One of the strangest things about your walk on personal betterment is the realization that, once you start to get closer to actual improvement, the more obvious your flaws become.
Where contrary, when you think you're "doing pretty good" you're about as far away as you can possibly get.
I noticed this the most when I was a very spiritual person.
When I thought I was doing pretty good, and living a very spiritual life, is often when I was not adhering to the ideologies that I confessed I believed in.
When I was actually doing all the things I needed to do, is when I realized just how far off the beaten path I'd gotten.
Complacency makes it very easy for us to lie to ourselves. To find comfort in something that is actually breaking down, and falling apart all around us, yet we are oblivious to see it.
Walk into a fixer upper house. In your mind you see all of the things that have to be fixed before you would deem it livable for you.
At some point, that house was new. And beautiful. Someone moved into it and loved it. Then over time, paid less and less attention to it. So it slowly began to fall apart. To the point to where it became a "fixer upper".
So many facets of our lives often become like that.
Over time, we get used to behaving a certain way, talking a certain way, accepting certain things, and we don't even notice that the things that used to get a lot of attention...things we cared deeply about, have all become fixer uppers.
I read a long time ago that if you have a relationship that is falling apart, find a way back to doing the things you did for each other that made you fall in love.
I think that can feel hard when all you want to do is sell the house to "we buy junk houses" and move on with your life. Take a loss, and say fuck it. Let it rot.
I think that also creates poor habits in regards to learning how to take our own fixer uppers and make them new again.
People often talk about overcoming odds and obstacles and how failing makes you better, then the road behind them is littered with excuses as to why it was "just too fucking hard".
Yeah it's fucking hard. The hard part is what makes you better. The hard part is what creates fear. And fear is good, because it gives us chance and a reason to show courage about something. So that even if it falls in around us, we can at least say "I did my very fucking best, and it failed."
And everyone likes these notions. Everyone likes these ideas and these sayings, but they hate the application of it. Because complacency feels so damn good. It's comfortable. It allows us to sit and believe, "hey, I'm doing pretty good." while the walls are lined with mold and roaches are scattering when the lights come on.
It's hard as fuck to get out of that comfortable chair and say "I can't live in this shit anymore. And this is my responsibility. I allowed all of this to crumble around me. I'm not very good right now, and I need to clean this place the fuck up."
But unfortunately, what most people do is throw their hands up in the air and say "fuck this shit! I'm out!" Very few people want to change. Even fewer ever do actually change. For most people it's not until things are too late, or there has been some cataclysmic form of loss in their life that causes a paradigm shift big enough to cause change. Because when it does, it forces them to actually look at just how far away they are from being "good enough". You know, the thing they think they are while their life is submerged in a huge pile of shit.
It's funny, ever notice when you walk into a place that smells really bad, after a few minutes you don't notice it anymore? The stench didn't go away, you just get used to it. And then you stop caring about taking out all the rotten shit out to the trash where it belongs instead of living with it.
This is often one of the biggest roadblocks in regards to getting better at lifting, or anything in your own life. The overtaking of complacency, and the inability to be introspective enough to realize how far away you are from being what you want to be. Being good, or even great, requires a tremendous amount of self reflection so that one can accurately diagnose all the areas they are truly weak in. And people don't often like taking a long look at their own personal flaws and weaknesses.
"I'm a good person."
This is some shit assholes constantly say. It's like the person who tells you how humble they are. A truly humble person will not tell you they are humble, because that is an arrogant statement.
"I'm just trying to get better."
"I have a lot of things to work on."
These words are the words uttered more often than not, by the people who have gone through the process of recognizing just how far away from being "good" truly is for them.
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Excellent article Paul. I personally find that religion helps me to be introspective, although it can become all too easy to be neglectful of this when life 'appears' to e going well. I think comfort can become a man's worst enemy.ReplyDelete