No faith in anything, even myself.

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

No faith in anything, even myself.

Postby StoicSword » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:42 am

So it’s that time where I feel at the end of my rope. I’m sure a few here know what that feels like to an extent. I post this here, because many believers of the Buddhist faith aim for enlightenment, so I figure maybe someone here would know what to do. But I for one, am running out of answers and motivation for myself.

I am 24 from Los Angeles, currently unemployed, barely a high school education (through online studies) and I got no money, hardly any friends, and no vehicle. I live with my parents, but all they help me with is a place to stay and some bare necessities. Overall I feel neglected by them, they just don’t seem to care much about me actually succeeding.

I have been trying to get a job on my own, but in the last year I have not even got one interview. Out of the only responses that I got they wanted money to train me (I have none). I was also told by someone I met on the street that in order to get a job I need to sell myself and hand out business cards over and over till they get tired of seeing me.

That sounded like a good plan to me and I made the business cards, but I am losing faith in myself. I feel like I am running out of that motivation one needs to look for jobs and to sell themselves. It is hard for me to even smile anymore. Now days it feels like all I can do is fight with a poker face and efficiency. I have a lot of anger/frustration in me from things being so difficult, and no doors opening, so it feels natural to me when I fight.

I have spent a lot of time competing, in both martial arts, and video games. I have traveled all around the U.S. for free and won money through competition. As when I’m competing the opportunity to succeed is mostly my own. But when it comes to get a job I’ve been feeling clueless. I have never been good at school, so I couldn’t go to college. If I got a job it would have to be a job that didn’t need years of schooling.

While most people were going to school I was often ditching, playing video games or practicing martial arts. I even got sent to live at a residential high school before, and I escaped and lived homeless for a while. I chose that over living at a school with so many rules. To me just sitting in a desk for hours without getting paid for it and expecting to do homework just felt completely unnatural. So school for longer than a year really just isn’t an option for me most likely.

I have even tried teaching myself. I have been trying to learn Microsoft programs through Microsoft elevate America to gain certifications on these types of programs. But with my earnest attempt to teach myself this material even with my competitive nature, it feels like pulling teeth. They ask me to download material for the labs, then I get errors trying to install it and it’s just a very frustrating experience doing it all alone.

In the end after all my ordeals and effort without pay I end up feeling fearless and almost emotionless. It feels like I’ve been through worse than hell as I’ve had almost everybody turn their back on me in time of hardship. So it feels almost impossible for me to put my faith in religion, as having faith in anything for me feels hard now. I am just open minded and agnostic, but I still sort of believe in uplifting psychological philosophy which it seems like Buddhism at its core is all about. So at the state my mind is right now I figure maybe someone here has some incite that might prove useful.
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Re: No faith in anything, even myself.

Postby Dan74 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:06 am

Look man, any advice I give will probably just ring hollow. What you've described sounds pretty similar to what I went through about 12 years ago. I was also struggling to find work and felt that people were turning their backs on me, that the world was a cold and cruel place.

You seem blessed with a sound mind, intelligence and interests. This is more than most people can say for themselves. I worked in a prison for a while and many there couldn't read. Most had been abused by the parents, often to the point of requiring medical assistance. In situations like this it is little surprise people turn to drugs and crime.

You don't sound like you've been through this stuff and I hope you don't go that way.

It is easy to lose faith but in a way it is a good place to start again. Start from the basics, from what you still believe in. What that is you've got to ask yourself and have a good think about where you want to go in life. I mean what's important for you and what kind of a man you want to be (I assumed you are a man because of martial arts and the tone of your post but I could be wrong of course!).

What I find important is to pay attention to how I start the day and develop a routine that works for me. That can take time. But a balanced lifestyle is really important. And this means exercise and eating well, work with your mind and with your hands, interact with people and do something for others, and take time to chill out.

A simple meditation can become a kind of refuge from the avalanche of emotions, from all the confusion and uncertainty. And once some stability develops, you can face your responsibilities and challenges with more clarity and optimism.

Here is a link to a CD with meditation instructions that come from a pretty good teacher:

http://buddhisttorrents.blogspot.com/2009/02/how-to-meditate-with-pema-chodron.html

And if you find it beneficial, please buy it:

http://www.amazon.com/How-Meditate-Pema-Chodron-Practical/dp/1591797942

Good Luck!!!
_/|\_
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Re: No faith in anything, even myself.

Postby Moggalana » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:26 am

Dan gave some excellent advice. If you want to learn more about Buddhism, you could check out this youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/BuddhistSocietyWA

May you be well :)
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.
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Re: No faith in anything, even myself.

