Stop Being a Miserable Cow & Get Out Of Your Own Damn Way

There’s a meme I’ve seen a few times on Facebook that says something along the lines of “Today will be a great day, as long as you choose to not be a miserable cow”.

I’m probably paraphrasing, and I’m not a good enough journalist to actually go look it up, but that’s the basic gist. The first time I saw it I kind of chuckled and thought about the handful of people that have passed through my life whom I would consider to be miserable cows. It was a very self-righteous moment.

The second time I saw it… well honestly I had the same reaction. I’m a slow learner sometimes.

But today, out of nowhere, I realized that meme was talking about me. And probably you. And definitely some other people we know. Not every day of course, some days you’re a productive, functional member of society. I’m assuming you are anyway, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this post because you’d be too afraid your meth would scorch, or get cold, or whatever unwatched meth does.

Some days though, you choose to play the victim. You hate your job. Your business isn’t attracting clients. Your girlfriend/boyfriend/dog doesn’t give you the attention you deserve. You have too many commitments and you just need a damn break already. You’re never “the one”. You never make enough money to have everything you want. You have all these dreams and goals that never come to fruition. Never. Always. Ugh. You get the point.

So you throw yourself a pity party instead of making an effort to improve your situation in any way. You Google your problem and read countless ways to increase profits, find the career you love, win at relationships, and use “No” as a complete sentence. You know you do. Don’t lie.

But here’s the thing. You don’t actually ACT on any of those things. You read and nod your head and think how much better your life would be if all your problems were solved. (Spoiler alert: The problems aren’t the problem… but that’s a different post).

Then you decide that half the day is shot and you’re already in a bad mood, so you might as well just watch some Netflix in your yoga pants while eating a Nutella and Marshmallow Creme sandwich on toast. Tomorrow will be the day you act on all the things.

But it’s never tomorrow.

You keep floating by, doing the things you need to do to maintain a decent life. You run a business or go to a job, spend time with your friends, wash your car, take care of your family, buy groceries. All the things successful adults are supposed to do. But something nags at you. You have these dreams inside of you that you want to act on, but you just... can’t. And there are a million logical reasons why you can’t. You haven’t met the right person. You don’t have time to take that class you need. You don’t know what you want to do with your life so you stay in a job you hate. You’re too old. You’re too young. You don’t have enough money. Your alpaca died.

Those all seem totally reasonable.

Except, for the most part, they’re complete alpaca shit.

Do you know why you aren’t achieving those dreams? Why you aren’t living the life you picture in your head for “future” you? Because there’s a miserable cow standing in the middle of the little country road that leads to the place you want to be. And shocker - you’re the miserable cow.

Now, before I sound too preachy or self-righteous, I’m talking to myself as much as anyone. Maybe more so. I don’t know your story. And I’m also not talking about extreme circumstances. If you have a physical or mental disability that prevents you from doing certain things, are in an abusive relationship, are being oppressed by an oligarchy*, or anything similar, this post isn’t for you.

But if you’re just doing the same damn thing, day in and day out, and it’s slowly killing your will to live, then you need to stop being a miserable cow and get out of your own damn way.

Take a class.

Start looking at job opportunities.

If you’re in business and you suddenly realize you aren’t running a business that feels true to YOU, change it.

Have a serious talk with your girlfriend/boyfriend/dog. End a relationship if you need to. Quit your job if you need to.

I know that’s not popular advice, and it's not one-size-fits-all. If you can slowly and carefully plan an exit from the situation that you think is making you miserable then by all means, do that. But I’m of the belief that life is both too short and too long to stay miserable for any longer than necessary.

Here's a bonus tip: You are not obligated to do things the way everyone else in your industry does them. You are not obligated to do things the way a book tells you. You are not even obligated to do things the way I tell you, although I highly recommend it. Your only real obligation is to be true to you. Your dreams, your priorities, your goals**.

So whether you methodically plan your escape or fall out the door head first with half your shirt tucked in and one shoe on, just do something.

Start changing your situation. One step. Right now. Because no one is coming along to save you.

* I’m not actually sure what an oligarchy is. I just like how it rolls off the tongue. If it’s a species of lizard, I apologize.

** I shouldn’t have to say this, but hopefully your priorities, dreams, and goals take into account basic human kindness and don’t involve hurting anyone. Be reasonable.