Polo shirt guy tucks his decent polo shirt into his decent khakis and puts on his decent shoes and goes to his decent job. He’s decently fit and decently good looking.
He parties it up a little on Fridays, a lot on Saturdays, and usually makes it to church or brunch on Sundays.
There’s just one problem with polo shirt guy: he’s UNHAPPY.
Not like a conscious depressing, everyday unhappiness, but occasionally when all is calm and the radio is silent, the flat screen is off, the car is in park, the hustle & bustle of everyday life slows down, the chatter of friends fades, the girlfriend isn’t around…
When all of that is gone & silent…he has a brief moment of deep truth:
He hates his life.
He hasn’t self actualized. He once had ambitions & real passions and got off track.
Someone else started telling him what’s important to achieve in life. Other people told him what he should believe in, what he should fight for, who he should associate with, where he needs to be going.
These people may have had the best intentions. They may have just been scared.
Polo shirt guy forgot who he was. He got caught up in “things”…distractions. His ego put him in places he didn’t want to be. His self esteem and confidence failed in key moments and he lost trust in himself.
If he’s like most, he’ll be able to suppress this hatred his whole life, or at least long enough to ignore the dissonance until he he hits a middle age crisis or his deathbed.
I hope that doesn’t happen.
The way out is often as simple as admitting where you’re at and finding help.
It’s weird to seek help – admittedly. But the cool thing is you don’t ever have to explicitly say “I need help” and force your ego through that deep bruising and scarring. You don’t even really need to tell anyone.
You can go it alone, cold turkey, quietly, and be OK. It’s never too late. Not when you’re 20, not when you’re 70.
You just need to actively go find help. Call it an ADVENTURE if you will.
Help is all around. It’s in books, it’s in blogs, it’s in the words & actions of your truly happy & free spirited friends (not always the same as your well-to-do friends)…it’s in me. Just start looking. You’ll find it.
I’m sure some will try to spin this as religious or spiritual or fashion satire or something…but it’s not that. It’s just plain ole’ advice that no one asked for. So I’m not giving it.
I’m just telling you how I felt being a polo shirt guy. I was one of those guys. That life is so easy, so safe, so secure, it can be addicting.
But I found help. I just had to admit I didn’t like where I was and wasn’t who I wanted to be – despite the bank account that was starting to look OK.
Happiness for me wasn’t dollar signs or something vague like “financial security” or “good career trajectory”…it was freedom, self improvement, and helping others. Dollar signs were fine for measuring progress, but they weren’t the end all be all.
If you go looking, you’ll find your own things that matter. Finding those things is an amazing experience. The important thing is to LOOK.
I’ve been there…I’ve been the polo shirt guy. Have left, gone back, tested the polo shirt life many times. Left again. Still kinda put one on in the morning and take it off after lunch these days. Hope I’m out for for good soon. Hope some of you come with me.