For such a long time I have lead my life thinking that you wake up in the morning, go to work (for some of us to a job we don’t really like), make enough money to live “comfortably”, pay the never ending bills because you gotta keep up with your friends and everything you see on social media, spend more than is really coming in, get drunk with your buddies on the weekends, and watch endless amounts of NetFlix movies and series…then wash, rinse, and repeat. Basically I thought that I was tapped out of my max potential for success, so really doing nothing about it wasn’t going to hurt. I’d become complacent in my life.
The truth is, I was born into it. I grew up in a household of divorced parents where my time was split between them depending on the time of year. My dad worked up until the day he died and my mother continues to work as she is nearing the 70 mark. This was and is not by choice. It’s because they have put themselves in a position to have to continue to work as long as possible because its a similar scenario to the one I listed above: debt as far as they could see, not making enough to cover expenses, winding down with a glass of scotch or wine every night wondering where all the time has gone and if they did anything wrong along the way. To me, it seems like and was displayed that this is just how life is. And to their fairness, they may have viewed all this differently. I’m just giving an outside looking in scenario. They’d become complacent in their lives.
Simply put, we’d become satisfied with the way things were. There’s an inherent danger with this thinking if it’s not obvious. Everything in your life takes work to keep it growing: your relationships, your friendships, your mind, your body. If we aren’t continually trying to improve these things in our lives, at some point we end up losing them. With our bodies we get fat and out of shape. With our minds we go crazy. With our relationships we get divorced or broken up. With our friendships they fizzle out. I can easily say that growth, though sometimes difficult, is a developer in your happiness.
So one day something struck me. It happened when I became a father. It’s funny how your outlook on life can change in a split second, or what seems like it. I recall holding Beckham, only a couple days old at this point, and thinking “how the fuck am I going to take care of this kid when I can barely take care of myself?”. I’d been happy with the way things were for the past few years. I had been making enough to get by, doing fun things here and there, not really putting in the effort to grow myself or my business but it was sustainable so why mess with something that’s not broke.
The reality is that I had been broken. I had a drive to start a company and to grow it and somewhere I’d lost that. I’ve lost relationships. I’ve been divorced. I’ve lost friends. It hurts and it sucks. Why this happened is all because I was totally fine with the way things were, even though I knew that it wasn’t optimal. I was complacent with being unhappy in life. I’d lost my drive to really do anything except self destruct. By the time the kid showed up, I was rebuilding and that’s when it also hit me that I’m always going to be in some state of build or rebuild. The other realization is that without that, what’s the point? Complacency is bred out of inaction to do anything better than what you’re currently doing.
Let’s think about that for a minute…
- Fitness: you gotta get off your ass and stop being the normal you to get fit and lose weight.
- Marriage: you have to work at putting your needs second ALL the time or it will end up broken. Everyone’s definition of broken is different, but in general if you’re not happy in your relationship/marriage it’s probably because someone isn’t pulling their weight.
- Business/Work life: If you don’t strive to be the best in your area you get bored. Boredom leads ts disdain for your job because you aren’t being challenged enough or (and this is a big one) YOU AREN’T CHALLENGING YOURSELF ENOUGH TO BE BETTER.
That last sentence can really sum up this entire rambling so I’ll say it again. If you are complacent in any area in your life, chances are that you aren’t challenging yourself enough to be better.
My point here, is that it can be changed but it’s 100% up to you and no one else.
So, it was at that moment holding the boy that I decided I was going to try to do everything it took to make a life for both my wife and kid that I think they deserve. Those that know me pretty well would probably agree that there has been a change in me since. Full disclaimer, I’m not perfect. I still have times when I question this change, question what I’m doing and why, question of whether the work I’m putting in is making a difference. But that’s just part of it. With growth comes struggle. Struggle is born from the need to not be happy with where you’re at, but where you want to be. I’m still not where I want to be and probably never will be because that needle continually gets moved higher as I get closer to it. Sometimes it won’t move for what feels like forever and then one day it makes a big jump. This is me challenging myself to be better. Every. Single. Day. Even through the times when it feels like nothing is happening.
Now my question to you is this; Are you happy with where you are at in your life currently? If not, why? If yes, why? Are you truly happy or are you just content? Are you truly happy or are you just complacent? Do you have what it takes to challenge yourself to be better? Hint: YOU DO.