Can you believe Christmas is only two weeks away? Nuts. This time of year, even though it’s supposed to be all jolly and cozy, is often super stressful for so many of us. Of course there is a lot to get done physically, but I am also sensing something more hidden. I am sensing a deeper frustration about the fact that 2012 is coming to an end and so many of the things you had planned to resolve, change, or elevate in your life, have yet to happen. More than ever before, I am hearing people express how much they dislike their jobs, how unfulfilled they feel at their daily task, AND how they don’t see an easy way out of their situation. In essence, so many of you feel stuck in your jobs.
That is why in today’s post I want to address something that is way too often overlooked yet is fundamental in order to create the opportunity for any shift to occur.
I want to invite you to take a look at your immediate surroundings.
It used to be considered humanly impossible to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. That is, until 1954 when Roger Bannister ran a mile in 3:59.4. Shortly thereafter a number of athletes were able to break the “4-minute mile barrier” as well. Today, this is a standard for all male professional middle distance runners. In other words, Roger Bannister created the initial possibility for his fellow runners who then exceeded what they previously had deemed impossible.
There are two things this story tells me:
1) As long as you believe that something is impossible, it is.
2) Surrounding yourself with people who live in the eye of possibility, opens doors for your own flourishing.
This brings me to something crucial that I observe ever so often and have experienced in my own life: So many people connect with others because of a shared sense of misery.
“You hate your job and wanna slam your face into the excel spread sheet? Omg, me too. Let’s be friends."
“You just broke up with your boyfriend and hate every man walking on this earth. Great. Cocktails when?”
“You secretly like gossiping about people who are successful/pretty/do what they love (aka. have all the things we secretly want)? Amazing. Friend me on facebook.”
While we might giggle at the image of these scenarios, they are very often a reality and a huge roadblock on our way to living the life we really want. Be honest, talking about how much your life sucks and how you are just going to be miserable forever, is only fun for so long. The relief you get from this kind of talk is very short lived. On the flipside, you are creating a reality for yourself that is narrow and closed off to possibility.
Jim Rohn, author of Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle, said:
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Am I saying that you should point the finger at those people and blame them for your own lack of success, happiness, fun, ideal weight, loving relationships? Not at all. It is NOT their fault. Most likely those people are totally clueless themselves and are surrounded by five other people who drain their energy. The only person who you have to point the finger at is YOURSELF. And guess what, that is GREAT news.
Because that means that you can change it right this second.
Start to surround yourself with people who live their life in a way that you admire today. This can be in their private life or their professional life. It doesn’t matter. It also doesn’t matter if they do exactly what you want to be doing. They don’t even have to inspire what you are passionate about directly. You will go your own journey anyway.
They just have to inspire possibility.
They have to be open and share with you the belief that you can be happy, that you can get a job you love, that you can be in relationships that are fueling, that you can feel completely alive.
Together you will be pulled by the image of possibility.
So as this year is coming to an end, create those new connections for yourself. There is absolutely no shame at all in going up to someone you have been curious about for a while and say “Hi, how is your day going? I wanted to see if you would like to grab lunch together? I would love to hear more about ________ (that hobby of yours, that book you mentioned, that yoga class that is getting you in such great shape, your studies… ).” I know this might sound daunting to some of you, but this is what taking charge of your own happiness means.
Your relationships matter. They are the soil in which you are growing your roots, so you might as well make sure that this soil is rich in nutrients; rich in water and sunlight; rich in possibility.
Here is to you. I know you can do this.
Thoughts? Questions? Reflections? Head down to the comments underneath this post.