Well, today was going to be a return to some practical topics. I’d been working on a column about approaching people and being able to talk to strangers. I had all my notes wrapped up, I had the rough outline ready to go… and then, well, you know how to make the gods laugh, right?
I was somewhat amused when, as I was searching for one reference or another, I saw that Lifehacker ran a piece on talking to strangers. The timing was felicitous, the resources surprising and the comments… well the comments were about typical. Specifically, the genre of “not just no but hell no,” with the level of vehemence you would expect from a suggestion that, I dunno, people should try snorting ground up cockroaches or something.
Now what was interesting, to me, is how much people’s resistance to the idea that Talking To People Is Good, Actually came from a place of “I don’t like this, therefore it’s impossible and also bad.” And… honestly, it reminded me of so many people who actively resist concepts of hope and improvement and want to believe that life is pointless and “hope” is just “cope”. However, while that was an interesting germ of an idea for a piece, I had my plan. I had my notes. I was going to finally write this column about the structure of approaches so I could at least close the tabs in my research browser.
And then I watched ContraPoints’ latest video on the topic of envy. And one casual sentence that Natalie delivers, almost off-handedly, unlocked something in my brain:
“I wish more people could feel things without rushing to a ‘rational’ defense of the feeling.”
If there were ever a better description of what I see so very often in folks who struggle with making positive changes in their lives… well, I haven’t seen one yet. That set off a series of thoughts, observations and ideas and… well, look, universe, I can take a damn hint already. So the planned column got shelved for this one instead.
Because, if we’re all being honest, we’ve all had times when we’ve fought against doing things we know would likely make our lives better. We’ve all experienced that resistance to making changes, thrown up reason after reason why things wouldn’t work, and found “proof” after “proof” that the struggle was hopeless. But, as the saying goes: when God closes a door, you blow open a hole in the wall instead.
Sometimes the difference between success and failure isn’t about skill or having the right “technique”, it’s about knowing when to get out of your own damn way.
So let’s talk about why it can be so damn hard to make positive changes in your life… even when the status quo is making you miserable.
Got The Sublimation Blues
So, I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase “admitting that you have a problem is the first step.” It gets tossed around a lot, both seriously and sarcastically, to the point of almost losing all meaning. But it’s true: if you want to fix a problem, first you have to accept that there’s a problem to fix. But that can be a step too far for some. There are people who will go to their graves, screaming that they don’t actually have a problem. They aren’t the ones who are at fault, it’s societal, structural, anything other than a hell of their own making. They may be willing to admit that there is something that’s messing them up… but there are perfectly good reasons why it’s not their fault or that they’re powerless to do anything about it.
They are, in a very real way, doing exactly what ContraPoints says: they’re feeling the pain, but rather than experiencing it and addressing it, they want to explain it away. They want to defend the feeling and “prove” that they’re right to feel this way. Not in the “yes, what you feel is real” sense, but in the sense of “this is science. It is an immutable law of the universe.”
In her video, “Envy”, Natalie Wynn describes a number of of philosophical and psychological concepts underpinning the emotion of envy, but few are more significant than what Nietzsche calls “ressentiment” — turning the feelings of deprivation and envy into a form of moral opposition, usually through the process of sublimation.
Sublimation, in this case, is the psychological process of turning a wound to the ego into something more positive or ego-flattering. In Nietzsche’s view, this is often done in such a way that the resentful and envious reject the thing that they feel deprived of and, instead, present the opposite as being good and right and true.
You see this, for example, in the Nerd/Jock dichotomy — nerds defining themselves as The Good Guys because they prioritize “the life of the mind” unlike those unsophisticated jocks and promiscuous cheerleaders.
There’s a similar dichotomy in the classic “Nice Guy” vs. “Asshole” split, where Nice Guys believe they’re inherently better than the supposed Assholes because they present themselves as the opposite in every way.
But one of the odder things about sublimation and ressentiment is that this adoration of deprivation and the abhorrence of the envied doesn’t always play out in ways you’d expect. In fact, if you look at the folks who rail the hardest against positive changes and hope, you may notice how they refer to systemic reasons for their deprivation.
Incels, for example, will rail on and on about Chads and Stacys. Some men will yell that women are hypergamous and only want men with money and status and will dump men in order to trade up.
Or they will go on and on about evolutionary psychology and how this “proves” that certain men are just genetically fucked by the fickle finger of fate.
