You have two options in life.
Option 1 is to try, meaning actively trying at things that matter to you. If you try, things won’t always work as you want and you will sometimes feel bad. Not bad like your fell and scraped your knee. Bad like what’s-the-point?-Every-time-I-try-I-fail-so-why-keep-trying?-Why-bother-going-on-at-all?-I’m-a-failure-and-always-will-be bad. As far as I know, feeling that way is inevitable if you try.
Option 2 is to eat cookies and ice cream and watch TV, meaning to entertain yourself passively. Your passive entertainment may come in many forms besides literal cookies and ice cream, as long as you don’t have to try and make yourself vulnerable to pain. This route doesn’t lead to feeling bad in the way the first option does.
Some who favor actively trying suggest that the passive cookies, ice cream, and TV option would make them feel bad. No problem for people who choose this option. You just get more cookies and ice cream, order more cable stations, find more exciting and distracting shows to watch, play more video games, and so on to keep distracting yourself from sensing your pain.
As best I can tell, people who choose passivity sometimes think about taking more active control of their lives. Most of them, as they challenge themselves (“move out of their comfort zone” is the cliché), feel anxiety and veer back into passivity. Judging by sales of ice cream, cookies, TVs, cable subscriptions, video games, and other distractions, our world is moving more into passivity.
The above is one of my mental models. It’s created great emotional reward for me so I like it. It leads me to challenge myself and grow.
How about you?
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book