I’ve witnessed the horror of thirty-something’s retiring themselves.
They speak in a past tense. They refer to a time of glory long ago where promise and poise was only offered in their youth, when the stars aligned in their name, and when the God’s favored their quest of fulfillment and happiness most.
These adult children mourn the loss of a former self that had access to less resources, less wisdom, and less experience. Only in their own corrupt minds could they somehow isolate a moment of immaturity and fraudulently pass it off as a version they will sadly never be able to attain again. That is a dog shit way of thinking and completely unacceptable.
That type of programming is a lie. Do not fall prey to its charm, because that makes me angry. And you won’t like me when I’m angry.
People make this false correlation: To age means to become weak and ineffective. When in reality, there is a huge difference between aging and becoming elderly.
People begin to believe their destiny for growth and achievement expired a long time ago. As if the belief in oneself is capped early and that course corrections are a sign of weakness and frailty. They hang up their boots and willingly decay one painful year after another, doing less and less, while having more and more.
You aren’t elderly yet. You aren’t dead yet. Snap out of it.
I feel so strongly about this because I had to pull myself out of retirement, just like I’m suggesting you to do. I was twenty-four when my professional soccer career ended for reasons within my control and it was a life shattering moment for me. I had worked my entire life for an opportunity that I squandered and lost because I didn’t want to do the work at the most crucial moment possible. When I lost that opportunity, I gave up. I retired myself.
Under the span of a decade, I stopped physical training, I drank an insane amount, I over-ate, and felt cocksure this was what one does when they retire. As if I had earned this level of suffering and deserved this type of erosion. I wore my fat puffy face, soft belly, and neglectful appearance as a badge of honor. Yet, no one else recognized those attributes as a medal of honor except me…and I was lying to myself about it.
It wasn’t until many years later that I became disgusted with my own premature retirement and pulled myself out of it. I pulled it together, peeled back the bullshit of my life, and decide on one thing: ACTION.
All I had to do was take action every day. I did it with mileage, I ran. I didn’t know how it would help. I didn’t know when it would help, but I prayed with my legs.
But at what cost? TIME.
I got my health back. I got my physique back. I got a renewed sense of life. I felt resurrected from the embers and ash, and was now a force to be reckoned with, but the only thing I couldn’t get back, the only thing that I had irreversibly and irreparably lost, was time.
Don’t retire yourself – it’s not worth the time.
Regret is a brutal and traitorous thing. We victimize ourselves from the past with it and do it again in the present. Then, we languish in defeat of a future that hasn’t even happened to us yet. We’re dead before the gunshot.
The tragedy is that regret should be a vantage point advantage: pause and assess, make adjustments, and try again with more wisdom and precision. Instead, regret becomes a trapping agent. It stalls progress and momentum. It often only affords people a memoriam of failure and rarely does it ever instill hope or frame a better future for us down the line.
That’s when people can become casualties of their own charm. Convincing themselves that the difficult thing to do, the right thing to do, should be postponed for later. No need to rush down the right path right away. It’s going to require strenuous effort and the right mentality to work. Plans need to be drawn, preparations need to be made, logistics need to be identified, and the galaxies must align.
They lie to themselves.
They feign concern that they're level-headed thinkers and admonish the hubris that they should be so bold as to start doing the difficult thing, the right thing, today. That would just be silly and foolhardy.
Yet, people are all too comfortable and creative about ways to justify immediate needs for pleasure and gratification. No stall or stone wall there. No need to draw up plans or concerns around logistics in that case. Get that intravenous drip flowing, hook it up now, and bury that goddamn self-empowering voice in the dirt where it belongs. That is fucked up to write and yet I see people do it all the time.
I need for you to exercise a deeper level of empathy to your future self. You often borrow against tomorrow so recklessly because you don’t see a better future developing any time soon. If things aren’t going to get better today or tomorrow, then what’s the point in sacrificing any moment of pleasure, especially if that investment isn’t going to have a meaningful return quickly and presently? I understand, but don’t surrender or suffer unnecessarily.
If presented with the option to suffer sober or suffer drunk, weakness picks its poison, and strength chooses none. The secret tactic I’m outlining is that regret is wisdom speaking to you. It would be in your best interests to listen, assess, adjust, and try again with more precision.
Don’t surrender to regret. It’s there to teach you something. All you have to do is try again.