However, you may be asking yourself “Self, how the hell is any of that flattering to the ego? That sounds like a way of just running yourself down in front of others.”
Well, first, I don’t know why you’d be asking questions you already knew you didn’t have an answer to. But secondly: because it changes the nature of the forces opposing you. How can you fight against the very nature of biology itself? It’s the idea that the very fundamental properties of the universe are arrayed against you, specifically. That is how fucked you are, how hopeless the fight is. It’s dressing up the concept of fate and destiny in science drag… and in a very perverse way, that makes you superior to others in your misery. After all, it’s not everyone who is so very cursed that the only thing that could save them is changing the very nature of human evolution. You have been singled out by the concept of life, a martyr to the capricious laws of nature. To be so opposed makes you special.
It also makes others — the blessed, the fortunate, the sex-getters — lesser. Yes, they’ve been blessed by genetics, but they are not as good, as righteous as you. It’s the sense of frustrated powerlessness, turned into perverse virtue, even as it cuts you to your core.
Just as importantly, however, the sheer magnitude of the forces arrayed against you means that whatever choices you make don’t matter. Your problems can’t be solved because the problem is so immense that it can be only solved by dismantling the entire system. And since you can’t do anything about that… well, you may as well just give up.
It’s worth noting just how much of the reactionary right and men’s-right-advocate adjacent groups are, likewise, built on that sense of ressentiment. Men Going Their Own Way (or MGTOWs) are a classic example of this; they lack romantic or sexual success and so pretend that they’re better for not having it and “exiting” the dating world in an attempt at a sexual “going Galt”.
In fact, that sense of ressentiment even fuels so much of the misogyny and hate in nerd culture. Part of why nerds can be such vicious gate keepers is because the nerd “identity” is built on the idea that they’re picked on for liking comics, games, anime and so on. When other people also enjoy playing with “their” toys, it shatters the illusion that they’re separate and unique.
And that illusion is vital because to admit that it’s not real would shatter their world.
In fact, on that topic…
We Can’t Rewind, We’ve Come Too Far
Pardon a seeming digression, but it’s time to talk about Fight Club again.
In the video Fight Club And Toxic Masculinity, Dan Olsen points out that the rage that undergirds Tyler and Project Mayhem is born of frustration and deprivation. Men in the late 90s/early 00s were realizing that they were promised rewards just for being men… and they’re never going to actually receive those rewards. In fact, not only were they never going to be rewarded, but the very lessons they were taught about being men were proving to be out of date ideals that are in constant conflict with the world around them. As a result, they are waking up to the concept that they have been misled… and they’re very, very pissed off about it.
When they’re confronted with this truth: that they’ve been sold a bill of goods and that being “a real man” was never going to pay off like they were told, they respond by doubling down. They decide that the answer is to man even harder, conforming to toxic ideas about masculinity while simultaneously pretending that they were rejecting society’s rules and protesting against social hypocrisy and degeneracy. And so they celebrate violence and destruction as virtues, striking a blow against… someone. Society, I guess.
However, all this does is make people miserable, drive them to greater and greater acts of violence and get people killed. In contrast, Ed Norton’s character only discovers peace and happiness when he’s at his least manly. He cries and embraces emotional catharsis. He surrounds himself with men who’ve been castrated, including a man who developed breasts in an ironic attempt to be even more manly than others. Hell, even his “power animal” isn’t a cobra or an eagle or a lion…it’s a penguin.
And yet this is the only time he’s able to sleep and feel tranquility. In fact, as Tyler continues to influence his actions and drags him further and further back to “manhood”, his life and mental health crumble and fall apart. It is objectively bad for him, and yet he keeps at it, in part because to give up on the tropes of toxic masculinity would be tantamount to admitting that he’d been lied to and giving in to feelings of being “inferior”. And, frankly, his ego can’t take that. He wants to be Tyler, who looks like he wants to look and fucks the way he wants to fuck.
So he stays with it until he can’t deny the problem any longer. And by then it’s almost too late.
