It’s supposed to be hard, and that’s exactly why you should do it

Artwork by my sis, Kate Faldin.

Important things in life don’t come easy. Nor should they. Education, self-learning, staying fit, staying financially stable, mentally sane and acute, etc. — all of these things require friction. They require work.

The hours to put in. The struggle of not knowing where to go next. The thrill of finding a solution. The discipline to push yourself.

That’s why all education is, really, self-education. (As Maria Popova said, knowledge has to be claimed.)

And that is why we must not shy away from doing hard things.

Doing hard things brings freedom we can’t buy otherwise.

The modern agenda in a…

Instead, embrace the ‘flaneur’ lifestyle.

Photo by Robert V. Ruggiero on Unsplash

I’ve lived most of my life by goals. First, it was school goals (get into the best college). Then it was work goals (make X dollars in revenue next month). Productivity-related plans (complete project Y this week, write Z articles this month). Financial goals (save N dollars this year). Personal goals (lose 10 kg this summer).

But then I noticed something. Contrary to common wisdom, having goals isn’t motivating. It’s terrifying. Goals focus you, alright, but they also make you stressed. Instead of enjoying your days, you frenetically make a daily audit with yourself: “How close am I to my…

It’s already happening.

Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

My father is 43 years old. He became an entrepreneur when he was 22. There wasn’t such thing as entrepreneurship at that time. People didn’t attend ‘entrepreneurship programs’ or plan to become one.

Today, entrepreneurship is put on a pedestal. They are the rock stars, the rappers, the basketball players of this century.

Kids drop out of college (like Bill Gates) to start a company (like Steve Jobs), to make an ‘exit’ (like Peter Thiel), and launch rockets into space (like Elon Musk) and try to avoid being like WeWork.

But all of that is changing. …

Or how much you make. Or even what you do.

Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash


No, seriously, stop right now. What are you doing?

Are you reading yet another douchebag brag about how much he makes $8–10K by having a freelance copywriting business (all the while making it seem as if he’s “genuinely trying to help you escape the 9–5 and become free” — all you need is to buy his stupid online course)?

Is that it?

Then stop. (I just did.)

Reading crap like that is making you waste your life.

I am not saying it isn’t true.

I am sure some people are making $8-$10K per month through their “side hustles”. In fact, probably more people than you care…

Two life-altering ideas that help me get through the hard times.

Photo by Joshua Newton on Unsplash

After being depressed for several months (and finding solace in self-destructive behavior), I learned to feel deep empathy for people who go through hard emotional periods. Nobody is immune from it.

One day you feel like you’re on top of the world. The next day your world crumbles, and it feels like there’s no hope.

It doesn’t necessarily have to do with anything significant (like, death of a loved one or going bankrupt), or it might. It can be both the little things and the big things that trigger you. It can even be nothing at all. …

Everything is a funnel.

Photo by Ricardo Rocha on Unsplash

Everything is a funnel.

You publish 10,000 blog posts.

Then the following happens:

  1. One thousand of them get people’s attention.
  2. One hundred go viral.
  3. And one gets you a million-dollar book deal.

Notice that you don’t control getting a million-dollar book deal. Nor do you control any of the later stages of the funnel.

In fact, the only thing you do control is getting those 10,000 blog posts written in the first place. You always control just the first step of the funnel.

This works in anything in life — music, creative work, personal success, even getting a doctor’s appointment…

My generation has a serious problem.

Photo: Frank Okay/Unsplash

The big problem of my generation is boredom.

However, it’s not the presence of it that’s the problem. Rather, it's the absence of boredom.

Instead of embracing boredom for what it is — a natural way of life for most beings — we constantly run away: consuming more content and doing more things.

We do this in futile attempts of “having an interesting life.” You know, the one you see on Instagram: with yachts, sandy beaches, mojitos, giving keynotes in front of an audience of thousands, and making millions in blog ad revenue.

Every time we feel stable, we assume…

It’s about an elephant.

I have a theory. It’s about an elephant.

Well, not the actual animal elephant, but rather the “elephant in the room”.

I think — and again, this is just a theory of mine based on my own experiences and minimal observations — that people are generally bored and tired of how typical the content on the Web is.

Go to any platform — YouTube, Medium, even Google for fuck’s sake, –and you’ll get a river of bullshit that says roughly the same thing, just in different ways.

There’s a certain clickbait headline (“77 Signs You’re a Shmuck”), a certain format…

It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be depressed. It’s okay to be unproductive. It’s okay not to hustle all the time. It’s okay to be lazy.

It’s okay not to love broccoli. It’s okay to have breakfast at 4 PM. It’s okay to eat peanut butter sandwiches for dinner, lunch, and breakfast. It’s okay to not have breakfast at all. (It’s even okay to write ‘dinner, lunch, breakfast’, instead of ‘breakfast, lunch, and dinner’, simply because you feel like it.)

It’s okay to want to binge-watch a whole season of Rick and Morty. It’s okay to want to…

Destroy something beautiful.

Fight Club scene. Image credits to Rolling Stone.

Remember that scene from Fight Club?

The main character punches Jared Leto’s character in the face. Blood spills all over the place. Jared Leto tries to fight but he can’t.

Once the main character wins, he kneels over his opponent (all covered in blood) and says: “I just wanted to destroy something beautiful.”

Next scene: Jared Leto comes to Tyler Durden’s house with a scarred, bruised face, and a black eye.

Life is often like Fight Club.

To build a new life for yourself, you have to first destroy the one you have. Perhaps it’s the comfy job you’re tired…

Sergey Faldin

Making sense of the world and teaching others. One post at a time. | My books:| Reach out:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store