Happy New Year, Friend!
After indulging during the holidays, we often place our hopes in the hands of our future selves, determined that this will be the year everything changes.
Whether you’re stressed about the fact that the “you” who woke up today feels just like the “you” who woke up yesterday . . . or you just want to ensure your love life goals actually happen this year, this brand-new video is going to help you get into the right mindset for 2023.
Take Action & Create a New Trajectory Toward Your Dream Life.
Learn More About The Matthew Hussey Virtual Retreat . . .
In this video, I want to give you five mindsets for a successful love life starting today. And the nice thing about the mindsets I’m going to give you today is that they can apply to progress in any area of your life. So whether you watch this channel because you come to me for advice in your love life, or whether you are here just because you like the ways of thinking in general that you get on this channel, you’re going to be able to apply this to anything you want to achieve this year. Before I go any further in this video, I want to tell everyone, I want to announce to you that at the beginning of this new year, we have just released our early bird tickets for the Virtual Retreat. They are available until the end of the month.
The Virtual Retreat is coming up this June, and this is the best time to be a part of it because we have some special early bird bonuses, and the early bird ticket means you get $200 off the actual price of the event. So go grab it now. What better way to kick off your year than to guarantee your progress with the Virtual Retreat? Go to MHVirtualRetreat.com to grab your early bird ticket now. Onto the video.
This video was born out of a recent feeling of overwhelm I had where I had just finished my Virtual Retreat, and my Virtual Retreat is a three-day immersive event where by the end of it I’ve been on stage for many hours a day over three days, and I am cooked. I set myself a new rule last year that at the end of a Retreat I would take time off, and I did that because too many Retreats in a row I was going straight back into work, and then I was feeling truly burnt out, truly overwhelmed, and resentful afterwards because I hadn’t had any time for me.
Well, this Retreat was a bit of a perfect storm of things that created overwhelm, because at the time the Retreat finished, I had family in town. It happened to be one of my family members’ birthdays, and so there are a whole bunch of social events right after the Retreat, which meant I rolled from three days of really intense work that was on the back of weeks of intense work straight into these social events. And then when my family went home, Audrey’s family came into town, and we had the same thing again. Now, all of this was both beautiful and overwhelming, because in my mind I was thinking there’s so many things I need to get to. I’m not getting enough of that done right now. I haven’t got time for that right now. And there was a lot of framing of all of it in my mind that led me to the edge of overwhelm. And we know when we get to overwhelm we start to breathe differently. We get panicked. We get desperate.
In fact, when I say we breathe differently, when we’re overwhelmed, we tend to hold our breath, and we hold our breath because we are waiting for this time where we’re going to be able to catch our breath. And we tell ourself, “Okay, it’s okay. When I get to that point…” And a lot of us do it just in every week, right? We say, “I just need to get to Friday, because then when it gets to the weekend, I’ll have time to breathe again.” We tell ourselves that. “I just need some breathing space.” And you may have your own version of overwhelm right now, “I’m a single mom. I don’t have time. I have a busy job. I don’t have the energy to be on these apps or to be texting people or to be going on dates that don’t go anywhere. It’s all just too much.” And they very quickly get themselves to a place of overwhelm where they say, “I’ll just return to my love life when I get some breathing space,” so they do the same thing. “I’ll defer it until a time where the conditions feel better for it.”
And the problem with overwhelm is that it short circuits progress. When we’re overwhelmed, we just stop in a certain area. We’ll decide, “Well, there’s so much going on right now. I just can’t go to the gym. Oh, there’s so much going on with family that I don’t have time to date. I have so much stress in my life right now. I don’t want to eat well at all.” We have this overwhelm that leads to complete stalling in certain areas of our lives. What I want to do is address this in the context of this year now, because we’re beginning a new year. It’s a funny thing. New Year’s is like a false idea of a reset, because there’s that feeling isn’t there? There’s that psychological effect of a new year that says to us, “This is a time when I get to just start again,” and it feels almost like an Etch A Sketch board. You know those things where you draw something on the board and then if you shake it just all disappears and you get that blank slate again?
