Sage Dean inflicting his wisdom upon a friend:

I cannot stress my belief in how important it is to understand our goals, priorities, expectations, and desires. Or GPEDs for short. To know our perfect work/play balance. To wrangle one’s fear of missing out. Along with this crazy idea that what we do has intrinsic meaning. Even if we know that meaning is just a made-up justification for what we want to do.

However! There comes a time we must reevaluate those GPEDs and the made-up, intrinsic meaning that glues them all together. Dig in deep with them. Only you have control over your life and what you do with it. Or, I mean, perhaps you’re just a passenger in the roller coaster that is you. Then fuck it, scream, lean into the scary parts, maybe piss yourself a little, enjoy the ride. Just don’t throw your gum off the side, that’s rude.

Either way, don’t think that people are not envious of you, your life, your accomplishments…You’ve lived a life many would have loved to experience. Your ability to reevaluate is strong and admirable. And remember, DNA, location, parenting, circumstance, cultural norms all paved the way for our talent, fortitude, opportunities, perseverance, luck, intuitions, energy, etc. It’s all wonderfully, complexly interwoven to create a beautifully aware, conscious being who gets to experience the majesty of the universe, both being part of and apart from that magnificence.

Or something.

So, sure, others might look like they are living a “more interesting / fulfilled / fruitful / fun” life. But we are not, at least not inherently. Because all those “evaluations” are fucking subjective. So, all I can do is speak for myself, I have given a great deal of thought to my GPEDs. And into creating a life and creating a roadmap that feels true to me. Do I doubt it sometimes? Course correct? Ignore it on occasion? Of course. But I always strive to be better precisely because I am flawed. As we all are. I made it a priority to live in the moment and attempt to eliminate regret, disappointment, stress, anger as much as I can from my life. Or, at my worst, soak in their poisons only briefly before taking a nice, hot shower of mindfulness and wash that shit off.

I found that a lot of the way I approached life is in line with the stoics. And when I feel like labeling myself, a practicing stoic is one I can get behind. And thus, I’d be amiss not to throw their wisdom at your face. Because we know that quotes change people’s lives, in fact, it’s the only thing that ever has. I’m pretty sure that was on an inspirational poster I once read.

“External things are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now.”
—Marcus Aurelius

“You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
―Marcus Aurelius

“Expectations are the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, we lose today”

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
—Viktor Frankl

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you find you get what you need.”
—Konstantinos Richards & Morpheus Jagger

“Just do it.”
—some Greek god on destroying your enemies

And just to balance out the internal with external.

“Fight The Power!”
—Public Enemy