Get your life together and know you do.
Nearly five years ago I was a newly divorced person from an eight and a half year marriage. I was single and desperate to replace what I had: someone who was always there for me. For a few months, I went out every weekend clubbing to drink, dance, and meet women. Looking back, it was an awful environment to meet eligible ladies, the setting was all wrong but that’s not important, what’s important is my ambition or goal was misguided.
What I needed was not another romantic relationship with someone, I needed a better relationship with myself.
I knew I needed help so I picked up books. Lots of books. Books on psychology, dating, and sex. I learned a lot in a short amount of time, definitely more than I could apply. I went to therapy. I would spent the next several years learning how walk these things out: radical acceptance, forgiveness, emotional stability, confidence, and a host of other qualities and traits.
This is a short article intended to cut through all the bullshit. So, let’s just say it, get your shit together and know when you do. It’s that simple. Don’t do it for anyone else. Do it for yourself. What do you want? Figure it out, set goals, and take steps.
Buddy’s rules for the divorced
#1 — DECIDE who you want to be and BE that person. Do not be reactionary. Know your values. Be that person.
#2 — See rule number #1.
Who cares what your ex is doing? You are by definition divorced. Not longer together but apart. Accept it. It’s time for you now. It’s your time to shine. Let’s get to it.
Get your life together
You know what’s wrong with your life: money, physical health, and emotional baggage. Stop pandering the latest dating trends, phrases, or tactics. You want to get laid? You want people to get excited about you? Get excited about yourself, your life, and live it out.
Make your bed. Brush your teeth. Pay your bills. Clean your toilet. Go on a fun trip with a buddy. Dress nice. Clean your car. Set goals, make plans, and see them through. Build friendships. Learn new skills. Pick up hobbies. These kind of activities are sexy as hell.
Create a scorecard for your life, it’s corny but awesome!
I believe the easiest way to gain confidence and get your life together is to have a Life Scorecard.
I came up with ten values for myself:
- Experiences, Travel, and Getting Out
- Financial health
- Physical health
- Mental health
- Giving back
- Love, Sex & Partnership
- Personal development
I set goals for each value. I review how I’m doing with each value every two months. Things I did well and ways I want to grow. I came up with actionable steps. I started the slow process of working through them. Reviewing them regularly. I graded myself in each value. The ones with lower scores get more attention. I made a plan and I’m working through it. My first scorecard was a C+. Not bad actually since my standards are so high.
Know you have your life together
The Life Scorecard brings so much clarity to my life. It tells me why I’m doing what I’m doing. It helps me see if I’m succeeding with my own decided way of life. It builds my confidence. It silences the shame, envy, and insecurity brought on by comparing myself to others.
People can tell when you’re faking it and even if they can’t, you can. It makes a real difference knowing that you’re a fraud. People are attracted to people of substance not people who are decidedly fake.
I believe confidence is simply knowing you have substance. Substance of action, character, and life. It’s hard to blow you over because you have real meaningful weight. People see it in the way you live your life. You must be able to see it for yourself. That’s where a scorecard really helps. You can look and say, I’m doing it. I’m the leader of my life. I’m in control. What’s more, the way I’m living, I really believe in it. It’s real for me. It’s my worth, my values, and my life.
There’s a lot of me, my, and self in those paragraphs above but take a moment and look at the values. Values like giving back. Values like family and friendships. Living a life on your own terms isn’t an ugly dirty nasty selfish thing, no, it’s a beautiful thing for you and the world, win-win.
Whatever your problems try to take a big picture view of things. Sure that debt may not be paid off for a decade but that’s okay in the grand scheme of things, just be sure you know the actual date it will be gone. Be specific in your plans. Make long-term financial plans. What do you really want?
The expression, “It gets better with time.” holds true.
When you have a high-level plan, looking long-term, the day-to-day just isn’t as discouraging. The day-to-day just serves to show you how you’re taking the small steps each day to get where you want to go.
Trust me, you’ll feel so powerful after a couple weeks of practice.
It’s so very important that you can break down your plans into very small daily tasks. Things that are easy to do in a day. Call a friend. Review your budget. Make your bed. Do the one exercise. Skip the one meal. Make a plan.
You need daily wins. You need to keep it small and easy.
You don’t have to have your whole life planned out, I don’t. Find some balance here. Just take the steps each day and don’t get overwhelmed. If you do, take a break and reset.
It’s going big-picture and then small picture and then just doing the simple stuff. Don’t drive yourself crazy with planning. Action is better anyway. Talk is cheap, we are going for substance. Substance comes with time and small steps taken everyday.
Remember: consistency over intensity
Romantic attraction becomes easy
This is the easy part. When you have your shit together people will be attracted to you. You don’t have to fake a single thing. In fact, don’t fake a single thing. The person that you’ll be happy with will be the person who knows you and likes you anyway.
I’m in a wonderful relationship of just over three years. That’s three years of trust and growth. She crazy about me and I’m crazy about her. We earned it, we worked for it, and now we enjoy it. We know each other and we like each other anyway. You know life’s not perfect but it’s a tremendously good feeling.
Attraction becomes the easy part. Sex becomes the easy part. Once you have your life together and you know it, all that remains is getting out there. Most likely by this point, you’re already be out there because you had a plan.
If you remember one thing, remember this:
Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
It’s not easy but it’s also not complicated
It’s not complicated but it is hard. What’s the expression? Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Make sure your ship it pointed in the right direction (values) and sail (plan, steps) in that direction. You’ll find your shore, and it’ll be more beautiful and arrive sooner than you could of hoped.
Best of luck.