I remember when I began this journey I said to myself – I will not stop until either it breaks, or I do.
The past three days I ate porridge for dinner.
Only last week I asked my Mother to cover the difference in my rent – causing her to become upset and ask me why I have chosen to live this way. My Father recently suggested I am doing nothing with myself.
They don’t even know I have stolen to feed myself.
You see I am seeking mastery – but my journey is plagued by the pressures of survival.
In other words: I am in the struggle – and I have found that my only weapon is persistence.
Others call it stubbornness.
The struggle wears you down – so you learn pretty fast that you need to figure out ways to inspire yourself – your persistence is equal to your motivation.
The easiest way to get yourself fired up is to think that society is pushing you down – this was my fuel for a long time – Blame.
I blamed society for my lack of success – but despite all my blame – nothing came of it. The power of the struggle is that illusions never survive.
Reality slowly eroded away my arrogance and I began to see that it is my fault I am here – I learned that the obstacles to my success are not in my society – they are within myself.
To overcome the struggle first I must become worthy – and to become worthy I have to destroy all the parts of myself that are illusions – all the parts of me that are not capable of succeeding.
To the beginner this process hurts – and if you are like me you start to complain about the pain – but that is a mistake: You need the pain.
The great pressures of solitude, poverty, and defeat – these are the hidden ingredients to victory – they are blessings in disguise. Although – this attitude is romantic enough for most of the month until the landlord texts me about the upcoming bills.
I see now that I am being forged by these great pressures – pressure turns coal into diamonds.
The question is – can I handle the pressure that is required to make me shine?
I want to share with you the lessons I have learned about overcoming the chaos of transformation – and so I give you my story.
Youth – Living is Easy
I was truly blessed with a great childhood – things were easy for me. I was so well supported that I never had to worry about survival. My only real concern was fitting in.
Life was so stable in fact – that it leaned towards banality – I remember scribbling out drawing after drawing and running through fields imagining I was on great adventures in wonderful fantasy lands because it was entertaining – I guess I felt reality as it was presented to me was mediocre.
I was a dreamer by default.
This all suffered when I was placed in the school system – I slowly became less exploitative, less adventurous, less present with my body – but a lot smarter. I excelled at general intellectual schoolwork – but felt insecure around sports where I had to make real physical and courageous decisions.
I realize now that I was becoming a Westerner. I guess that’s the trade off isn’t it?
I slowly became more mellow and introverted as years went by – my repressed dreamer side became hidden – and it was only well into secondary school that something amazing came to me – Music.
Not to say music lacked in my life before hand – but for the first time I re-entered that dreamland I had lost in youth. Eminem, Led Zeppelin, and The Chili Peppers – they were my doorways back to myself.
Intuitively I had found what I desired – music and it’s ability to conjure up the Otherside. This intuition was a great gift – so many people never even begin their journeys because they spend their whole lives trying to figure out what they want.
There is an art to knowing what you want.
Unfortunately my mix of arrogance, lack of courage, and obedience to others opinions on how I should live my life marred my pursuit of this goal for a long time.
University – Anxiety and Decadence
The end of teenage school came – and I was then supposed to choose a career path. Then the impossible happened – I failed to get into a pure music college.
This shook me – and left me with no real options that were backed up with my desire. I committed to passing my end of school exams with a good grade by using meta-cognition techniques to learn the material despite having spent the majority of my school time in the music room.
This got me into University in Dublin – to study English and Music as academic subjects.
It was here that I expanded my horizons and went exploring the city drug culture and electronic music scene. I began to meet new people and my world view began to expand rapidly – but I was struck down severely with a wave of anxiety.
I can only say now that it was a psychological transformation – I had to be broken from my sheltered childhood in order to evolve to the next level.
I began to feel that I had taken the wrong path – and I began to create music again – only to become aware of my lack of talent. I became obsessed with perfection – and slowly bullied myself out of thinking that I was any good.
My inner emotions became difficult to understand – I was energized with waves of sorrow and inspiration – I settled into a passive attitude towards the world and began to heal myself using my dreams.
I retreated into my head.
Drop Out – Self Education
They say that college is the last free years of your life – this idea always made me feel terrible for wasting them trying to heal myself.
Now I see that this stage was my early midlife crisis – a blessing in disguise to rediscover my purpose and truly see how many flaws there were in my mentality.
To follow your dreams is simply a mindset issue – you need to realize that dreams are worth nothing unless you can actually bring them back from the Otherside and make them a reality in this world.
I dreamed thousands of dreams – I fostered millions of ideas. Honestly – I prided myself on being so intellectual at one point.
For all my dreams – I was too impotent to bring them into reality.
Regardless – I pursued a purity of ideas – because I was onto one truth: If you improve your thinking – you improve yourself.
This began to clash heavily with the University agenda.
As I moved into my final years I became interested in much more simple questions – like how to live, or what ideas are correct to live by.
University offered me no answers.
A huge force in me began to demand that I re-imagine myself – and I felt that my University was trying to constrict me and trying to shape me into a specialist. When a good friend of mine said that I should look into becoming a professor I knew that I had to make a choice to get me off this path.
When summer came I went wandering in nature – out in the blistering heat among the vicious animals and indifferent trees and grasses my psychology felt that this transformation had reached it’s zenith.
I began to see great visions of deities – things my intellectual atheism condemned as bullshit – and hear commands from them to “hold my focus” or else I would spiral into madness.
I understood that I was having insight into the cold hard truth of nature – and her tough love attitude – either you are worthy to thrive or you will struggle to survive. The metamorphosis was complete.
Young Manhood – Minimalism and Sacrifice
I returned to the city – got a job – searched out music mentors around the town to train me.
I stopped going to college classes and instead went to the university library and read all of the major works of Western and Eastern philosophy in three months – starting with Heraclitus and Plato – ending with Nietzsche and Wittgenstein.
I learned more in these three months than my entire fifteen years in the education system.
I then sacrificed my social life – I stopped clubbing and lost many friends because of it – as everyone else began to complete their college courses and move on with lives I dropped out and moved towards minimalism – spending the months training my musical skills.
I betrayed most of my oldest friends by simply tuning out of the world.
I finally made the commitment to let go of everything non-essential in order to achieve my dream – and soon I began the long and arduous process of clearing out the real viruses in my mind – my self doubts.
Growin’ Up – Mentality
As I began to audit my mind correctly I truly saw evolution.
I began to seek challenges that I never would have imagined myself doing – I began practicing martial arts – I began writing novels – I began waking up early – I became much more aware of my body – I began meditating.
Beneath all this grew a great feeling of assurance.
I thought that I was chasing my dream – but now I see – these pressures of adversity are the hands of my dream shaping me.
I finally realized that I knew what I wanted since I was a youth – I just was not capable to have it.
I allowed this to wound my pride and I wallowed in the idea that I was not good enough – but this was a mistake – I was simply not prepared enough.
All I had to do was accept what I am as the truth – then it became my foundation which I could build upon.
So much of me could not accept the truth – that is the source of my struggle.
I have not the financial resources to feed myself – I have no foreseeable income – yet I am thankful.
Every word of this piece hurts because my story reflects any others who are like me seeking mastery in their respective field.
This website is a catalog of my work and my insights into the adversity you will meet along the path to mastery – be it of a craft – or of yourself.
Always move forward.