It must be a natural law of the universe. Whenever you are relying on other people for something, they will let you down.
There’s a lot of material out there telling you how to build a life that is dependent on others. This advice mostly just turns you into a useful servant to those who gain benefit from your subservience and loyalty.
I’ve tried just about everything to achieve some stability and lasting satisfaction, but nothing works indefinitely. If you are employed by other people, they will definitely exploit you in a way that is unfavorable to your interests, sooner or later. Now matter how good a situation seems at first, it will continually change for the worse. People will push for as much as they can get away with. They will never leave a good situation alone. They will always destroy it by demanding more until they hit the breaking point.
Tying yourself irrevocably to a specific job, home, or partner is just asking to be taken advantage of. As soon as it is sensed that you need somebody or something, that thing will move out of your reach and force you to give up more in order to get it. The Buddha said attachments are the root of all suffering. He was right.
Good jobs never last forever. The boss always screws it up by demanding too much when he senses that you have it too easy. If that doesn’t happen then the company fails, or gets bought out, and everything changes. Good homes are always destroyed by new neighbors, developers, or housemates. Relationships always fail when one party gets too comfortable and takes the other for granted. Entropy strikes at the heart of every human endeavor.
Letting go of attachment, and of outcome-dependence, is essential to being a better man. One must aim himself in a general direction but never try to pre-plan all the details or become obsessed with specific achievements. Never allow yourself to fall into the trap of believing that she’s the only one who will ever love you, that no one else will hire you, or that you won’t find a better place to live. Everything in life should be seen as temporary and subject to change at any time. Whether you’re willing to view things that way or not, you will still be subjected to unwanted change.
Building your own business is the best thing you can do to achieve financial independence, but even then you’re subject to the same forces of decay and dissolution. Your customers are fickle. They have no true loyalty. The market conditions will change. New competitors will spring up around you. Big money players will come on the scene and destroy all the little guys. You are better off having several businesses, and plans for several more.
We are trained to build a picture of our lives which involves a lot of permanent fixtures. A good long-term career. A marriage that lasts forever. Children who will never want to stray too far away from you. The perfect town to live in. A house you can grow old and die in.
None of this is realistic. Look around. How many people have sustained their ideal situations without having to eventually scrap everything and start over? How many people who were on top of the world ten years ago, still sit there?
This is a reminder to never seek external validation. Never seek comfort above growth. Never settle for less instead of forging ahead. The whole process of natural life is one of metamorphosis, growth, and decay.
Don’t have just one career skill, master many skills. Don’t buy a home, rent and move whenever conditions change for the worse. Don’t marry a woman and expect her to be an eternally faithful soulmate. Get that prenup signed and always have it in the back of your mind that she will fall out of love with you someday.
This is the harsh reality – nothing is permanent. If you accept this and live your life accordingly, you will paradoxically reduce the suffering you would have experienced. If you are too comfortable right now, go take a cold shower. Practice going two weeks without spending any money. Go on a backpacking trip with only the bare essentials. Break up with that woman who has been disrespecting you, just do it out of the clear blue sky. You don’t need permission, you don’t need a specific reason. Quit your job and tell your boss to go to hell, tell him you refuse to be disrespected and you’ve had enough. Just do something, anything, or else it will be done to you instead, and it will be done on their timeline, not yours!
This isn’t meant to be nihilistic or blackpilled. Hope springs eternal, and life can be full of happiness and wonder. Just don’t expect anything to hold still for very long. God and nature are against stasis, and everything you hold dear today will eventually be destroyed. Roll with it and find something new.
Look around at all the losers who fail to heed this lesson. How many people do you know who are in relationships that should have ended five years ago? How many were totally blindsided when she filed for divorce or was caught cheating? How many people do you know who hate their job or dislike their boss, but continue slavishly hauling themselves into work every morning? How many people stay in the shitty town they were born in, just because they lack the initiative to relocate? How many live in the same run-down house because they horded too much junk and are too possessive to get rid of anything? How many achieve a small fraction of their potential in life, just because of inertia and apathy? Don’t be them. The slow-burn suffering they experience is far worse than you can imagine. Be free, be flexible, be independent, be proud of who you are and reject the egotistical need to impress others.