One day, I was sitting down with one of my friends. ‘I hate my life,’ he said in sad tone of voice.
“You know, I even hate life, why am I living, I’m such a loser who does nothing but sleep and eat.” He stated that and started comparing himself to a pan saying that it was better than him.
I wasn’t better than him back then. Maybe Not even better than that pan as well. I hated my life also, even though I had different ways to describe it “my life sucks.” However, it’s still a form of hatred towards life in general and towards mine specifically.
What I’ve learned is that there are stages of hatred towards one’s life.
It starts with “life sucks”, and it can reach a dangerous point where you not only hate your life, but that along with suicidal thoughts, or at least self-destructive behaviors (such as cutting or addictions/bad habits).
Since you’re reading this, then most probably you’re in one of these stages. You hate your life. I don’t care how little or how big, that’s something that you need to start taking seriously.
And let me guess. The reason why you hate your life is simply because it sucks! But why it sucks? Maybe you feel like a total loser compared to those around you. Maybe you feel like won’t ever be able to be happy, loved or whatever you want to be (you believe that your goals/needs are unreachable).
Or maybe worse than that; you’ve been through painful and so-seemed unfair situations (loss of a loved one, dysfunctional childhood, bullying …etc).
Maybe a combination of all the above.
All of us have been through at least one of these situations in our lives. They do suck, and they can make the journey of life look very dark and hopeless.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to live a life that you hate. You don’t have to sleep-walking through life, living way under your true potential.
This article is here to tell you that there’s a better way somehow.
I won’t tell you that I’m going to make you love your life, you won’t believe that anyway.
At least, you’re going to understand why you hate your life and what to do about it. And if you’re willing to learn this and do what it takes, I’m willing to tell you that you can be in a better place.
OK, at least not hating every breath that is coming in and out, and doing something useful with this life that you have. That’s a better place.
Do I hate my life or do I hate pain?
Greg never saw a lemon before. He never tasted the bitter taste of lemon.
He saw few advisement about lemon that were very misleading. They kept telling him, directly and indirectly, that lemon is tasty and refreshing.
Eating a slice of lemon is like eating a piece of chocolate, according to these advertisements! It tastes good, it makes you feel happy, and it’s very refreshing.
Greg kept imagining how would lemon taste like. He had a certain expectation that his mind made. He imagined it to be very sweet, warm, and refreshing.
When he grew up and finally was allowed to get some lemons and taste them, he got disappointed. It was nothing as he imagined it to be.
Not only it wasn’t as he expected, but it was exactly the opposite of what he was expecting.
It was strong, bitter, and anything but sweet. It made his face red. He almost jumped on his feet from surprise.
Greg threw the lemon away and started to clean his mouth.
He now hates lemon. He never even touches a lemon, and he gets sickness in his stomach as soon as he sees one. He learned his lesson the hard way.
Now, what about you?
What if told you that you’re Greg? And what if I told you that lemon is the life? It would make a lot of sense even though it’s just an imaginary story.
Life is not easy. It’s painful. It’s hard. Pain is a part of the process.
You can’t always feel good emotions; things won’t go the way you want them to go. You’ll fail. You’ll feel bad. Somebody out there is going to call you a piece of shit. You’re going to feel like a piece of shit (or like a pan) sometimes. You’ll be afraid, anxious, and full of doubts. Things outside of your control will happen and make you wish you were dead.
That’s life. Pain is part of the process.
It’s not sunshine and rainbows. It’s not easy by any means. Good things can’t happen to you all the time. It’s not going to be a smooth journey and you won’t always be comfortable. Life can get quite depressing sometimes.
It’s life, it’s not meant to be easy.
We’re like Greg. He was deluded to believe that lemon tastes a certain way. We were deluded to believe that life is in a certain way (easy, comfortable, smooth, and full of rainbows and unicorns!).
Misleading advertisements conditioned him to think this way. Many and many sources conditioned you and me to think that life is easy and that pain is something bad and we shouldn’t experience it.
In brief, what I’m trying to say is don’t delude yourself into thinking life should be comfortable and easy. You’ll usually get disappointed.
And this disappointment will turn into rage and anger towards life.
Is It Really Your Life?
Many people are leading miserable lives because they’re settling and giving up. They’re living lives that are not theirs.
I have the habit of wandering away. Whenever I go out, I usually look at the people around me and start asking myself questions.
Are these people really happy?
They look so busy, what are they doing?
Why they’re doing what they’re doing?
Is what they’re doing making them satisfied and fulfilled?
Why would someone wake up at 6 a.m., work his tail off until 6 p.m., and repeat that every day?
What’s the meaning or the purpose of all that they’re doing (whether they’re studying, working, or even wasting time)?
And I usually find no answer to most of these questions.
But lately, I had an “aha moment”. All of a sudden, I said to myself, “it’s all about the meaning. Is it meaningful or meaningless?”
It’s about the meaning. The more you do things because you have a meaningful purpose, the more fulfilled you’ll become. The more you do meaningless things, the more your life will become meaningless as well.
