30 Things I Learned By Age 30

IG: raulfelix275

IG: raulfelix275

This year I hit the big Three-O, which means I’m no longer an overeager twenty-something who is trying to figure it all out to prevent becoming a failure in life. I am now a thirty-something who realizes he doesn’t need to have it all figured out to get the most out of life. This year I followed my standard operating procedure: worked, wrote, read books, worked out, chased after women, traveled, partied hard, and attempted to become a better version of myself than I was last year. Consequently, a few life lessons worked their way into my twisted thought process.

1.

Solitude is a powerful tool for gaining control of your life. It allows you to traverse down that rabbit hole that is your mind and reflect on the events that molded you. During that long process, you will slowly and painfully begin to gain insight. What you do with that insight is what will determine the course of your life.

2.

Whenever you seek advice, be fully aware of whom you’re seeking it from. Does the person whose counsel you’re taking into account have any practical experience in the matter? Or are their opinions formed from theory and an unrealistic idea of how things should or might be, not how they are?

3.

When a woman is truly into you, she will find out everything she can about you on social media. She’ll look through your old statuses and photo albums. She’ll check out your exes if they’re still tagged in your photos. She’ll stalk every single female who comments or likes your updates. She may never let on that she does that, but she does. You do it, too; don’t lie.

4.

The world of art is quite daunting. The task of creating something out of nothing is so tough that many stop themselves before they truly begin. The thing is that you have your experiences, your skills, the events that created you, all the lessons that you learned, and the conversations you endlessly analyzed in your mind. You own everything that you have done and has happened to you; use and embrace them.

5.

Most traditional artistic education that is offered at universities is overrated. Those who attend such institutions are seeking permission to pursue their artistic endeavor from an authority figure more than anything else. One question I get asked often about my craft is if I went to school for it and I respond with a disgusted, “Fuck no.” I’m still working my way upwards in this art form, but through self-education and discipline I’ve accomplished more than most creative writing majors I’ve met.

6.

Charlatans appear in all forms in this world. Beware those with grandiose promises of riches for little hard work or those who demand an unreasonable amount of handiwork for little reward. Both are a form of exploitation—one by taking advantage of your laziness and gullibility, and the other by taking advantage of your work ethic and ideals.

7.

Staying in shape is simple. Not easy, but simple. Don’t try to overcomplicate it. Pick an exercise routine, do it right, push yourself, don’t always eat like a pig, and keep showing up for an extended period of time and it will get you somewhere.

8.

Women have it easier when it comes to getting laid, but not in terms of finding a quality mate. A lot of guys fail at the most basic fundamentals of being a man. If you’re able to achieve those fundamentals, then you’ll be the kind of man women want to fuck.

9.

If you want to do something extraordinary, don’t worry too much about the opinions of the ordinary folk.

10.

Yet remember to remain humble about your accomplishments and respectful of those who have accomplished less than you. You are, after all, just another human being among billions.

11.

Extremists of any sort have a disproportionate amount of pull. That’s because most people are moderate by nature, so they can’t be bothered to care about a certain issue until it becomes critical. There are bills to be paid and life to be lived, after all.

12.

One day you or those close to you will die. It could be after you finish reading this or sixty years from now. The best way keep honoring those who have fallen before you is to live your life to the best of your ability.

13.

Haters are gonna hate. I’ve lost friends, jobs, and potential lovers because of the words I write. I’ve been told I have no talent, that I should quit, that I should kill myself, that I should shut the fuck up, and that I need to keep my ideas to myself. These comments are usually left by emotional cowards who don’t even use their real names. It takes an uncommon amount of mental toughness to endure these slings and arrows launched by the trollish hordes. Yet I’m still here writing and most of those fuckers are forgotten. No one builds monuments for critics; only those who dare greatly earn their place in history.

14.

You can still learn from your critics. Let your ego take constructive advice and apply it where you’re able. One of the most valuable skills you can learn in life is the ability to distinguish between genuine criticism and blind hatred spilled out by malicious mouth-breathers with a skewed perspective on life.

