It is hard to reach your full potential, almost impossible, when you are stuck in what I call the perpetual state of suck. This is the worst place to find yourself. Unfortunately, most of us are caught in this state in some aspect of our lives.
Over the next 2 posts I will talk about three causes for this perpetual state of suck and some preventive steps we can take to avoid it. Today will focus on the internal aspects of our lives. The next post will focus on external factors.
It is very easy to point fingers about the areas of our lives that we are not happy with, but the reality is that most of our pain points are caused by ourselves. This is the starting point, it starts with us identifying and then owning the responsibility of being in this state.
A few years ago, I started a new job at a bank. It was the first time I was actually making some real money, so I was excited for the opportunity. On my first day I was introduced to an older chap that I will refer to as Grumpy George. His name gives away his disposition. He was the type of man who would shake their fist at you because you were smiling too much. He was in his mid-forties and wore an old tweed sweater vest. Within thirty seconds of shaking my hand and exchanging names, George proceeded to expound on how much he hated working there. The wages were low, the benefits were horrible, management treated employees like children, Grumpy George did not have a weekend off in months, you name it he covered it. I was taken aback because I heard so many great things about working there. I asked George how long he worked there. He replied “twenty years.” I then asked him how long it sucked. He replied “twenty years!” At that point I took a deep long look into George’s eyes and what I saw was scary. I saw that he was dead inside. He was a soulless man. That was the last time I had a conversation with Grumpy George. I just said “hello” and “goodbye” going forward. I figured out fast he was a lame and I did not want his lameness rubbing off on me!
The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Grumpy George does not fall under this context. He knew his job sucked and he knew it was not going to get better. There was no glimmer of hope. George was stuck in a perpetual state of suck.
There are three options we can use when we find ourselves in this state. The first is by changing our perspective. Stop and ask yourself is what I am experiencing really that bad or am I making it far worse in my mind? If we are able to have a paradigm shift we may start seeing the pluses in our situations and not the minuses.
After we have done a real analysis of the situation and completed a shift in our perspective, the second alternative is to change the situation. In Grumpy George’s case this would be a change in departments or branches or a new job all together.
The third choice is to suck it up. This is done by desensitizing or numbing ourselves to those areas of our lives that cause us the most discomfort. To stay at the job we hate, or stay with that person we should have dumped a long time ago or stay over weight. We just suck it up. We learn to deal with it. We learn to cope. The problem is when we make this choice we are buying a one way ticket straight to the perpetual state of suck.
Can you reach your full potential in this state? Absolutely! This will build in you resolve or like I say no pressure, no diamonds. Sometimes it is absolutely necessary to go through a temporary period of discomfort in order to reach our end goal. Is it easy to reach your potential avoiding this state? Once again, absolutely! It all comes down to whatever you decide is best for your life whether you are in a perpetual state of suck or not the key is to make a conscious effort to be the best version of yourself. Doing this will break you out of this perpetual state of suck. It comes down to our standards.
Case in point, when I ran an indie label I used the song One More Chance by Biggie, as my muse. This was my standard of musical excellence. In my opinion, it encompasses everything that makes for a great song; melody, beat, swag, and a catchy chorus. It had bravado for the guys while being smooth enough for the ladies. Every song that we worked on had to match up to that benchmark.
In every part of our lives we need to set standards. Grumpy George had not set standards for his life and allowed himself to be stuck in that job. What is your standard for your life? Do you even know? Do you even have one? If you don’t have standards, you end up like George, assuming you are not George already. How do you want to look? How do you want people to treat you? What kind of life do you want for you and your family? Really think about it. This is not to be taken lightly. If you already have standards in your life but you want more out of life, you need to swap those old standards for new ones. We need these standards in order to reach our full potential. It is not a wish list. It is a need list.
Setting these standards will get us closer to becoming beasts. Just by looking at Grumpy George I can tell his job is not the only area of his life that sucks. Before we know it sucking it up starts to affect all areas of our lives. It starts to become a habit. Without even knowing it we start to lose that fire and just walk through life soullessly. A quick tip is that anytime you find yourself doing something you don’t want to do, consistently and over time, you can be on the path to the perpetual state of suck.
After we have set the standards in our life, we need to get good habits that exemplify these standards. Our habits show us who we really are. They shape our lives. Habits reinforce our standards. Anytime I find myself acting or doing things counter to my standards I have set for myself I know it is time to reevaluate my habits. You reap what you sow.
In order to win in life it starts with you.