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I’ll be honest with you. I’m in my thirties and still find life hard.

I still feel like a beginner.

I still feel mostly clueless.

I still get scared and dread things.

For the most part, things are hopeful. I’m productive, I’m exercising enough, feeling positive, and I am grateful for what I have.

I can experience moments of brilliance, where I feel like I’m on fire, bursting with ideas.

But there are times when I allow things to affect me too much, to push me back, to drain the life from my chest until it is hollow.

It’s like losing my footing in the big climb of life, my grip has slipped, and…

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Do you know what our most significant source of ongoing hardship is?

It is the driver behind all wars, all suffering, all murder, even physical disease.

It is the pernicious and societally-pushed belief that our personal happiness and sense of fulfilment relies on other people.

‘My happiness relies on how others treat me.’

I am the taker.

‘Your happiness relies on being loved by another.’

You are the taker.

‘Our well-being as a nation relies on taking from others so that we can have more well-being as a group.’

We are the takers.

Our strategy for happiness is in the…

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If I had a magic ingredient that allowed you to reach all your goals, would you read on?

If I knew exactly why we ALL fail to see things through to completion and fruition, would you perk up and take note?

Well, I may be able to shed some light on the matter.

(I know, I am seriously cool by saying this).

We set our sights on something we’d love to make happen.

Maybe you had an insight while scrubbing your behind in the shower, and you thought that it would be so cool to write a novel featuring telepathic…

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Every morning I sit down and plan the day.

This means writing down the five or six priorities that I will check off as I go through the day.

I noticed, over time, that I would often get frustrated at the growing number of tasks that kept showing up on a new list day after day.

The same things.

Often these were things like marketing my work, or writing, that I knew I needed to do daily…

But I still allowed a day to go by without doing it.

The guilt and annoyance of avoiding my important tasks — only…

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It took me most of my 36 years to realise I was operating on outdated software.

I had downloaded a program into my mind as a boy.

As we all do.

It is the software that guides us in our early years. Most of us never see a system update before we hit the grave.

What’s its name?

‘People-Pleasing V 1.0.’

As children, we are programmed to please the giant, scary, all-powerful adults around us.

Most of them tell us to behave. They tell us to be good. …

What the hell am I doing?

I put a finger to my neck to feel my pulse.

My heart was doing a drum and bass beat.

This can’t be healthy.

Should I just abort? Am I even ready for this?

Maybe I’ll send a quick group email to say I had a family emergency. I got snowed out of my apartment. Something. There’s still time.

Deep, slow breath.

I’m doing this. It’s been on the calendar for weeks. I said I’d do this. I told hundreds of people about this. I can’t let them down.

And so I cleared my…

A lot of us never get started, let alone get anything going.

I know this because I have failed to start hundreds of times.

I have also quit hundreds of times.

I’ve also watched many people I know start things and then allow those things to stall and fade away.

I’ve heard friends talk excitedly about new projects they’re working on and then never hear about that project again.

Why do we stall like this?

Why do we hold back and not start?

Because we make it about us.

I don’t launch because I worry that I’m not suited to…

You ever get that voice in your head that asks:

‘Am I doing the right thing with my life?’


Well. Me too. A lot.

I had that voice show up today. It seems to return with more intensity in cycles.

These thoughts come faster and thicker as I try to seize a solution.

Should I keep coaching, or should I just drop it all and start a career as a fiction writer?

Or should I focus more on teaching classes and paint on the side?

But how will I make enough money?

Or maybe it’s best to move to…

Ever find yourself stuck on a really tricky decision?

No matter how hard you try and think about the right move, you just can’t wrap your head around what the right decision is.

I’ve been there many times.

What’s the right path?

When I’m in this state: ‘not-making-a-decision-central,’ I am not doing anything, I’m stressed, and there is no momentum in my life.

Not ideal.

Here’s an interesting idea:

What if there was no right or wrong choice?

Sure, sometimes we’re faced with a decision that is a no-brainer. …

A few days ago, I was coaching a group of twenty-five or so faces on my screen.

I’m new to speaking in front of larger groups online, and still get nervous before pressing ‘start Zoom meeting’. I’m learning though and always come away from these discussions invigorated.

The topic for that evening was passion.

What emerged quickly reflected my own struggles. It’s not always easy to be passionate about the projects we work on.

There are elements of a lot of our work that seems tedious, dry and uninviting.

What can we do to bring more passion into our work?

Alex Mathers

Coach and Illustrator. Helping entrepreneurs lead with confidence. More: ; Illusory book:

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