It’s really easy to live on the edge of waiting for something to happen. It’s in human nature to hope, or to sort of “expect” that something great will happen to us almost effortlessly, that we’ll fall into some amazing situation of what we perceive to be an ideal state of happiness: Something where we are barely working, or where we get paid for something that’s as easy and enjoyable as sleeping or lazing in a hammock all day, where we enjoy the simple luxury of living worry free.
It’s easy to exist like we’ll live forever. We all think we’re the one human who’ll cheat death. Living from paycheck to paycheck, reaping the short straw rewards of short term gratification. Whether we procrastinate publicly or privately, it’s such an easy task to justify “kicking back and doing nothing”. Unwinding after a long day with the guilty pleasures of a beer or wine in hand, and a few hours of our favorite show on the DVR, everyone does it, so no excuses are required
Then one day, you wake up. You realize that the only higher power you really have to answer to is yourself, and you’re unhappy with the result. You’re an adult, in the prime of your life, and you have nothing to show for it. You go on a diet, you join a gym, you make resolutions.. you try to change everything, at once… and inevitably start failing almost right away. It starts slipping away in one area.. maybe you have a couple chocolate bars, maybe you skip a workout because you’re tired and want to catch up on Breaking Bad.. Before you know it, you’re right back where you started, and wallowing in all the behaviours that drove you to want to change in the first place.
Well I have news for you. It’s all about baby steps. Take one bad habit, and replace it with a healthy one. Just one. Do this for 30 days, without fail, every day, and it’ll become your new norm. Think of this as a brick in the foundation of your new life. Then spread a bit of concrete on this brick and add another one. Just one.
Rinse and repeat, and you’ll be on your way. Sure, it sounds easy doesn’t it? That’s because it is. But don’t beat yourself up. If you slip up, thats ok. Don’t immediately feel guilty and give up. You’re a beautiful person, in and out. Remind yourself of this every day. Extol in all the good you’ve accomplished in your life. Remember the First Noble Truth: Life is suffering.. You’ve survived up until now, that’s an amazing accomplishment! Being human, being able to make choices.. this is hard stuff! But also don’t make excuses. Once you catch yourself not happy with how you’re spending your time, don’t wallow. Roll over, get up, and change. Every passing moment you’re different to the last. Embrace that potential, because it’s all you have: improving yourself to be the person you want to be is your responsibility alone. Don’t pass the buck: you can do this.
Just get started. Right now.