Every good thing comes from discomfort. A baby. A dream. A victory.
Discomfort and growth have always been locked in a dance. Our ancestors knew that without putting themselves in the line of danger, they’d starve to death.
Yet with every bite of the barbequed deer, they knew the momentary satisfaction was short-lived. Tomorrow would come, and they’d have to put themselves in danger. Again.
Notice a common theme here?
Nothing good comes from comfort. In fact, few things jerk our metaphorical knees like life’s harshest truths. If going further in life is a desire you nurture, you must embrace a few solid truths.
The power you forget you possess
We often overlook the power and control we possess to influence our lives. We take our cue from our childhood upbringing, societal trends, and the beliefs we pick up as we journey through life. In doing so, we limit how much we can grow and how far we can go.
When it comes down to it, no one can create your reality better than you because no one has the willpower, perspective, or even the knowledge to influence your life like you. Creating your own reality isn’t only effective when your life is going well.
It’s possible and more crucial when life throws you a curveball. The need to create and reframe your reality amidst the unpleasant external influences becomes more necessary then. A narrative is all you need in such moments. A story that acts as a soothing balm to your soul and one that helps you adjust your perspective.
Your story creates a shift in your mind. This differentiates the calm, happy and resolute folks from the squeaky wheels who can’t help themselves.
Ask yourself, which one are you?When you hit a wall, do you take a proactive or a reactive stance?
When a tribe of pessimists surrounds you, do you settle and blend in, or do you find ways of carving out your own path?
Never forget that the keys to a brand new you, a remarkable future, and a thriving relationship lie squarely in your hands. And it all starts when you create your new reality.
The only two types of people you must choose between
We’re social animals by design, as is evident from research by the psychology department at Brigham Young University, which reports that the mortality risk from loneliness equals that of smoking 15 cigarettes a day. However, in filing that gap, many of us are getting it wrong. We’re establishing relationships to fill the loneliness void instead of using them to improve ourselves.
I’m reminded of when my social circle was a tribe of toxic people. We gossiped and engaged in meaningless pursuits rather than propel each other. It feels good to stagnate in mindlessness until you wake up one day and realize you’ve wasted years you’ll never recoup.
That place where life feels bearable and constant is dangerous and crowded — friends are never in short supply. Here, you think you’re exactly where you need to be; only it’s a big fat lie. But take a walk further down, and life becomes less crowded because the path to improving yourself is rocky and lonely.
If you have to choose between people who make your life bearable and those who challenge you, choose the latter. They might not always tell you what you want to hear, they might dispute your ideals, and at times, you might doubt yourself for being allies, but ultimately, these tell-it-as-it-is folks are the right peeps for you.
A high-value woman once told me:
“Mentors are my compass. They open up windows in my mind that my friends can’t reach. They dish out feedback that’s painful to digest but which is crucial for my progress.”
In picking your tribe, don’t go for those who make life bearable. Choose those who kick you in the butt to get better. If this is hard, remember that in the self-development world, what’s bearable today will become unbearable tomorrow and what’s unbearable today will become enjoyable tomorrow.
The giant within you
An enormous tree stands in our backyard. At its base, sits a disheveled irrigation pipe that watered it when it was only a weak sapling. Its roots are now deep and wide enough to draw and retain water. The once weak and needy tree is now huge and home to thousands of organisms, hundreds of worms, and a very noisy crow who sings every day. Religiously.
An idea is a tree.
You give it life initially, tending to it with action, time and persistence until it gains its own power and transforms into a giant, standing taller and more powerful than the brain that birthed it. The most significant difference between people who move their lives forward and those who stagnate is the ability to hatch solid ideas.
Any idea that is held in the mind, that is emphasized, that is either feared or revered, will begin at once to cloth itself in the most convenient and appropriate form available.
Everything that exists was created twice, first in the mind, then the physical. Ideas are the starting points of all fortunes, personal freedom, and happiness. Great thought leaders, innovators, artists, and writers become impactful because they’ve learned to develop their creative capabilities.
Most people don’t know how to birth ideas because they don’t do original thinking. They don’t know how to think for themselves without mashing up the ideas of others. Until you see life through your own lenses, it’s impossible to create a phenomenal life. But when you develop the muscle to develop your own ideas, you’ll become authentic.
The paradox of life
Did you know that everything in life has more than one potential reality? There isn’t a guaranteed outcome to anything. No matter how adequately prepared you are, there’s always a slight chance that life could throw you a curveball. The most resilient ones among us aren’t those who expect everything to go according to plan.
They’re the ones who create the mental space for unpleasant surprises and are prepared to take the necessary action. Isn’t it funny how we set out to accomplish much in our lives yet forget that we’re in control no matter what happens? It all boils down to how you choose to view both sides of the coin.
There used to be a time when optimism was celebrated. Now, we give up easily and then adopt the stance, #keepingitreal. Honestly? We ain’t keeping nothin’ real. We’ve grown lazy, unwilling to pull ourselves up. Change is one mean beast. Staying positive is incredibly hard.
Who wants daily fights with Miss Negative Nancy, who lives in your mind? And yet, staying positive is the only way to change your situation when things go pear-shaped.
Everything you need to know
- You create your own reality because no one has the willpower, perspective, or knowledge to influence your life like you. Stop shaping your life according to what others have laid out for you.
- Learn to differentiate between people who make your life bearable and those who make it better.
- When you train yourself to do original thinking, you’ll strengthen your creative muscle and develop ideas that’ll change your life.
- Everything in life has more than one possible reality. What makes a significant difference is how you think.
This article first appeared on Medium.