We are emotional human beings and everything that’s rational is the illusion that makes us feel in control. Having such an illusion in your life, every single day, is the best excuse for constantly running away from what’s real in your life.
Imagine you are at a festival and you’re waiting for your favorite band to come on the stage to sing your favorite song. As soon you hear the name of your favorite band, you start getting excited and you feel this amazing feeling of joy right on the top of your chest.
To make this even more interesting, imagine right before your favorite band starts singing your favorite song, they stop everything for a second and invite a random fan on the stage. That person is you. Right after you see the soloist pointing at you with his index finger, you start feeling anxious and you’re not really sure what’s happening. You can’t think straight anymore and you feel like everything is unreal. Your whole body is shaking and you’re trying to make sense of every second. But it’s simply impossible. Once you’re on the stage, you start screaming back at your friends on the 1st row and, for a second, you realize what’s happening: you’re having the best day of your life.
If this has ever happened to you, then you know how real it is. You have the feeling that you know every second happened. And the more time passes, the more details you’re going to forget about that specific moment. But because it felt so real, your mind will fill in the details for you.
On the opposite pole, imagine you go to your job and you start your day as usual. Getting up at 7 in the morning, making coffee, having a shower, drinking your coffee, ordering a cab, and so on… But as soon as you get to your office, your boss comes to your desk and tells you you’re fired. For no reason. You’re fired and that’s it. You try to make sense of the whole thing but you can’t. Even three days after it happened, it still doesn’t make sense. You are still depressed and you feel like you lost a big part of your life.
If you’ve ever got fired, then you know how bad this is. It simply sucks, especially if you believe you don’t deserve to be fired.
Thinking of these two situations, they both make sense, right?
These two situations are so powerful from an emotional point of view that you’ll always remember them. But more important than remembering them is that, when it happened, running away wasn’t an option.
You had the time of your life during the festival and you had the worse time of your life when you got fired for no reason. And no matter how good or bad the situation was, you stood there bravely and decided to face your emotions instead of running away.
But there are a few types of situations that are right in the middle of these two extremes and they all trigger the same thing: discomfort.
Running away from gifts or compliments
Most people don’t know how to receive gifts or compliments.
When someone is telling you they like something about you, how do you respond?
When someone is giving you something with no special reason whatsoever, how do you respond?
If you’re not comfortable with nice people around you, then you’re going to stop, ponder, and eventually run. You’re so uncomfortable with people being nice to you that you don’t know how to handle it and running away becomes best option.
If you’re in this situation, the best thing you could do is to say ‘Thank you’ and move on.
On the other hand, the worst thing you could do is to say ‘I don’t feel too good about this’ or, even worse, not say anything and never speak with that person ever again.
More than that, if you’re feeling weird about receiving a gift from someone you don’t really know and you’re feeling weird about it, don’t make the other person feel bad about it. After all, it’s just a nice gesture and that’s what you should realize.
How you’re feeling is only up to you. If a positive gesture is making you feel bad, then maybe you should try to understand why you’re feeling bad, instead of punishing the gesture.
Perfect environment. Perfect food. Perfect people. Perfect words. Perfect moments. Perfect clothes. Perfect bodies. Perfect actions.
There’s no such thing as perfect. But if you believe things should be perfect, whenever you’re going to make a mistake (or whenever you’re not going to see the perfection you’re looking for), you’re going to move your attention to something else.
The perfection you’re looking for is not real. It is just an illusion part of your imagination.
Hard decisions and conversations
Talking with a friend about how you couldn’t keep your promise. Deciding between getting a job or trying to make a living out of your passion. Speaking loud and clear about your fears in front of a crowd full of people. Doing the right thing for those who can’t even defend themselves.
Hard decisions and conversations are … hard. Unpleasant. Easy to avoid. But they are real. While hard decisions and conversations are what make life unbearable, the result of hard decisions and conversations is what makes life enjoyable.
As long as you’re running away from hard decisions and conversations, you’ll get to have a hard life.
Running away from the small things
You don’t feel successful because you see a number on your screen, but because you finally got to sell your first book.
You don’t feel loved because your husband got you flowers, but because he’s treating you nicely every single day.
The numbers and the actions are not giving you any feeling. You’re not happy because you have earned $10 for selling your first book, but the idea of having your book bought by someone is what makes you happy. You’re not feeling loved because you have flowers on your table, but because those flowers are a gesture that’s happening on a daily basis.
These small things are so easy to overlook but they are the real deal. You won’t even feel successful, loved, happy if you can’t see the small things.
All these things that are real are what make your life great. Stop running away from them and start paying attention to them. Learn how to enjoy the gifts you’re receiving, how to have fun when you’re mistaken, how to have hard conversations and make hard decisions, and don’t become blind when it comes to small things.
With love and optimism,