I’ve been reading a lot of productivity books, listening to plenty of TED talks and podcasts, and there is a topic that comes up again and again that I never really thought would apply to my life until recently. I’m talking about people around you not being “in your corner” when it comes to you making major changes in your life.
I kept the fact that I was seeing a life coach pretty close to my chest at first. I believe that not talking about certain things is one of the most undervalued strategies to living a good life. I’m not saying don’t share stuff. Definitely share stuff. But be intentional about it. Run it through your head a few times, and once you are definitely sure you want to tell people, then tell them. I know sometimes I have shared stuff, and then afterwards I think, “hmm…if I could, I would have taken that back.” But of course you can’t.
I have told my family about these changes, about how excited it makes me when I look at the progress I have made, about how every night I am pumped for the day to come because that means that I get to take another few steps towards the life I deserve. I talk to them about how I feel like I had been sleep walking for the last 15 years. That life is what you make it. Sit back and let it give you what it wants and you won’t get much. Or chase it everyday demanding it give you what you want and you’ll have fun. That at the end of the day life is just an incredibly fun game.
But here is the problem I have found myself running into. No one around me is doing the work they can’t not do or living the life they can’t not live. They are all “working for the weekend” or “for the vacation.” And when you tell them, “Man, this life is just too short to not be excited for Mondays. We are living in a time when we can do anything we want and make a damn good living doing it!” or “I don’t want to watch other guys getting everything they want all while having fun and helping others while I watch from the sidelines, I want to be that guy helping people! I can be that guy!, you are essentially pointing out the fact that they are living passively. They are sleepwalking. People don’t enjoy looking this truth in the eye. Especially when they didn’t seek that truth out, you kinda just dropped it in their lap.
So when I talk to my real estate developer/consultant dad about this stuff, who has got dragged through the mud for the last 8 years, who works in real estate because that’s what he chose to do 30 years ago, not because he wants to. When I talk to him about how we can have anything we want, anything, just as long as we truly believe we can, and to look at failure, as Maria Popva puts it so eloquently (as she always does), “not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.” He looks at me like, “this Utopian optimism makes me sick.”
The answer I have come to is this. Don’t bring up these topics with people who are not on the same mental wavelength as you. Instead let them be the ones who bring it up. And they inevitably will. Because your life will start to transform so long as you never relent the chase. This has already started in my life. My sister has shared with me that she is interested in seeing a life coach because she says the energy with which I talk about the possibilities that life has in store for us is infectious. The quality of your life will speak volumes more than your words could ever do.
It’s funny. When your life looks like everyone else’s they all think you’re crazy. When your life looks exponentially better than everyone else around you they tend to start listening. Evidence persuades.