Happy Monday, or whatever Monday you choose.
This week we are looking at energy. Last week we discussed the consequences of our actions. Many times the circumstances in our life happen because we are not in balance. We want more so we put in more hours, and we sacrifice sleep, or exercise, or family, and we end up deeply unhappy and resentful. “It’s just not fair.” Welcome to the real world. Life drops you off on a random street corner and gives you a map and leaves you to fend for yourself. There are so many choices that it may be difficult to choose a destination. Alternatively, you may have an endpoint in mind, but you see many obstacles on the map. There are many locked doors, and dark alleys, and strangers you can meet along the way. Whom can you trust? Most people like to plan their route most efficiently and logically. We worship at the altar of reason. If we base all decisions on logic alone, why do we have feelings? If your company is losing money and salaries are the most significant expenditure, it is rational to lay off people. However, if you bring emotion into the picture, you realize they are people who are depending on that job. You may decide to trim back on other expenses or recognize that you need to improve or change your product. If we go back to our map analogy, sometimes we see that there is a different way, but it takes a little longer to get to our destination.
But, and there is always a but – we are raised to stay on the straight and narrow. Keep that mask in place. We are afraid to take the risk of showing our “true” selves. Meanwhile, we suffer from stomach troubles, or insomnia, or a host of other problems because of the stress of living a double life. We think our true self is “ugly” and fear rejection. I had a co-worker fail to follow policy because they thought the customer would be upset at them. We did a role play. The outcome was the same, but my colleague learned that the world did not fall apart. There are many things that we dream of doing, but we never pursued it because it appears reckless. We want to be gatherers and keep safe in our neighborhood. Hunters explore the map and try and figure out all the shortcuts or ways to reroute if the road forward is blocked. Now and then a good adventure is a cure for common sense. We want to live an uncommon life.
It is scary to think about making the wrong choice. What we think about the so-called wrong decision is probably more frightening than the outcome of the actual selection. I know I said to take off the mask, but sometimes we also have to fake it until we make it. Fake the courage. Fake the bravado. Be your knight in shining armor. Sometimes we hold on to our worldview so firmly that we do not realize that we are trapped in the prison of our belief. Sometimes we feel that we are entitled to certain things because of how hard we worked. If it is not the right thing, then you are investing where you will not see the returns. I worked very hard to meet specific goals. Did it get me the recognition I thought I deserved? No. I learned that I was putting my effort into the wrong things and I needed to break out of my comfort zone and try a different way to accomplish the goal. I had to be vulnerable, rely on others, and have the skills to convince them that this was a good investment of time. Just in case you wondered, I am hitting those goals with much less effort.
What’s next? You may get hurt. You may get bloody. You may want to scream your head off. That’s okay. After you are done patching yourself up, and you have finished freaking out, think about that experience. What have you learned? What have you not learned that you need to learn? What did you expect to happen? What can you do when things do not turn out as planned? Notice how you got to your current destination. Make notes on that map and get ready to explore and continue on your journey. If you are not satisfied with where you are, it is up to you to make that change. I do not know the direction that you are going to choose, but go ahead and take that first step.
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