“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” – Hunter S. Thompson
So, you have gone all the way through the education system, making plans and preparing yourself to live the life you deserve. After all, when you graduate from college, you will be an adult, with a monthly paycheck and a chance to turn all your plans into reality.
But there is something that 9-to-5-ers do not expect, and that is the everyday routine that can easily make one slip into unconsciousness. You have everything you thought you needed and do not feel miserable. Still, the feeling of fulfillment is missing.
Welcome to the comfort zone.
Adults are remarkable rationalizers, but by rationalizing we often create success barriers for ourselves. Why do we avoid taking action to make our lives better? Some of us blame the time we live in, because, somehow, life was more simple a decade or two ago. No, it was more simple, because every generation of people had to struggle with its own time as we do today.
Whatever reasons may be for slipping into a comfort zone, the thing is that it is hard to step out of it.
What is the worst thing that can happen? You can fail, and failure is something that you can deal with and overcome
“The very first company I started failed with a great bang. The second one failed a little bit less, but still failed. The third one, you know, proper failed, but it was kind of okay. I recovered quickly. Number four almost didn’t fail. It still didn’t really feel great, but it did okay. Number five was PayPal.” – Max Levchin, former CTO of PayPal.
The decision to change your life and start working on yourself is the first and most important step. It is a decision that you must bring yourself and cannot be imposed by an external factor. The journey begins within you. Eradicate the life disappointment and slay the numbness. Let’s answer the most crucial and powerful coaching questions, so to make discomfort feel comfortable.
1. It all depends on you
Do you easily get angry, anxious or nervous when someone abruptly cuts your path while driving? Or when the guy at your favorite fast-food joint mistakenly puts mayonnaise (which you hate) in your sandwich?
This means that you draw your emotional state from external circumstances, instead of generating it yourself. In life, you should be a player, not a spectator. The one person that is responsible for your happiness is – you. Do not let the environment dictate your mood. Once you realize this, new perspectives are going to start opening for you, like pages of a book on a windy day.
2. Dealing with your ego
“Only a life lived in a certain spirit is worth living. It is a remarkable fact that a life lived entirely from the ego is dull not only for the person himself but for all concerned.” – Carl Gustav Jung, from “Spirit and Life” (1926).
The ego is where the conscious awareness lives, but not all of his operations are conscious. It helps us organize our thoughts, separate what is real and makes sense of the world around us.
The biggest mistake is to think that you do not have an ego. It was created early in your childhood and can be perceived as a kind of a mask. One creates and develops it by finding the traits that differentiate one from others, and focusing on those differences. The ego is: people’s opinions and rationalizations about you, logical evidence about you, and comparisons you make with other people.
It is a false construct that you yourself made without knowing it.
The ego serves as a shield. The first time you got hurt by someone’s insult or judgment that affected you deeply, the ego stepped in and fixed it by filling the holes of self esteem. It helped you overcome the situation and retain your confidence.
Do not try to get rid of the ego. It is a part of your personality, and can be crucial as a protective shield in certain situations. The world we live in is not as tender as we might wish it was. Getting rid of the ego is not the same as letting it go. When you recognize your true nature, you will stop identifying with it and automatically start letting go of it. Recognizing the ego as an unreal and impermanent pattern will break the process of identification with it.
3. Start living in the present
We cannot change the past or predict the future. To lament over past choices or events is, thus, quite unnecessary, while trying to reach and see into future circumstances will only make you overly anxious. Learn how to reduce the intensity of your internal chatter.
It will always persist in the mind of an intellectual human being, but the funny thing about it is that it has no end. Try to remove all external influences and seek tranquility from within. Turn off your phone and computer, and just take 15 minutes to sit, breathe deeply and focus on your breath. You are here and now.
4. Believe in yourself
As a child, we all had indispensable amounts of self esteem. The concept is hard or even impossible to explain, but what we do know is that self esteem is built through actions. Whenever you challenge yourself (that is, whenever you step out of the aforementioned comfort zone), the self esteem grows.
It is a self-sustaining mechanism, and is based on the feeling of oneness. Stop identifying with your action’s results and simply feel good by the very actions you perform. Push and challenge yourself, fail, make mistakes, learn and move on. It is the only way to grow and gain more confidence.
5. Walk your own path
“If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.” – Frank Zappa.
Who chose the path you are walking right now? Do not just work to collect the paycheck, but make your life worth living and find your purpose. You are the one who defines it. When you find it, stick to it and use positive and negative emotions about it as your guide.
Nowadays, everything is fast-paced. People want everything at the moment they think of it. However, personal growth and development takes time. It is a hard and sometimes a seemingly never-ending process.Thus, some people simply give up on it, and rather choose to stay in their comfort zones. The fact is that you must be persistent, become process oriented and focused on taking action. Mind the results, they are momentary. Take all the joy you can from each moment that you live through.