My mother is blissfully unaware of her genius.
A woman who managed to pull herself up from a junior government officer, to becoming a senior official in her ministry, travelling to more countries than I can count and virtually changing our lives, is certainly an individual who must be put up as a case study!
… and I am not just saying this because she is my mother!
The stories she tells me about her rise really should be documented.
I asked her once, while sitting next to her in her living room this question:
“What is it that made you take those incredible risks, even when they seemed impossible to explore?”
She responded, “Makena, my cause was greater than my fears.”
Her words resonated with me for a while.
But as time went on, I started to really unpack that statement.
“It had to be more than just getting over fear…” I thought.'
Your Life Will Change Because Of One Thing
So I continued asking her questions about the life she created while she was employed, and the even more remarkable life she has architected for herself after retirement.
One thing she kept reminding me was that she always put her ego aside when it comes to going after the things she wants.
She has no problem with having the courage to ask the “gatekeepers” for what she needs.
She has no deep hang-ups about rejection…
She has absolutely no problem asking for help.
Most importantly, she told me she welcomes criticism, especially from those who had already done what she had the desire to go after.
Immediately, a bulb went off in my head!
And this is why I write this article to you.
The Single-Most Powerful Way To Change Your Life:
I could write a plethora of tips on how to change the circumstances of your life, but you know them all…
Perseverance, self-discipline, hard work, focus, etcetera, etcetera…
But I believe when you master this one crucial thing, you will be well on your way to experiencing the most incredible year you have ever had.
In order to dramatically change our lives, we will have to change our relationship with discomfort.
I say “we” because I am including myself in this lesson that I am yet to learn.
In some degree, we are influenced by how uncomfortable certain situations make us, and because of this, we do our best to avoid them like the plague.
We are afraid of being alone, being rejected, falling flat on our faces and looking stupid, because we simply don’t want to be seen in a certain way.
Little do we realize that it is these uncomfortable and sometimes unbearable situations that force us to expand and evolve.
You may be aware of this world renowned Buddhist by the name of Thich Nhat Hanh…
In his book, “You Are Here,” he speaks about garbage and flowers...
“If a flower can become garbage,” Thich Nhat Hanh explains, “then garbage can become flowers. The flower does not consider garbage as an enemy or panic when becoming garbage, nor does the garbage become depressed and view the flower as an enemy. They realize the nature of interbeing. In Buddhist therapy we preserve the garbage within ourselves. We do not want to throw it out because if we do, we have nothing left with which to make our flowers grow.”
We have this thing in our society where we are deathly afraid of what could go wrong.
No system we have been indoctrinated into teaches the good in any failed or negative experience we go through.
Growing up, we were always taught about the blueprint, the success, the dream, but we were never ever taught about how to handle the discomfort, the disappointment and anguish when the dream, the blueprint, the plan does not work.
No wonder so many of us cling to a dream that went bust.
We’d rather continue to suffer and even die in a state that is familiar and comfortable, no matter how toxic it may be, than venture into a new possibility of what is out there, because it is untethered, virgin territory.
My mother’s success was because of her decision to put herself in uncomfortable situations, take that leap, ask, and be at peace with the outcome.
Here’s How To Change Your Life This Year
You’ve likely come into the year with a lot of optimism and hope that 2020 will be better than 2019.
I have too… it is human nature!
But it is almost robotic, how we fall right back into the same routines we left behind after the holidays.
Going back to your job, business, hustle…
Getting your children ready for school…
You settle back into the reality of the responsibilities you must deal with, and all of a sudden, those resolutions you made, the possibility of considering new opportunities, suddenly disappears into thin air!
It’s back to reality, right?
Or is it?
I’m not here to lecture you about stuff you already know.
It should never go unacknowledged the genuine strides you have made in your life, the difficult risks you have taken to get to where you are now.
And perhaps you are now exhausted, overwhelmed, and at your wits end, wondering how you can make any kind of progress in a world that is constantly spelling gloom and doom in every piece of information that you consume through the media.
I have no other advice for you, other than the one you don’t want to hear…
We have to start being okay with the fact that we will be confronted with things going wrong.
We have to have the courage to say “this is part of the process and this does not define me.”
Have that uncomfortable conversation with your spouse
Make that uncomfortable decision that you know will hurt, but in the long run, will be for the best choice for your future
Commit to the fact that it is time to change some daily routines that have become so destructive that they are keeping you from making any progress in your life
Become determined to delaying immediate gratification, no matter how the discomfort, because ultimately you have a plan you’ve created and are dedicated to sticking to.
Over to you!
What are the discomforts in your life, the hurdles, the painful situations that you are going to work on this year, simply because you want to have a completely different year than you did last year?
Do share your thoughts and comments below!