I have several kinds of memories that hover within my mind throughout the day.
They are not so deep that they are subconscious, while they are not so conscious that they remain at the forefront. All are extremely painful. They hurt and inhibit me in the way that Dr. House's leg hurt and inhibited him.
Every day I wake up, life presents me with a choice: To give up or keep going.
The notion isn't necessarily tied to entrepreneurship; entrepreneurship is only an externality. At the core of the choice is my why, my reason for living. It's my reason to live that drives me to accomplish a goal; the goal is therein accomplished through entrepreneurship (largely, at least; though, not entirely).
My goal is to rebuild my culture. And if willpower is the product of emotion and why, then my pain goes hand-in-hand with my willpower. They are inseparable. The pain never subsides; it only increases as I grow older, accumulating more mistakes through the process of growing, self-actualizing.
It's conventional wisdom not to dwell on the past, but I don't feel as if I can help it the moment I question the reasoning behind any action I take, any decision I make throughout the day.
In general reference to any daily action, large or small, is what I'm about to do not rational? Then, it's wrong. If it is not efficient, then why and how can I become more so?
The process of answering these questions in order to maximize my productivity in the right direction requires me to reflect, indirectly. And doing so cannot be accomplished without pain.
Memories of people I've loved and cared about who've negatively misjudged my character, how their assumptions, doubts, lack of empathy, and inaccurate gossip hurt and shake the trust I put in people, as well as make me second-guess my own actions that led to them having such low opinions of me, in the first place, as I've tried to figure my life out without much guidance. Memories of specific wrongdoings committed against me as a child. Feelings of sorrow and regret at wrongdoings I've committed against others as I've grown. Hard interpersonal sacrifices I've had to make in the process of staying focused and aligned with my mission.
These all weigh on my mind, all day. Every day. As I work. Sometimes, they overwhelm me and I need to take a break. When I do, I have to remind myself not to beat myself up for doing so. To embrace the limits of my own mortality, which are greater than some...but less than others I admire.
It is like moving through molasses, climbing a mountain with weights on.
So, you can imagine how easy it is, to want to end it all sometimes. If not through literal suicide, then at least to give up on myself, in general.
Why not cash in my laurels to spend the rest of my life playing video-games (or something)? Why keep going? Why strive to make it to point Z, when I'm already technically at point B?
What helps greatly is my marriage, the family I've rebuilt. The thought of my wife and children. I am so fortunate to be one of the men in the world to have such a supportive wife. There are many women, an increasing number throughout our civilization in fact, who don't support their husband's work or ideas. Indeed, they compete with their husbands instead, or show little interest or respect for what he wants to do with his life.
Sometimes, they use the long hours required to make a dream come to fruition as the very excuse for divorce.
What I've done is integrated work and family, together. I'm always home and always at the office of my marketing firm, because I work and study from home. This has not been an easy task, because, for most people, working from home is a pipe dream. Very few pull it off, but I have.
I had the willpower to, which simultaneously means that I had the necessary depth of pain to.
Meanwhile, my wife and I work to build the same business: I'm the CEO; she's the VP. So, being at the office for her is being at home all the same as me. We just may work in different rooms.
The challenge is in differentiating between the two: the time for work, and the time for romance and family. Though, I will admit that what we've set up as a family gives us a major advantage over many other marriages in the world, who have spouses typically work apart from each other in an unrelated way.
Therein, my family, the new one I've built rather than all those I've had to disconnect from my life for one reason or another, is my greatest strength and greatest weakness. Work would be a potential pitfall that would break us apart if we didn't structure our lives in such a way as to build our businesses from home.
So, how do I deal with the depression that comes with dwelling from the past as an entrepreneur, then?
It never gets easier; you just have to get stronger. You have to look ahead of the road before you and see where the pitfalls are as much as you can. Then, structure your life in such a way as to prevent yourself from falling in them.
The rest is courage, what would be needed to make the decision to face life head-on anyway, even though you could stop at any time.
Mike Norton is an American award-winning marketing strategist with a BA in Internet marketing from Full Sail University.
He’s also the CEO of Wolven Industries and OMI Firm, as a physicist studying part-time at the University of York. He is the bestselling independent author of Fighting for Redemption, and a veteran of the United States military who is a 7-time winner of the USS Dwight Eisenhower award for essays of world peace and respect.
As a mostly self-educated vagabond, he gains inspiration from a myriad of experiences wrought from the adventures of his nomadic lifestyle. He prolifically writes and journals where ever he goes in the world, from one country to the next.