“The secret of success is to be in harmony with existence, to be always calm…to let each wave of life wash us a little farther up the shore.”—Cyril Connolly
It seems that everything we do is either producing or consuming. When we work, we are producing goods or services that contribute to the welfare of others. When we play, we consume goods and services produced by others. Money flows in and out, whether we are producing or consuming.
I remember reading a Psychology Today article long ago that compared producing and consuming in a primitive jungle tribe with our modern day society. The primitive tribe spent far fewer hours producing: The men hunted and fished, the women gathered or raised some fruits and vegetables and took care of the children. Other time was spent making huts, jewelry, baskets, etc. Consuming consisted of eating meals and trading objects. Most of these activities were performed in a slow, easy, relaxed manner; the exception being hunting, which necessitated some edge of quick tension when capturing wild game. Once the producing chores were done, the rest of the day was spent in an activity that was neither producing nor consuming: Doing nothing. An alien concept in our modern world.
Think about it. How much time do you spent doing nothing? Neither producing nor consuming? We work longer hours at our jobs than ever before, taking it home with us evenings and weekends, when we travel—even on vacations. We think about our work, talk about our work, read about work. Then when we are at leisure, we consume: We shop, we eat (if we prepare the food ourselves we are producing and consuming), we watch TV, movies, plays, concerts. What is doing nothing, anyway?
Much has been written about how out of balance we are as a society, to be so driven by work, so into the mode of production that we feel guilty if we aren’t doing something useful. Is it any wonder that we try to balance the scales by overdoing our consumption as well? Our workaholicism feeds its counterbalance: Rampant consumerism. We shop as a leisure activity, not from need.
The primitive societies had many hours of leisure time each day to relax, to do nothing. To sit by the fire and play with their children. To talk with each other. To dream. To think. To breathe. To be. A human being instead of a human doing.
We have more creature comforts than they. But the price is all the time spent producing so we can consume. We have lost relaxation as a normal part of every day. A big part of every day. Can you imagine slowing your pace? Taking back some of your leisure? If you can’t do a whole day, start slower—block out an hour. And do nothing.
“I am at peace, cherishing the abundance of life.”
Thanks to my good friend and fellow coach Curt Gorlick for today’s terrific article. I know I have an inner Saboteur – I call her Demon Chellie. Who’s yours?
Why Don’t You Act on What You Say You Want?
I’d like to introduce you to that little voice in your head. While these voices are called different things by different people, I choose to call them “The Saboteur.” The Saboteur is what keeps most people stuck from getting what they want in life. Maybe you have more than one.
These little voices are in each and every one of us. You know the voices I’m talking about. Here are a few examples of what you may be hearing from them inside your head right now.
“I’m not good enough for….”
“I’m not smart enough to…”
“I don’t deserve…”
“I can’t find anyone who would want me.”
“Every time I try something new, I fail.”
Stop and listen. What are your voices are saying?
When you start to really listen to your voices, stop and write down what you hear. Read them back to yourself. Really think about what is being said inside your head. Chances are you’ll begin to realize that most of them really aren’t true at all. They are just stories that you heard growing up or that you made up in your mind.
The primary job of The Saboteur’s little voices is to keep you stuck where you are. They keep you inside your comfort zone – or your status quo. You might not realize it but those voices are at work 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. So, whether you hear them or not, they are always at work right there in your subconscious mind.
Many people ask…
“If things in my life are not going well and I want to make changes, why in the world would those voices want to keep me from getting what I want?”
That is a great question!
Here’s the short answer. What you’re feeling and living on a daily basis right now is familiar to you. You know what to expect. Even though you want something better for yourself, you know what your life looks and feels like today, and you know that you can expect it to be the same tomorrow and into the future. There are no unknowns to your status quo. You feel safe where you are – even though it’s not what you want it to be.
When it comes to change, it’s one thing to talk about it and another to actually take the actions needed to make change. There is a whole process and dance that goes on with your conscious and subconscious mind in this area.
This information is so important to know because once you’re in touch with your Saboteur, then you’ll be aware of who is making your life choices for you. Then ou can take action.
There are many ways to deal with and quiet down those voices that keep you stuck. Once you are tuned into the process for dealing with them, then change will happen and you’ll be on your way to living the life you want.
Here are a few Tips to break the barriers that keep you stuck.
– Be aware of what your Saboteur is saying when you get a new idea or you want to try something new.
– Recognize that your Saboteur is not You. Its only job is to keep you in the status quo.
– Give your Saboteur a name and a visual presence.
– When you’re ready to take action on something you really want to do and you find yourself hesitating, say something to your Saboteur like, “Ok, go sit in the corning and be quiet for an hour while I get this done.”
– Your little voices are most loud when you are not taking action. That’s exactly what your Saboteur wants. As soon as you start taking action those voices will get softer and softer to where you won’t hear them while you’re taking action.
Give these tips a try, they really work! Here’s to your best life!
Known as the “Life Choice Strategist” Curt Gorlick is an expert coach on mindset and successful life skill strategies. With his thought provoking questions, success tools and resources, Curt breaks down barriers that keep people stuck from living the life they truly want. Curt had gone through very difficult times and now lives the life he loves. By way of coaching, writing and speaking he helps others live the life they want. Learn more and connect with Curt at http://Frustration2Fulfillment.com.