It can feel like a new year is going to give us that, but it’s always a bit of a false promise, isn’t it? Because once the year actually starts, we realize that all of our problems, all of the traits that we have, the habits, the things we want to change, the finances from last year, the relationship issues from last year, the work issues from last year, all of those things are still present. They come with us into January 1st. I want to give you five specific ways to think about all of this differently. And you be the judge. You tell me if by the end of this video it’s given you a sense of relief and a sense of empowerment going into your year, but in a very realistic way.
Number one, life has to be lived in the middle. When I was overwhelmed, one of the things I did was remind myself that life is always like this. There can be phases of our life where we’re justifiably overwhelmed because there’s lots of different things coming at us at the same time, and that was part of what I was feeling.
But I also am careful to remind myself that there’s almost never a time in my life where that’s not true to some extent. There’s a phrase Dante used, “Nel mezzo,” in the middle. Life has to be lived in the middle of all of these responsibilities and priorities. So if you know that there is something that you are putting off because you are waiting for a time when all of a sudden you’re going to find a perfect equilibrium, you’re going to have that balance in your life, there’s going to be a giant space in the calendar that’s going to open up, I want you to catch yourself because there is a very strong chance that that has just become a form of procrastination, because that time will never present itself to you in the perfect way that you’ve convinced yourself it might, and even if it does ever appear like that, it will be short-lived. The idea of the perfect time, the idea of the perfect amount of breathing space is itself a fiction.
And once we accept that, we all of a sudden start asking ourselves a different question, not, “When is everything going to open up so that I can do some of these things I want to do,” but instead, “How do I crowbar some of these things that I want to do into my life now in the middle of all of these things that I have to do, and I’ll probably have to do in some form six months from now as well.” There are undeniably some bad times to go out and try to date where you’re at the peak of grief at the end of a relationship, when you are dealing with some intense recent trauma that you’re trying to work through. There are times that are bad, but at a certain point we will also have to recognize that we’re never going to be at a point where we feel like everything in our own personal growth journey has been achieved, that we’ve done every bit of healing we could possibly do.
There are always going to be ways that someone could show up in our life at a time where we don’t feel 100% ready and we will begin a relationship in the middle.
Number two, stop waiting for space to breathe and instead change the way you breathe. When I first started doing Brazilian jiu-jitsu, early on you start to roll. Rolling is the jiu-jitsu version of what sparring is to boxing. It’s when you’re actually fighting someone. And that’s a time where you start to get nervous, your adrenaline gets up, you start to breathe very heavy when you’re inexperienced. And I remember the first time I did this, I was rolling with someone and within two minutes I felt like I was drowning. I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath. I felt like I didn’t know how I would go on at all. After the session, I remember my coach saying to me, “Sometimes what I’ll do with some of the other black belts when we’re doing training for competitions is we’ll go to the extreme and we’ll set ourselves a timer for an hour for us just to be rolling constantly for that hour.”
And I remember thinking to myself, “I could not get past the first two minutes today without feeling like I was drowning. How on earth could someone do this for an hour?” And I asked him that question, and he said to me, “When you look up at the clock after five minutes and you realize that with someone on top of you, someone you’re fighting, you’ve got another 55 minutes, you actually start to come to a different conclusion. You say, “Well, I’ve got 55 minutes left of this, so I may as well just settle in for the ride.” And when you do that, you start breathing differently because you can’t hold your breath for an hour. You can hold your breath for two minutes, but you can’t hold it for an hour. And when you know you’re going to be going that long, you don’t hold your breath anymore. You start breathing differently.” So think about that in the context of your life.
Again, this is what I did when I was in that place of overwhelm. I said, “There’s always going to be something. I’m going to go home for the holidays and there’s going to be a whole bunch of other new things that I have to do and people I want to see and things I need to tie up before the end of the year.” I had that feeling, and that made me realize, “Oh my God, it’s not about to end. And if it’s not about to end, then instead of waiting for space to breathe, I need to start breathing differently.” Settle in, because this is a life. What you have is a life. Everything going on in it right now is just part of your life today. A year from now, there will be other things going on, but that’s a life. The understanding that all these things, all this juggling probably isn’t going anywhere. Yes, we can improve on it and yes, we can simplify our life and we should do all of those things.
