Summary: Make conscious choices and stop kidding yourself. If you really want something, then you’ll find a way, instead of looking for an excuse.
Do you know that feeling, when you wake up in the morning and you realise that it’s the last day of your working week? You get up lazily, but still driven by the motivation that once you get through this day, you will finally be able to forget about work, university or whatever you’re doing from Monday to Friday. Sounds familiar?
Let’s ignore the physical fatigue after an intensive week and focus on the mental side of things. I’m guessing that you’re not really that fond of your job. I don’t know how you ended up in your current workplace and how you justify it to yourself – ‘I need money’, ‘there are no other places to work at’, ‘it’s so difficult to find a job right now’, ‘it’s only a job, it’s not my life’ etc. Most likely these excuses cover up the real reasons holding you back and still keeping you in that job of yours – most often it’s just fear.
If you’re a smoker and you start every cigarette with ‘I should quit, I know, but I can’t’, then just stop smoking! But if you really don’t want to quit, then stop whining and enjoy that cigarette like it was the best thing that has ever happened to you (even if subconsciously it’s an equivalent of your mother’s nipple).
If you wake up on a Saturday morning covered with your own vomit and a headache the size of that girl’s arse from yesterday evening and you remember being in the same situation two weeks ago and telling yourself ‘never again’ – why would you do that to yourself? Being honest with yourself is kind of the beginning of a beautiful relationship with yourself that you have probably never truly experienced.
And the same thing applies to other contexts. Eating three cheeseburgers while gulping Diet Coke and telling yourself ‘I wish I could eat healthy’, watching tv and thinking ‘I’m actually wasting time now’ or waking up in the morning with an internal voice saying ‘fuck, I have to go to work again’. It’s all the same – you’re just finding excuses, because you probably fear taking responsibility for your own life. Your own life!
You probably know this acronym, but I’ll explain it anyway:
Just F**king DO It.
If you’re waking up in the morning with a weltschmerz and you can’t stop thinking about how you hate your job, you have only two healthy choices (healthy for your body and mind): quit that job or change your attitude. Everything else will impede your life and results. If you hate your job, you won’t be as good at it as the person at the desk next to you who lives and breathes it. And you will always experience that Friday feeling. Guess what – I really enjoy my job and on Friday morning, although I’m quite tired, I still have the energy and the smile to wake up and say ‘here I come again to make a difference’. It’s a great feeling and I can only recommend it. You won’t be able to experience it unless you start responding JFDI to your own excuses.
You will ALWAYS find an excuse. We’re sooooo fantastically creative when it comes to excuses – maybe it’s actually worth channeling that creativity and directing it at e.g. coming up with innovative ways how to impress your dream employer? I wonder how many excuses you thought about after having read the previous sentence.
If you want to eat healthy, JFDI. I know, you don’t have time for preparing the food, you don’t like veg etc. But if you really want to eat healthy, you will find a way. Otherwise, stop wasting your own time and just enjoy that crap you’re eating. But really enjoy it, don’t just devour it and think ‘I shouldn’t have done that’!
If you want to start going to the gym – JFDI. If not – don’t! Just stop kidding yourself with ‘from tomorrow I’m going to be at the gym 8 times a week, I promise’. If you hate your job and you want a change – JFDI. Make that step and it will be the best thing that could happen to you, trust me.
Also, instead thinking about FEAR, give yourself a chance to experience that fear. Don’t ignore it – it’s an integral part of being a human, just experience it without actually identifying yourself with it. Instead saying ‘I’m scared’, start saying ‘I’m experiencing fear’ and watch it go away. You can do it with different other feelings that aren’t really helping you – ‘I’m experiencing stress’ etc. Translating those emotional states into more neutral statements gives you a chance to change your reaction. That’s what it often comes down to: you see a neutral situation, you react to it and you then associate your reaction with that situation. That’s why when other people react differently, you can’t really understand how they do that. A spider is an animal, an object. Your reaction to it is your choice. Between a stimulus and reaction there are milliseconds that can be used to choose the reaction that will be of benefit to yourself. Train yourself in choosing the beneficial reaction. Be aware that you have a choice and take the responsibility for that. Interestingly enough, sometimes your reaction is not even your own, but it’s your mother’s or father’s that you just subconsciously repeat. But maybe we’ll focus on that some other time.
And remember: every day can be a Friday. You can feel grateful for your life – it’s only a matter of choice.