15.

What is more gratifying than waking up next to a beautiful woman you deeply love naked in your arms each morning? Nothing.

16.

Just because someone is famous doesn’t mean they’re smarter, better, or even more interesting than you are. I’ll indulge in the reality-TV junk food on occasion. I often can’t believe how many punk-ass bitch excuses of human beings make it on these shows. They’ll make a significant emotional event out of something that most normal human beings will brush off with a laugh.

17.

Writing never gets easier. If you’re writing something worth a damn, then it requires you to constantly dig deep, trudging in order to find that moment of raw humanity. When you do, you’ll forget how hard it was until you have to search for that next moment.

18.

The person who talks the most usually has the least to say.

19.

Running up the steep hills of Ithaca, New York gave me a lot of time to think. One of my best epiphanies came to me during a particular run. As I was running through the campus of Cornell, I analyzed the faces and movements of the students as I passed them. They lacked awareness of their environment, eyes glued to their phones, bits of gossipy chitchat in that nasally tone of voice only college kids seem to have, and slumped postures as they went about their day. I thought to myself, “You motherfuckers aren’t smarter than me.” That doesn’t imply that I know everything, because I don’t. It means that you don’t need an elite education to be educated like an elite person.

20.

You know how you get people to like you at your workplace? Work hard, make their job easier, and be cool.

21.

Some friendships aren’t made to last forever. You will drift apart from some of the people who knew you best at a certain point in life. Your priorities and interests will change; so will theirs. There is no need to be resentful about it; just be grateful you had those friendships when you did.

22.

The ability to shut the fuck up is very underrated.

23.

Narrow-mindedness comes in many forms. Some of the most unaccepting and condescending people I’ve met in my life have been open-minded free-thinkers who believe you must think as they do or you’re an *insert term that discredits your opinions in an educated manner*. Some of the most accepting and welcoming people I’ve met have been those with a more traditional belief set.

24.

Not every single chick is going to be into you. I wasted so much time and energy obsessing over why X or Y girl wasn’t into me when I felt I had all the qualities she should find attractive in a man—so much that I overlooked the chicks who were into me. No matter how high a caliber of a man you become, the chick whose bikini pictures you’ve been jerking off to from Facebook may still not pay you any attention because you’re not her type. Fuck it; move on without throwing a temper tantrum. There are over 3.5 billion women in the world; I’m sure a few million will dig you.

25.

It’s easy to overestimate what you can accomplish in a day or week but underestimate what you can accomplish in a few years. At the age of 25, I decided I wanted to be a writer. I knew it was going to be tough as fuck, but I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t quit no matter what. There have been times that I have slacked, and it showed in my professional progress, but quitting never entered my mind. I have explored different styles of writing and have had successes and failures, but with each piece I struggled through I learned and gained more insight into this art form. I’m not a big name, but you can bet your ass that nearly everyone who knows me recognizes that I am a writer and a damned good one at that.

26.

We humans have a tendency to glamorize our past. Veterans often look back on our military days as our glory years. We were a part of something bigger than ourselves and took part in history. We forget how overworked our bodies were, our nearly nonexistent social life, the lack of autonomy we had over our lives, the petty feuds we had with some cocksucker from our platoon, and how we couldn’t wait to get the fuck out. The past was tough; if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t take any pride in it.

27.

They say time heals all emotional wounds, but some of them will leave scars as permanent reminders.

28.

Common sense is not common.

29.

Whether you love them or hate them, your family gave you the base foundation of who you are. I’ve been lucky to be blessed with such an amazing family that has supported me in whatever I decided to do, whether they understood my reasons or not. You may not see them for months or years, but the best gift you can give them is to make something productive out of yourself.

30.