Postby oceanmen » Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:15 pm

i m the last one to ask advice considering some parts of my life were pretty messy...
but since you are into martial arts and since you are here in dhammawheel
which probably means you have interest in meditation as well.....

so here is an idea

work anything simple (like cashier in a super market or waiter)
live simple and save some cash...this will be a good chance to keep practicing martial arts
while deepening yourself in meditation and reading books
try to live as simple as you can...and when the time is right and you have the means...

go to south east asia (thailand and laos are very cheap destinations),
you can think of teaching English for a living and at the same time practice what you like most
martial arts with some meditation retreats...maybe you ll come back to the US as a new person
am sure many opportunities will rise during this whole journey...in and out of the US...

good luck...
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Re: No faith in anything, even myself.

Postby Tex » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:18 pm

I'm sorry to hear of your struggles.

For money, can you teach martial arts? If you've competed and done well you might be able to use those credentials to get some private students. You could charge, say, $10 or $12 an hour and it would still be a bargain for the students, plus some people might prefer one-on-one training even if it's in a park instead of a dojo. Maybe you could reserve some time at a junior college or high school gym and set up some mats? Just a thought.

And there's always trade school. I know you said you weren't very good at school, but you sound very sharp. The government is giving a lot of money to students right now, so maybe you could get a grant or a student loan?

Anyway, if you're interested in Buddhism, this is a classic meditation guide and it's very cost effective (free is an excellent price!). Meditation practice might be just what you need right now.

http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma4/mpe.html

One of the main teachings in Buddhism is that all conditioned things are impermanent, including your current struggles.

Hang in there, and good luck.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: No faith in anything, even myself.

Postby Wind » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:32 am

Oh we have 3 things in common: game-addiction, martial arts, and hated schooling. I was in the same position 10 yrs ago, bumming off my parents with no job.

I realize feeling pity for myself only made matters worse, it just made me more depressed. I decided that I need to change. The biggest change I made was realizing I was at fault for my own misery. I stop blaming others. Buddhism help me open my eyes to understanding myself and the world around me. If you want change, you have to change your outlook. Stop thinking negative and look at things in a different way. For example, if you hit rock bottom, then it means things can only get better. It happen for me. I am now in a great position in life now. I'll lay out what I did.

1. Be open to any type of jobs. Go after entry level jobs. It doesn't matter what it is. Work at grocery store, retail, restaurants, security, warehouse, or whatever. Target everything. Don't worry about the pay. Minimum wage is a good start. Opportunities usually grows when your foot is in the door. When you get an interview. Just relax and be kind and positive. Don't worry about getting the job. Be yourself. Don't try and sell yourself. For entry level jobs, it doesn't matter. They just want someone honest and willing to work hard. That's what i did. I started in retail.

2. Once you get the job, be proud of yourself. Work hard at it and be on time. This is very important, get enough sleep. Cut back on your gaming. As for me, I completely stop. I realize my gaming addiction was part of the reason my life was a mess. I realize I was so into games because it was the only place I felt good about myself. I did not need that anymore as I work toward improving myself. Don't worry about how people judge you. Just accept that everyone is unique, including you so there is no need to compare.

3. Be patient. Don't expect change to happen fast. It took me years working low-paying jobs. But I was still making money and it gave me the discipline I needed to work toward something better.

4. Moving up. There are a couple of things you can do to move up. If you like your company, then you can continue there and show your manager that you have the desire to go up in the company by taking on tasks outside of your position. You can climb up a company by proving to them you are capable of learning their trades. Or you could save money or borrow a loan to go into a trade school for something you are interested. I did that, I went into a trade school. Trade schools are not the same as college. It's hands on and much faster. I picked a trade that I can learn in less than a year. And after I finished, my school got me a job. And I have been in the same trade since and having the life I wanted.

5. Once your financial life is stable. Don't stop there. Keep working on your spiritual life. Financial success only gives you a false sense of confidence and security. It is the spiritual growth that can truly make you feel peace and contentment, even if you lose everything again.

Well, that's my 2 cents.
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Re: No faith in anything, even myself.

Postby StoicSword » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:50 am

Dan74,
I also understand why people turn to crime and drugs, and I know the consequences very well as I have seen friends go to jail and lose themselves to drug addictions. So maybe that has helped me stay off that path. Even through all my struggles I try not to do anything I will regret. A balanced lifestyle is something I've been working on daily. I exercise a few times a week, but often late night. It's been real difficult for me to maintain a sleeping schedule where I wake up in the morning and sleep at night. I have spent too many years up all night and sleeping through the morning, it is like my natural clock now, so I struggle to reverse that as well.

And the social interactions with people has always been something that I had to work on. Since I ended up doing my high school through independent studies I missed out on all the human interaction most normal people get. All my good friends and girlfriends I've had have been met through the tournaments I've competed in. So I still have to train myself on how to properly socialize. I think I am pretty good at it now, I've come a long way. But I am not as outgoing as most people and I am pretty kept to myself, so that is something I am still working on. Thanks for the link though. I will download the torrent later, and while I can't afford to buy it right now, I will look it up on youtube.

