And Living the Life You Were Meant to Live
A Very Hands-On Guide to Stop Feeling Like Shit
WHy I Wrote the Book
If you’re looking for the book that will help you stop feeling like shit all the time, you’ve come to the right place.
I wrote it because I wanted to change my own life but I couldn’t find anything that helped. Way too many books focus on why you’re feeling sad, anxious, angry and depressed but they never really tell you how to fix it. Or they just tell you to be mindful and meditate. But that doesn’t really work for the 99% of time you’re not meditating. Pretty soon you’re right back to feeling like shit again.
I wanted clear, simple, practical steps that work in the real world and deliver permanent change, so I set out to find the answers myself. After an intensely personal journey with a lot of wrong turns, I found them.
I’m going to save you a lot of wasted time so you can skip those wrong turns.
In these pages, you’ll learn how to:
- Crush that negative voice inside that says you won’t amount to anything
- Ask for what you really want in life instead of just accepting the crumbs thrown to you
- Say no to the people who waste your time and leave you exhausted
- Get out of the house and have fun again
- Destroy that distorted, fun house mirror image of yourself
- Shut down your mind when it won’t shut up
- Craft a diet that gives you lifelong health
- Toss your broken relationships and find a partner who gets you fired up every day
I changed. And you can too.
So what are you waiting for?
This is your life and it’s time to take it back now.
This is a book of action.
It’s not something you read passively and put aside. This is book you take on directly.
If you want to master depression and live the life you always dreamed was possible, you have to tackle life in a brand-new way. This book will show you how. It will give you the tools to root out the pain buried deep inside you and help you grow into the person you always imagined.
This is not something you can speed through or do in a half-hearted way. Set aside special time every week to read and do the exercises at the end of each chapter. Cut something else out, like TV time or browsing the web aimlessly for the fifth time today. The world will never make time for you. You have to make it for yourself.
It’s also essential you find the right time to do this work, not just any old time. Reading this book after a long, brutal day at the office, or when you can’t concentrate because you’re fighting with your significant other, or when it’s late at night as you’re trying to unwind is a recipe for failure.
Of course, you won’t always have the perfect conditions for growing and learning. Life sometimes gets in the way of what we want to do. Sometimes you won’t finish an exercise in one shot or you’ll get unexpectedly interrupted. That’s all right. This is not a race. Nobody is watching you or grading you. But keep returning to the work. Don’t use imperfect circumstances as an excuse to put off reading and doing the exercises.
I have a friend who often misses his workout because he insists that going to the gym is the only option. When I point out that there are great apps you can download on your phone to work out right in the privacy of your own home, he dismisses it, despite evidence that it worked really well for me and lots of other people. If you get stuck in insisting there is only one way to do something, you will fail.
If you want to work out, you’ll have to find a way to exercise no matter what’s in your way. The same goes for changing your life. You have to find a way no matter what.
It won’t always be easy, but easy solutions are fool’s gold. Easy answers promise us one of two things:
- You don’t really have to change. You can keep right on doing what you’re doing and get different results.
- You can get something with absolutely no work at all.
Both of these are lies.
But people love those lies and really believe them. You know why?
Because they don’t work.
I know what you’re thinking. Why would anyone love something that doesn’t work?
Because if it worked, then they’d have to change. Nobody wants to change if they don’t have to change. Why uproot your life if you can just shuffle a few things around and all is well?
We all want to stay right where we are if we can. Really, we just want to add a little air conditioning to our prison cell.
But what we absolutely don’t want to do is change, because change is hard work.
We only change when the pain of something becomes so excruciating that staying where we are is no longer an option.
That’s where I was when I started working on this book. And it’s why you’re reading right now. You’re sick and tired of being depressed and not getting what you want out of life. You’re living a half life, a life that wasn’t meant for you. Somehow you got stuck in a ghost world, and you want to find your way out. You want something more and you know it.
Once you’ve made this internal shift, you understand at a deeply intuitive level that there are no easy solutions or answers. It will take time and work.
I’m here to arm you for your new adventure, as you set out on the grand journey to transform yourself. Think of me as your blacksmith. I’ll forge the glittering sword, the thundering shield, and the shimmering armor you need to survive the battles with your great dragons.
But you have to wield them. Nobody else can do that for you.
This is an intensely personal book for me, with many examples from my own life. Don’t worry if the examples don’t perfectly match your own experiences. I’ve had a diverse and unusual life, and it’s unlikely all the details will resonate with you at every level. What matters is the core feelings that each example represents.
To transform your life, you need to do two things:
- Build a toolbox of skills to draw on so you can face the monster of depression.
- Develop consistency and discipline over time.
A good carpenter understands that there is no single tool for every job. Sometimes you need a stonemason’s hammer; other times you need needle-nose pliers.
None of the tools work in every situation, every time. You’ll need different tools for different days. Sometimes you’ll need to try multiple things until you find just the right tool for the moment. With practice, you’ll be able to draw on these tools to live a stronger, better, happier life.
We also need to apply these tools consistently and repeatedly over time. Practice makes perfect. When I was a young man, my kung fu teacher told me that kung fu translates to “hard work over time.”
The key is over time.
Applying these tools again and again over time creates mastery. Mastery is not achieved overnight.
There will be days we apply our skills supremely well with incredible fluidity and grace. There will be days we falter. But every day we work on our skills matters. Every day we overcome our resistance is a tremendous success that we can take great pride in.
And make no mistake, the days where we apply the tools with ease are no better than the days where we struggled and come up short. What matters is that we do the work, over and over.
Each day is a new day.
I’m most proud of the days where I couldn’t get my mind to calm down for long, and yet I sat down and did my writing or got my laundry done, despite incredible struggle and pain. I’m more satisfied with getting things done on the days when everything was going against me than I am on the days where everything comes together effortlessly.
Don’t get me wrong, I love it when everything just flows with effortless ease. But I’m even more proud of the mornings where I woke in terrible despair and could barely find the will to get out of bed and yet, somehow, I found the strength to rise and take up my virtual sword and do battle with the day.
The tools can help you do that, so let’s start building them now.
Throughout these pages you’ll find exercises. It’s absolutely essential that you stop and do the exercises before moving on. It’s not enough to just read the book, or skim the exercises and promise to come back to them later. Be honest with yourself: you won’t come back to them later.
Do the exercises as you go along. Commit to it now.
These exercises are here for one reason:
To change your life.
And there’s only one way to do that: You have to do the work. That’s the key to everything.
This is a practical book. It’s filled with exercises that work in the real world.
If you’re tired of yet another book that offers you nothing but mindfulness and meditation as a solution to everything and you’re looking for real, long term solutions to change your life, you’ve found them.
You also won’t find a lot of pop psychology and explanations about how your brain works here either. You are where you’re at and you need a powerful toolkit of mental and emotional techniques to help you deal with life as it comes at you full blast.
This is not a book about why you are the way you are, it’s a book about how to change your life, from someone who did it.
About the author.
I’m DANIEL JEFFRIES, author, engineer, pro-blogger, podcaster and public speaker. My articles have been read by millions of people and I’ve given talks all over the world. But despite having tremendous external success, I secretly struggled with depression most of my life until I finally found a way to overcome it for good.
I wrote Mastering Depression and Living the Life You Were Meant to Live to help as many people as I can to beat depression. I want you to live the life you always imagined for yourself, a life of passion, love, fun, and adventure.
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