This is the last installment of the 4-part series, “7 Reasons You’re Stuck.”
A man was walking down the street when he passed an old man in a rocking chair on the front porch. On the porch was an old hound dog.
As the man walked by, he couldn’t help but notice that the dog was moaning and crying.
On his way back home, the man passed the same old man on the porch and the dog was still there and still moaning and groaning.
The man stopped and said, “Pardon me. I don’t mean to intrude, but do you mind me asking why your dog keeps making those terrible sounds?”
“Sure,” said the old man. “It’s because he’s lying on a nail.”
“Because it doesn’t hurt bad enough” the old man replied.
This brings us to the 7th but perhaps most prevalent reason people are stuck in a rut:
7. The present isn’t painful enough, yet.
Plenty of people will be like that dog, crying, complaining, and making a fuss. But the reality is they just lie on that nail day after day.
Here’s the hard truth: most people are ok with compromise. They’re living a mediocre life with mediocre expectations. And why shouldn’t they? That’s what everyone else is doing, right?
And there-in lies the rub. This is a matter of peer group. We rise or fall to the level of our peers. If you were surrounded by people who were doing the extraordinary on an ongoing basis, you would find a way to join them. Most people are surrounded by people doing the painfully ordinary.
If you want to get unstuck, find new people to surround yourself with. You are going to be the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. You’ll have their income, their travel schedule, their net worth, etc.
Someone is in a bad relationship. Her mother had a bad relationship and all her girlfriends have bad relationships. She complains. They complain. But it’s just the way it goes. Until she comes across a group of couples who are madly in love and passionate about continuing to spiral their relationship upward. The men are trying to constantly top each other in romantic gestures and the ladies are never at a loss for ways to bless their beaus, whether it be a homemade treat or a surprise lunch wearing a new outfit. Our heroine suddenly is exposed to a completely new frame of reference that makes her situation seem completely unacceptable.
Someone hates their job. They have no freedom, can’t work on any projects that really stimulate them, and aren’t appreciated. But it pays the bills and they feel guilty knowing they should probably just be thankful to have work. Then they run into a group of guys that don’t have jobs. Getting around them they discover that these guys all have little businesses that produce income. Turns out there are companies that will let you distribute their products and by selling just 50 a month, he could make $2000 more than he makes at work. These guys golf whenever they want, see their kids whenever they want, and work on whatever they want. They tell stories of the months eating Ramen noodles while getting things off the ground, but the tradeoffs have been worth it. Suddenly, settling for a “safe” salary isn’t so appealing.
Write this down: Your life is defined by your standards. Change your standards and you will change your life.
Want that nail to start hurting? Get around people who would view what you accept as normal as completely unacceptable. It will change your perspective and make the pain acute. You’ll move. And your life will never be the same.