On trusting yourself

Sergey Faldin 🇺🇦
4 min readApr 17, 2022

Imagine a river, following a sinuous trail through the dale. You’re sitting on a raft boat, holding a paddle, looking ahead, sun shining in your eyes, drops of water falling on your face. Sounds splendid, right? That’s what life is like. An endless river flowing in sweeping meanders of opportunities, risks, events, and experiences. Yet, no matter how gorgeous that tableau might seem, surprisingly, very few people know how to live life in the right way.

Why? Because they don’t trust themselves.

Because I like to talk about percentages, I’ll say that 90% of people fall into one of the two categories.

The first—hustlers (or, as I call them — “sportsmen”), are the ones who assume (falsely) that life is about putting the maximum effort into everything. They sweat, puff, and fart, paddling strenuously, fighting the water, and exhausting themselves. When people tell them that fighting nature — such as rivers — is useless, they nod, but deep inside, they disagree. The sportsmen always believe they can bullshit the entire world by putting a little more effort into whatever they’re doing. And so they paddle on and on to the point of collapsing from exhaustion until, to the relief of everyone, including themselves, they finally die.

The second category is people who have long ago given up on themselves. Their clocks, as one French writer has noticed, “have long stopped ticking.” They are what I like to call “shit in a sewage system.” They float and float and float through life aimlessly, having thrown away their paddle, deeming it unnecessary, giving themselves to chance, taking whatever comes, and allowing society to push them around as it wishes. These people believe that they don’t have a say in how to live their lives and, thus, don’t bother.

Finally, we have the remaining 10% of people who know how to live. Continuing with our life-as-a-river analogy, these people sit on the raft calmly, looking ahead, mostly relaxed, absorbing the view. But, unlike the “shit in a sewage system” people, they occasionally put their paddle in the water, paddling graciously and only when they need to, to make sure they don’t hit the rocks. They know how to use their energy, and they use it wisely. They’re calm and confident. But most importantly, unlike the sportsmen and the shit-in-the-sewage — they trust themselves. And are thus, happy.

What is trusting yourself? First of all, it’s about trusting the world. It’s about knowing when to let go and wait…

Sergey Faldin 🇺🇦

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