We have all experienced that feeling of nervous anticipation when you are bumbling, stumbling, and tumbling on the edge of something good, trying to find your way to the other side. Listening to that feeling will change your life. That feeling, which arises deep inside, tells you when you’re embarking upon a life change or new challenge. Your stomach flips and feels like it’s going to burst through your skin. Your mind argues with itself on the correct action to take. Did you make the wrong decision? Have you screwed up? What made you think you could do this?

This feeling can gnaw at you for days, or months, and give you a sinking sensation that just leave. You are not experiencing pain, but the realization that something is off, coupled with a sense of vulnerability and slight timidness at trying something new. After all, you could screw up and look like an absolute idiot. Or, you could succeed and look like a genius. Until that gets sorted out, though, the tension between the two is almost unbearable.

The acceptance of chaos and things which are both fuzzy and outside your control requires mental stamina. You will try to convince yourself to give up. You will fear the unknown, and worry that you have misjudged your situation or made a poor decision. But do not give in. This feeling of unease means you are just starting to get things right. This feeling serves as a guide to let you know that the path you are on is the right path.

Nothing worth having is easy, and everything of value requires hard work to get and keep. That feeling of slight discomfort, which tells you only that you are straying from your usual actions, can be so powerful that you will shun action in exchange for the mediocrity of a comfortable life. If you desire something more for yourself, and also know you deserve more, than get comfortable right now with being uncomfortable.

Life Changes

If you are not pushing yourself to the point of discomfort than you are not living up to who you can be as a man or woman. We get scared of pinch points, mistakenly believing that if it hurts it’s bad. While that advice served us well as children, that thinking is horrible for adults. In addition to pain meaning bad, pain can also mean that something is worth it.

I assure you I am not a masochist, and you definitely won’t hear me tell you to charge towards every obstacle you can see just because the obstacle is the way. Discomfort, however; has a way of tempering us and making us better than we thought we could be. Sometimes, the path to success requires only that you do not give up.

While this appears simple, finding the power to stay when you want to walk away might be one of the most difficult tests you face. We live in a world of unparalleled privilege, and having access to what we want when we want it means that we don’t often go without. We are a resource spending culture conditioned to receive what we want.

Enduring that feeling of apprehension requires banking satisfaction for later. In fact, that scenario can be downright scary. You are deciding to believe that tomorrow is going to be better than today, and trust your judgment in the situation. Who can honestly say they haven’t looked at tomorrow as a blight instead of a gift now and again? Who can say that they have never encountered a time when their self-trust was diminished?

And yet, when we are uncertain is when we most need to trust our judgment and believe that only we know what is best for ourselves. In that moment when we want to stray we must stay the course because we are close to something really good.

Stay and you will outgrow yourself, finding a reality which may or may not be as expected. But, one thing is certain. Your new reality certainly isn’t as scary as you thought it would be. Maybe one day you will even learn to enjoy the nervous anticipation of charging towards an unknown, and see opportunity as a chance to up your game.

I don’t watch the news on t.v. I don’t read the newspaper, online, or a hard copy. I know almost nothing about current events beyond the small bits of information I glean from conversations. I am not trying to be ignorant, I am trying to surround myself with positivity, and our modern news is not at all about that. So, I put myself on an information diet. I worked to control the input of information in to my life. Maybe I am ignorantly happy, or maybe we already have enough negativity in the world without me adding to it.

Have you noticed how much negativity there is in the world? This is easy to see in the way people speak, and their use of limiting phrases like “I don’t care,” or “it doesn’t matter.” The focus right now is on what cannot be achieved, not what can be done. I don’t know, maybe people are bombarded by so many distractions and so much negativity in the media that they have been conditioned to think with limitations. Or maybe, we have become discouraged by the state of the world. We expected hover boards and floating cars and we got Instagram.

Regardless of the negativity, being a force for good means giving more than you get every single day. That is it. Nothing complicated. Just give to others, and you will be surprised to find how much you get in return even when you give without expectations.

Give More Than You Get

There is a pervading idea that if you do not get something from helping another than it isn’t worth the time. This, “what’s in it for me?” concept dictates that every action you take needs to benefit you. Doing good for the sake of doing good is lost to playing angles, looking for deals, and seeing how you can leverage the struggles of others for your own gain.

The irony of this, is that by doing the right thing without expectation of anything in return you usually receive greater gains. But, sometimes shortsightedness makes us look at what is directly in front of us. What are we going to gain right now, instead of, how can I help?

Why Giving Matters

Doing good is a personal choice, and I am not telling you to go out of your way to help others. If you don’t see the value in it, then do not do it.

But, from experience I can tell you that helping others often brings unintended rewards. What is more, these rewards mean more because they come unexpected, not at the expense of someone who needs help.

Giving actually creates value for yourself and others.

The other fear many people have is job security, or decreasing one’s value by helping others succeed. There is a worry that by helping someone gain new, valuable skills to get ahead, by giving away “trade secrets,” or by teaching someone how to win you cut yourself off at the knees.

I have never had this happen to me. In fact, the opposite has always occurred. Not only do I learn from giving to others and doing good, about myself and about being a better leader, person, mentor, and coach, but I become more valuable to others. My indispensability increases, not decreases. Giving actually creates value for yourself and others.

Investing In Doing Good

Finally, giving lets people know that you are playing a long game. You are investing in yourself and others. Instead of finding and taking any shortcut or quick and easy route, you are playing for keeps.

This means you already know and understand that shortcuts only get you so far and that at some point you need to invest in good values. People want to work with those that do the right thing, because doing good business, making good money, partaking in good actions, means that you can be trusted to do right when things come to a head. Because they will.

Not everything will go as planned, and when those unexpected situations occur people will seek out role models to discover how they should respond. Being a force for good, instead of spreading darkness, will make you that person. Living a life as a force of good all starts with giving more than you get. Give without expectation of anything in return because things will work out just fine in the end.