Seth Swirsky is a best selling author, clinical psychotherapist, artists, songwriter, and creative. He is most well known for his book “21 Ways to a Happier Depression: A Creative Guide to Getting Unstuck from Anxiety, Setbacks, and Stress”
Favorite Success Quote
“Every morning when I wake up, I ask myself, What is Salvador Dali going to do today?” ~Salvador Dali
“Life is in the striving, not the arriving”
1. Be Open to Who You May Be and Regrow Your Balls
Men in the 21st century are suffering from an identity crisis.
Not because we don’t know who we are or who we want to be, but because society and PC culture have told us that who we are is wrong.
It’s wrong for men to be men.
It’s wrong for you to have your own pursuits and passions.
It’s wrong for you to do anything other than work your fingers to the bone in pursuit of arbitrary goals that aren’t really aligned with who you are.
And let me tell you…
You are allowed to be who you are, you are allowed to be happy, and you are allowed to do whatever you damn well please.
Many of you reading this are avid video game enthusiasts who have given up your hobby, not because it interferes with your life, but because society has told you that it makes you weak.
Many of you reading this love art and music but have relegated these pastimes to the realm of “Someday” simply because society has told you that you should focus on your work.
Many of you reading this want nothing more than to pack a backpack and go out into the great outdoors, yet society has told you to be more reasonable and do the safe thing.
But guess what?
Society is broken and it’s time for you to reclaim your masculinity, regrow your balls, and do the things that you want to do.
Life is short and precious, so stop wasting it trying to live up to societal standards that don’t serve you and your mission.
If you want something, go get it. If you want to do something, do it.
Be who you are and enjoy your life… It’s the only one you’ve got.
2. Women Want to Be Heard
Society has tried to make us believe that women want a 6′ 2″ man with a chiseled jaw, big arms, a deep voice, and a bank account containing countless zeroes.
And once again, society is wrong.
Of course, women want an attractive, athletic, hard working man. But what they want even more is a man who makes them feel heard.
A man who doesn’t pretend to listen to them but who actually shuts the hell up and just listens!
Women don’t want a man who pretends to listen, who shuts his brain off and zones out, they want a man who truly hears them, who understands what they are saying and who genuinely cares.
Take a common example.
Your spouse or significant other comes home to a house sink full of dirty dishes and a house that looks like something out of Hoarders.
You’ve had a long day at work and, much to their chagrin, you are sitting on the couch relaxing.
Your wife starts to angrily complain about how you never clean the house or help out with the household chores.
In this moment, you have three options. You can ignore them, you can get defensive, or you can listen… Really listen.
If you choose to listen you will realize something.
Your wife, most likely, isn’t upset about the dirty house or the nasty dishes, they are upset because they don’t feel like their time and energy is being valued.
So instead of getting defensive, take a step back and listen.
Acknowledge what your wife is trying to tell you and respond accordingly.
“I hear you babe, and if I understand what you are saying, you are upset because you never feel like you have time to relax and unwind. I’m busy with work too and I understand… So why don’t we just hire a house cleaner to take care of things so that we don’t have to worry about it anymore? Would that make things easier for you?”
Do you notice how this response acknowledges your wife’s feelings and makes her feel like she has really been heard?
When you learn to apply this skill of really listening in your romantic relationships, you will find that the majority of your problems and disagreements disappear.
3. Optimize Your Environment to Optimize Your Life
If you want to optimize your life, reduce stress and anxiety, and truly operate at peak levels of performance, then you must optimize your environment.
Plenty of “gurus” and entrepreneurs will claim that you should ignore your environment and simply hustle your way to your goals, but the truth of the matter is that your environment is stronger than your willpower.
If you are trying to quit smoking and your work at a tobacco shop, you might be able to kick the addiction… But you will be much more likely to end the habit once and for all if you are in an environment that makes it difficult for you to have that cigarette.
Similarly, if you are a ball of stress and anxiety, coming home to a messy home with violent movies playing on the television and loud noise from the neighbors keeping you up at night, your stress and anxiety will multiply.
However, if you can optimize your environment by eliminating clutter, creating a space that elicits feelings of calm and serenity, you will find that your stress and anxiety will become manageable.
Do not underestimate the power of your environment.
If you have been struggling to get motivated, beat an addiction, move on from a divorce, or any plethora of other struggles, the key might lie in changing your environment.
Whether you need to move apartments, cities, or even countries, when you can change and optimize your environment to be more conducive to your goals, you will find that your life and success starts to accelerate at an unprecedented pace.
4. Take a Break
As men it’s easy to get trapped in hustle mode, working ourselves to death in order to achieve goals that aren’t truly aligned with our purpose.
And when your nose is constantly to the grindstone, it can be difficult to examine your life, solve problems, and enjoy the precious moments each day.
So take a break.
Step back from the laptop and just relax.
Give yourself permission to enjoy your life.
If you want to sit in front of the TV, watch a few hours of football and crash out with a beer in your hand… Do it.
If you want to play Call of Duty after a long day of work, then load up your darn Xbox, join a match, and go kill some virtual baddies.
If you want to sit in your room with a nice glass of wine and an empty canvas, then do it! Create your own masterpiece and enjoy your damn life.
Stop working so hard and start enjoying your life more.
The funny thing is, that when you start to take more breaks when you give yourself permission to relax, your brain will unwind and be better equipped to handle the adversity and challenge of your work life.
It might seem counterintuitive, but I promise, it works.
5. Know When You are Mismatched
How many times have you heard the saying “Marriage is hard work”?
A lot, right?
Have you ever taken a step back and considered that this statement might be a steaming load of crap?
What if relationships weren’t meant to be hard? What if you weren’t supposed to have an endless stream of fights and frustrations?
What if your relationships, especially your marriage… Is supposed to be easy?
Well, I am here to tell you that it is.
Yes, you will have fights in any relationship. Yes, you will have disagreements. Yes, you will have times where things are hard.
But the sum total of your interactions with your spouse or significant other should feel easy. It should flow naturally.
If you find that your relationship is requiring too much work and effort, chances are good that you are not in the right relationship.
Marriage was never meant to be this phenomenal challenge… It’s meant to be a fun relationship between two people whose goals, futures, and dreams are genuinely aligned.
If you find that your current relationship doesn’t match up to this, then you might need to take a step back and reexamine things.
Are you truly meant for each other? Are you truly matched with your current partner?
If not, it’s time to cut your losses and move on.
Life is simply too short to waste it in relationships that aren’t meant to be.
1. Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr. Clair Weekes