Moggalana,
I will check the videos soon, thanks.

oceanmen,

If your life was messy before, and now it isn't seems like you should have more confidence in your advice. I've applied to at least 6 different supermarket stores and also went in person to a few restaurants to see if they needed help. I never got any interviews from them. But that was a few months ago for the supermarkets, I will probably try again. And I will keep South East Asia in mind, if it seems like things aren't improving for me in the states.

Tex,
I don't consider myself yet wise enough to teach martial arts. I have the highest respect for some of my martial arts teachers as they taught me for free. And I learned many things from them besides martial arts, if it wasn't for them I'd probably be in jail or dead by now. They're responsible for the small fire in me that still keeps trying to succeed in the face of adversity. Only once I have succeeded in this society can I consider teaching the arts I know.

I also tried culinary trade school. It was pretty expensive for me at first, but overall I felt like I was learning how to do a professional job that was going to just give me minimum wage profit with a lot of work demanded from me. So I stopped with the intention of doing something easier that would probably pay me the same or more for less work demanded. But I wouldn't mind doing the work for pay, I just have issues right now with paying for a trade school out of my own pocket without knowing if I will get the money back. Money is hard to come by for me, so I don't want to get in debt without knowing for sure if I can pay it back. I haven't had a stable full time job yet, only a few temp part time jobs, so I do not feel secure putting in money into any type of school yet without knowing for certain that I can get it back.

Thanks for the online guide, it is well written without dwelling so much on out dated traditional beliefs. I'm about 5 chapters in so far.
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Re: No faith in anything, even myself.

Postby StoicSword » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:02 am

Wind wrote:Oh we have 3 things in common: game-addiction, martial arts, and hated schooling. I was in the same position 10 yrs ago, bumming off my parents with no job.

I realize feeling pity for myself only made matters worse, it just made me more depressed. I decided that I need to change. The biggest change I made was realizing I was at fault for my own misery. I stop blaming others. Buddhism help me open my eyes to understanding myself and the world around me. If you want change, you have to change your outlook. Stop thinking negative and look at things in a different way. For example, if you hit rock bottom, then it means things can only get better. It happen for me. I am now in a great position in life now. I'll lay out what I did.

1. Be open to any type of jobs. Go after entry level jobs. It doesn't matter what it is. Work at grocery store, retail, restaurants, security, warehouse, or whatever. Target everything. Don't worry about the pay. Minimum wage is a good start. Opportunities usually grows when your foot is in the door. When you get an interview. Just relax and be kind and positive. Don't worry about getting the job. Be yourself. Don't try and sell yourself. For entry level jobs, it doesn't matter. They just want someone honest and willing to work hard. That's what i did. I started in retail.

2. Once you get the job, be proud of yourself. Work hard at it and be on time. This is very important, get enough sleep. Cut back on your gaming. As for me, I completely stop. I realize my gaming addiction was part of the reason my life was a mess. I realize I was so into games because it was the only place I felt good about myself. I did not need that anymore as I work toward improving myself. Don't worry about how people judge you. Just accept that everyone is unique, including you so there is no need to compare.

3. Be patient. Don't expect change to happen fast. It took me years working low-paying jobs. But I was still making money and it gave me the discipline I needed to work toward something better.

4. Moving up. There are a couple of things you can do to move up. If you like your company, then you can continue there and show your manager that you have the desire to go up in the company by taking on tasks outside of your position. You can climb up a company by proving to them you are capable of learning their trades. Or you could save money or borrow a loan to go into a trade school for something you are interested. I did that, I went into a trade school. Trade schools are not the same as college. It's hands on and much faster. I picked a trade that I can learn in less than a year. And after I finished, my school got me a job. And I have been in the same trade since and having the life I wanted.

5. Once your financial life is stable. Don't stop there. Keep working on your spiritual life. Financial success only gives you a false sense of confidence and security. It is the spiritual growth that can truly make you feel peace and contentment, even if you lose everything again.

Well, that's my 2 cents.


Wind,
I appreciate the advice. I was too concerned with selling myself and felt like I would have to be someone I am not in order to get a job. If I can go into job recruiting just being who I am, it will take less effort from me and maybe I will be able to get more done. I also have been being held back by my gaming addiction. I recently trained my ass off for a gaming tournament expecting to win, and I made it far, but lost by bad luck. Competitive video gaming isn't like martial arts, there is always some luck factor involved that can be your downfall. I don't know if I will be able to quit gaming completely. But I have made serious changes recently regarding that.

I am trying to do something progressive everyday before I start playing. Often I would feel like the only place I can see progress happen is through video games, or tournaments. As there I can actually work for what I want and I can get it. In this society and with women I feel like money is everything. And education seems like everything to get money, which I am just bad at school, my attention span is pretty bad as I learn very visually and hands on. So any schooling I'd be able to succeed at would have to be pretty different than traditional schooling. But I will keep trying, once I can get a stable job my attitude will probably change.
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Re: No faith in anything, even myself.