The artistic path is not linear. It requires a lot of suffering, loneliness, hopelessness, stagnation, and frustration. It requires others and yourself questioning your progress. It requires the constant feeling of failure. It requires you constantly doing the work. It’s a path that gives you countless opportunities to quit and no one will blame you for doing so. It’s one whose rewards are few and far apart. It’s a path without a destination, where scattered throughout will be the remnants of your heart and soul.

~Raul Felix

Read: 28 Things I’ve Learned By Age 28
Read: 29 Things I Learned By Age 29
Read: To My Future Wife: I Will Make You Proud To Have Me As Your Man

Read more of my work at Thought Catalog
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Ego Is The Enemy: An Interview With Ryan Holiday

IG: ryanholiday

IG: ryanholiday

Ryan Holiday hit the real world hard and fast. At 19, he decided to drop out of college because he was offered an opportunity any ambitious would-be writer would pounce on: a job as a research assistant to Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power. This would lead him to working with and advising several bestselling authors and multiplatinum musicians.

He kept the ball rolling from there and became the marketing director of American Apparel, where he put into place a very successful campaign that produced both big profits and heavy criticism. But he grew disgusted with the state of online media and released a book that put his name on the map, Trust Me, I’m Lying. The book detailed how easy it was to manipulate online media because of its lack of source verification and its traffic-driven outrage-porn business model.

After reading that book, I discovered and devoured all of his writings. I studied and applied a lot of his stoic principles about business, life, and writing into my own thought process and actions. He is one of the most unique, practical, and highly respected contemporary thinkers.

In his new book, Ego Is The Enemy, he seeks to advise the reader through the lives of notable and not-so-notable historical and current figures about what havoc an untamed ego can have on a person’s life and how one goes about controlling it.

Raul Felix: Ryan, in this book, you analyze how the ego can have destructive effects on people. You even mentioned seeing one of your mentors transform from someone you aspired to be like to never wanting to be like that person. Egos don’t only exist in people of high achievement or celebrity; it is also quite common in the general population. What common examples do you see today of people with high egos yet little substance to back it up?

Ryan Holiday: Yes, exactly. It is precisely because we see this type of behavior in a lot of prominent public figures that we try to reverse-engineer their success and manufacture the right pose. There are plenty of “wantrepreneurs” out there acting like mini-Steve Jobs and plenty of musicians who think that behaving like Kanye West is acceptable. We falsely assume that ego—manifested in their entitlement, arrogance, braggadocio, and swagger—is what drove success. In fact, it was the talent that compensated for the ridiculous, destructive ego. We don’t think about the survivorship bias that hides from view all the people who’ve failed and flamed out because of their own ego-driven sabotage. What is also hidden is the huge subset of successful people who are not clamoring for the limelight.

We also live in a culture that actively promotes constant self-promotion and grandiosity—all of it magnified by a thousand by social media. It is also hard not to think you’re the greatest if that is the message you’ve been hearing constantly from your parents since you were born. Combine these factors, and you see why we have a downright epidemic of ego.

Part of why I initially wanted to write this book is because I would get a lot of emails from really overconfident and brash young people who would send me all these ridiculous emails. And then at large, you see it for instance with people who are not willing to take entry-level positions—But I went to college! But it was the Ivy League! —or people who are not willing to listen or take any sort of feedback because they think they’ve already figured it all out. You see it with people bragging and boasting about what they’re going to do—their ego craving for validation and applause before the fact.

Raul Felix: A line that really stuck out to me was, “If you start believing in your own greatness it is the death of your creativity.” I’m sure any artist who has produced a piece or two of topnotch work has fallen into that trap—even gloating to themselves or others about their creative genius. I’ve done it a few times when I wrote some really good stuff. How does one avoid falling prey to that part of the ego while keeping the fortitude to drive on?

Ryan Holiday: I love that line, too; it’s actually from Marina Abramović, the performance artist. There is another quote from UFC champion Frank Shamrock that I try to think of on a regular basis: “False ideas about yourself destroy you.”

