Tag Archives: Success

Giving Up Sucks: Blogging

First off let me say that I really don’t like blogging about blogging. It seems like a really cheap and easy way to get people to read your stuff, because obviously people who blog are interested in blogging so would like to read a blog about blogs. Yeah. And I also don’t like writing about “success” or “being successful” because I’m not successful so why should I be spouting shit about success when I know nothing about it? It’s like listening to financial advice from a poor person or dieting tips from someone who’s obese or anorexic. But here we are anyways. I guess what I’m trying to say is that on the path to success (which I think I’m on I guess) there’s about a million difficulties you run into and if that’s causing me so much frustration and anguish I might as well write about them. Other people are probably dealing with some of the same struggles and feelings. This is called Everything Sucks and being successful is probably the hardest thing ever, so it fits I suppose.

This post is about a blog and failure and how I suppose it’s nice to quit sometimes. This obviously don’t feel good which is why it Sucks. I started a blog in February that was about electric cars. I had purchased one about a year ago and since there are tons of misconceptions about the things I thought blogging would be a great way to enlighten the masses about how great they are. I really like my electric car because of a ton of reasons and I wanted to get that information out into the world.

I was enthusiastic about the blog; it had focus, a narrow topic, and seemingly tons of things to write about. I’ve said before Everything Sucks is a mess because it has no real “tight theme” which apparently blogs are supposed to have so I felt excited about finally have a good blog idea. You read articles about how to really blog and they usually suggested those few things. I set to work on it immediately. I made a post every two days, made sure the design looked acceptable, and even made a Facebook page for the blog. Hell, I even advertised for the blog! It took about a week for the page to have over 100 “likes” and I felt good. Things were moving along nicely.

And then I didn’t write as much for it. It wasn’t for lack of motivation either; I just couldn’t think about topics to write about. When it came down to it an electric car is nearly the same as a gas car and there’s only so much writing you can do about how efficient and cheap they are to operate. One of my premises — namely the one about having a ton to write about — was wrong apparently. There wasn’t much to write about.

You end up with two choices. You can either give up, accept failure, and move on or keep trying to make progress. It’s a choice we all make in regards to nearly anything: a difficult job, relationships, careers, and goals. This choice is made more difficult by the often-heard adage about success: it’s all due to persistence. The people who are successful don’t give up at the first sign of difficulty and if you give it you feel like shit. You’re a failure. You’re [insert goal here] is an automatic failure if you stop working on it.

What did I do? I gave up on it. Do I feel like shit? Sort of, just because it was wasted time. But strangely I don’t feel too bad about it. Even though we’re conditioned to feel like failures sometimes it’s best to realize when you don’t have a way forward and try something else. You can keep banging your head into a wall trying to make progress but sometimes that wall isn’t going to give and you need to move on. Accepting this is probably the hardest part.

I think of what Hunter S. Thompson said in a letter to his friend asking for advice:

“We set up a goal which demands of us certain things: and we do these things. We adjust to the demands of a concept which CANNOT be valid. When you were young, let us say that you wanted to be a fireman. I feel reasonably safe in saying that you no longer want to be a fireman. Why? Because your perspective has changed. It’s not the fireman who has changed, but you. Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man, and hence your perspective changes. This goes on and on. Every reaction is a learning process; every significant experience alters your perspective.”

He gives the perspective of a child who wants to be a firefighter when he grows up. Everyone wants to be something cool like that, either a firefighter or a veterinarian or an astronaut. None of us actually become these things but we don’t feel like we failed out dreams because we eventually outgrow them, or rather see the goals from a different angle, as Thompson puts it. It’s this ever-changing growth in ourselves and our ever-changing perspective on life that forces us to also make ever-changing choices regarding our goals and dreams. It’s simply not set in stone: you have to constantly figure out what it is you need to do.

I guess it’s with that perspective that I gave up on my blog. I had a good run for a few months and for once I hit it hard with tons of motivation and little procrastination: two of my biggest flaws. Eventually I found that there wasn’t much to write about and that maybe my idea wasn’t that good. I felt terrible about this at first because I had wasted so much time on the blog and I obviously felt like a failure for “giving up” but fact is fact. With my ever-changing perspective on the state and future of the blog I was able to realize that my time would be better spent elsewhere. I still learned a bunch of lessons and those won’t disappear either. So don’t feel like you’re a failure because you had to give something up. Obviously try to make progress because persistence does seem to be key, but realize when something has run its course and don’t be afraid to move on to new adventures (like trying to sell goddamn t-shirts)!

Selling T-Shirts Sucks (and Update 2.0)

This blog was started with an actual idea and a central theme: Everything Sucks. I started a shitty personal blog a few years ago just to get into blogging without any idea of what to do with it and as you can guess it was a fucking mess.

After a near meltdown a few months ago I decided to work on this blog in a dedicated manner: Everything Sucks 2.0 if you will. If you check the posts I’ve been tossing up one, two, or even three posts a week and I’ve been keeping the tempo for awhile. I feel proud of myself because I’m finally doing what I believe is the key to success: hard work and practice. Even if I don’t think the post is perfect I won’t let that stop me. It’s all about progress and success. The fun fact is I don’t know what “successful” means in the case of blogging.

I guess I’d like followers or people to read the site because duh, but besides that? I don’t really know. Let’s say I had 10,000 people who read this blog. Then what? I have no idea. Sitting back and being comfortable sounds silly as there’s always something that can be done. I still don’t know the answer to this because there’s never been a “plan”, but I’ve always thought it’d be cool to sell shirts. That’s right. T-shirts. Not as a get-rich-quick scheme or some overarching plot to make a brand for myself, but just because shirts. It’d be cool to know that others have a shirt that says “Everything Sucks” on it. It’d make me laugh. It sounds really trivial and stupid but why not?!

