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Ulax

The Journeymen

3 posts in this topic

Hi all.

A truly wonderful community on here to be a part of. I am 20 years old and have been investing time into personal development since I have been 16 years old. Though this journal will look to the present day soon, I would like to use this as a platform to tell my story so far. I welcome any comments on it.

Personal development has been a double-edged sword. It has completely changed my life in a material sense.

I essentially created my own way of pursuing personal development. It was to choose to voluntarily engage in struggle to grow from it.

I had been a slightly sad kid, feeling ostracised from social situations somewhat at school, while coming from a loving family. Just finishing important exams at 16 I decided I'd quite like to defy some people's expectations of me. There, my boxing journey began.

Walking into the gym on the first day was terrifying. This was a real old-style gym. Sink or swim. Days went by, months went by and I started to get better and better. It was a real beginner's hell. The sparring was intense. So intense. There was a real culture of proving your worth. If you didn't like it... well, then don't come back for the next session.

I hated the part before training. It was a 3-hour long session, 3 times a week. When I was there it was okay, but afterwards, I felt amazing! Most of my time was spent boxing, studying and having fun drunk times with my friends from school. 

 

As the months went by it became clear I only had so much time and that scheduling was key. I spent a lot of time procrastinating on scheduling.

My self-talk was harsh but I knew no different. I didn't know about habits, only willpower which used to really frustrate me. Everything I didn't complete was a condemnation against my character.

 

I kept going to Boxing but it soon became something I really didn't want to do. Something I really hated but I kept telling myself I should do. I stayed in and the effect of everyone progressing together was that I felt I was not progressing at all.

 

There was an immeasurable amount of character built during that time. I was obsessive by the mastery definition. I would have spurts and restarts of my spurts. To try to be the best possible person. I would schedule training of 10 times a week after weeks where I had burnt out and done 1/ 2.

 

I continued boxing up till around March of that year…

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Posted (edited)

2nd

 

Exams. Exams. They came up and I was not prepared to the level I wanted to be. I knew from Boxing I could defy expectations. People took the piss out of me for boxing. I remember. I remember thinking to myself. Remember saying "I'll prove them wrong". This was my motivation.

I wanted to show to them that I could do everything and now my studies were the thing to do.

I put myself in a self-devised 10-week Bootcamp before exams. Cutting myself off from friends and things I enjoyed.

 

Again, this was my own form of self-development so I'd listen to a motivational speaker on YouTube. The types who were, like "JUST DECIDE WHAT YOU WANNA DO AND HOW YOU GONNA DO IT!!!!!!". I see now this was a 'neurotic' mode of approaching it. ('neurotic' as I wish to separate it from the connotations of being bad. It just is what it is) Everything was so personal. If I didn't do what I was planning too, then I was a bad person. A lazy person. I'd bully myself.

 

This Bootcamp was intense. It was full to the brim of psychology, maths and procrastination. Damn procrastination. Bad Ulax. Bad Ulax. That's what I'd say to myself. I couldn't understand why I wasn't working 10 hours a day. All-day. Hwy was I slacking off?

I stopped boxing for that time too, at least at the intensity from before.

 

I put a tonne of effort in and passed the finishing line of exams. Fast forward a few months and I got my results. Damn! I did damn well. Woohoo! I had a lot of confidence now, I could do anything! As long as I grind, I am good!

 

My next challenge was the biggest and would be life-changing. I would go for the elite University in my country. My grades were good but nowhere near the level to get in there. However, my mindset was not set on getting in there, it was about a form of mental training. If I voluntarily get used to doing things people don't expect, then when I am older I will not be afraid to do what I want to do.

 

My teachers told me not to apply. My friends would laugh at me, at times. No one from my school had gone to that place. If I got in I would be the most successful student ever at the school.

I walked on. The application process was stressful. My 'neurotic' approach caused a lot of suffering.

 

My school were reluctant to allow me to do this and did not like me leaving to do the open days. I felt lonely during this and often thoughts of "Who are you kidding?" crept in. But, I remember saying to myself "You do Boxing, Ulax!", that is more difficult than this. Going back to Boxing, this was a again a grind. Life was a grind. I believed this was what I needed to do to achieve success. The constant grind.

Everyone expected me to not get past the first stage of applications. Sitting in my maths class. Beep. Notification. I had an email.

It was from the University. Pulling up my phone, I felt intellectually nervous but not emotionally.

Come on this date for an interview! Woooooow!!! I had done it. I had an interview. My thoughts thought. Emotionally, I felt nothing.

They told me I would get nowhere with this. Celebrations!! Some salty comments but celebrations!

 

I would be going to stay there for a week. At this beautiful University. How was I going there? This is a dream! A damn dream!

This self-development thing really works.

 

I'd started watching pick-up videos around this time too. Watching these pulled me into a different paradigm of thinking. Maybe what I think I want is socially conditioned for me to want!

Starting to believe it was really possible. I was amazed. The mindsets from these videos I looked to apply to my schooling. Universal principles exist as to getting places.

 

Travelling to the interviews I was not nervous. I will not describe to University in much detail as to give away my privacy. It was an incredible experience, where I was interacting for a week with the brightest minds in the country. Sitting through the interviews was a wonderful experience where I was relaxed and really simply enjoying it for what it was.