But in the meantime, instead of delaying progress on things that are important to us, we can instead decide to simply be an active participant in our life as it is right now and to find time for the things that are important, even if imperfectly.
Number three, lose the fiction of the fresh start. I feel like we almost all have this element of us that likes neat and tidy lines. We like to demarcate, “This is what this chapter was about, and now this is what this chapter was about, and now I’m doing this.” And I always think back to being at school. You remember the first day of term in a brand new school year? There’s always something, to me at least, exhilarating. I don’t know if you had the same feeling, but for me there was something exhilarating about the idea of that really fresh start. I would always remember going to Staples and buying new stationary, new pencil case, new pens, new pencils, erasers, and I would have these things that I would neatly put in my pencil case, and I’d have a brand new notebook for lessons, and new teachers, new lessons.
And I’d tell myself, “This time I’m going to do everything perfectly. I’m going to make perfect notes when the teacher says things. I’m going to do my homework in perfect neat ways. I’m going to keep up with each all of the lessons.” And I’d have all of these intentions. Within a week, the mess had started again. My notepads already had stuff crossed out where I’d got it wrong. I missed a day of homework. I already felt a bit behind on something. My friend Tom has already sullied my pencil case by drawing a penis on the front of it. And it was like that perfect pure feeling that I was trying to keep hold of would always elude me, because it was always a false promise. Much like the new year, the idea of the new year, new you, fresh start is a false promise, because we don’t get these perfect beginnings and endings. What we get is just life on a continuum.
I think one of the reasons we get so deflated in the new year, we get this rush of new start, new year, new me, and then we get so deflated because we realize that it’s a lie. Our problems, our grievances from last year, our financial difficulties, our issues in our relationships, the things that give us anxiety, it all just comes with us into January 1st, and it starts polluting and graffitiing all over that notebook and pencil case before we’ve even got to start. I want us to lose that illusion of the fresh start, and instead realize that all life just operates on that continuum, that there is always just a sense of everything blends into each other and we don’t really get the clean lines. Life is messy, and instead of looking for a blank canvas on which to paint, we have to look at it like it’s this ongoing mural that we are adding to all the time with every brush stroke.
I think of that in my business sometimes. There’s things that I go, “Oh, I really want to update that. I really want to change that.” And there’s this fantasy world I have where I just start everything again and just build it perfectly from the ground up, and then I realize that’s nonsense. Life isn’t like that. By the way, even if I did do that, I wouldn’t build it perfectly from the ground up again. And then three years from that point, I’d be wondering, “Oh, how do I do it perfectly the next time?” And secondly, that’s not the game. The game is to keep updating and changing things and making it better by increments. That’s how life is. We make it better by increments. We make imperfect progress.
Number four, don’t over exaggerate how much of your time this area that you want to make progress in needs. I’m writing a book at the moment, and I know that in my fantasy world I just have a year of doing nothing else but writing this book.
I remember saying that to my writing coach, and him saying to me, “Matthew, even if you had all the time in your week to do nothing but the book, even solid every day don’t do anything else writers only have a handful of hours in them a day. Some people one or two. What are you going to do with the rest of that time? You can’t write all day every day. It doesn’t work like that.” And I always remind myself of that when I’m wishing that I had the perfect amount of time to do it. I couldn’t fill all of my time with it. The same is true of getting fit and healthy. You can’t spend all of your time at the gym. It takes one hour a day, right? The same is true of your love life. You say, “I don’t have time for a love life right now,” and I want to say, “But what does that mean?” If no one is asking you for a relationship right now, then it’s not going to take all of your time.
Right now your job is not to worry about how much time a relationship would take up, which by the way, from 15 years of doing this, never once have I ever encountered someone who met the most amazing person for a relationship, someone they had massive chemistry with, were head over heels for, immediately felt this feeling of, “Oh, this is what I’ve been looking for in my life,” and then said, “All of this is wonderful, but I just don’t have the time.” It never happens like that. Time is always an excuse that people use before they’ve met someone that they love. When they find out they love someone, when they feel have those feelings, they are making time everywhere that time could possibly exist. But in the beginning, all we need is time to flirt. That takes seconds. All we need is time to meet some people. All we need is time to go on a date. And that doesn’t have to be your whole week. It can be a couple of hours a week.
