budge burgess
                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                    for the stories you don't write

"Fuck it, if this website doesn't work, you're reading the longest suicide note in history".

Welcome to your story, the one you want to write. Welcome to an honest website about
how to change your life. Driven by a need to make changes of my own, it's fueled by my
revulsion at the hype, bullshit, extravagant claims, delusions, and outright lies which clog
the Internet and swamp the bookstores.

My talk of suicide is ironic. There are times when you need to take stock, make sense of
things, rediscover the real person buried under the shit, end a way of life which is
causing you pain, and move on.

I worked in the profession of change. The 'talking cures' - counselling, social work,
psychoanalysis - have no more scientific credibility than witchdoctors in lab coats. They
share this with the latest trends in life coaching and the gurus of the self-help and
motivational industry. But they also share another unifying theme - change.

There's a lot of talk in the 'talking cures', but no 'cures'. There's no illness! Think,
instead, of the professionals, life coaches, and gurus as 'talking editors', attempting to
interpret or explain your story, at worst, transforming you from author of your own future
into a character role in their soap opera.

I've seen some of the worst of the talking cures - professional abuses, complacency,
incompetence, negligence, toadying, cronyism, petty jealousy, bullying - but the real
battle is between those who genuinely seek to understand the human mind and human
behaviour, offering compassion, care, and advice based on credible research and
scientific evidence, and those who try to trap us in medievalism by selling superstition, so-
called spiritual enlightenment, or the worst excesses of religious dogma.

It's a battle for the 21st century mind. Do we want to learn, to advance, to build a better
world? Or do we want to be mired in the Dark Ages and kept in ignorance? I know where I
stand. I want to revitalise the change makers! I want to ensure we provide a rational
understanding of human needs, a humane concern for life, theories and practices based
on both rigorous scientific evidence and compassion, and the promotion of human
happiness, not the maintenance of ignorance. I want to change the world.

So, this is not a website guaranteeing success: I'm not pretending I have the key to riches
or fame, I'm not promising you the secret of happiness or fulfilment of your wildest
dreams. Anyone who offers guarantees or who promises you a formula for successful
change has only one objective - to make a profit from your fears, worries, insecurity, or
dissatisfaction with life.

This is a website about risk, about finding the honesty and courage to try. It's about
understanding that any attempt to make significant changes in your life can have
unforeseen consequences. You won't always succeed … but you can find the strength
and honesty to learn from your mistakes.

Bored? Lonely? Trapped in a job, a relationship, a role, a rut? Want something better
from life? Want to change the world? Want to change your world? Who doesn't? Try.
There will be setbacks, there will be surprises, you might crash and burn, but don't wait
for someone to tell you what to do - get off your arse and get in the game!

I draw on a quarter of a century of professional experience, a decade of research, and a
lifetime of personal cock-ups. I'm offering an antidote to the bullshit and hype. Can I
guarantee to change your life? Make you slim? A non-smoker? Happy? An expert on the
off-side rule? Can I bollocks! You'll get no simple formula here, no easy steps to follow.
But think yourself lucky you found this site.

There are countless thousands of websites promising change, feeding you superficial,
lunatic, even fraudulent bullshit. Think it's easy to find competent, professional advice
and help? You'll sift through a ton of crap and fool's gold to find a nugget of worthwhile
information. Never trust anyone who promises a simple solution or an instant remedy to
any of life's problems - only salesmen, priests, and politicians offer quick fixes!

Don't assume that because someone has a glitzy website they have a shred of
professional training or competence. Don't assume they have any intellectual depth to
their thinking or draw upon any profound knowledge or learning. Don't assume the
theories they spout or claims they make have any credibility, even if you see TV
presenters or celebrities fawning over them.

If you find mention of the 'Law of Attraction', or positive thinking, or previous incarnations,
or spirit guides, or crystals, or harnessing the powers of the universe, or insisting
'everything happens for a reason', or claiming to have changed the lives of thousands
with an infallible 'scientifically-proven' method, the bastards are probably abusing your
intelligence. They're fishing for the gullible and dining on the vulnerable.