You see this sort of behavior come up a lot when talking to people who resist making positive changes in their lives. When you point out that the issue is their beliefs, rather than the capriciousness of evolution, they will push back and often double down on those beliefs… even though those beliefs are causing them pain. What’s happening is that they’re engaging a psychological defense mechanism known as The Sunk Cost Fallacy as a way of protecting their ego. The Sunk Cost Fallacy occurs when you give greater emotional importance to what would be lost, rather than what could be gained. It becomes more important to justify what you’ve already lost — the investment that you’ve sunk into this project, belief or what-have-you — than to give it up for a lost cause.
As a result you end up throwing good money after bad in hopes that this will lead to your breaking even somehow… even when the investment is time. Admitting that the investment is gone — wasted — can be too much to bear, and so people persist.
Unfortunately, this leads people to an emotional place where they would rather continue in their beliefs or pursuits, even when stopping and addressing the ego-wound would be less painful — in the short and long term.
The Sunk Cost Fallacy, for example, is part of the reasons why cultists — such as the QAnon believers — will ignore all the failed prophecies, the missed “presidential reinstatements” or the various deadlines for The Storm. It doesn’t matter that they’ve lost family and friends and ruined their lives. They can’t bring themselves to face the “I told you so’s” and the harm that they’ve done, and so they have to carry on, no matter what.
These ppl post about how their kids have cut contact, their spouses have walked out/kicked them out, they have no friends. What keeps them going in the fantasy of the king-sized “I TOLD YOU SO!!!” they see at the end of their long and righteous road, always just out of reach.
— Iron Spike (@Iron_Spike) August 14, 2021
Hell, even genocide can be rationalized under the Sunk Cost Fallacy. After the discovery of mass graves at the site of former Residential Schools in Canada, the American Conservative argued that the deaths of literally thousands of First Nations children is good, actually.
So it’s not exactly a surprise that the Sunk Cost Fallacy can also justify keeping beliefs that actively make your life miserable. When you’ve based years of your life on having a certain identity — say, and I’m just spitballing here, “The One Who Is Not Good With Girls” — it’s hard to accept that your situation is a result of choices, not destiny.
And you have chosen… poorly.
It’s easier, and less painful to your ego, to double down even when doing so means that you’re denying yourself what you want. And it becomes even more important to believe that change is impossible, lest you’re forced to face that you’re the author of your own misery. This is one of the reasons why incels and fellow travelers will go out of their way to try to “black pill” people and insist that anything that suggests better things are possible is just “cope”. Getting other people to buy into their beliefs validates their hopelessness. Meanwhile, people who leave the community and interact with people in the real world start to understand that they have been lied to.
But since actual change and improvement would force them to confront those lies, The Sunk Cost Fallacy in this case encourages a crabs-in-a-bucket mentality. If anyone starts to show signs of climbing out of the bucket, the remainder are quick to pull them back down into the morass with them.
What the Sunk Cost Fallacy doesn’t do, however, is remove the pain that the deprivation causes. As a result, you’re stuck with emotional pain and envy that plagues you, but that you also can’t bring yourself to let go of. As often as people will try to sublimate their ressentiment into virtue, it just as often curdles into contempt, hate and anger.
And to make things even harder…
Changing Your Mind is So Beta
One of the bugs in the human social operating system is how easily we’re swayed and duped by consistency — treating steadfastness and an unwillingness to change as an unalloyed good. The concept of sticking to your principles no matter what is treated as a virtue; changing your mind is seen as throwing away your principles in the name of expediency and short-term gain.
The problem with this outlook is that loses sight of concepts like “nuance” and “change”. It’s the mindset of honor-before-reason, the belief that steadfastness is a virtue in and of itself that will inevitably pay off in moral if not actual victories.
It valorizes holding onto beliefs and systems because the point is to maintain the system, even if it’s no longer relevant or even helpful.
But when we equate steadfastness and a refusal to change or bend with strength and virtue, it becomes impossible to shift when need and circumstances change. Change becomes a weakness; it invalidates everything that came before. Changing your mind becomes rank hypocrisy, a betrayal of your principles.
Or so people believe.
This is why people who shift gears or change directions will often create huge, elaborate narratives about why they had to change. Sometimes it’s as simple as “the thing I oppose now affects me directly,” such as when right-wing politicians discover they have gay or trans children. Other times it strikes home a little more directly. COVID anti-vaxxers scream bloody murder about how vaccines don’t work and are tyranny, right up until they’re being intubated in the ICU.
