Self-Improvement: The First Step is Admitting That You’re a Big Pussy Who Wants to Get Better

Alright, so the title might be totally misleading, especially if you don’t think it’s a humongously puss-tastical thing to admit faults within yourself and then actively work toward correcting them. If you’re a millennial (which, goddamn it, I just found out I technically fall into that group… a few years shy of being cooler), then you probably won’t understand. You’re all well and good with emotions and feelings and talking about them and touch screens and semi-decent food from vending machines and flying cars… but let me tell you, at least according to many, many male family members of mine: feelings are for pussies, you big crying crybaby pussy without a penis.

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“Why can’t I let go of my unfathomable rage?”

For most of the rest of us, you might have simply had the urge to be… I don’t know… better (and without that judgmental voice telling you you’re weak and pusillanimous for doing so). If so, I respectfully and encouragingly doff my cap to you, sir or madam. Admitting one’s own weakness is difficult. I say this after opening two brand new youtube tabs entitled “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” (yes, I know it’s a very old thing) and “How to Build Your Self-Discipline: No Excuses.” That voice, which sounds a lot like John Wayne and looks a bit like him, too, just looked down at me and made a taunt by way of fart noise.

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Emits a real Bronx cheer!

He then stuck his hand down his pants, unzipped his fly, and stuck his pinky out, mouthing the words “baby dick” at me in slow-mo. Was John Wayne really this big of an asshole?

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Yup, pilgrim.

However, as I get older, I start to feel a genuine desire to improve myself. A major impetus has been the events of the past three years: settling into a career, marrying the woman of my dreams (wifey), having our first child, owning (and “maintaining” a home), setting up a permanent residence out-of-state, and becoming a pedagogue (it’s the career… teacher). In the past, though, there’d always been a strong denial urge. I could even look at my 275 lb. frame, turn sideways in the mirror, suck in my gut, and say, “You still got it, you old smoothie.”

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Yes, yes, stolen from shutterstock…

Talk about rose-colored glasses.

Something clicked inside of me, but I’m not sure what it was. Something to do with seeing my own hypocrisy, as I pointed out others’ faults and their inability to admit them, while denying my own. Something to do with feeling accountable. In other words, if something was broken, it became my duty to not only acknowledge it, but also to fix it (or start the journey to that end).

It’s been hard as hell.

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This is life for a lot of us.

It’s that cognitive dissonance thing. You currently have a set of beliefs about a lot of things. When something enters that swirling mass of terrifying non-matter that you call your psyche, and you agree with it, but it doesn’t jive with your current set of beliefs, cognitive dissonance occurs. You either have to create a system of lies or justifications or whatever you want to call it to shoot down that new belief (which, you should admit, you gave credit to… hence you being in this current mental crisis), or you have to accept it and do the most terrifying thing ever: change.

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Yuk yuk

For me, my definition of the switch flipping moment (three paragraphs back, now) is the point when I heard those new ideas / beliefs, agreed with them, and quit trying to shoot them down. Instead, I had to do the hard thing and admit that this new belief was the more correct or more beneficial one for me, and then make strides toward it. My actions and my words now have to jive with any new beliefs that I encounter and agree with.

Shitballs.

In the end, all I wanted to say to myself, to my father (who, I think, agrees with my thought process as described in the beginning of this post), to most males who think that self-improvement is for pussies, and for the lazy-person world at-large: it’s time.

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“I’m not supposed to be here yet…”

Self-improvement isn’t for pussies, or real men, or real women, or even imaginary ones like Pippy Longstocking and Frodo; self-improvement is for those of us who are done with denial, the negativity of certain instances of cognitive dissonance, and who are tired of the same results (or non-results) over and over. If you’re tired of being negative toward your spouse, too lazy to accomplish those dreams or goals, too sarcastic to ever be taken seriously, too impatient to have fun with your child, too angry to stay quiet during even a five minute drive with other humans (FUCKING IDAHO DRIVERS), or TOO anything to be as happy as you possibly can be…

… it’s time.

Start being a pussy, you big fucking pussy…

…and change.

And, at this point, I’d like to open up the conversation to YOU, faithful reader (do we have more than one yet?). Which aspect (or two… or three) of your life would you like to improve and how are you going to do it? I’ll start: I’d like to decrease my anger, increase my mental effort (especially as outside-of-school reading is concerned), and become a better chef. Te toca a ti!

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The fabled Japanese Wicker Praying Mantis appears for all who reject the need to change. It’s tradition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Self-Improvement: The First Step is Admitting That You’re a Big Pussy Who Wants to Get Better”

  1. You have a good list for the new year. The chef part sounds easier than the anger part, though. That should level off over time, go slow and be patient. I need to set better limits with drinking and break habitual drinking patterns, there: I said it and shared.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should have said something about drinking, too! It’s the reason I stay so fat and unpleasant, I’m sure. “Confound it all; I love it so!” We’ve been on two weeks of serious moderation, so I suppose it wasn’t on my mind. The anger is already getting a lot better, but it’s definitely a Sisyphean feat for me. Thanks for sharing yours. It’s incredibly validating to hear from people who drink (or at least want to drink) as much as I do. Sending you positive vibrations through the ether, mildly strengthening your conviction and resolve, my friend.

      Like

    1. I highly endorse this message. YES! Big deams can absolutely motivate and, for msot, I certainly hope they do. Sadly, I’m a more visual person and I need immediate motivators (wife and kid are the best for me), as well as more visual reminders (like charts to track goal progression).

      THANKS FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION! I’ll also play devil’s advocate and say this: my students and I have been studying traits that affect achievement. One of them was sort of the reverse of what you said; quit dreaming, and invest yourself in tangible, more immediate goals. In other words, don’t always think about the end result (e.g. losing 100 pounds, becoming president, killing your boss), but think about smaller, more realistic, more immediately achievable steps along the way.

      Like

  2. Change is hard and self discipline is not easy for everyone. People say you have to have the will power. Things are just hard for some people. I think it is a slow process, and sometimes we give up because we expect the results to happen over night! Good luck with your journey. I am also working on self improving, I have got quite a few things!

    Liked by 1 person

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