Nov 24, 2008
What To Do When You Decide To Stop Settling For Less In Your Life
If you’re dissatisfied with an area of your life, what are you going to do about it today?
On any given day you wake up, rub the sleep from your eyes, and make a decision to do one of two things:
- You decide to live passively, doing the things that keep you exactly in the same place you are now, reinforce a victim mentality, and leave you wishing for more, or,
- You decide to live purposefully, taking multiple actions during the day that make you a stronger person, advance your goals, and make you happier.
Every day, you choose one of these options, whether you do it consciously or unconsciously (in which case you’ve chosen the first option by default). You don’t get “not to choose” – you’re part of the game whether you like it or not.
The only question is, whose rules have you decided to play by? Rules someone else is making you follow, simply because you think there aren’t any options, or that you don’t have the power to do more, be more, and experience more? Or have you decided that you’re going to make your own rules, live life on your own terms, and create the circumstances that you want in your life?
That’s the question you need to ask yourself right now. How are you going to live out the rest of your day?
- Passively, crying “I’m a victim,” and staying right where you are? Or
- Purposefully, declaring “I’m worth more than this,” and taking action today to move even one step forward, no matter the odds?
What are you going to do today? I hope you’ve decided. Otherwise, you get the default choice of letting life, the world in general, and people who don’t have your best interests at heart decide just how much life you’re allowed to have today (and it’s unlikely to be a generous portion).
What are you going to do today? If you haven’t made a decision for today, you need to do it now.
Living Passively Leads To Depression
We’ve all experienced what it’s like to live passively, to tread water and feel like there’s no clawing our way out of the hole we’re in. Maybe you’re feeling that way right now, and it makes you feel weak or stupid or somehow “less than.” It’s important to be aware of how living passively feeds those feelings of inadequacy, and how it’s actually making you depressed.
If you honestly feel that life isn’t going to get any better and that you have no real power to change your situation, it’s perfectly natural to feel depressed. It’s the logical progression. It’s not something to feel stupid about any more than you should feel emotionally responsible for the house getting cold in winter if the fireplace is neglected. If there’s no fuel being added to the fire, those warm embers will turn to cold ash.
You’re not stupid or weak because the fire’s going out. It’s just happening, because on some level, you’re allowing it to happen either from inaction or taking actions that aren’t the right ones to get that fire going. You may be putting in 100% of your best effort hauling the heavy, wet logs you have around you into the fire, but that damp tinder isn’t going to burn. You’re not stupid or weak, you’re just in a spot where what you’re doing isn’t working.
Maybe that’s how you’re feeling. Let’s talk about adding the right kind of fuel to that fire.
Living Purposefully Leads To Relief
Living purposefully is like adding fresh, dry wood onto the fire and watching it burn. It takes some work, but you get to enjoy the results of that flame, warming your sense of self and having your eyes reflect each satisfying spark.
When you live purposefully, you decide to rise above what life seems to be giving you and you decide you’re going to take more out of it, either from stepping out and simply experiencing more or by beginning to build the circumstances you want. And both of those actions begin feeding your sense of personal power, of self-worth, and of hope for the future. Even if you’re only taking the smallest of actions to change things, if you’re taking them on a daily basis it’s like adding kindling to the fire and keeping it active.
Taking action creates a massive power shift where control shifts to your hands, and when you’re in control, you feel better about your situation. You feel that blessed relief you’ve been looking for. You know what you want in life, what you want to be all about, and you have a clear finish line to start working from. Having a purpose – a true, motivating, energizing purpose – is a game-changing advantage which opens the door to the richly satisfying life you’re really after.
So the question is, what do you have worth living for? What is it that you’ve consciously decided will drive you on a daily basis to shake off the shackles, fight against the habits that hold you back and demand more out of this life you’ve been given?
I don’t expect you to answer that now. Most of us don’t think about purpose much – or maybe we do, but we think about what we wish our purpose was, “if only things were different.” Instead, we should be focusing on how we’re not willing to settle for less than living that purpose, that meaningful life, no matter how much internal or external resistance we’re facing.
What To Do When You Decide To Stop Settling
When you’ve made the decision to live a life that’s more than what you’re experiencing now, you’ve got an uphill climb ahead of you – but the view from up there is nothing short of amazing. I’m going to lay out some ideas that will help make that climb easier and help make sure you’re going in the right direction, but you’ve got to pay attention if you want to come along for the ride.
Your first step is coming in the next post, where you’ll hear about a 15-minute exercise that can help you get incredible clarity about what will make you happy and lead to a more satisfying life. There will be a worksheet you can download and a full set of instructions, and it will be free. But you’ve got to pay attention so that this doesn’t fall to the wayside or get put on the back burner.
And the way to pay attention is to subscribe to my newsletter, which will be making the shift this week from a time-management/success tips newsletter to a full-out, kick your ass on a weekly basis newsletter that doesn’t pull a single punch. If you’re already subscribed, no worries – you’re all set. If you’re not, now’s the time to subscribe.
I hope you’re ready to stop settling. I’ve been focused on this all year and the results have been incredible. I’ve still got quite a climb ahead of me, but the going’s always easier when you have some friends along. Join me and the 1,000+ people subscribed to my newsletter and let’s get started on creating the circumstances you really want.
Thanks for reading, and here’s to making the decision to stop settling for less, and to start changing your life.