The reason is almost never “I realized I was wrong and so I changed my mind”; it has to be something much more aggrandizing in order to avoid another wound to the ego. The story they tell is a defense mechanism, one that allows them to never have to address what came before. Roosh V famously went from a guy who wrote books advocating rape and fucking as many women as possible to becoming a hyper-conservative Christian who abhors casual sex overnight. It was a convenient way to keep the grift going when the whole rape-manual thing didn’t work out for him, and his Damascene conversion gives him “permission” to pretend that his changing his position isn’t laughably transparent.
The reason why so many people have such a difficult time admitting that they were wrong is because doing so is an ego-wound, something we try to avoid at all costs. We treat admitting mistakes or being wrong as a weakness, something shameful. Changing you position isn’t a matter of rejecting the proverbial “hobgoblin of little minds.” If you were wrong, then it means that you aren’t the gimlet-eyed purveyor of truth who sees The Matrix; you’re just another schlub.
Even the idea of faith pushes the idea that not changing your mind in the face of evidence is inherently good; if you think you’re wrong, then you need to believe twice as hard. The system doesn’t fail, you fail the system.
Unfortunately, this belief — that changing your mind is weakness — applies to negative beliefs just as much as to positive ones. People will often refuse to believe that someone isn’t “the enemy” or that people are capable of growth or change… even when that person is themselves.
But the belief that giving up or changing your mind is bad is never stronger than when it combines with the Sunk Cost Fallacy. Oneitis and The Friend Zone are prime examples. People will refuse to let go of a hopeless crush because their “devotion” is a sign of their love. The longer they hang in, the more they prove their love and their unwavering faith will be rewarded.
Followers of The Red Pill philosophy find it difficult to accept that it’s toxic bullshit… even when it’s actively hurting them. Hell, people can’t bring themselves to accept that you don’t have to be the social equivalent of an Olympic athlete in order to date… even when the evidence is staring them in the face at any random Denny’s, Target or Sam’s Club on a Sunday.
Changing your mind and admitting that you are wrong is incredibly difficult, especially when you’ve staked out your position that women will only date “betas” if they can’t get GigaChad. Worse, that refusal to admit to being wrong inevitably leads people to take increasingly absurd positions that you can’t actually justify… but you can’t back down from either. You box yourself into increasingly mind-boggling rationalizations until all logic goes out the window and you’re having to seriously argue that you need a six-hundred horsepower car and six-figure salary in order to date.
The longer you refuse to bend, the harder it becomes to take the L and move on.
But speaking of…
Dudes (Not) Posting Their W’s
As much as these negative patterns can harm you, one reason why so many people resist positive changes is because they’re afraid of success.
Yes, this seems absurd, but it’s a very real and well-known phenomenon. The issue is that many people subconsciously fear what success would mean for them. A future that never comes to pass is superior, in its own way, to one that does. This fictional, impossible future can always be perfect. It stays exactly the way you want. The story you live plays to your precise specifications. Everything is guaranteed to work out perfectly, without actual, meaningful effort on your part. Even the conflicts or struggles that you imagine exist, not because you are in a relationship with an independent person with agency, but because you see them as adding verisimilitude to the fantasy.
Actually getting what you want, however, can be pants-shittingly terrifying. Should your wildest dreams come true and everything comes to pass as you hope it would, then you find yourself in the position of having to take responsibility for it and making it work. You are going to have to put in real effort, never knowing just what the fallout of your choices will be. All of your choices are permanent; no save-scumming for you!
Conflicts will happen for reasons other than satisfying drama or character development. Poor choices and insecurities will flare up at the worst possible moments. It could all fall apart because of your actions… or worse, you could find out that you didn’t want any of this after all, but you’re still stuck with it.
And all that? That low-grade anxiety you feel at the very thought of, well, any of this? That’s the issue.
It’s the fear of making mistakes.
When it feels like any mistake is dire and potentially fatal, then you become afraid to even try. You start to believe that any single mistake, flaw or imperfection will ruin everything.
But here’s the thing: mistakes are necessary. Flawed attempts are how you learn. Success can be a fluke; it teaches you nothing of value. Mistakes, on the other hand, teach you what works, what doesn’t work and — importantly — where you need to improve and how. Just as importantly, they teach you that you can recover from mistakes, that discomfort isn’t fatal and that imperfection isn’t a crime. Accepting this is vital, because we don’t live in a frictionless world. You’re going to grind against people in unpleasant ways… and you need to learn how to handle it and how to recover from them.
