This video is only 1:30. Rabbi Twerski is short and to the point.
On my whiteboard at work I write little quotes every week. This week's quote was, "Be so good that they can't ignore you." I like that one. A few months ago I wrote a vague one. "If lobsters had doctors..."
I only explained the quote to students who asked me about it. Kids are funny, they are polite to a flaw and most kids just looked at the whiteboard, blinked and moved on with the lessons no questions asked. Like they couldn't go down that rabbit hole right now and it was best to ignore it and focus on not messing up their song assignment.
To the students who were curious enough to ask I showed them the video and had them think about it. When they are learning a new song and that song is difficult to play, they must adapt and grow or remain where they are. These are the only two options. Improve or remain at their current level. Over time, not improving will turn into atrophy of skill and they will get worse, which is a bad scenario to be in if I am your piano teacher.
This idea is easy to grasp when talking about music lessons, but the lesson is applicable in life as well. Let's be honest with ourselves. The only reason we haven't achieved one goal or another, quit our current job and made our dreams become reality is that we are too comfortable in our current state. This is a reality that many people aren't willing to own up to.
What is an ideal state of comfort for you?
Nice, same here. Once you are in this state, what have you achieved? Well, you can argue that you are enjoying yourself and achieving anything of value is not the goal. The goal is to unwind and enjoy yourself. Great! I'm all for enjoying yourself in your brief time here, but you know what you will get if you do this activity with the majority of your free time?
Alzheimer's, Heart Disease, Cancer or Stroke.
That's it. No, no one really cares if your know every line from Titus Andromedon on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. (Great show btw.) In ten years you won't be around to tell anyone about "Pinot Noir"
No one dies of "old age" that's an outdated idea about death. "Natural causes" is really vague. The 4 horsemen of death are cancer, heart disease, stroke, and neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer's.
All of which can be mitigated, delayed and reduced with behavioral modification like diet and exercise.
Yes, my overgrown little baby. You know what's really hard though? Being kept alive by medication and being reliant on the U.S. Healthcare system. That sucks worse than a jog.
Now, time for some more harsh truth. Do you know anybody who is absolutely miserable? Do a quick Facebook timeline search if you need inspiration. Someone very unhappy with their current situation as far as romance, career and health. Look at that person. Are they currently trying to improve it? No? Are they suffering from a chronic and nagging illness? No? Guess what? They are comfortable.
They will deny that they are comfortable. Deny it up and down until their face is blue. Say things like, "I hate my life. Everything sucks, I'm very uncomfortable. I don't like the place that I'm in." Nope, they are comfortable on the couch and under the big blanket. They know that to improve their situation would take being uncomfortable and they have set up a self-imposed block on changing their current state.
Give me your excuses. I will drink them like baby tears that give me the power to fly.
The most uncomfortable situations will make you grow the most if you use those situations correctly.
You know what's uncomfortable? Wearing a back brace day and night for months.
Wouldn't recommend it. Now, you might say that I ought to stop riding a bike to guarantee that such a scenario is never repeated. Smart, safe and very cowardly. The accident put a lot of things into perspective for me. For one, while I'm here I'm going to be happy, healthy and whole.
Cycling is one of my little bits of happiness that I have in life. It's hard, climbing up Mt. WIlson on a human torture device that is dragging you backwards if you stop pedaling for even a moment is many things, but "comfortable:" isn't one of them. The sacrifice is worth it though. My story is not one of a Type A champion from birth. I spend many cushy, comfortable years before I got to this point. I had to recover from half a life of soda, cheeseburgers and thinking comfort was an actual goal.
Now, I'm not saying you should wear tight pants on purpose. But, get a little uncomfortable today. Do a hike, sweat, go push yourself a bit. Put a little time into that thing you want to achieve that you've been putting off because your lizard brain was telling you that such things are less important than being in a constant state of homeostasis.
I hope you all take a giant leap towards your goals today. No? Okay, take a large step. No? Alright, a baby step. It will be worth it, cue George Zimmer...