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Each day, I receive a ton of emails from PYG readers. (Thank you!)
Recently, a reader named Herbert wrote to me with an interesting question. I thought it’d make a good post because most of us share this same frustration in life.
Here’s what Herbert wrote to me:
Thank you for your newsletters, they are a great deal in my life and am sure to other peoples’ lives.
I am aged 30 years and my life has been a testimony to many (from dust to grace). I grew up from a very humble background and am at a certain level now. Am a courageous person who believes that everything is possible in life.
My only problem is inconsistency in the fire and drive inside of me to attain success. Certain months, am all fired up in every sphere of life while others, I get locked up in a comfort zone. How do I keep refreshed with a burning desire for success in life?
First off, thank you for a great question, Herbert!
Now, to my answer. Here’s what I replied:
Thanks for writing.
What you resist, persists.
If you’re feeling low on the fiery energy, I suggest let it be. Be low. You won’t be so for a long time, anyway.
But the more you resist it, and “try” or “force” yourself to get motivated, the sooner you’ll replenish your energies. It’ll break the back.
The comfort zone ain’t a bad thing necessarily — it’s for our comfort after all. So enjoy being comfortable for a while and then when you’re rejuvenated, do something that stretches you out of your comfort zone.
After all, life is dynamic and we cannot keep desiring more, more and more — we also need some time to stop and smell the roses, hey? Treat your “inconsistencies” as a sign that a new, vibrant energy is soon to come. In the meanwhile, enjoy the “down” time thoroughly.
Hope it helps.
Let’s expand on that answer for a minute, shall we?
What you resist, persists.
Herbert here was feeling the urge to relax or let go. If he resists it, things will only go south.
Let’s face it. Life is full of ebb and flow movement. You can’t be super-motivated all the time. Some days, you’ll feel the need to laze around, do nothing and basically stuff your big plans.
Should such a need arise, I like to pay attention to what my mind and body are saying. Usually, they talk a lot of sense.
Yes, your mind could be pulling the procrastination trick, but that’s not always the case. So it’s OK to cut yourself some slack.
A Personal Story
When I was in college, I knew a guy who would push all the wrong buttons in people. Let’s call him Travis. I’ve never met anyone of that name, so I think it’s OK to call him that.
You know how you want some people to just shut up because they can’t talk sense and have zero empathy toward others? Yes, that was Travis.
He’d come up with the starkest of remarks out of the blue and do things a normal person would never do or say about their friends.
While Travis clearly thought he was being smart, in reality he was alienating people. By a million miles per hour.
So while it seemed like everyone
hated disliked the way Travis behaved, no one took it that seriously. At least, they didn’t let it show.
And I was no different.
My Resistance to Facing Reality
In dealing with Travis, I’d force myself to change my reactions and thoughts toward him. Because I thought I was being judgemental. I suppressed it – and when I really wanted to tell him he’s being a jerk, I kept quiet.
For a long time, I didn’t talk about it with anyone because I felt guilty of such thoughts — what an irony, right?
Long story short, it bothered me big-time.
The result of doing that was surprising. The more I resisted, the more reactions were triggered which, in turn, I suppressed.
Can you see what was happening? I was going round in circles.
I had to fully accept what I thought about Travis. Then, I had to come up with a plan to tackle my feelings.
Why were his actions pushing my buttons? The first place was to look within me because it may not be solely related to him.
A few things surfaced in the answer to that question
One, I couldn’t take it when someone was targeted for no reason (which is what Travis usually did, picking on one or two people) — you can call me a cheerleader of the “underdog”. It’s just who I am. Is that a good thing? I don’t know.
Second, I felt I was being ridiculed by his derogatory remarks. This was a sign that I wasn’t good enough. As if I had to please everyone, including Travis, to feel validated. But was that true? Heck, no.
Lastly, I realised it was my dominant, egoistic, masculine energy that was responding.
In the end, dealing with all of this was my business, not his.
So, How Do You Deal with People Who Push Your Buttons?
My course of action was to fully acknowledge my feelings minus any guilt. Yes, I’m responsible for what happens in my life because I control my reactions.
That said, sometimes you gotta call a jerk, well, a jerk. Even if silently. It needs to be done for your sanity.
Instead of resisting and suppressing, I took time to acknowledge the feelings of contempt, guilt and a lot more that was going on inside me. I gave myself the “permission slip”. It was OK to feel this way. I don’t always have to be so hard on myself.
After that episode of soul-searching, I started wholeheartedly ignoring this person’s comments. That worked like a charm and he eventually drifted away from my life.
The point of this story? Anything you resist will come back to bite you. Don’t. do. it.
How Do I Keep Motivated and Fired Up Every Day?
Coming back to Herbert’s email, my answer is you don’t.
In the next post, I’ll decode the second part of my reply to Herbert — is your comfort zone a blessing or a curse?
In the meanwhile, tell me what you think. Should you deal with the complex stuff up front or resist it? Should Herbert resist his urge to relax and keep going? Should he cut himself some slack? Is it OK to feel not motivated at times? Love to hear your thoughts.
Creative Commons Image via DrSam.