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.

Doors are portals to new challenges. But what lies on the other side is the unknown that scares us. Will we open to something positive or negative? Doors are a funny thing. They offer protection, and keep out the bad people from our little worlds. We feel safer behind a locked door, and there is something peaceful about closing out the outside world. This is especially true after a difficult day, or series of days, where we can feel the satisfaction of closing the door on the day and starting over tomorrow.

Doors can also prevent us from seeing the world. We close out the bad things and also close out the good. Doors are solid. That is their safety inducing quality. But, in their solidness they also prevent the good things from coming through too.

Door control who or what enters our world. If we do not want to answer an unknown knock and see what lies on the other side we do not have to. Or we can. The choice to see what is on the other side of that hunk of wood or metal is in our power, and usually dependent on our mood, feeling, self speak, or desires.

When we open that door we meet the most interesting characters. These characters make us laugh, cry, and sometimes deconstruct our lives. Other times, what faces us on the other side of the door is painful. The potential for pain makes us hedge by limiting or calculating the number of times we feel comfortable opening the door.

We pick and choose when we want to open the door, deploying such vetting methods as spy holes, blinds, and doors in front of doors. These mechanisms allow us to more wisely expend the energy in opening and closing doors. As we age we discover that knowing which doors to keep closed is just as important as knowing which to open.

Opportunity

A doorway is a portal, allowing us the chance to enter or exit any world we please. Sometimes we forget this potent quality about doors. A door is nothing more than a man made object that we can use as a tool to expand or contract our existence.

What we often do, though; is allow this barrier, which separates one world from another, to control us. We hide behind its safety. This is alright. Sometimes we need this. When we hide behind our doors, avoiding the knocking of opportunity on the other side, we let our pattern of comfort control our decisions.

Eventually the knocks cease, and we’re left behind that door wondering why nothing new is happening in our lives. We are stuck in a rut, bored, or maybe even depressed. We do not see that the opportunities we pushed away don’t mind being pushed away. Instead, they leave. They don’t try to convince us to let them in. If we are not ready they heed our apprehension

The good news is that at any point we can open the door and walk through. You can create your own opportunity, and that is even better than waiting for action to take you. Many wait for forces to act upon then, forgetting that they too possess the power to act. So, will you open your door today and act?

can or cannot

Do you think you can or cannot do most things? If you often think something is not possible for you, maybe the problem is not that you suck, but that your thinking sucks.

Those that can and those that cannot are separated by very little, but what separates them makes all the difference. Most live with a cannot mentality, ignorant to the unrealized potential within, and okay with floating by. You know these sort of people. You might even be this sort of person.

The cannot person does just enough to get by. No more. No less. Just enough. This person has an opinion on all the problems in the world, but no drive to solve them. The cannot person makes excuses and blames instead of taking responsibility for his/ her own life and finding a way to persevere.

What this means is that, in reality, while the naysayer is dwelling on why he cannot do something the person of action is exploring all the potential ways why he can do something. Can, or cannot. That thinking makes all the difference, and is one of the biggest separators between the winner and the loser.

And I’m not talking about winning in a competition or business. I am talking about winning in life. Those that are happy are winners. Those that live desperate, unhappy lives hoping for some strike of good fortune are losers. The latter type of people accept cannot as the status quo for most parts of their lives.

As master of the thoughts you foster, your ability to accomplish great things lies in whether or not you believe you can or cannot do something. Think you cannot do something and you have already lost. There is no way that you will accomplish whatever task or venture you are embarking upon. But, think that you can, and your mind will open to the possible ways you can succeed.

We make ourselves by how we face the things we can control. Just like you do not want to surround yourself with negative people because they bring you down, your mind does not want to be surrounded by your negative thoughts. Instead, your mind calls it quits instead of listening to all the ways you cannot do something. Your mind agrees you cannot do something and moves on.

Those thoughts of failure you believe in are part of an old way of thinking that you must destroy. From a very young age on you were told to think a certain way, to do certain things, and not do others. All this did was condition your mind to set boundaries for what was and what was not possible. Now is the time to rethink those boundaries, to questions all of the things you cannot do, and see which of those things are just stories about limitations you tell yourself and which ones are really things you can or cannot do.

I am not telling you that the world is yours for the taking, and that you have infinite possibilities, because that would be optimistic ignorance, but I am saying that you are selling yourself short because of your negative thoughts. So many want to improve the circumstances of their lives, but are unwilling to improve their actions to create new circumstances.

