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How to Get Out of a Big Rut

I saw this thread on Hacker News - "Failed entrepreneur, broke, unemployed, now taking care of aging parents. Help." The guy there is in a big rut. Basically, a lot of things aren't going right for him and he was asking for input/advice. Here's a small section -

Concurrently, I had to move back home to a relatively inactive area - no tech scene, no innovators, no night life, no forward-thinking, no excitement. People here are content with 9-5 jobs and staying home at night (edit, removed: want their safe, comfortable, 9-5 jobs, and their must-see-TV at night). There is no ecosystem to help drive and create new things. Local city and business "leaders" I talk to about doing something politely nod their head in agreement but it never leads to anything.

Now, I understand where this guy is at. Not 100%, everyone's situation is a little bit different. But the general place, yup, I get it. So I wrote up this reply for him -


Okay, there's a lot of things going on here, but most of them are (gradually) improvable. But it would be difficult to improve until you own responsibility for all of it.

A Passing Fever

I remember being shocked one day at a comment on Hacker News that cited a study saying the most common successful conclusion to depression.

To give you a hint, it wasn't any particular medication or therapy.

Rather, the most common way depression ends is through "spontaneous recovery" -- where a person gets better for no seemingly particular reason, the mix of thoughts and chemicals having run their course.

I'm nursing a minor tenderness in my elbow right now. Tweaked it lifting weights. I know it'll heal in a few days, so I just plan around doing lower body work and maybe doing more cardio or crunches for a few days. There's no need to obsess over it, it'll be better in a few days.

But how often do we take that same approach when something is holding us down mentally? Perhaps in a particularly bad procrastination cycle, or feeling uncreative and uninspired, not doing great work, or something along those lines?

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