I don’t intend to turn this into a philosophical article, so here’s what I want to say, the row advice you need to apply:
Don’t indulge into meaningless shit. Have a purpose behind what you’re doing. Meaning is what makes you happy or sad.
In real life, it looks like this:
- A person who works 2 shifts to provide enough money for his younger siblings. A person who works 2 shifts because that makes his boss happy.
- A person who believes that his suffering means that he’s a victim. A person who believes that his suffering means that he’s growing.
- A person who believes life should be comfortable. A person who isn’t afraid of discomfort if he knew it’s going to make him grow and improve.
- A person who works from 9-5 because he believes he is serving a bigger purpose. A person who works from 9-5 because that’s what everybody does.
- A person who works hard because he believes his goals are going to be worth it. A person who works hard only to make someone else happy or to avoid making someone upset of him.
You always need to ask yourself: why am I doing this?
What’s the meaningful purpose that’s driving me/that should drive me?
Each one of us has a different meaningful purpose. You need to figure out that for yourself.
And at the same time, you need to stop doing things for meaningless purposes. (Usually, we do that to avoid the disapproval of someone).
Have the courage to question your actions. Is there something that you’re doing for nothing (a meaningless purpose)? Is there something that you know you should be doing because you believe in it?
Then, have the courage to pursue the things that you believe are meaningful. And have the courage to stop doing the things which are meaningless to you, you’re doing them only to please those around you.
Choose The Meaningful Over The Meaningless
I stopped going to the college regularly. I only go when there’s something important or when we’re having an exam. (And soon, I may drop out completely).
I did that because, for me, the college was meaningless.
At the same time, I started doing things which I consider important and meaningful. I started studying things that I enjoy. I started meeting different people than the people in my college. I started this site. I started a passionate journey towards whatever makes my heart beat fast (a.k.a whatever scares me, or whatever I love).
Indeed, leaving the college like that was painful. People looked, and still look, at me like I’m a stupid and naïve child who thinks he’s smart.
Starting doing the things that I (and I repeat: I) consider meaningful was really rewarding. It was painful sometimes, but rewarding nonetheless.
I believe that as soon as you commit to something 100%, the universe will be on your side.
Now, I stopped doing things that I consider meaningless, regardless of how painful it was. I started doing things that I consider meaningful, no matter how uncomfortable they were. And I also came to peace with the fact that life will suck sometimes; that pain is part of the process and it can’t be eliminated.
I don’t claim that I live the happiest life ever (whatever that means), but surely it’s not a life that I’m ashamed or disappointed of.
Stop Chasing The Highs, Stop Pursuing Instant Gratification
Last but not least, you need to stop chasing instant pleasure.
The fact that we think life is easy and should give us what we want encourages us to go and seek an instant reward.
After all, if we can get an instant pleasure, why wait?
We don’t grasp the fact that instant gratification is not happiness. We don’t understand that the pain we’re trying to avoid is unavoidable.
So, we go and do all kind of behaviors that would give us an instant reward.
We basically do these behaviors to avoid the pain. We try to hack the system. We don’t want pain as a part of the process.
Unfortunately, that never works.
Pain will go away for few seconds, minutes, hours, or even day. But eventually, it’ll come back even stronger.
And again you’ll try to numb your feelings using the same behaviors. And now you have a self-destruction cycle.
If you’re caught up in this cycle, you must break it ASAP and like your life depends on breaking free.
Inside this circle, you’ll always hate your life. You’ll never be able to make pain vanish. And you’ll never be able to muster up the courage to look for what’s meaningful (and stop what’s meaningless) because you’re too busy running away from your life.
Instead, here’s what you need to do:
- Face your life problems: running away from your life will only make you hate it more. And it’ll never fix anything. Start looking at your problems in the eye and work on solutions. (Read: 4 Facts About Your Life Problems That Will Help You Solve Them)
- Slowly, start developing your mental immune system! Don’t run away from pain. Next time you feel bad don’t try to make this feeling go away. Observe it, understand its purpose, feel it, don’t fight it, and start working on real solutions that will make you feel good again.
- Meaningful or Meaningless? Always ask yourself whether you’re doing is really meaningful to you. Have the courage to stop indulging into meaningless shit. And start pursuing what you consider meaningful and important.
- Life is a lemon, so make a juice (maybe a choice?) instead of cursing it! Pain is a part of life. Life is hard and quite painful sometimes. Change and success are painful. Think about this pain a meaningful pain, a price that you have to pay in order to go to the next level, and a temporary feeling that you must feel.
- Fight hard, but learn to relax! We’re not really in control. We can only control what we do and how we respond to what’s going on around us. You don’t know what is in store for you. And, as Steve Jobs said, “you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have trust in something; god, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Cause believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow through your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path.”
- Handle failure like a pro! Failure is inevitable. And you’re going to make mistakes simply because you’re a human. Failure can either destroy you or build you even stronger, depending on how you handle it. Here’s a good (and a realistic) guide about handling failure: How to Handle Failure and Mistakes – A Realistic Approach
Was that helpful? You can also read:
- What is Arousal Addiction and Why You Should Care
- 5 Psychological Forces to Turn Your Life Around
- How to Be Confident: 25 Professional Tips That Really Work