Refuse to Lose

Lessons in how to successfully play the game of life

You can not enjoy life, if you follow a set of instructions, this is not Ikea

Ever noticed how self-help books and materials, form a list of instructions. Each chapter detailing step by step what you need to do to become a better version of you. I’ve always struggled with books that list life like it is a recipe, a set of instructions, a methodology required to achieve happiness, goals and your life long desires. “Do XYZ, and you’ll achieve happiness, inner peace, conqueror your fear or find true love. Titles that read, “10 Simple Steps to a Better You”, or “Eight Steps to Happiness”, some even drag a little science into their titles for extra qualification, “Happier Human: 53 Science-Backed Habits to Increase Your Happiness”. The self-improvement industry treats their readers as insufficient, lacking some essential characteristic or need, ranging from beauty, health, wealth, finance, sexual partners, marital happiness, and then offers itself up as the quintessential solution, in a certain number of steps.  “You too can actually become the successful person you wish to become, following this list and viola”. There’s even been studies on the magical number of steps. According to #### 7 is an attractive number. I have never found self-improvement books to work, for me I had to work my own shit out, which meant I had to make the hard choices, dig deep into vulnerability, courage and determination. In some cases, taking the advice from a page of type, has done more harm than good. But its left me wondering, if self-help … self-improvement was so bloody effective, we’d follow the set of instructions and we’d all have bodies to die for, six pack abs, great health, a positive attitude, untold financial wealth, abundance of love, in summary … the life of our dreams. Wouldn’t we?

You are a product of a unique set of circumstances and experiences. It is insulting to assume the application of a defined number of steps will lead to the very same outcome, it is a cookie cutter approach and it doesn’t work. It’s like assuming the recipe for a cake as featured in a glossy foodie magazine, will result in the same stunning cake sensationally pictured on the front cover, time and time again, irrespective of who makes the cake. After all the recipe calls for a set number of ingredients, along with a defined number of actions. But we all know you can give that same recipe to twenty different people and you’ll end up with twenty unique cakes. Why is it we get the same advice and yet some people fail to follow it. No two people are the same, because of variables, such as lifestyle, personality traits and circumstances. There are too many, moving parts in our lives for one size fits all solution. The factors that led to your experience of say, resentment, disappointment, anger, loss and so on will be unique to you. Just as what you define as happiness is specific to you.  A specified set of steps, is exactly that, do this to get that. But what step by step approach doesn’t address is what will it take for you to complete those steps? It does not provide the discipline to stick to the program, that can only ever come from within YOU. Only you are truly accountable for doing the work. And like I will continue to repeat in this book, NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE YOU! You and you only are your saviour. Let’s take an example, there are thousands of healthy eating books on the shelves of bookstores on and off line around the world, there is a superhighway jammed with information on how to eat healthy, no one in this modern world can really claim they don’t know how to eat healthy. Yet why is it we all find it so difficult to stick to a healthy diet? It’s because, whether you make a change or not, it’s down to you. The freaken answer is that simple. It’s not sexy, since it doesn’t sell books, it doesn’t sell courses, or provide some guru with a stream of income, but fundamentally that’s the answer. You will begin to learn throughout my rants, my book, the answer is YOU. And there lays the problem! No one has access to the intricate workings inside your head, to make you do anything ultimately you don’t want too. You have to make that choice yourself, the seven step program of some self-help online course cannot do it for you. You and you alone are solely responsible for the choices you make and whether you decide to stick with them or not.

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