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3 Damaging Relationships You Can't Get Away From

#1. Self

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What do you want out of life? Do you know? Do you change your mind constantly? You could probably honestly answer "I don't know" to all three of those questions. Doesn't matter who you are. And then tomorrow you could have a firm, positive answer for all three, and the day after be back at "I don't know." In life, you are your own best friend and worst enemy at the same time.

Rarely will you meet a person who is more damaging to you and your well being than you are. Now of course, if you wrong Steven Seagal and he comes after you with slow, sloth-like jiujitsu and then throws you down an elevator shaft onto a pile of waiting dropkicks soaked in rubbing alcohol and salt, he's clearly a less than benevolent influence in your life, but even in that situation, it bears asking what it is you did that put you in such a Seagal-affected state of being.

The sad truth is, your fears and desires and idiosyncrasies are what make your life wonderful and abhorrent in turn. For instance, I have a deadly lack of motivation, and I absolutely hate it. I often use myself as an example in my writing, and in part it's a means of therapy. I want to be better than what I am. I want to be loved and admired for what I can offer others, and I want to engage with others who have wonderful and new points of view that I can enjoy and learn from. I want to be a good man who is funny and intelligent and rich, not necessarily monetarily (although I would like to buy a jet ski that comes with a sidecar full of beer and barbecue chicken), but rich in experience. But I'm not that man. And I can't say if I ever will be.

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"Oh Felix, you jet ski barbecue so much better than this random shlub."

People are willing to give us the secrets to the universe all the time -- to happiness, wealth, getting laid, long life, good health, and baking a perfect apple pie. But it comes down to our own willingness to act on these desires and do something with them, doesn't it?

I want to go for walks, but I rarely do. I want to spend days at the beach, but I don't. I want to embrace a beautiful stranger and share a meal and good conversation without fear of rejection, awkward silences, or expectations that something bad or weird is going on. But I don't.

I have no motivation, and I have never understood why. Actually, that's unfair. I have motivation; I have piss-poor implementation and follow-through. I look at myself and want something more and I have literally, out loud, told myself to change behaviors I exhibit. Get off your ass, Clay. Turn off the Xbox. You have prune hands, stop masturbating. But holy shit is it hard. Unlike that pun, which was easy.

The great conflict in life is knowing what you should do and making yourself do it, because 9 times out of 10, what you should do and what you want to do just isn't the easy thing to do. This is why so many people struggle with something seemingly as simple as weight loss. You think I make beer and chicken wing jokes at random? I could live off of those things, at least until they kill me. I really don't want to, though, and I buy so much fresh, healthy food that I could choke a pack of llamas to death with it all. But at the end of the day, I'll still pop a burrito into the microwave instead of cutting up that pineapple in my fridge because fuck me, that's why.

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I wish I could quit you.

I like to think one day I'll smarten up. One day I won't have to celebrate the small victories I make when I do get off my ass and do something. But I don't know for sure that I ever will. Going to get your license renewed is not the same as finding Bigfoot, but it's still better than peering out the blinds at those neighborhood kids who have no idea what'll happen if they step on the lawn again. No idea.

I'm sure every day someone wakes up wanting to play the guitar, talk to the boy or girl of their dreams, leave their shit job behind to travel the world, stand up to someone, help the homeless, read a great book, plant a tree, and a million other things. But we don't. Fuck.

You are your own worst enemy, unless, as discussed, you've made an enemy of Steven Seagal. But you don't have to be. I don't have to be. I think the easiest way to circumvent this frustrating circle of self-destruction or self-inflicted stagnation is to introduce another self into the mix -- this is why people have workout buddies, a friend to keep you motivated. It doesn't always work, but it does help to understand that you are not alone and you are not a failure insofar as everyone wants to keep things easy. Hard work is just that -- hard. It's so easy to not do it. But it's also worth it quite often to get it done. There is very little a human can't do when properly motivated; just look at the remarkable thing pornographers are doing that you never even thought of before. We see amazing stories of triumph every day, and becoming a better person doesn't need to be as extravagant as learning to walk again after weasels eat your knees. It's doable. Do it! I should do it, too. We could do it together. It'd be fuckin' boss.

Whether or not anything comes from this, random words from a random Internet comedy writer, know that we're in a boat together, you and I. Whatever you want to do, I want you to do it. I really do, even though I can't possibly know who you are and what thing it is you want to accomplish, because I know what people are like when they take that chance and it pays off. I know the world benefits from people who achieve great things and are more at peace with themselves, and are happy and satisfied. I know it is good to be good and I want that for everyone as much as I want it for myself. And, more than anything, I wanted to end this with a dick joke.

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