The middle way :)

Well, how do I say this?

I failed. I didn’t complete the year.

I came hurtling off the track… And landed face down in a big dollop of humble pie!

Where do I start? It’s been a while since my last blog. So much has happened, or hasn’t happened as it turns out is the case.

Firstly, I came off the tracks officially at around about 200 days. No mean feat, but not the target. But I think I mentally came off a couple of weeks before that.

At the start of the year I was all go! I had big ambitions! I was getting into exercising, was going to become a personal trainer and a life coach, I was going to write a book, I was blogging every day, I was inspiring people in not drinking, I was a sober hero, I was a new dad. I had turned my back on my ‘old life’,  including my family and certain friends, I was out to do this on my own. By the end of the year I was going to be an author, 1 year sober, self employed, semi famous, a speaker, and an entrepreneur. I was basically going to complete the game of life and then see what’s next.

I was loosing weight, I was saving money and I was feeling great. This sober life is freaking awesome..

I started my new job and had time on my hands, I was now a fully fledged site manager, kicking ass and taking names.

I decided I was going to start up my own building company and be self made by Xmas.

Then life kicked in. Reality slowly started to dawn.

I was doing too much. I was taking the world on in the shortest timescale possible. I was completely disconnected.

I wanted everything now! And felt like I deserved it because i’d Stayed away from drinking for a few months. But it turns out that drinking wasn’t my only problem.

After a session with my therapist, I realised that I was such an extreme thinker. All or nothing. I want it all and I want it all now and if I don’t get it all, then fuck it. It’s not worth it anyway. Unfortunately this realisation was too late.

I have been seeing both a therapist and a life coach this year. And I was alarmed to hear them both say ‘slow down, plan, don’t be so extreme’, they were wrong cos I was already doing stuff right!? Wrong.

I blew a gasket after a petty argument with my girlfriend and ordered a glass of wine on a Sunday afternoon. ‘This will show her! I childishly thought’, I stared at it and stared at it and my mind went blank. Maybe I should have reread my own blog. But I didn’t.

I downed it in one.

And ordered another. Monday was a write off at work.

That was about 5 weeks ago.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Back in may when I started to see the life coach, we looked at my crazy ideas of doing all these little goals. The question was, ‘but what is the big goal?’.

Ultimately I want to be free. I want to be financially free so that I don’t have to ‘work’ but, do whatever I want to do. I enjoy helping people. I enjoy building things. I enjoy connecting.

I wanted to be a life coach, an author, a PT, a blogger, an affiliate marketer. I was trying to do all that as vehicles for passive income. But I was still going to work every day. I’m a site manager, for a new build housing company. I’ve always loved property.

And ultimately I discovered that my big goal is to build my own small building company.

This reset my thinking. Now I needed to think on a scale bigger than one year, or 6 months as it was back then. This threw my right off my pace, knocked me out of balance and slowed me down. (Ultimately this is for the better, as it’s more realistic. But the wind was taken from my sails.

So I was off with gusto planning the business. But a soon met another smack in the face of realism, I need capital to start anything. I was naively thinking that people would just give me money to start something massive. But first you need credibility. That needed a plan, and time and success. Now things were really slowing down.

I need to complete one or two smaller projects, to increase my capital, expand my network, gain experience and build credibility. Fuck that sounds like hard work!

But this is life. Things don’t just get handed to you. You have to work on it.

However i’d Now gone from a 100 miles an hour, to 2 miles an hour. I felt like i’d Ground to a halt.

At the same time the pace of work had picked up. I could no longer spend time on ‘the business’ when I had so much to do at work. My vibration was slowly changing. I was loosing focus.

I stopped exercising. I missed one or two classes and again, extreme thinking, all or nothing. I thought, fuck it then, what’s the point.

Pressures at home, no time, relationship issues were becoming increasingly stressful.

Eventually something just snapped. And I broke.

But………… i’m Glad I did.

. . . . . . . . . .

(If you’ve made it to reading this far I applaud you)

. . . . . . . . . .

The whole concept of a beer free year came about when speaking with my therapist, I said ‘ I want to change the way that I drink’.

Because the way that I drank was out of control. It was all or nothing. I couldn’t moderate.

Now as has come to pass it turns out it’s not just drinking that I couldn’t moderate in. It’s most things in my life. After discovering my all or nothing thinking. I saw how it was affecting most areas of my life and causing me frustration.

If I didn’t get all, I got frustrated.

Just like a baby does.

But now just recognising that. And since, I have been drinking, I have moderated. I haven’t drank as often or as much as I used to.

I’m practicing ‘the middle way’ in other areas of life.

Now I am still going to be self made, I’m still going to achieve my goals. I just have a more realistic timescale on them.

My goals are not fixed. They are organic and can change. And that’s ok, as long as they are scheduled in. Realistically. It’s the unrealistic goals, that are unlikely to succeed.

So, although I haven’t completed the year, as I had set out to do. I have got enough from it. I got what I needed. And to have pushed on, beyond the point of getting enough, would have been a stubborn example of my all or nothing thinking.

I wouldn’t have learned the biggest lesson that I have learned this year.

That the middle way is the best way.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .




8 thoughts on “The middle way :)

  1. I don’t know you in real life, but I would like to say, “I applaud you.” You have taken what you originally saw as a failure and changed it into a learning lesson. With your new perspective on drinking, the middle ground, and obtainable timelines, you will be able to move forward with a plan. This is super important in the life “process”. Without a plan, how do we hold ourselves accountable? You make a great point about adaptability. It is very important and key in all of this. Although the original goal may have been sobriety, you may have had a paradigm shift and understand that a beer here and there is okay, as long as you dont let it control you.

    In regards, to building a network, LinkedIn is a great platform to do that.

    Thank you for this humble and vulnerable post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I didn’t really see it as a paradigm shift, but I guess it is, and that is empowering in itself. Life throws these lessons at us, I feel we have to be humble to be able to accept them. Shooting for the stars and landing on the moon is not such a bad thing, as long as lessons were learned doing the way.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m all or nothing mate, in everything. I’m 34 now and realise that this is just the way I’m built. It just means a life of moderation in some areas and excelling in others. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Matt, you haven’t failed – YOU’VE WON. And in so many ways. I love your blogs for their honesty, you don’t pull any punches and you tell it as it is. How many people can honestly say they do that?
    You’ve come to understand and how to deal with yourself and with the things you want in life.
    You’ll achieve your goals, not as soon as you had originally hoped but you’re looking at them realistically now and have the energy, enthusiasm and positivity to make them happen when the time is right for you.
    Keep going, you’re amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

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