The second you start gloating and letting success get to your head—that you’ve figured it all out—that’s precisely when you make some critical mistake or miscalculation. In that moment of self-satisfaction, learning grinds to a halt. What I love about writing, actually, is that those feelings are constantly elusive. You can’t get a big head with a craft which requires decades and decades of work before you even begin to approach mastery. There is no “graduation.” If you think like a craftsman, become an eternal student, and adopt a beginner’s mindset, ego is suppressed and you can go on working and working.

The problem is when you start to listen to other people. My last book has started to sell very well, so I could let that puff me up. I’ve gotten some very kind and generous reviews. It would be a mistake to listen to those things too closely. For the next book, you have to continue to approach it with humility and self-awareness. Essentially you have to start from zero.

And in the book I talk about how ego separates us from reality—we start living in our heads. This sort of intoxication with positive feedback and success makes us forget that there are people in our field who are infinitely more successful than we are. Someone recently mentioned that one of the best things about attending TED is how humbling it is to be in a room with all these people. It doesn’t take away what you’ve accomplished, but it puts things into perspective—it grounds you back to reality.

Raul Felix: You also mention the incubation process, that period where you must trudge through a long period of obscurity as you wrestle with a topic or a paradox. What would the incubation process look like for the normal person, who can’t really drop everything and live in a cabin cut away from society as they hone their skills?

Ryan Holiday: I’ve mentioned the incubation process, which is what the strategist John Boyd called his ‘draw-down’ period. It is the time after we’ve had what we think is a brilliant idea and then take the time to process it and think it through before we embark on it.

I do not think it requires you to drop everything and go live in a cabin away from society—I certainly didn’t do that (although living on a ranch helps!). It’s simply the moment after you’ve had the idea, after you’ve put the first round of thinking into the project and then have to step back and say: “OK, what do I really have here?” “Do I actually have something?” “What is this really going to be?”

Otherwise, we have ego telling us that we have the best idea ever and blinds us to all the components that we need to work on. Ego Is the Enemy ended up being different from the initial book proposals precisely because there was time between conception and execution.

And wrestling with a topic or a paradox requires you to invest a serious amount of time in a state of what the author Cal Newport calls “deep work”—that place of intense concentration and cognitive focus where real progress is made. Two examples for me are walking and running, during which I wrestle with ideas. I also have an article on this site on how to accomplish more deep work in our lives where I give some other examples that can be helpful.

Raul Felix: You made an a sharp distinction of how the ego affected two Civil War generals: Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman. Grant sought the high office of the presidency and chased after big money, causing him to have one of the most corrupt administrations in our nation’s history and going publicly bankrupt, while Sherman chose to be content and lead a private life afterwards. How can a person distinguish if what they’re chasing after is genuine or if it’s their ego yearning for more?

Ryan Holiday: It’s funny because I really admire both of them. This country we live in would not be possible without the personal heroism and bravery of both of them—probably Grant most of all. At the same time, I find the end of his life to be very sad. I wish he could have enjoyed the success he had.

In my view, the main reason doing that is so hard is because we try to have it. We want what we want and what other people have, too. We want to do our own thing but not be left out, either. We want a quiet life but also want to be the center of attention.

It’s our ego telling us to always say yes to more things, more projects, events, meetings. It will also always say yes to more money if given the opportunity. (Ego doesn’t care whether that’s the right decision for us.) Ego rejects trade-offs. It wants it all. It’s incredible how hard it is for us to say no to anything—again, especially money.

The solution? Really ask yourself: Why do I do what I do? What is important to me? What is the one goal or thing I want more than any other? That’s the question you need to answer. Stare at it until you can. It’s not easy by any stretch, and I am telling you that from my personal experience. I’ve had to do so in my own life and it’s why I have an entire chapter dedicated to that idea. Understand what’s important to you and know your priorities.

The goal is to make decisions with clarity and purpose—not ego. Only after spending time alone and asking ourselves these tough questions can we know which way we are swaying.