And this is part of why it ends up being so damn hard to break out of these patterns… to accept that change and improvement aren’t just possible but attainable. Refusing to break those patterns is, in a real and perverse way, comforting. Change and improvement, after all, means taking risks. It means accepting vulnerability and putting your ego on the line. It means you’re going to get your hopes up and have them dashed, then get them up again. Change and self-improvement means doing work, uncomfortable, teeth-grindingly frustrating work. And it frequently means having to tackle your deepest insecurities and most closely held beliefs. You’ll have to be willing to stare down and take ownership of all your envy, all of your fears, all of your worries about being “inferior” and about every choice and mistake you’ve made.
That can be too much for folks. Especially when refusing to break those patterns means that all you have to do… is nothing.
But because we have these other ego-salving defense mechanisms, it’s all too easy to create “rational” reasons why you’re right to do nothing. Why it’s pointless to even try. You will come up with any number of very plausible sounding reasons why doing nothing is the right choice and you should feel good about it.
And you may even convince yourself that you believe it.
For a little while. At least, until you get backed into another impossible position, because you’ve refused to let yourself believe in your own capabilities.
But eventually the time comes when you’ll have to make a decision.
Accept that you have chosen to be helpless and hapless, to have handicapped yourself and given up your potential…
…or decide it’s time to change.
But how do you start those changes?
Breaking The Habit
So, here’s where things get a bit complex.
As the saying goes, when you’re stuck in an untenable situation, you have three choices.
- You can change your situation
- You can change how you feel about your situation
- You can do nothing.
Clearly, nothing hasn’t been helping. Changing how you feel, however, helps empower you to actually change yourself… which changes the situation.
When you’re trying to overcome that knee-jerk response of “well SCIENCE1 says that it’s impossible for me”, it’s more than just deciding that you’re over it. As I said: much of the resistance to hope and improvement comes from a place of ego-protection. In order to actually start making changes — and making them stick — you have to address the ego wound first.
That requires a little introspection and a lot of meaningful action.
So here’s how you go about it.
1. Recognize This is All A Defense Mechanism
One of the first steps to breaking a negative pattern in your life is to recognize why this pattern formed in the first place. We don’t decide to screw ourselves over willy-nilly; there’s always a reason for it. Patterns like this almost always arise from a particular need; the problem is that we tend to keep those patterns even after those needs have been fulfilled.
In order to get out of your own way, it’s important to identify the need that this pattern was fulfilling. More often than not, it’s exactly as Natalie says in her video: it’s a matter of envy. We tend to envy what other people have that we lack. Our lack makes us feel inferior, which wounds our ego. Thus, envy and ressentiment sublimate those feelings in ways that stroke our egos instead, or at least prevent us from acknowledging the hurt. Recognizing and owning that — and accepting that feeling — is the first step. Once you can admit to the envy and the feelings that it brings, it gives us the opportunity to be proactive and change.
It isn’t easy. It necessitates facing parts of yourself and the way that you feel. But much like lancing a boil or debriding a wound, that initial discomfort is necessary, because the healing can’t start without it.
2. Ask Yourself: What If You’re Wrong?
One of the weirder aspects of human psychology is what’s known as meta-cognition; that is, thinking about thinking. Meta-cognition is a form of self-awareness, literally being aware of your own thoughts and the reasons and methods behind them. And while this can lead into all sorts of navel-gazing, self-reflective spirals, especially after a few bong rips… it can also help you out of a rut.
Which is why, as you face all of these defenses your brain has created, you want to ask yourself a very simple question: what if you’re wrong? What if you aren’t actually doomed to die alone and unloved because you don’t have the proper jawline or shampoo-commercial worthy hair? What if all of those studies you cite or observations you insist are objectively true are, in fact, incorrect? This doesn’t mean that they were lying to you or that you were too stupid to understand them… just that you were mistaken or had incomplete data, or that you applied the wrong methodology to your discoveries? What would be possible if maybe, just maybe, you were incorrect?
How would you test this. And what would the results be if you were wrong about everything?
Well, the worst case scenario would be: you make changes in your life that will manifestly improve it, even if it doesn’t result in dates or sex. Being more confident and more socially skilled are good things, regardless of your relationship status. Dressing well and feeling good about how you look are, likewise, net positives in your life, regardless of whether other people want to bang you. You’re setting yourself up for a win-win scenario. Yes, you may still be single, but other aspects of your life will have improved… how would this be worse than where you are now?
