The opposite of love is indifference, and the opposite of happiness is—here’s the clincher—boredom, said Tim Ferris
Let’s get up to speed.
Earlier this week I talked about the fact that all of us are somewhere on the Skill vs Challenge chart.
Knowing that can help you start thinking about the steps you can change to get life into your sweet spot.
I am getting to that.
Then I invited you to consider how people around you might be feeling.
Before I do I want to pick a fight with you.
Not even sorry.
It’s because I love you?
This one is for those of you in the Bored and Unmotivated / Bored and Overwhelmed, the lower half of the chart.
Lack of motivation and overwhelm are pretty easy to deal with.
I have written courses and recorded videos on it, and they work –
they are relatively straightforward to sort out if you actually want to.
The reason that’s harder is that it isn’t true.
The things I have done in my life that make me happy when I look back at them – were scary.
I had to get out of my depth.
Throw caution to the wind.
I didn’t know if they would end badly, be a total flop, be the wrong thing to do – or I would regret them.
I did them anyway, braced myself and cracked on.
That’s not showing off – I’m not saying that they were all 100% successful, but genuinely I don’t regret any of them.
Even the ones that were a bit of a failure were useful.
I tell you what I do regret:
Not taking a really amazing job that was offered to me once because I thought it would have disrupted my family too much.
Not going to be with my friend when his partner had died in the night, as I didn’t want to wake up my neighbour to come and sit with my daughter.
Not taking out the business loan I should have which would have saved me 3 years of earning the money slowly.
You’re not bored.
The fact that you’re reading this means that you definitely have internet access and you have at least some time to read things people write.
How many box sets have you watched in lockdown?
How many social media posts have you commented on – even got into debates with people?
How many games have you played?
You’re not bored – you have every entertainment, course and tutorial available to you 24 hours.
You could have learned a language, an instrument, taken a public speaking course, found the job of your dreams, streamlined the house, automated the shopping, bulk cooked and froze the basis of the next month’s dinners, got into ridiculously good shape, got the children into a system of helping around the house and skilled them up in how to look after themselves when they are older, started a business, written a book.
You really could have.
You’re not bored, unmotivated, lazy or rubbish.
Being scared is what stops us from growing, expanding, being ‘more’.
Your amygdala’s job is to keep you safe and not expending too much energy.
It’s why, when you’re walking or working out – it shows you the shortcuts, convinces you to give up – or not even start in the first place.
When you think ‘maybe I could…’ your amygdala will give you 100 reasons why you can’t.
That response is in that deep part of your subconscious and it feels like ‘scared’.
It thinks it’s protecting you but it’s wrong.
But what’s the solution?
Doing it anyway.
Overriding that instinct.
Not listening to it.
Clearly, if you are drunk texting your boss to call him an arsehole – then that’s different.
But if that thing you know you need to do
if you hate your job
if your house is a tip
if you put up with sh^t from people around you
if you regret wasting time on social media
That’s you, locked in a permanent battle with your protective instinct – and if you don’t brace yourself and push through it – it will win.
All people, but I find, women, in particular, have a very nasty internal voice.
One that speaks to them in a way you never would with anyone else.
If you heard someone talking to someone you love like that – you’d fly to their defence.
It talks you out of the things you need to do.
Even if you find you only have a few minutes to yourself a day it makes sure you use it to sabotage your goals and dissolve your willpower.
And it makes you blame yourself
“You’re not clever enough, people will make fun of you, you never stick at anything, you’re not up to it, you’ll never manage.”
The answer is doing it anyway.
Saying yes to things and doing them anyway.
Taking the opportunity.
Seizing the moment.
There ARE things you want in life – things you want to change.
If you don’t know what those are – then exploring what they could be is an act of ‘doing it anyway’.
If you’re going to be scared of anything –
be scared of being bored –
be scared of sitting in fear of growing.
because that genuinely is the opposite of happiness.
Once you have a goal, a project, a plan – however slowly you move towards it – and whether or not you succeed – it will make you happier.
Start the book, paint the painting, have your first lesson, do the research.
Take charge of Groundhog Day, even if it has to be squeezed in round the edges of the things you currently have to do, for now.
It will reignite you.
It will make you bolder.
It will make you better.
It will make you happier.
It will lift you out of the slump.
Give you a reason to get up in the morning, rather than waking up in dread of another day like yesterday.
If other people have done it – don’t be jealous – use that to know that it is absolutely possible.
If you think you haven’t got what it takes – surprise yourself – or learn the things you need.
It’s only by taking action that the good things happen,
there is literally nothing to lose
but the fear.
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