 

It was not good enough. You should have done this and that. But it's okay, it was such a wonderful time! How grateful am I to have done that. Meditation was so helpful before those interviews and so was drinking a tonne of water. Though, I did almost pee myself hehe!

 

The email from the University sits in my inbox. I'm in my study room. Doing some work. Opening it. We would like to offer you…

WHAT THE FUCK!!!! No way. I feel! I feel… Nothing.

What? I feel nothing. This is a dream.

 

I'd done it. Oh my, this life is not so full of rules as they said! Anything is possible!

My oh my. Still feel nothing.


Many celebrations. I call my parents, they are astounded. Neither went to university. I feel nothing.

Now, I would like to pay more attention to my grades.

 

"Why don't I feel anything. Probably just shocked aren't I? Hmm, I don't know…"

Notes

I welcome any comments on this.

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Edited by Ulax

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Posted (edited)

3rd

I was sitting there thinking about it all. People coming up to me. Well done, Sam.

From then on I was somewhat of a school celebrity.

 

I'd stopped Boxing at this point and my grades were not doing well whatsoever.

Man the best thing that ever happened to me had a chance of not happening.

 

I'd fallen out with most of my teachers at this point. Some to a worrying degree.

 

I liked Jordan Peterson and Jocko Willink at this point. Extreme ownership. 100% responsibility. Nobody else is gonna change this but you.

 

I spiralled down that year. Started drinking more that year, I was so far off the grades I needed. Man, I had no way to release the pressure.

The pressure I felt crushed by. I knew there had to be some way to deal with this pressure but I had no idea how.

 

Months went by and one of my subject I could not seem to raise my grade in. Closer and closer. I was so far off it was laughable. This is when it descended, this sort of mist I see when I remember the last few years. It took me out of my reality and never let me back. Disillusionment. That feeling of nothingness became not the exception but the everyday.

I realised my confidence had turned to apathy. 

My work no matter what I did never seemed to improve. I'd cut off everything else. It was only work to focus on for half a year.

 

I ploughed on with my work. Changing up study tactics, looking up how to build habits etc. I wouldn't be able to sleep. I was stressed, I knew it but couldn't feel the sensations. I had meditated a little bit but was a fair-weathered meditator who struggled to put in a consistent practice.

It was a sad time for me. Sitting there wanting the world to swallow me whole at this point. At every point.

 

I would fantasize about walking out on the road and purposefully not looking. Getting hit by a car and then I'd have my damn excuse!

Look, guys, I didn't get in because of that. However, being so far off was horrible.

It wasn't for the want of trying I'd started studying the summer before but could not for the life of me seem to even read at points. I could sit for half an hour and my brain would not compute words.

 

My exams came and the world became increasingly darker. The mist had descended fully and enveloped me in it.

My self-development style was based on pure willpower. Habits did not exist really, I would try to implement them but it was always in the mindset that each habit was pure willpower, just done repeatedly. This meant any time I didn't do something it meant Bad Ulax. lazy Ulax.

 

Looking back now a major thing was I never looked at the modules of my University course. And would've hated to do said course at another University.

I was unaware of the ego and unconscious to such a degree at 18 but now I can see that it was an easy trap to be caught in. Exams came and went. My last exam was horrendous. pages upon pages blank. It was known as the hardest exam in recent years across the board but man there was no chance.

 

This is where it really began. The anxiety and the crushing disattachment from reality. Exam period lifted and I was going on my post-high school travels. Seeing the world. However, my thoughts were completely consumed with anxiety about my world. It was a horrendous experience. Every day I would wake up to thoughts. I never seemed to shut up.

 

Numbness was not how I described reality at this point, by now I really knew no different. People were just another thing. Fuck people. I was good at making friends but now everything felt like a puppet show. What I portrayed to the outside was nothing like the hell I felt on the inside.

 

Results day came. I had been dreading this day. The biggest day of my life where I knew that there was no chance of acceptance. I open up the message. You are in!

I fell off my chair. Why? I made myself fall off my chair. Again, I felt nothing. Nothing. Nothing. I felt tired at not sleeping but emotions wise there was nothing. I fell off my chair on purpose, i remember playing to myself that that was what would happen if I could feel.

 

The day was the 'best' in my life. Yet, everything was so empty. I laughed, jumped around, smiled. Feeling nothing.

I didn't care. I was to be off to University soon but I didn't want to go. Nor did I not want to not go. The mist was everywhere.

 

I would sleep for 12 hours a day, during the day. Watch self-development videos at night. Towards the end of the summer, I went out for my first night of pick-up. A cool experience. I liked it.

I hadn't read a book in months and was about to start a gruelling regiment of study. I would ask myself why I chose this but I remember blanking those thoughts out.

To the outside world, life must've seemed incredible. I was the most successful kid University wise at my school in its history. I'd thrown the best party of the school year. Was a popular guy, that would talk to loads of people. Had a tight-knit circle of friends. Had just travelled the world.

Disattachment was everything I knew now. Walking through the world, I felt crippling alone & misunderstood. Could no-one see what was happening to me? Fuck this, well looks like I'm off to this University lark real soon...

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Edited by Ulax
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