Raul Felix: Hitting rock bottom, whatever that may be for a person, is one of those humbling experiences that can make or break you depending on how your ego responds to it. I’ve been through a couple of hard times in my life where I needed to fight for every bit of progress while I got back on my feet. Along the way I learned some lessons. Yet I remember being warned that my actions would lead to that. What do you feel it is about our nature that makes it so we don’t always learn from others but have to fuck up big time in order to drive consequences of our actions through our skull?

Ryan Holiday: Nobody gets very far or lives very long without getting their ass kicked a few times. It’s not pleasant at the time when in retrospect we tend to appreciate those experiences—because we learned so much from them. The problem is that those lessons tend to fade over time, because we start to feel like we’ve moved past them—that we’ve got it. When I got Ego Is the Enemy tattooed on my forearm it is exactly this part of human nature that I wanted to warn myself against on a daily basis. It is this part of us that says that we know better, that makes us unwilling to listen to others, to remember to be objective and clear-headed and honest. I have made those mistakes myself, and having a daily reminder is one way to prevent it from happening again.

And it will always be the case that the hardest lessons are learned from direct experience. Plutarch says that we don’t “so much gain the knowledge of things by the words, as words by the experience [we have] of things.” That shouldn’t be an excuse to not study and learn to prevent those from occurring. Reading books—especially biographies—becomes helpful here. Whatever situation you are currently facing, others have gone through that and written about it.

There’s a quote from Bismarck that says, in effect, any fool can learn from experience. The trick is to learn from other people’s experience. It is why the book is full of cautionary tales—so that we see what ego-driven choices and decisions others made in history and how that led to their downfall. Still, though, I understand that we’re often going to need to experience some of that directly. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is.

~Raul Felix

Read: Teaching Men How To Mate: An Interview With Tucker Max
Read: Keep Moving, Young Man
Read: An Army Ranger Interviews A Navy SEAL On Resilience

Read more of my work at Thought Catalog
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Buffalo Hill Will Make A Man Out Of You

“I’m a fucking beast,” I say to myself,
I take those first steps running up Buffalo Hill.
There is always some college student slowly walking up it,
Occasionally, it’s a chick whose glorious ass I get lost in,
I’m reminded of what I want in my life.
More often, it’s a scrawny nerd unaware of the world around him,
I’m reminded of what I don’t want to become.
Buffalo Hill will make a man out of you.

When the body is in pain, it’s best to let the mind wander.
Halfway up, my mind runs rampant.
Thoughts of women past, family, friends, war, motorcycle trips,
Parking tickets, writing, money, and schemes for pussy.
Buffalo Hill will make a man out of you.

I’m approaching the final incline,
My stride becomes faster, eyes focus, bellowing grunts.
I reach the peak, smile as I stare down on conquered land.
Nice warm up. I continue my run.
Buffalo Hill will make a man out of you.

~Raul Felix

Read: She Was Traveling Through My Country
Read: Becoming A Beast May Help You Win The Beauty
Read: Keep Moving, Young Man

Read more of my work at Thought Catalog
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I Look At Your Dead Blog

I look at your dead blog,
Not a single update in over two and a half years.
You were so avid about it,
Writing those juicy sex stories,
Some fact, some fiction,
Other’s a combination of the two.
Writing was your dream.

I look at your dead blog,
As I am reading over your old entries,
I am reminded of how much more talented I thought you were than me.
The biting jokes,
The shameless sultriness of your words,
The glorification of promiscuity,
Your potential still glows.

We began exchanging e-mails,
Instant messages and video chats.
We would talk every morning.
You believed in my writing,
You would proof read my posts,
You taught me the difference between than and then.

I fell hard.
We made plans for me to fly out to Toronto to see you.
You grew angry with me when I told my ex-girlfriend I was going to see you.
Your unreasonable, female jealousy took hold.
You told me you wouldn’t see me.
I went anyway to prove how serious I was.
Your Eastern European coldness was unmoved.

