The arbitrage of not giving a damn

Last week I took some time away from my standard work schedule to work on some creative projects and reflect. While doing so, I couldn’t help but see things in the context of next year. 2020 is looking like a great year for me.

I spent a ton of time in my calendar, cleaning up appointments for the next two months, laying out important dates in 2020, and working on a new version of my time budget.

If you haven’t heard me talk about my time budget before, it’s a tool I use to design my ideal week at home. Using Google Calendar (but any digital calendar would work), I create a new calendar in my account and design blocks of time for all of the essential things in my life. I try to create context around certain days, leave slack for what’s not predictable, and ensure that the most important things are getting the time they deserve.

Last year my time budget was drastically different from the one I have now. I know this because when I do updates to my time budget, I only change them going forward. This tactic allows me to go back and see where my head was at any point in time and compare it to my current state of mind.

Last year’s time budget lacked clarity of intention and purpose. Sure it had meetings for work and slots for working out, but that’s about it. It didn’t have any organization or flow to the week. It didn’t have discipline baked into it. And one thing is glaringly absent from last year’s time budget is therapy.

This week is my first anniversary of going to therapy.

When I scheduled that first appointment, I’ll admit I was pretty desperate. Work, health, and relationships were all in a precarious place.

When I go to therapy this Wednesday, the feeling will be very different. Things are amazing or well on their way to being fantastic in all the areas mentioned above.

Therapy is largely the “why” for this drastic shift in my life.

Several male readers of The Grind have reached out to me and shared an appreciation for my willingness to talk about going to therapy. Early on, I felt encouraged by those gestures, but I was also a bit confused as I didn’t see the big deal about admitting that I was in therapy.

I went to therapy a year ago because I knew I had something blocking me from being my best self. But let’s be clear; I already knew that my best self was a complete badass.

I never thought that somehow, I was weak for going to therapy. I felt that I couldn’t figure out the blocker on my own, and I needed some help. I’ve needed help in many areas in my life, so why should my mental and emotional wellbeing be any different? And why would needing help somehow make me less of a badass? It didn’t, and it doesn’t.

So if things are going so well for me right now, why am I still going to therapy?

Because it got me here, and I think it’s an advantage to making me the best me for those I love and work with, and also better than my competition.

I’m learning about how the mind works, how habits develop, how to manage emotions, and how to communicate in tough situations in therapy. I’m learning about my weaknesses, my limiting beliefs, and the connection between my physical health and my emotional health in therapy. I’m learning about how to filter the nonstop media messages with frameworks for discerning what’s real and what’s intended to manipulate in therapy.

It’s basically Jedi training.

And my state of mind, body, and soul after one year proves it. Why the hell would I stop going now?

If you’ve been reading The Grind, thinking I’m brave for going to therapy, think again. I’m grinding, building a better, stronger, faster Marcus.

For the arbitrage of not giving a damn what the mainstream thinks about it, and leaning into the secret weapon that is therapy, I’m grateful. Happy one-year therapy-versary to me.

And with that…

I wish you a very, grateful week.

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