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My first post, looking for help...

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I don't quite know where to start.

But i know this is the best place to share my feelings with people who are like minded, who i can look up to and learn a lot from.

I am 22 years old from London, England.

I am very passionate about life but also very tormented and sad.

Background

Growing up my parents were anything but objectivists. My dad is a shrewd business man and liar, he's cheated on my mother as has she. He likes to control people, especially his family. There has always been a strong favouring of my brother, my dad paid little to no interest to what was going on in my life. My mother quit her job and is completely unproductive which is why she is reliant on my dad and probably hates herself for it. She had a suicide attempt by overdosing a few years ago. When i was 16 i also was on the verge of suicide and since then ive been very quite in social situations/social anxiety. My brother fell off the rails and is now in a rehab institute, he was very violent and did things like steal and threaten to throw bleach in my face. I've made a few bad choices in my life and a few tough choices like seperating from friends and ex gf's who were bad for me or i was bad for them. I have no real, close friends. I dont enjoy clubbing or sleeping with many girls and so i find i dont have common ground with many people to bridge a friendship.

On the plus side, Im good looking with a good sense of humour and very much into bodybuilding and martial arts. I try to be as productive as i can be by reading and modelling myself as an objectivist. I work toward earning a large passive income by owning a string of websites that make money online but im yet to crack it by earning consistently high amounts and so im often disheartened.

I fantasize about someday being a world champion in MMA but i hold myself back by negative self talk although i am talented. I think my bad shoulder will hold me back (ive had surgery on it but know if i really wanted to i could work through it) and a herpe rash which is common among wrestlers is on my jawline and i fear it will spread although doctors tell me it is unlikely in my case. Im very much a worrier... and because of my inability to socialise i havent been training in MMA for a long while but still continuously train for my bodybuilding.

My question is what frame of mind do i need to be in to do the things i want to do, and need to do such as:

Move out

Quit my mundane job

Succeed in my dream

Travel the world while continue to bodybuild which is very important to me

Succeed in building passive revenue online

Perhaps give modelling or movies a try...

These may seem like a lot but i believe if i put my mind to it i can do it. Sorry if i seem irrational.

Im not asking how to accomplish these things. I just want to know where to start by how to think...

Edited by Matt
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I am by no means a Psychologist, but I would recommend working on changing your negative self-programming for starters. We most often seem to sabotage ourselves through our own self doubts, and others will subconsciously pick up on that and respond in kind, reinforcing our negative self-stereotype.

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I go through periods where I feel like things will "never" change, and one thing I've found that helps me is to write down a list of things that I can do TODAY and focus on getting them done TODAY. It doesn't matter if you do the BEST thing to move you toward your eventual goals as long as you do SOMETHING productive, and you'll get there eventually if you keep moving. Plus, you won't spend all your time worrying about the long term instead of getting stuff done NOW.

You have to think long-term in the sense of making sure your actions ARE pointed at some long term goal, but you have to ACT short term and worrying too much about your long term goals can paralyze you.

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I go through periods where I feel like things will "never" change, and one thing I've found that helps me is to write down a list of things that I can do TODAY and focus on getting them done TODAY.

Expanding on this point: identify what your long-range goals are, and identify what you can and cannot control directly right now. Then take actions which you can control right now that move you towards your long-range goals, but don't worry about how far you still have to go. It's easy to waste a lot of mental and emotional energy obsessing over things which are not in your control; that wasted time and energy is then not available to spend on things which are in your control and which move you towards your long range goals.

The famous Reinhold Niebuhr line about the courage to change what you can, the serenity to accept what you can't, and the wisdom to know the difference applies here -- particularly the part about knowing the difference.

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I can definitely relate in many ways to what you describe, and I agree with what the posters above said regarding your self-image and pursuing your goals. I would add a few minor points based on what your post suggested to me:

1. You seem to indicate that you have social issues that keep you from pursuing your goals. I wonder if this has to do with [a] Not wanting to be around others because of social anxiety and/or disgust or just the inability to network and "schmooze". I think the first issue is something that you can get past with time. If you focus on what you want and your values more, you will eventually start to care less about what other people think and how they might judge you. As for , this is more challenging. As a musician I find it can be very difficult to operate in an environment where networking can be the difference between success and failure. You have to have the finesse to deal with people who are somewhat irrational (or in the music business, completely so), cultivating a relationship that is not-quite-friendship but also not completely businesslike. This is hard for most people, but I would say for Objectivists and those who have not been brainwashed into a mindset of social metaphysics it can be a major obstacle.