Sometimes you need to tell your mind to shut up so you can do the hard work that needs to be done to get you where you want to be. In many instances, can or cannot is just a matter of perspective. Change your perspective, change your life.

Or, maybe I do not know what I am talking about. After all, I’m not an expert on cannot. I removed that word from my vocabulary a long time ago.

Stop wasting your time trying to change the world. You never will. We’re all idealists, thinking that with a paintbrush, an idea, or a bit of work we can change the world. By focusing on the grand action, the big display, we live under a delusion about our lives.

Stop listening to the people that care about you. “You can do anything you want.” “The sky is the limit.” “You can change the world.” No, you can’t. But, that’s alright. There are much better ways to live then spending your life chasing an impossible ideal that distracts you from true purpose.

We are not the first generation that has ever wanted to change the world and the world. Your parents wanted to change the world. Your grandparents wanted to change the world. Is the world perfect? Have all of our social problems been solved? Changing the world is just another form of looking in the box , which distracts us from seeing the possibility for change when presented before us.

Does Change Matter?

We’re looking towards the prime movers of our age who are pushing the boundaries of possibilities through grand actions, and think we can do that too. So we start with the biggest goals possible, the largest actions, and fail because we sought to build a skyscraper without first laying a foundation.

We want to end poverty, but have never volunteered at a homeless shelter.

Grand actions start with the status quo and build from there. Everything new started with something old. Grand actions are okay, but what is not okay is grand actions taking the place of action. What often happens is our grand actions are so large, such pipe dreams, that they prevent us from acting all together. We think we can end hunger, yet we don’t know how to grow a stalk of corn. We want to end poverty, but have never volunteered at a homeless shelter. We’ve jumped to the end of the process, but skipped all the steps in between. We have not put in the time to understand what needs to be done.

Can I change the World?

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be? Change does not occur unless survival depends on it. We change for our own survival, to keep the status quo or to align ourselves with who we want to be for our own happiness. That’s the only reason change occurs. Change does not occur because something is noble or right. Change occurs out of the imperative extinction or growth. This is very different from viewing change as occurring from the spring of ideals.

Idealism is good for nothing but dreaming on your front porch. Action is the point where idealism meets reality. Seek action, even if you must compromise your idealist dreams of the world because acting gets you further along than forming animals with the clouds in the sky.

A partial solution acted upon is better than a perfect solution dreamed about. The world is a cauldron of negativity right now. Instead of attacking partial solutions, praise good work executed to any degree and strive to do your own good work.

How Can I Change My Life?

You act. Our stupid minds like to over complicate things. We like to mull things through over and over again, thinking about this contingency and that possibility. But, changing your life is really quite easy. This is t

  1. Where are you now in life?
  2. Where do you want to be in life?
  3. What happens if you never become that person?
  4. If you can’t live with yourself if you don’t become that person you will change.
  5. If you can live with yourself, you won’t change.

People do not change if their survival does not depend on it. That’s okay. If you haven’t changed yet and are feeling guilty about it, don’t. You have yet to find the thing worth changing for. You have yet to find the thing worth connecting to and going all in on. Your life hasn’t yet required you level up.

Is Change Right for You?

We are not all meant for changing the world. Some of us can be spectacular number two or number three people, taking orders and carrying out important missions. But, your attempt to be a number one, a prime mover, might be distracting you from achieving your full impact. Maybe you can accomplish more working for SpaceX than you can trying to be Elon Musk. That doesn’t make you less valuable or less accomplished. That makes you more self aware.

Finally, if you talk to anyone who has been involved in anything big, a social movement, human rights activism, pushing the boundaries of what is possible, you will discover that many did not seek to change their lives or the world. Change found them.

They were put in a position where they had to act. Their principles and the situation made standing by and doing nothing impossible. But, they never sought to change the world, to make the news, or leave a legacy. These things happened with they answered the call to action. They wanted to do what was right, and doing right meant acting to create massive change.

Change did not appeared, but was realized because of an openness to answer a calling. So, right now, you need to ask yourself, am I open to possibility or am I so focused on a grand action or pushing change that I’m living with tunnel vision? Am I so focused on wanting to creating change that I miss opportunities for change? Good intentions can blind us to possibilities, are you blinded by what you think you should be doing with your life and closed off to things life wants you to do?