I walked the streets of that fucking city a broken man,
Holding my hand out, imagining I was holding yours.
Every moment felt like a fucking waste.
I ate those lonely, silent meals.
I drank beers at bars staring into my glass,
I smoked weed at the Hot Box Cafe while writing shitty poetry.
I cried myself to sleep in my cheap hostel room.

I returned to California,
With a tattered heart,
Embarrassed that I was so naive to believe I could prove myself.
A bit of my romantic innocence forever lost.
I wrote motivational pieces to give myself hope.

I hated you for a long time.
I was quickly forgotten by you.
I couldn’t even look at your pictures without the pain returning.
Now when I open that folder,
There’s the merciful feeling of indifference.

A picture of your first baby is your default on Facebook now.
Your priorities have changed.
You have found your happiness.
I look at your dead blog.
Writing was your dream,
Yet, I’m the one who is still pounding away at the keyboard.

~Raul Felix

Read: Empty Chair
Read: She May Have Given Up On You
Read: Heartbreak

Read more of my work at Thought Catalog
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Onward To 2016!

ddd
Sometimes all you need to fix your soul and situation in life is to pop smoke and get the fuck out of Dodge. In the latter part of 2014, I found myself in Upstate New York because of a temporary job that I couldn’t turn down. After working the gig for a few months, cuts occurred and I was out of purgatory. I then traveled around the North East for a month and settled into a lovely little town that caught my heart named Ithaca.

I arrived on a bus from New York City a little after midnight on a blistering cold February night, toting only a backpack and a small duffle bag. With no friends or family in the town, I set off to start a new chapter in my life and put into place some life principles and habits I’ve been pondering around in my head.

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”
-Bruce Lee

I asked myself: What professional principles do I need to ingrain into myself in order to take my writing to the next level and move up the ladder of professional success? What kind of habits do I need to develop in order to become the kind of man I want to be? I figured I needed to do at least two out of four of the following every day:

Work, Work out, Read, and Write.

When I wasn’t sure what to do on a day, I just figured out what I can do in order to make two of these things happen. Did I work my bar job today? Mind too fried to write? I’ll just work out. I need to let my body rest, and I don’t work at any of my jobs today. I’ll read and write.

As simple as it seems, I didn’t always hit the mark. Dates with pretty ladies, random nights of debauchery, riding my motorcycle to visit my Ranger buddies, and at times, the laziness dragon caught me. Yet, those days when I did I hit the mark happened more often than not.

My output with pieces this year was pretty low compared to 2014 when I was pissing off people with sand in their vagina on Thought Catalog and making a name for myself. I began to read and write more poetry and gain a deeper understanding of it. The few articles I did write for Thought Catalog this year I was very proud of.

For This One Day, She Made Me Forgot was one of the hardest pieces I’ve ever written. While other pieces have been tough to write, this one was a deep knife cut per word and each sentence caused tears to pour down my face. I was emotionally drained upon completing it and had one of the deepest sleeps in my life.

29 Things I Learned By 29 showed that I have more going on my head than my quest for fame and pussy. It also has generated the most fan mail for me since The Division of Generation Y. Thanks to Ryan Holiday, I got to interview one of my favorite writers, Tucker Max. It was pretty fucking tits to interview a man I looked up to since I was 19.

“To be an artist means: not to reckon and count; to ripen like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of Spring without fear lest no Summer might come after. It does come. But it comes only to the patient ones, who are there as if eternity lay in front of them, so unconcernedly still and far. I am learning it daily, learning it through pains to which I am grateful: patience is all!”
-Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet

Those of you who have followed me since my early days have noticed how dramatically my writing style has changed. Those of you who are new, probably have noticed how different a lot of my pieces are from one another. I have never wanted to remain static as a writer. I want to throughly learn, explore, experiment, and develop myself in this art form. Only through constantly pushing myself in new avenues and approaches will I become the versatile, honed, and unique writer I need to be in order to be placed among the greats.

I love writing my panty-wetting, heart-wrenching poetry and essays as much I love writing my politically incorrect, misogynistic asshole rant pieces. They’re just different aspects of my personality.

