Daryl Jace

Teacher, Blogger, Poker player.

Being trapped in your comfort zone and depression an emo Post by Daryl Jace

I'm writing this post because it actually relates to the learn a new skill blog posts. The past 2-3 weeks I was struggling with depression. It was late august and I was really excited to start this new blog idea but something I didn't expect happened, I was too scared to do it. I played my 1st round of golf to start the project, then proceeded to do nothing for the next 2 weeks. I didn't even post the 'learning a new skill blog' for 2 weeks and when I did I couldn't even tweet it out ( nobody reads it otherwise) I had to have my wife do it. Why are you such a pussy you ask? Well let me tell you.


These 2 main thoughts ran through my mind, 1) if I do this publicly and quit in the first month i'd be really ashamed of myself, or even if I quit in 3 months. The other one was what if I do it and my results are mediocre? Thats even worse because i'd see that what I know about education isn't too helpful outside of poker and worst of all everyone else will know it too. After all, I never really tested it on myself or outside of poker.  In poker none of those questions, doubts or fears arise, it's safe and easy, I liked easy…. I like easy. Who doesn't?


My problems go way back and I think a lot of people reading this can relate. I grew up in a society and more importantly in a family where if you're different thats something you should be embarrassed about. I was an atheist at 16 who thought logically ( albeit a very shitty logic at the time) instead of emotionally or intuitively - I had a lot to be embarrassed about. I couldn't be in a social setting without worrying about what i'd say or do whether it was a complete stranger or a friend. Avoiding embarrassment and blending in were my primary objectives. 

There was one thing though I got to stand out in a positive way for, and that was being good at stuff. Whether it was math, poker (especially poker) or whatever, it felt really good. it was actually very addicting looking back on it now. So when doing this blog the idea of potentially being embarrassed publicly because I wasn't good enough was scary as fuck. Then I felt ashamed of being scared, mad at myself and then worst of all hopeless. I couldn't even start a simple blog how could I possibly help change the future of education globally with my own website or private schools? 


For those 2 weeks I woke up every day with this numb kind of emotionless depression, kinda half heartedly sighing at the thought of another day.  My day was filled with negative thoughts, beating myself up because how stupid I am, I began to see the negativity in everything. I wanted to quit, I did quit.


About in the middle of this I started reading the 4 hour work week by Tim Ferriss which I thought was unrelated but it turned out not to be ( it's funny how these things happen).  He asked these questions telling you to rationally analyze the risk and the fears associated with making a big life change. Here are the questions and my answers: 

How likely are you to fail? : Not that likely

What would happen if you did?: I'd learn a lot and feel good about taking the risk

How bad would it be on a scale from 1-10? : 2 or 3

How permanent would the damage be? : Not permanent probably a net positive

What steps would you take to recoup the damages you incurred? : No lasting damage to recoup.

How likely are you to succeed:  Decent chance

How good will it be if you did on a 1-10 : 8-10

What are the risks of inaction: I'd never get to do the things I loved to do, in 5 years from now i'd still be doing the same exact thing. My depression wouldn't end I don't think. Would probably just get worse.


These were really illuminating questions given the answers I had to them. I wish this was part of the movie where the protagonist starts turning things around while this badass music is playing in the background, but it wasn't. It actually just made me more depressed because I still wouldn't fucking do it, I mean cmonnnnn.  


What I realized…. eventually, is that logic/reason is just insufficient sometimes. In its stead you need stuff like emotion, inspiration, support, encouragement and actual experience/practice. I got help from my friend/student Pedro Gonclaves his words of encouragement and wisdom meant a lot to me. Being around someone like him is inspiring, he's the kind of dude who you know whatever he sets his mind to he's going to accomplish it. My wife, no words could possibly explain how much she has changed my life and helped me to grow in the past 8 years ( 8 year anni in 5 days actually).  Kevin Kelly on the Tim Ferriss podcast one of the best if not the best podcast i've ever listened to.

Elliot Hulse, If you haven't checked him out I highly recommend that you do so. I watched his 'Why do I always quit' video. In it he said every 7 years ( nvm that this 7 year thing is prob not an accurate timeline) you face a crisis or a challenge like i'm going through. He said he actually prays for these because he knows when he pushes through them and gets past them he knows how much he will grow and how much better he will be because of it. 


It's really hard to type what he says and have you experience what I felt because the emotion and the way he tells a story is unparalleled and I couldn't possibly replicate it.  It just made me realize that this was one of the greatest challenges of my life, the thing thats holding me back more than anything and if I can get through this nothing can stop me. I had hope again and you don't really appreciate hope until its gone and you get it back. Its an incredible feeling. 


All these people gave me what I needed to actually try to get better. I journaled in my daughters princess sofia notepad and with her hello kitty pen my thoughts and ideas of what to do and what I was feeling. What was clear was I needed to take small steps out of my comfort zones like writing this post. The idea of writing a post even remotely as vulnerable as this was unthinkable a few weeks but doing it now and seeing how not scary it actually is an empowering feeling. I also done less emo stuff  like just saying how I really feel about something, or booking a hypnotherapy session with Elliot Roe  who I highly recommend ( he helps a lot of poker players actually). 

Things aren't perfect right now but i'm past the point of being held back by a blog post again and that my friends is a big accomplishment for me. I hope you can find some parallels in the things I talked about. I wrote this as much for you (well not as much but a good amount) as I did for me. Hope you enjoyed it thanks for listening… Can I say thanks for listening even though it's in text form? I mean ur sort of listening to it right?


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