When we’re overwhelming ourselves with this area of our life that we want to make progress in, even if you add all the time in the world for it, that area wouldn’t need all the time in the world for you to start making progress. Start small, crowbar it in small ways, and then when it starts to become a bigger part of your life, you can evaluate what you might need to let go of in your life to give that thing more time. But don’t create a problem there before you have one, because if you do, I will suspect that the problem isn’t time at all. Your fear of doing that thing, your fear of going out there and meeting people and getting rejected is being masked by an excuse like, “I just don’t have time.” The fifth and final mindset I want to give you for progress this year is to be patient, because the trajectory of your progress is what matters.
When we’re talking about incremental progress, when we’re talking about just doing the thing you can do and not using the idea that, “It’s not the right moment in my life,” as an excuse to do nothing, those small actions that you take actually add up over time. And I always remind myself of this. There’s a phrase that I use over and over and over again for myself, which is every little bit of effort counts. Every little bit of effort counts no matter how small. If I go for a walk today, that counted. It may not have been a five-mile run, but it counted. It wasn’t nothing. It added to the scoreboard. If I write 50 words today instead of zero words, 50 words may seem like nothing in the context of a book that is going to be 80,000 words, but it counted. Those 50 words, they count. It all counts. And when we think that it all counts, we get out of this all-or-nothing mindset.
We get into, “Just do whatever is the version I can do right now. Let me just do that version. I’ll recognize that it’s imperfect. I’ll recognize that on my best day I would be doing better on that hypothetical best day with a clear schedule and a clear mind and feeling my best. I would do better.” By the way, what a ridiculous concept, the idea of that hypothetical day when we are firing on all cylinders. There’s a hypothetical day where I do this video twice as good as I’ve done it right now, but what am I going to wait for that hypothetical day where my mind is just so sharp that every point I make is perfect and everything follows the perfect linear progression and I don’t get a word out of place and I don’t elaborate for too long on anything? Am I going to sit here and wait for that day, or am I just going to say, “Today’s Matthew is going to do his best in this video, and that’s the video I’m going to do?”
If the hypothetical day comes around where I do a better video, great. I look forward to seeing it. But this is the version of me today, and that guy is going to make a video for you guys. The trajectory is what matters, “What’s the trajectory I’m on over time?” And one of the things I think we have to do, while I agree that it’s good advice to sometimes increase our sense of urgency in life, and I think in a way we’ve already done that in this video because we’ve talked about the idea that you should look at life as something that needs to be lived now and not wait for the future, right? There’s your sense of urgency. But where I think you can be patient is with the results. If you’re taking some form of action today, even if it’s small, even if it’s imperfect, even if it’s just the best version of it you can do right now which isn’t even that great, the cumulative effect of those things over time creates a different trajectory than the one you are on.
That’s one of the things I’ve been enjoying doing in my life recently, to speak personally. I used to be always in a rush. Always in a rush to get there. Always in a rush to go, “I want to have it now. I want to have it this month. I want to have it this year.” I was always in this mad rush to get the result now, and I have actually taken a lot of comfort and joy and relief in just giving myself longer timelines for things. Not longer timelines before I take action, but longer timelines for worrying about what the result is. The real value is not on performing miracles today that are going to burn you out in the next two weeks. The real value is in creating a new trajectory.
Having listened to these five things, there is no better time to take action than right now. Regardless of what else is going on in your life, take action in the middle, nel mezzo.
And the most powerful way I have that you can do that is by joining us on the Virtual Retreat. Like I said to you at the beginning of this video, it’s coming up in June. Until the end of January there are early bird tickets available with special bonuses, $200 off the normal ticket price, and it’s an amazing way to tell yourself that this year, no matter how busy we are or how much we have going on or how many responsibilities there are, “I am spending the time to get where I want to be and to craft the life I want to have.” So come join us by going to MHVirtualRetreat.com, and I will see you over there. Thank you for watching this video, and welcome to the new year.