When we focus our time and energy on conforming: maintaining the status quo, not rocking the boat, or neglecting to use our voice, we actually end up giving up so much of our power.
Have you ever wondered where you get your ideals and values from? Is there really safety in numbers? Do you get to be your best you by ensuring you’re just like everyone else?
The truth is…there is only one you. So trying to be like everyone else is actually a lot of work!
When is the last time you did something because that still small voice inside your head suggested you do it? Oftentimes we try to silence this voice. The one that knows you intimately and knows that if you were only doing xyz you would be so happy. You would be doing purposeful work that feeds your soul and makes you come alive. But then something happens. We start second guessing ourselves, letting our family members and friends tell us how “risky xyz is…” and how there’s, “no money in xyz,” or worse, you talk yourself out of taking one small step towards your dreams because you’re afraid that you might actually succeed. So you conform. You resign to a mediocre life and join the rest of the third of Americans who are unhappy with what they do day in and day out; but hey at least you can watch reality TV with the rest of them and continue wishing you were doing xyz.
Snap out of it! You can do xyz you can accomplish your dreams and I have great news! Unlike the road to conformity…someone once said, “there aint no traffic on the extra mile.”
You’re going to have to do the work. You’re going to get tired. You’re going to wonder what’s the point? At times you will be alone. It’s going to be challenging because hey, if it were easy…everyone would do it!
The path is there and it’s wide open for miles calling you home. You have a choice…conform or take the road less traveled?
I know my choice.
Last night, I got a phone call from one of my best friends. She asked me a simple question about one of my weekends and instead of talking about how awesome everything was (because it really was a fantastic weekend) in fact it was my favorite weekend of 2011 thus far… I chose to talk about the negative things that happened during the trip. This went on for about fifteen minutes or so…me complaining about how, “this person said this, and how that person didn’t do that, and can you believe so and so did this…” then when our conversation was over, I was exhausted.
I still had work to do for my day job (priority #1) and was itching to the great work on a special project that will be launching in September (more details on that later). This work…this special project, truly aligns with my passions and overall mission to inspire and motivate others to continue doing their best work and ironically…I couldn’t work on my contributions to the project because I was out of gas. I was too tired and had just enough energy to find my bed and go to sleep.
Lesson learned…complaining once to get something off of your chest is healthy; however, bringing up something you have already complained about and essentially should be buried is counterproductive to you having the energy to do your best work today. Dwelling on the past, especially negative things from the past will not get you anywhere, and my mission in life is to keep moving forward and do the work that truly matters. We can’t put a dent in the universe if we’re complaining about stuff that in the grand scheme of things…doesn’t really matter.
New Year’s Resolutions, vision boards, weight loss goals, new ventures, spiritual journeys, you name it. We’ve all set out to do something that will change us for the better. Something that will change our lives for the better and yet we over-commit ourselves and then wind up exactly where we started or sometimes even worse off than we were when we started. Why does this happen? Do we all seriously have a case of “excusitis?” (Thanks Dr. David Schwartz) – coming up with excuses as to why we can’t achieve our dreams?
Introducing…your accountability partner! He or she is supposed to have your back. You know…you check in with them when you’ve completed your workout, they annoy you when you haven’t made a blog post, or give you a dirty/concerned look when you choose the greasy pizza vs. the celery sticks with peanut butter. But then something happens…you both become too busy or concerned with your own project that you both are MIA and then reunite 90 days later to make similar promises to one another again.
Enter…your Mastermind Alliance. These are the folks (yourself included) that you have promised that you will always do your very best work in order to achieve your dreams. These are the people that collectively you’ve all ponied up a sizeable amount of cash to back your promises so you have some “skin in the game.” While I have not been a part of a Mastermind Alliance, as I skip blog posts, cheat on my wedding dress diet, and approach some work half-heartedly, I wonder if it’s time to assemble the alliance and put my money where my mouth is. Because one question has been echoing through my mind since yesterday’s church service…
“When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?” – Unknown