It's time to reject the hype, the bullshit, the legacy of superstition, past mistakes, and the
corruption of ideas by 19th century thinking. It's time to enter the 21st century and set
our sights on the future.

This website is about honesty. Being honest with yourself, being honest about yourself
are essentials in bringing about sustainable change in your life. Changing your life - and
finding the self-confidence to do so - requires an honest appraisal of your strengths and
skills. Will they meet the challenges ahead?

Honesty has been a painful lesson for me. I want to make it less painful for you. There will
be no hype. I'll expose bullshit, not mire you in it. I'll temper informed argument and
analysis with humour and compassion. I'll encourage you to be realistic and equip
yourself with the skills to pursue meaningful change. I'll offer an honest, professional
assessment of what works and why! And NO, I'm not trying to sell you anything.

Life can be a minefield in which you navigate a path between the lure of fantasies, the
clutches of nightmares, the stress of daily routines and chores. You can't always trust the
signposts or directions offered by others. You can't even trust your own judgement -
fantasies develop a seductive life of their own, nightmares can imprison you, you can
become blinkered by habits, numbed by assumptions, and drift, sleepwalking, down the
days.

There's no guide book to your life. You're not born with an instruction manual for living.
By the time you're old enough to read one, many of your core beliefs and values, many
of the assumptions and expectations which will shape your future - the stories you don't
write - will have been written for you by your family and community.

You don't just learn a specific language (and accent), you're taught what to believe, who
to hate. Attitudes and behaviours, engraved on your mind, become unchallengeable
absolutes. You find yourself in a world which defines success, which defines failure, which
orders your actions, your roles, your thoughts.

There's no simple formula for changing life, no law of nature, no benevolent deity to
make dreams come true or nightmares disappear. You're on your own. It's easy to fall
prey to claims you can have the perfect life following rules in a best-selling book or by
employing a father confessor, life coach, therapist, guru or whatever!

Change won't be achieved by buying a score of books, by reciting mantras or
affirmations, by use of crystals, by rearranging furniture, or even by spending a lifetime
on a therapist's couch. Your life won't be changed by getting pissed or shagged and
postponing decisions until tomorrow … though it can sometimes be fun.

My website won't change your life! You're the only one who can do that. And it can be
hard. So can life. If you're looking for the promise of a solution or some 'guaranteed'
formula, you're deluding yourself, and that's the first hurdle you have to overcome. Life is
not a medical problem - there are no instant cures.

You'll need motivation, determination, self-belief, and courage. You'll need to be honest
and compassionate with yourself. You'll need to take risks and learn from your mistakes.
You'll need to be bloody minded. You'll need luck. And did I mention hard work? You'll
need hard work.

There will be setbacks, problems, dead-ends. You'll backslide, get angry, feel desperate.
Shit happens. There's a world out there beyond your control; it can fuck your plans in a
heartbeat. Learn the skills which minimise the world's impact on you and your impact on
it, don't delude yourself with mantras or magic.

However, even if you learn the right skills, you can still feel lost, scared, lonely,
abandoned, deserted, betrayed. You'll still have days when you know you can't do it,
know you've failed, know you don't deserve better. You may blame yourself, you'll
certainly blame others. You'll try to play safe, you'll shy away from taking risks … or take
the wrong ones. Sound familiar? Be honest!

Persevere! It sometimes gets easier. Sometimes good things happen. Sometimes the shit
isn't as deep as you expect. Sometimes opportunities come your way, the problem is
recognising them. And, sometimes, when you reach the greener grass on the other side
of the hill, you discover it's really a slippery slope or slime filled bog.

There are no guarantees in life, I won't insult you or patronise you by pretending
otherwise. I'll show you my scars, I won't ask to see yours. I want you to hear my laughter,
not my tears.

So, welcome. If I'm not always polite I will always strive to be honest. I'll try to ensure you
learn enough to put yourself in the best possible position to achieve the changes you
seek. And hopefully you're now asking, "If this bastard is so pessimistic, how the fuck will
his website help ME?" Click the link, below, to find out.

Discovering the Stories You Want to Write
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