Postby Wind » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:10 am

StoicSword wrote:
Wind wrote:Oh we have 3 things in common: game-addiction, martial arts, and hated schooling. I was in the same position 10 yrs ago, bumming off my parents with no job.

I realize feeling pity for myself only made matters worse, it just made me more depressed. I decided that I need to change. The biggest change I made was realizing I was at fault for my own misery. I stop blaming others. Buddhism help me open my eyes to understanding myself and the world around me. If you want change, you have to change your outlook. Stop thinking negative and look at things in a different way. For example, if you hit rock bottom, then it means things can only get better. It happen for me. I am now in a great position in life now. I'll lay out what I did.

1. Be open to any type of jobs. Go after entry level jobs. It doesn't matter what it is. Work at grocery store, retail, restaurants, security, warehouse, or whatever. Target everything. Don't worry about the pay. Minimum wage is a good start. Opportunities usually grows when your foot is in the door. When you get an interview. Just relax and be kind and positive. Don't worry about getting the job. Be yourself. Don't try and sell yourself. For entry level jobs, it doesn't matter. They just want someone honest and willing to work hard. That's what i did. I started in retail.

2. Once you get the job, be proud of yourself. Work hard at it and be on time. This is very important, get enough sleep. Cut back on your gaming. As for me, I completely stop. I realize my gaming addiction was part of the reason my life was a mess. I realize I was so into games because it was the only place I felt good about myself. I did not need that anymore as I work toward improving myself. Don't worry about how people judge you. Just accept that everyone is unique, including you so there is no need to compare.

3. Be patient. Don't expect change to happen fast. It took me years working low-paying jobs. But I was still making money and it gave me the discipline I needed to work toward something better.

4. Moving up. There are a couple of things you can do to move up. If you like your company, then you can continue there and show your manager that you have the desire to go up in the company by taking on tasks outside of your position. You can climb up a company by proving to them you are capable of learning their trades. Or you could save money or borrow a loan to go into a trade school for something you are interested. I did that, I went into a trade school. Trade schools are not the same as college. It's hands on and much faster. I picked a trade that I can learn in less than a year. And after I finished, my school got me a job. And I have been in the same trade since and having the life I wanted.

5. Once your financial life is stable. Don't stop there. Keep working on your spiritual life. Financial success only gives you a false sense of confidence and security. It is the spiritual growth that can truly make you feel peace and contentment, even if you lose everything again.

Well, that's my 2 cents.


Wind,
I appreciate the advice. I was too concerned with selling myself and felt like I would have to be someone I am not in order to get a job. If I can go into job recruiting just being who I am, it will take less effort from me and maybe I will be able to get more done. I also have been being held back by my gaming addiction. I recently trained my ass off for a gaming tournament expecting to win, and I made it far, but lost by bad luck. Competitive video gaming isn't like martial arts, there is always some luck factor involved that can be your downfall. I don't know if I will be able to quit gaming completely. But I have made serious changes recently regarding that.

I am trying to do something progressive everyday before I start playing. Often I would feel like the only place I can see progress happen is through video games, or tournaments. As there I can actually work for what I want and I can get it. In this society and with women I feel like money is everything. And education seems like everything to get money, which I am just bad at school, my attention span is pretty bad as I learn very visually and hands on. So any schooling I'd be able to succeed at would have to be pretty different than traditional schooling. But I will keep trying, once I can get a stable job my attitude will probably change.


Good to hear you are making positive changes. Keep it up. I know it seems that money matters to women a lot. It's not the case really. Sure it is true for a significant number of them. But that's not the ones you really want to settle with anyways. I have met plenty of good attractive girls who simply want a man who has it together, who is confident in himself, who is a problem solver, and treat them right. Also, education is not the only way to getting a good paying job. Working your way up is another. Experience is worth more than any degree. So pick any industry you enjoy working for and climb your way up. My brother did just that and he doesn't even have a highschool diploma. He went from entry-level cook to managing a big chain restaurant.
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Re: No faith in anything, even myself.

Postby Shonin » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:22 am

I think Wind's advice was especially good. And education isn't everything. There are many millionaires without formal eduacation and many highly educated people without work. The most important thing is determination and to a lesser extent, intelligence. My feeling is that you have plently of those. You will need to tackle your addiction to gaming though and possibly reassess the priority you give martial arts - for a while at least.

I was in a not dissimilar situation after I graduated. I did get some work in retail and catering, but it was the conception of my son that forced my hand - working hard training myself in graphic design (short, part-time courses and self training). I now have a senior job in a field in which I have no formal qualifications (my degree was in psychology and philosophy).

Best of luck - Hope it works out for you
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