Women have been the light and bane of my existence. That sums up my attitude toward the fairer sex for this year. I’ve been on dates and had some flings with some very lovely women and have had my heart stomped by a couple.

I have made a good, little life for myself in this small town. A lot of people know my name and face. I have a few cool friends that I hang out with regularly, and I’ve been to a few random college parties. Also, I got fired from one bar job because some chick recognized me while I was working behind the bar and told the owner I wrote a bunch of articles online that are offensive to women. She did me a favor because the owner is a worthless sack-of-shit who was jerking me around and not following through on the promises he made me. I found a better establishment to work at afterwards with an awesome manager who actually does what she says she is going to do.

Solitude was the main theme of this year. Most of my time, I spent alone. I started the process ingraining the principles of success into my life: Running the hills of Ithaca in the snow, reading poetry by Charles Bukowski and Edgar Lee Masters, watching every single documentary on war I could find on YouTube, putting my mind at peace by riding my motorcycle, swimming in Cayuga Lake, slinging drinks, and writing.

“You cannot repress anger or love, or avoid feeling them, and you should not try. But you should be careful about how you express them, and most important, they should never influence your plans and strategies in any way.”
-Robert Greene, The 48 Laws Of Power

You can expect more output from me in 2016 than in 2015. I needed to take a step back and reconsolidate my life. I have also been working on a project that I will I announce when I feel appropriate. I have found a serenity within myself that has allowed me to tame some of the demons that have held me back. Thank you for your continued support, and I cherish every single one of you for reading my words. Onward to 2016!

~Raul Felix

Read: Onward To 2014
Read: Onward To 2013
Read: 28 Things I’ve Learned By 28

Read more of my work at Thought Catalog
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A Few Maxims On Writing

Keep the ugly,
Find the beauty in the ordinary,
Find the ordinary in the extraordinary.

Write what you know,
Write what you don’t,
Make up the rest.

Take what an academic says with a grain a salt,
What a troll says with a smirk,
What a fan says graciously,
What a lover says as flattery,
What a best friend says with a shot of whiskey.

You’re not special,
Give it time.
No one is waiting for your genius,
Your genius is waiting on you to do the work.

Show up everyday,
Write something great,
Write something good,
Write something mediocre,
Write a ton of terrible pieces.

Struggle,
Hate yourself,
Feel like a failure.
Learn from those greater than you.
Struggle some more.

Lose all hope.

Show up everyday,
Write a ton of terrible pieces.
Write something mediocre,
Write something good,
Write something great.

Feel great.

Check your spelling and grammar.
Be scared to share your work.
Do it any way.

Know the rules,
Fuck the rules.

~Raul Felix

Read: Keep Moving Young Man
Read: How To Find The Greatness Within You
Read: The Witch In My Dream

Read more of my work at Thought Catalog
Follow me on Instagram.
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How Much More Do I Need To Bleed?

They say that it’s easy to write,
That all you have to do is bleed on the page.
After feeling the blade of that knife so many times,
One begins to wonder…

How much more do I need to bleed?
Until my fucking soul can be at ease?
Until all those fucking thoughts in my mind are laid to rest?
Until I can at last be fucking content?

Each time cutting yourself,
Reliving memories, events, conversations,
Long since forgotten by others.
Picking apart, dissecting, and analyzing,
In search of that moment of raw humanity.

Eventually the blood stops flowing,
The cut scabs over.
Yet, the soul grows restless,
Needing to expose more of itself to the world.

The bleeding becomes addicting,
The emotional pain becomes a validation of your worthiness as an
Artist.
A benchmark which you judge yourself by,
To see if you truly pushed yourself.

The words are bouncing around in your head,
But it needs your blood to come to fruition.
You cut yourself open once again,
Bleeding out slowly.
As you are reminded of how painful it is,
You begin to wonder…
How much more do I need to bleed?

~Raul Felix

Read: What It Is To Write
Read: She Was Traveling Through My Country
Read: Why Should I Write About Her

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