2. You mentioned the desire to create a "passive revenue stream" so that you can pursue your passions and your dreams. I think this might be a bit misguided. I would not spend a ton of time studying and pursuing a discipline you have no real interest in just to make money, but rather spend your time figuring out how to make what you love into a revenue stream. This can be very difficult for those of us who are passionate about something that doesn't have an obvious value to most people (ie, being a doctor, lawyer, investor, etc.), but the fact that you as a rational person value it passionately indicates in my opinion that there is a way to make it profitable. Perhaps you could combine your love of bodybuilding/wrestling and travel into some sort of business. Generally the road to success in this context requires some level of creativity. I know I am constantly looking for new ways to promote the music I do and different ways to make money from it.

Also you mentioned that you don't enjoy clubbing or sleeping around, do you find this precludes you from having friends? If that is the case, perhaps you might consider moving to a more populous and/or cosmopolitan city. I can tell you from experience that in most places there are many more ways to interact socially than being hedonistic (though I know there are places where it seems this is all anyone ever does).

In the meantime, I definitely recommend surrounding yourself with as much inspirational art and literature as you can find. I'm sure that most of us here have gone through spells where re-reading Atlas Shrugged for the 17th time was all that got us through some period of loneliness or depression. There are also plenty of movies, works of art, music, etc. that can remind you that you are not alone in the world even when everyone around you is worthless (and is trying to convince you that the opposite is true).

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Exaltron thank you for your helpful reply. I extend the thanks to everyone else who has posted in this thread i find you all remarkably knowledgeable and helpful individuals, although I'm not surprised to find such people immersed in a community such as this. I'm not very good at explaining myself sometimes especially when it comes to talking about myself because its somewhat uncomfortable but that you for the advice and I'm very appreciative for you taking the time to write.

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For body builders, look no further than the late Mike Mentzer. He was a proud Objectivist and a great body builder. He competed and won at the highest levels. In fact, he incorporated Objectivism explicitly into his body building talks. Very motivating!

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Being negative will accomplish nothing. Records are constantly broken and set and broken again. Just recently, a group of blind people scaled Mt. Everest!

When you are sad and tormented, count to ten. During those ten seconds, and only those ten, let the sadness overwhelm you. But ten seconds is all you will give it. When it's time is up, get up and do something. It doesnt matter if its writing, running, or even simply petting a cat, as long as you do something.

Nobody has an inability to socialise! By posting your message at all, you were interacting with others! When you meet someone new, start out by simply saying "Hi" and smiling. After pleasantries, ask them if they've seen a movie or if they've ever been to Chicago (great city and my hometown, by the way!). If the two of you can talk like this for a while, and you feel comfortable around them, you've just made a friend! (or at the very least, a friendly aquaintance). Many people have friends, but a true friend is rare. I have no doubt that you can find true friends.

The frame of mind you need is confidence and optimism. By all means, pursue your dreams!

Even if one door is closed, there are still ten thousand doors waiting to be opened.

Have courage! You will experience misery and self-doubt on your journey, but only give them ten seconds. You are in control of your path. Unexpected events can put obstacles on your path, but the choice to take a step and overcome resides with you.

All the best!!

-Peripeteia

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For body builders, look no further than the late Mike Mentzer. He was a proud Objectivist and a great body builder. He competed and won at the highest levels. In fact, he incorporated Objectivism explicitly into his body building talks. Very motivating!

Here's is a fantastic article about him I've just found:

A QUESTION OF CHARACTER: The Objectivist Versus The Machiavellian

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Thank you Jill for the article that is of great interest to me.

Peripetia, thanks for your wonderful post. The people on this forum as so helpful and offer great value in their advice. Could i ask you where you came across this "10 second rule"? I will certainly adopt this method

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Value seeking is implicit in thinking. Your values essentially dictate your pleasure and pain. If you achieve a value, you feel pleasure, if not, you feel pain. Do not divorce goals from values and values/goals from pleasure/pain. That's probably the best advice anyone here can give you.

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/pleasure_and_pain.html

Read this and make sense of it. There are a lot of people that love to divorce your values from your goals - to change you because they do not know this stuff and are anti conceptual. Never underestimate the lack of anti conceptual thinking in the world.

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You're very welcome, Matt!

I actually adapted the idea from an episode in the t.v series Lost. A while back, I was terrified of nearly everything, that I has messed up too badly in the past, and that the future would bring only torment. Searching for anything to get me out, I tried this method, calmed down, and I was finally able to live my life again.

