We’ve all heard it said before that if being successful, fit and wealthy was easy, everyone would be successful, fit and wealthy! But clearly that is not the case. Very few people make it to where they want to be. A small percentage of folks reach their goals, live out their purpose and make their dreams come true. This is a strange and disturbing fact because deep down inside we all want more for our lives. We want better relationships with the ones we love, we want to travel more, earn more money and make more of a difference. So why don’t a greater percentage of people fulfill those hopes and dreams? What prevents the large majority from getting to the top?
I believe the essential ingredient to solving this question is denial. Not denial in the sense that you don’t face the facts about the current state of your life and bury your head in the sand so to speak but I’m talking about the denial of your comfort, the denial of instant gratification, the denial of your fears and insecurities and the denial of the average.
I would suggest that the reason we don’t go after the things we want most in life is because when all is said and done, we actually convince ourselves that we are quiet comfortable, for the most part, with our daily existence albeit that in those rare moments of reflection (like at funerals or after watching an inspirational movie) when we really think about our lives, what we want and what we feel we were created for, we feel that nagging sense of wanting more, seeking something greater than what we have in our present reality.
It’s like that experiment done with fleas in a glass jar. First these scientists put some fleas in a glass jar without a lid on the jar. As one would expect, when the fleas were placed inside the jar, their immediate reaction was to jump out. When the lid was put on top of the jar and the fleas could not get out, they eventually stopped trying to force their way out. Interestingly, the scientists then removed the lid so that the fleas could fly out but the fleas stayed in the jar, flying about but never flying higher than where the lid had been. This is how it is in our lives. We get so used to the limitations that are placed on us and that we place on ourselves that when the opportunity to go beyond what we are used to comes about, we don’t take advantage of the opportunity because we’re comfortable.
It is this feeling of ‘comfort’ that feeds the need for instant gratification which in turn gives rise to a completely average existence. In order to feel good right now, some spend what they don’t have, some eat to much, some drink to much. All this to feel comfortable. But all these behaviors eventually lead to lives that are experienced by the vast majority, lives of the average bank balance, average health, average mindset and average relationships.
To experience the ‘more’ in life that we know exists, we have to deny ourselves the comfort of our current lives, we have to deny the quick and easy and we have to deny ourselves of wanting to fit in and live the same lives as everyone else.
Athletes deny themselves the diets that the majority have for the one that will take them to their goals. They deny themselves the late nights and sleep ins, they deny themselves of negativity, they deny themselves of a ‘normal’ life. They do this because they know that this denial is the only way to separate themselves from the crowd and get them to achieve all that they set out to achieve.
Yes, changing your mental conditioning is not easy, learning a new skill is hard, learning to take responsibility is difficult and facing your fears is often terrifying. To go against the grain of “how you’ve always done things” and to deny yourself of the familiar, comfortable patterns of your life takes serious effort but to get to the heights of where you want to be you have to live in this kind of denial. You have to deny the person you are today of the things that have created the average patterns in your life in order to become the person you want to be.
Here is a strange but a very true thought; the more you want in life, the more you have to give up.
When are you going to start living in denial?