“You are either living in creation or reaction.” – Steve Chandler
Most people know they are not where they need to be. They know they are tired. They feel the effects of a terrible diet. The stress of a terrible relationship weighs on them. The tension of always feeling rushed drains them. Yet, they continue to live only in survival mode.
They wake up in the morning to the chimes of a smartphone and so the first thing they touch in the morning is the phone. PRESS. The alarm goes off. PRESS. The email opens. SWIPE. Email gets deleted and they move to the next one. DOUBLE CLICK. They move from the email back to the Facebook feed they feel asleep checking.
Before they know it, 30 minutes have passed and they jump out of bed already flustered, rushed and hurried. They have already set the tone for their day and it shows.
You intuitively know the things in your life which are time wasters and cause stress. But, you rationalize deserving a little indulgence in the moment. This “little” indulgence is the seed for a much bigger tree already blossoming. No decision you make is in isolation. The simple decision to hit the snooze button indicates you haven’t made a strong decision about waking up to create a productive day. It’s a subtle way of weakening your decision making process as well as your discipline.
This one weakened decision seeps into other areas of your life. You snooze, then you decide to miss a day of exercise. Then you decide to have a cheat day on your diet. Soon, you delay or postpone other small but critical items. Before you know it, you are in a place where you are always digging out.
Yet, you somehow convince yourself it’s ok and simply begin to settle in to mediocrity. You figure the best way to deal with the stress is to justify, rationalize and adapt. You see the finish line and the prize but you begin to become ok and say it’s not for you. This spreads throughout your life and begins to infect everything you do. It affects your work. It affects your approach to your relationships. It affects how you treat yourself, your personal goals and dreams.
SETTLING IN TO SURVIVAL MODE
Most of us become content to continue in survival mode and accept the constructs created by others. We’re scared of what others might think or what people might say. We allow ourselves to become boxed in. We’re ashamed of not knowing the answer. We’re ashamed of not having as much. We’re afraid of failing and being exposed as frauds. We’re afraid of losing what we have not realizing that what we have isn’t really ours anyway. The only thing of you that will remain when you are gone is memories.
Look at your life right now. Is it what you want it to be? Own it! Don’t blame circumstances. Don’t blame anyone else. Own it and then create a step you can take to move towards your goal.
Is your financial status making you feel like you are drowning every day? Own it! Decide what step you will take today to move even an inch forward. Decide you will no longer be stressed by money and then make a change in your financial behavior right now. What change will it be?
Are you tired of where you are in your career? Own it! Stop asking yourself what you can do and CHOOSE a step you will implement TODAY. Then DO IT!
A few years ago, in one of my personal growth groups, I decided to offer challenges everyday. The challenges included simple things like saying hello to 5 people you’d never met before to doing 10 push-ups in public while asking someone you didn’t know to count. The point of this was to get the participants used to focusing on their growth instead of what others thought.
“You wouldn’t be worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they actually do.” – attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt
You are responsible for your life. Is life fair? No it’s not. Are there malicious people who will use every fiber of their being to step on you and hold you back? Yes. Will you get hurt in life because of things beyond your control like your skin color, your economic status or your personal beliefs? Yes, yes and yes! Should all of this stop you from choosing to move forward each day? No.
CHOOSE TO ACT
Choose to make today the day you do something different. Stop. Take a moment to think deeply. Then make some bold decisions.
Create a plan.
Organize your life.
Remove anything which distracts you from living at your most authentic. This might include people. Sorry. Your spirit was uncomfortable around them anyway because they held you back from serving at your fullest.
Take a look at your most important relationships and decide to go all-in. Then choose an action for TODAY which will start the process.
Take one step!
Then another! Then the next one. The steps will keep compounding and before you know it you will have made a great leap.
If you are ready to take the next step, jump into my How to Set Goals That Stick course.
Warning: If you enroll, you must ACT! You won’t see any difference if you log in but never ACT! Funny, that’s how life works also. Those who DO get the gold!