s no doubt about it that substance abuse of any kind makes it extremely difficult to start, run, or grow a business of any kind. I know it’s a battle that many contractors deal with. The first step is acknowledging the problem. The next step is getting the help that is needed. Without getting the help it becomes an uphill battle to improve your business or your personal life. Thank you for the comment.

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