What we tolerate sticks with us whether we want it to or not. It’s the same thing over and over again. And it is up to us — no one else — to get rid of it. It all falls on us. It’s ours. Like a bad habit we’re having trouble breaking.
There are many things we have in common that we tolerate: a bad relationship; a bad job; a bad boss or manager; a big, bad publicly traded company; the parents; the kids; the doggies; the COVID; sickness; poor health; poor food sources. While not all of these are choices, most of these are choices. We choose them for us. We choose to stay in the bad relationship. We choose to let the big bad boss boss us around in an unappreciative manner. We choose to let the in-laws dictate what we will do for the holidays. We choose to eat junk food in November and December, and then try hard to get rid of it all in January.
Note that these are patterns of behavior we fall into. Some of it adjusts for seasonality. All the junk really comes out in October and stays through January. Seasonality. As executive coaching wizard Marshall Goldsmith says, ‘if you do not shape & control your environment, your environment ends up shaping & controlling you.” We must be in control of our environment. Only we so rarely are.
Take food. We are constantly surrounded by food, especially fast food and pizza in this country. We have an absolutely incredible overabundance of food here. We won the food contest. Yet eating is the new default for many of us. We eat unconsciously, like Homer Simpson. We eat because it is there. Just because the junk food is there now, doesn’t mean you have to eat it! There is no obligation! Nope! And I guarantee you you’ll encounter more food exactly like this in about 7 minutes somewhere else.
Take going to the gym vs. staying home under couch arrest. (People hate this example.) The couch has been default for a lot of people. Where’m I headed ? Straight for the couch and Netflix! The funny thing is that we know we’re going to experience self-loathing if we stay here for too long! We’ll hate on ourselves, especially if we crush the 1 Gal of Ben & Jerry’s while we do it.
What if we had gone to the gym and gotten after it this day? What if that was our priority? What if that was what we could make happen vs. the gym. You can watch Netflix at the gym! Just MOVE while you do it! You can lift weights and watch your favorite series at the same time! Wow! What a combination! The best part? You’ll feel awesome when you’re done at the gym. Going to the gym regularly is creating and shaping your environment in the most positive ways. But if we don’t go, then it is the couch that shapes our environment.
The nature v. nurture argument is an interesting one. I believe we can shape people into the top qualities of the 5 people they hang around with the most. We evolve without even realizing it . We say new things we’ve never said before. We actively do things we wouldn’t normally do. This is why exercise pros highly recommend to people who want to lose weight / get in shape is to start hanging around your friends that are in the best shape out of the lot. In-shape people tend to hang around other in-shape people. They have positive circles of friends. They’re into the same routines and see food as fuel vs. just crap you put into your body because it is there in front of you. Food should never be an afterthought. We’re all thinking about food. You better think about great food sources that will benefit you and your energy and your brain.
I think people can learn confidence and courage nearly unconsciously by hanging around supremely confident, courageous people. I believe people can become WAY more funny if they hang around funny people. I believe people can become interested in a topic that they were never interested in before by hanging around people passionate in that topic. I believe that all things are Teachable. All Things. Everything is learnable. All it takes are the right people and the right audience and the right lessons and practices and behaviors. Note what an empowering statement that is: All Things are Teachable. You can learn anything you want. Anything. If you believe you can.
If you don’t have the results you want, seek out a pro who possesses the results you want. Learn from him ; her. Pay them for their expertise, because the right pro can shortcut your success for you by half, maybe a third. What would take you a year to learn might only take you two or three months with a pro mentor. And who doesn’t like to shortcut their success / learnings?
Most people don’t believe that everything is teachable. Most people don’t believe that they can learn anything they want to. Most people are stuck inside their own heads, unable to set themselves free. It’s very strange. And sad. Free learning is available on damn near any topic on the planet! You can learn anything on YouTube! This means you can be whatever & Whoever you want to be. It’s like Halloween every day for your identity. You should wake up and ask yourself, “What will I learn today?” And that ought to be exciting for you! That skill development outta be scheduled just like your redundant meetings are! (Yes, I think skill development is far more important than your meetings. It’s not even close.) What will you learn today? What will you read today? What new skill will you practice today? Who will you aim to become today?