Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I am not a Robot

It's easy to go through life on autopilate. When life gets hard, it takes little work to fall into a routine and walk mindlessly through each day. It doesn't take more than a minimal amount of energy to roll out of bed in the morning, go for the daily run on the same route, go to a dead end job that takes no brain power to do, come home and spend time with a significant other that you are settling for, go to bed and then do it all again the next day. This lifestyle is comfortable because it's stagnant and there are no risks. We are guarenteed to succeed because there are no challenges to bring us down. Why try something new when you know you can do the things that you are doing? When we start setting goals, trying new things, and breaking out of the routine, there is a fear of failure or a fear of the unknown. Lately I've been finding myself falling into this routine. My life has been stagnant the past couple of months and I have myself to blame. I have a list of goals about ten goals and I've only started working towards the ones that take the littlest amount of energy and don't diverge far from my normal routine. I look at the list every day and expect that just reading them is going to magically make them happen. Unfortunately that's not how it works. I'm not going to wake up one day without ever practicing and be able to play the mandolin or go out climbing after no training and be able to clean send a 5.11. Goals take work and you have to put energy towards them. I'm usually a very goal driven person. When I set my mind to something, I make it happen, but after the recent Peace Corps disappointment, I got so down that I felt like I wasn't capable of doing anything. I looked at my list of goals and they seemed impossible and like routes to failure and more disappointment. Routine was easier than figuring out how to accomplish my goals. My comfort zone wasn't a happy place to be, but at least there was no disappointment. I settled for the robotic lifestyle until recently I was going for a long bike ride and I realized that the human mind is designed to be in constant change. We are suppose to learn and push the boundaries of our comfort zone to live a completely statisfying life. The times I have been the happiest in my life have been times that I have overcome conflict and accomplished one of my goals. Being a robot was more devistating to my mental health than any sort of failure. Fighting to make our goals happen may be hard at first and there will be challenges. We may even fail, but staying dedicated and pushing forward will pay off with time and changes will start to occur and there will be success. The trick is knowing that failures teach us how to find success. Success is always there, it may just take some extra searching to find. In the words of Confucious, "When it is obvious that the goals can't be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps."

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