It has worked for me ever since, and I certainly hope it works for you!

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Or you can just not let your emotions become the primary form of judgment. It takes practice - and you must say -"The good is that which will make me happy" as opposed to "I will be made happy by the good". Think about this - if you associate a memory with an emotion first - what does your brain do? It encodes that memory by means of nothing more than an emotion. Then when you go to recall the memory and logically explain it, you can't. This is because the emotion overrides any logical conclusions formed. Now imagine that you store all of your memories this way. Now, you refer to concepts (that have referents) that are so fuzzy that a mixed haze of emotions is all that can be seen by anyone upon recall. Now imagine that you attempt to use these memories to guide your life and form value judgments. Then imagine what the pleasure/pain you feel in everyday life is reflecting (probably nothing).

You can either attack the problem at the root - or attempt to sort it all out at the end - which is essentially impossible and certainly not cured by some 10 second response. Now, when you do feel sad or something, you must decide why you feel sad - is it because of the above misdirections or is it the result of some logical conclusions that weren't evaluated with emotional primaries. If it was the latter, you can do the ten second thing and experience it and move on with your life - but if, like I suspect, you experience sadness for reasons you don't essentially understand, thinking that tricks like these will somehow make you understand the problem will only make you more neurotic.

Again, I wrote this because there is a difference between authentic emotions that are the result of something happening (that you can logically trace) and those that are the result of a confusion above.

Edited by MoralParadise
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I have a very similar story about living with a bad family through my early twenties while training for my sport (running). My campaign was unsuccessful, but in retrospect I clearly understand exactly WHY it was unsuccessful, and I will tell you what I would tell my younger self:

#1: GET OUT OF YOUR PARENTS' HOUSE. They are destroying themselves and are brining you down with them. As an grown adult man, which any 22 year old worth his weight in shit ought to be, you should not be dependent on a family whom you don't respect. You are infantilizing and emasculating yourself by continuing to live like a child under their roof and this is a major source of your problems. Even if you live and breathe MMA, your independence and ability to stand on your own two feet should come first. Personal stability is a prerequisite for quality athletic training. You can still pusue your training while you work to support yourself. There are 16 waking hours in a day and you only spend eight of them at work.

Regarding your ambitions to be a champion, I have no idea what your talent level is, but the reality is that you will NEVER go pro unless you were BORN with the GENETICS to be an elite athlete. There are exceptions, but most people in almost any sport will know by 22 whether they have the ability to go pro. You have to be truly honest with yourself. Again, I have no idea what your ability level is, but I promise that you will never profit from decieving yourself about your talent or having a naive attitude toward the issue of genetics. No type nor amount of training will ever allow you to defeat an opponent who is drastically physically superior. That's not complacency or defeatism, it's the reality of life on earth.

Even if you don't go pro, you can still make your passion into your profession. You can become an instructor and start your own training facility, be an owner/coach/entrepreneur and make a great life for yourself doing what you love. Set a goal to create the best MMA gym in the world or even a chain of facilities. Set a goal to coach professionals. MMA is going to be huge in the future and I think you can find some way to be a figure in the world of the sport and profit handsomely from it.

But, yeah, get OUT of your parents' house. The entanglement with your family will destroy your athletic career before is starts.

Edited by cliveandrews
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Lots of good advice here. I've found that most self-doubt and esteem issues all stem from guilt. Work on constantly trying to identify feelings of guilt and where they come from. Guilt is usually the by-product of expectations established by various externalities (parents, friends, society, a religious upbringing, etc) that have nothing to do with you as an individual and what you want out of life. This is a long process, but a life free of guilt is possible. I would also second a previous reply regarding the importance of taking action now. Get in the habit of constantly taking action. Do something. Getting bogged down in existencial tail-chasing is a recipe for unhappiness. Take action.

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Lots of good advice here. I've found that most self-doubt and esteem issues all stem from guilt. Work on constantly trying to identify feelings of guilt and where they come from. Guilt is usually the by-product of expectations established by various externalities (parents, friends, society, a religious upbringing, etc) that have nothing to do with you as an individual and what you want out of life. This is a long process, but a life free of guilt is possible. I would also second a previous reply regarding the importance of taking action now. Get in the habit of constantly taking action. Do something. Getting bogged down in existencial tail-chasing is a recipe for unhappiness. Take action.

You are certainly right that i am a very guilty person in my own mind and it'd the guilt that weighs me down. I will take positive action from here on out though.

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