The Great Stuckedness
The beginning of the journey
Well, distraction-free mode enabled in Google docs, noise-canceling headphones engaged. Perhaps the metal I’m listening to (Ghost - so good) isn’t everyone’s version of “focus music” but it works for me. This finds me at a crossroads in my life and I’ve been sitting here for a number of years. You see, dear reader, in many ways I am chronically stuck in returning to comfort.
Sometimes I feel like someone else is driving the bus.
It’s just too easy to reach for another carbohydrate-laden snack.
It’s just too easy to look at my phone.
It’s just too easy to jump into one of our myriad streaming services and watch sports or truly excellent television (hello … The Mandalorian?).
It’s just too easy to avoid falling into utter overwhelm from all the things that must get done.
It’s just too easy to journal and kvetch about my problems.
It’s just too easy to pick up the next shelf-help book to help me identify my problems so that I can journal more and whine about them with more self-awareness and enlightenment.
I did a lot in those years: brought up a couple of really cool kids, ran my own business, gave up drinking alcohol, completed a comprehensive digital marketing certification, wrote a lot of software for myself and working for others, finished 3 Ironman races (and lots of shorter distance races along the way), started a non-fiction reading habit, and so on.
It’s not like I don’t know what hard work is: I’ve been doing that for over 30 years.
But somewhere along the line I began feeling like I was failing myself and others. As hard as it is to say I just haven’t cared enough to DO more, to FIX more, to CREATE more, to BE more. I want to care and I know I’m disrespecting myself and my ancestors by not bringing my best self to the world.
Many of those successes were just ways to distract myself from not doing what was important.
I’ve come to think of this time as The Great Stuckedness.
It is a combination of mental and physical inertia, poor habits, a weak and undisciplined mind, overwhelm from all of my creative ideas, easy ways to avoid the effort of community and friendship, and a target-rich environment of options for comfort. For fuck’s sake, there’s always another donut.
In my defense, throughout most of humanity’s evolution there was rarely even one donut, let alone a 24-pack of apple fritters. We are simply not built to have a constant availability of calorie-dense foods, aural and visual stimulation, or even the amount of opportunities to create things. If it’s this bad now imagine it as the metaverse and Neuralink brings us closer to the Gibsonian “jacking in” of Neuromancer.
Still, this is mine to fix, mine to get unstuck from. I own that I’ve been escaping from fully living my own life. I certainly own the “undisciplined mind” part. There have been some attempts along the way to fix it: giving up alcohol was huge … but there have been countless failed diets from food, TV, social media and so very many failed attempts to plan or organize my way out of it.
That brings me to Strong99.
Strong99 will be about how to live longer, to thrive longer, and live a life of purpose.
This will be my journey out of The Great Stuckedness, my vow to the world to be my best self, to live life fully by inspiring others and leaving the world a better place than I found it.
I’d like you to join me on this journey.
It will be about beating COMFORT over the head with a stick, every fucking day for the rest of our lives. It will be about throwing our laurels down the disposal.
And it will be about helping others do the same.
We are genuinely gifted to live in a time where so much is available to us: the onus is on us to use that to lift up humanity.
Does this find you in a Great Stuckedness of your own? Are you looking for inspiration on how to mute the distractions and just see the holes, not the donuts? Are you in this for the long run?
Read the manifesto. Print it out and tape it to the wall. Stand up. Scream “Fuck short term fixes”.
Let’s get after it.
I vow that every day I will
Be disciplined, keep my promises, take action, and do things that light me up,
In order to
Become wiser, healthier, stronger, more flexible, and bring my best self to the world,
I inspire others to succeed, and I leave the world a better place than I found it.