I think I might have figured out what my superpower is. It’s not economics, not the ability to do things when the world says otherwise, not seeing the world from different perspectives. It’s really just……resilience. It’s sounds really stupid and basic, but I think that is how and why I am who I am today. It’s not exactly grit or perseverance, although that is part of it.
Resilience is just standing up and going ahead again. Why? Because I can.
And I’m only saying this because I was experiencing 2.5 days of feeling extremely shitty about myself. Yes, yes I have days where I feel extremely shitty. I’m glad it doesn’t happen often, but I’m also glad it does. Life sucks a little sometimes, and it’s not about making it less sucky, but to become more resilience to its suckiness. And that is resilience.
Honestly, from an outsider’s view, it sounds ridiculous for me to say this.
“I feel shitty. And I feel shitty because I realise I’m dumb and stupid and some days, I truly wonder about the meaning of life, my work and everything in between. Some days, it’s easy to spiral into nihilism. And in a bad way. Everything is pointless and meaningless. Why do I do what I do? Everything sucks. I also feel like I’m more stressed because everything sucks, and I’m eating more, and I feel fatter, and it sucks more and I eat more. That sucks. And I’m disappointed in myself. We all know that disappointment is the worst feeling of it all.”
And the truth is, yes, you’re probably right. As I reflect, I look at myself from different perspectives to remove certain biases. Yes, I’m honestly very lucky with a few things like genes, education and whatnots. And I am doing something good. Every day, an internet stranger tells me that — not that I am seeking validation. Hence, strangers telling me that I help them does not affect my random nihilism episodes.
Past 2.5 Shitty Days
At the same time, life is not about comparing across sectors. It’s about comparing against oneself. That is true growth. Nothing else matters because everyone is on a different life journey. For me to compare myself against Zuckerberg and feeling shitty about not being a billionaire yet is stupid. Again, those genes, education and whatnots are only relevant when compared against my personal life experiences.
So yes, there are days where I feel like my life is meaningless, stupid and mundane. Like the past 2.5 days. I feel like I’m not adding much value to the world. Stress increases because I see problems and I don’t have the expertise to solve them. I feel worthless.
One life goal of mine is to be a top generalist and specialist. And as you learn more, you just realise you don’t know anything. And it feels truly truly truly horrible. As in I almost feel disgusted at myself for incompetency. I hate incompetency. And I end up sulking, procrastinating and looking for distraction. Which adds to incompetency and I hate that.
Thankfully, auto-pilot Lisa works well and she gets a good amount of general things done. But I don’t want to live in this auto-pilot life. So I hate to get out of this shitty cycle.
And yes. I wallowed in self-fucking-pity. Self pity is disgusting. I don’t do that often. But some days, it’s okay. You can’t have rainbow and butterflies all the time. It’s important to expose ourselves to being vulnerable, realise that we are fallible, know that we suck sometimes. I think it’s a good check-in with the ego, because ego is also another shitty variable that needs to reduce in significance.
The trick though, is to limit self-pity party and get out of the pit quickly. And I think that is where my superpower comes in. There are many chapters and episodes in my life where I am torn down, broken, hanging on my a thread. (Again, these are in comparison to my life experiences, which are generally good in aggregate. So feeling broken is like getting rejected by a guy for the first time when I am 25 years old is something I never felt before, and could not comprehend that feeling.)
And time and time again, I stood up, brush off the dust and carried on moving forward. It’s part stubborn-Lisa, part fuck-you-Problem-you-are-not-my-obstacle, part because-I-can-Lisa. Experiences after experiences, I always found courage to stand up again, found will to keep pushing forward and found the shameless confidence to try try and try again. Because I am Lisa.
Becoming Lisa again
Episodes like these, I come out stronger and more resilient than ever. Yes, I still have a long way to go. Yes, this thing called life + this thing called entrepreneurship is not easy. There are dark days where no one understands. Lots of things where you just can’t learn from books. Plenty of failures. Lots and lots of them! You will trip, you will fall, you will realise there’s a pit deeper than the pit now.
But you know what, you will get through it all. All of them.
Like what Kenneth said to me in 2013, “you can because you’re Lisa”. I still carry that message in my head till today.
Episodes like these, I learn my current limitations. I learn what is required in the next height to scale. I overcame all heights before, this new one will be tough but I will be okay.
So there. We end the 2.5 shitty days. I am sick of feeling shitty. Instead, I wrote those shitty feeling down and limited myself to a time. And then we stop. We stop feeling shitty and start feeling powerful again.
This shameless confident Lisa that goes “I can do that because I am Lisa. And watch me succeed, simply because I can” has unlimited courage and resilience to keep going again.
Do I know everything? Fuck no. I don’t know A LOT of things. But is that stopping me from moving forward? Also fuck no, because I can learn, I can experiment, and I can find ways to make it work.
And that perhaps is my superpower!
Ps: upon reflection, what caused the shitty 2.5 days is because (1) I want to do too many things at once and (2) I see a lot of problems that I have no idea how to start solving. Let’s take a step at a time. Maybe it’s time to go back to the drawing board and re-prioritise the needs vs wants.