We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking.
“I’m addicted!” she said.
“But didn’t you just tell me you’ve been clean for 15 years?” I asked.
“I have been,” she said.
“So what are you addicted to?” I asked.
“To doing what I shouldn’t be doing, even though I know better,” she said. “I’m addicted to doing it the wrong way, because it’s easier and safer, and just the way I’ve always done it. I’m addicted to letting my negativity and anger and fear get the best of me every day. And honestly, that’s just scratching the surface of it. But the scariest part of it all is that I know dozens of other people who are just like me in this regard. We’re all addicts and we don’t even acknowledge it!”
Those are lines right out of a live chat session I had this morning with a coaching client and student of ours. I’m sharing this with you (with permission) because nothing could be closer to the truth.
Almost every one of us is an addict, and what we are addicted to is…
1. Wanting and expecting everything to be easy.
All great achievements require time and work. Good things don’t come easy. And patience is the only way you can endure the grey periods.
When we want things to be easy, and expect them to be, we are inevitably disappointed. Our disappointment then motivates us to give up too soon. And the thing with giving up too soon is you never know. You never know whether you could have put in the effort and done something incredible with your life. I made changes because I was sick of not knowing. What about you?
Find the courage to do the hard things in life. The things no one else is doing. The things that frighten you. The things others can’t do for you. The things that make you question how much longer you can hold on and push forward. Because those are the things that define you. Those are the things that make the difference between existing and living – between knowing the path and walking the path – between a life of mediocrity and a life filled with happiness and success.
Yes, find the courage!
And remember, courage doesn’t always roar out load. Sometimes courage is simply the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering, “I will try again tomorrow.”
2. Shackling ourselves to what we already know.
We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it. When you stop learning you stop living a meaningful life. Life’s richness does not come from always residing within familiar and comfortable territory. It’s when you venture out away from the familiar that you grow stronger and more capable.
You must hold tightly to your core values while at the same time opening your heart and mind to new ideas, feelings and experiences. Your own perspective will become clearer when you look at things from different angles. Find ways to provide a healthy challenge to your current understanding of life, and you will discover and experience far more of life’s magic in the days ahead.
Bottom line: As long as you are breathing, you are just beginning. NOW is a new beginning. Don’t pretend like you’re stuck. You aren’t.
3. Comparing ourselves to everyone else, and then competing with them.
Let go of the foolish need to compare yourself to everyone else, and you’ll free yourself to accomplish what matters most to you. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you don’t have to always be and do what everyone else is being and doing.