This step is important because it lays the foundation for the next one:
3. Create A Permission Structure For Change
Here’s the thing about why so many people have to craft a narrative for why they’ve changed their minds: what they’re doing is creating a permission structure that allows them to change. When a politician explains his or her sudden pivot on policy by bringing up some grand event, they are creating the scenario in which changing their mind is acceptable. Not necessary, not preferable… acceptable. It’s post-hoc rationalization for doing what they know they need to do but don’t want to, which allows them to make that change with less resistance. It salves their ego against admitting being wrong about something, while also giving their voting bloc instructions on how to rationalize this for themselves.
On a personal level, this permission structure is what makes it easier for you to bypass the ego-protection and its attendant fears and move towards the changes you want. Most of us have a not-unreasonable aversion to looking foolish or wanting to avoid the chorus of “I Told You So’s”, and so we cling to patterns, behaviors and beliefs that harm us, rather than face judgement. Creating that permission structure allows us to minimize the perceived harm to our egos and move forward in the ways that we need.
So you want to give yourself a reason why change is permitted. This could be as simple as “I read this column and things suddenly clicked,” or “this person said X to me and it made sense.” It could be as complex as “well, I did more research, realized that I was only harming myself or was mislead and so I’ve decided to change.” It could even be as blatantly self-serving as “well, I’ve decided to do this as an experiment and, hey, it works.” Ultimately the specifics matter; it just needs to be a structure that resonates with you. All you’re doing is giving yourself a face-saving way of admitting that you were wrong and changing course.
Now, the nice thing about this is that these permission structures don’t need to make sense to anyone but you. You, after all, are the only person you’re trying to convince. The majority of people in your life are going to be happy that you’re making these positive changes; they can see how things have been making you upset and miserable. Their frustration comes from a place of care; they see you’re not happy, they want to help you be happy, they can’t understand why you’re choosing to make yourself unhappy. Breaking through your own block and improving is a cause for celebration, not recrimination.
So give yourself that escape clause. Find that thing that permits you to have been wrong and to change because of it. Even if it’s just The Doctor Told You That You Could.
4. Practice Radical Self-Forgiveness
This last step is possibly the most important. The ego-wounds of envy, the shame of being wrong… these all hold us down because we’re ashamed of them. We don’t like feeling foolish or lamenting lost time. Part of the sunk-cost fallacy is trying to absolve ourselves of having wasted that resource, whether it be our money, our time or our effort. But as a wise man once said: once you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you need to do is stop digging.
And how do you give yourself permission to stop digging that hole? You practice radical self-forgiveness. You forgive yourself for having been mistaken. You remind yourself that being mistaken about your capabilities or your potential isn’t a moral judgement, or a mark of your worth. It’s not a sign of shame. All that happened is that you made the best decisions you could with the information you had at the time. The fact that the information you had may have been incorrect is unfortunate… but now that you recognize that, you can make new and better decisions with the new and better information you have.
And one of those new and better decisions is to be more discerning about what lessons and judgements you take on board, and which you choose to disregard.
Now, nobody likes feeling like we’ve wasted time and we often resent what opportunities we may have lost because of it. But, seeing as none of us have access to the TARDIS or a flux capacitor, there’s nothing we can do about our past. What we can change is our present and our future. And it’s far easier than you’d think.
Here’s the thing: everyone knows the cliches of time travel and how one seemingly insignificant change in the past can radically alter the present. Step on a butterfly in the Jurassic period and the world is transformed when you return to the present. But the thing is: that ability to change everything applies to us in the here and now. You can make small, seemingly insignificant changes to your life today — right this instant, even — that will utterly and radically alter your future. You are in a position to shape and mold your future to the direction you want it to go. It may be quick or it may take time to see the full effects as the results of your change ripple through time. But you have the capacity to affect change in your life and direct your future.
You can’t change your past; you can only forgive yourself for the choices that you’ve made. But those same choices are what led you to this moment, right here and right now… and have given you the opportunity to transform yourself, your life and what your life will be.
You just have to be willing to reach out and take it.
- for suitably “did a google search and went with the first link to a Medium post by an economist who has no experience in biology or psychology” definitions of SCIENCE! [↩]