I finally sat my ass down and created a shirt after dreading the impending failure for a few weeks. I set a price of $15 per shirt and a goal of 20 shirts. I shared it on Facebook and and purchased myself a shirt because that’d be cool. I checked it today. Guess how many shirts I’ve sold? One. And that to myself!

Well fuck. This reaffirms what I believe success and goals are: it’s throwing yourself at something over and over until something works and weathering failure after failure. Things never work on the first, second, third, or even the 75th try; they only work when you blindly toss yourself at something over and over again you find that magical formula. I never really expected to sell any shirts the first time but once you finally decide on a course of action you get your hopes up a bit. Failure Sucks but it isn’t game-breaking although it sure doesn’t feel good.

I shouldn’t be so hard on myself though because I got off my ass and tried it. No one can fault you for that. I did think of making a t-shirt “business” on Facebook to spam ads targeted locally. Maybe shirts that are themed off my hometown? Hell, I might be able to sell tons of t-shirts that way. This initial experiment might be the beginning of something new.

If you want to buy a shirt, feel free to click right here. I’m pretty proud of them and they’re available in like 5 or so colors (but not grey 😡 ). But if not it’s no big deal because I wasn’t expecting to sell any in the first place. Selling T-shirts Sucks.

Facebook Sucks: “reverse-schadenfreude”

Schadenfreude: enjoyment obtained from the trouble of others.

I’m going to make another word to describe a certain phenomenon on Facebook: reverse-schadenfreude.

Reverse-schadenfreude: self-loathing obtained from the success of others.

A bit about me first: I’m a white male in my 30s who lives in Rockford, Illinois. I have a single part-time job that nets me about $20,000 in a year. I’ve been there for 12 years. Everytime I try to work a second job and do the full-time job thing, I end up quitting. I sleep really late and my BMI is 28.6 meaning I’m officially overweight. I like to play video games and I write two shitty blogs. I have a family and some kids but that doesn’t redeem my view of myself: I’m by most measurements a loser.

You might be a loser too.

Think about your Facebook friends. I bet some aren’t as big of a loser as you are. And I bet some are downright successful. That’s my experience at least, and seeing as I’m as average as can be I assume everyone has Facebook friends that are successful. I have a few friends who are doctors. We went to high school together so it’s not like they’ve had a different life situation than I’ve had. They just went to school and are now doctors. I went to school and got an associate degree and work a job that doesn’t require a degree. Wow. I have some friends who live in warm climates. They somehow made enough money and had enough motivation to move where you’re not in danger of dying if the furnace goes out. Hell, I’m too insecure to feel comfortable shopping by myself. Some friends run faster than I do and some seem much more happy on the surface. They’re always smiling and posting pictures on Facebook! Some have bands and play music for real and some are paid photographers with their own businesses. Some couples I know actually get to go out on the weekends and enjoy themselves instead of being stuck at home with kids nonstop. So, naturally, I think of me sitting here at a dirty table typing on some shitty low-end laptop a blog post that about 5 people (maybe) will read I can’t help to think what did I do wrong? Did I really piss away 30 years of life and do nothing?

What’s stupid is this also works in reverse: by seeing other people with shitty lives you feel better about yourself. This is called schadenfreude and is only a cheap sort of goodness. You might feel better seeing that Cindy from High School is living in poverty because you sure aren’t and, wow, she must’ve really fucked up her life somehow! Or you see people dating total douchebags and realize (and laugh about) how stupid they must be. At least I’m happily married! Like I said, you feel better about yourself but it’s at someone else’s expense. It also takes a total narcissist to not be able to pivot this into how others see you, and then you end up thinking like the paragraph up above and loathing for your own life. Even if you do feel better and other people’s misfortunes, it probably isn’t healthy at all.

If you’re smart you’re probably seeing where I’m going with all of that and how we shouldn’t ever measure our worth based on others. I just think this is how people just are though. You might think you can hop on Facebook and not compare yourself to others but we’re social creatures that have a social hierarchy and I tend to think it’s instinctual to compare yourself to others. If you hop on Facebook and see others doing shitty, you’ll feel better about yourself. If you hop on Facebook and see others doing better than you, you’ll feel shitty. Since everyone is basically average, this will most likely cause you to be rather conflicted and moody because you don’t appear to be a clear winner or loser. Do you suck at life or are you awesome? Where are you on this social spectrum of failures and winners?

I think Facebook forces you into this mode of thinking and it’s bad from the start. You can’t see other people and not compare yourself to them. It’s just impossible or at the very least really hard to do. By not partaking in Facebook you skip over this problem all together. By not seeing people living their everyday lives and comparing yourself to them you save yourself the struggle of knowing if you’re better or worse than everyone else. If this information is gone, surprisingly, you just live your own life and do what you want to do. You stop trying to have a bigger social penis than everyone else and just live life.

I really think this is the worst aspect of Facebook by far. Sure you get an overdose of news and sure you spend time browsing and doing nothing, but the real harm comes from measuring yourself against everyone else. Your happiness is your own and no one else has any say in it. By comparing yourself to others they magically become part of how you measure your self-worth and usually ends up tearing it down: happiness, self-confidence, motivation, everything. You alone know who you are and what you like to do in life, so do it. Some jackass fucker on Facebook that you know from work has no bearing on this despite how “successful” you think he is. Facebook Sucks.

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Disregarding the fact that this isn’t the real Bill Murray apparently (I researched it because I don’t want to spread bullshit), it’s a pretty accurate statement.