Have you ever noticed that as soon as you commit to something, everything that is NOT that thing shows up in spades?
For example, say you commit to working on your spare tire or muffin top. (Not that I’d personally know, but I have a friend…) Then what do you see, constantly, day in and day out? It’s not that you hadn’t noticed your muffin top before, but now it appears front and center, just staring at you while rolling over the top of your jeans.
Or when you decide you need a new car? Immediately you notice different vehicles out there; makes you’d never heard of, amazing colors, hybrids, electric cars, etc., and you begin to get more present to everything your current car is not. All the little flaws that were really no biggie before are now an issue; the tiny rip in the seat becomes a major annoyance and exactly the reason you need a new one.
The same is true for committing to being a different way or taking on a new discipline. You commit you’ll be nicer to your local Starbucks barista. But the next time you go in for your venti triple shot vanilla skinny latte, he or she only gives you a grande. Or you’re given the middle seat on a fully booked flight. Or you commit to not reading your emails until noon, then “accidently” open it and see there’s an urgent message from a client. What do you do? Yes, it can be discouraging. But right there is your opportunity. The question becomes, what choice will you make? Because it’s in that moment where you do get to choose what path you’ll go down.
In my experience, this can be overwhelming and can get you stuck.
Here’s an example from my life. At the beginning of 2013, I created a theme for the year: Freedom through Discipline; to wake up and enliven the world. I was fully committed to having a breakthrough in being disciplined and I would take on these three areas:
1. Be more focused at work by selecting three key tasks each day to move my company forward.
2. Adopt the Paleo Diet.
3. Meditate every day.
When I created my theme in January while in Dubrovnik, Croatia, I was super excited and so inspired I even deluded myself into thinking my action plan would be a breeze. Guess what? It hasn’t been a breeze. In fact, unfortunately, I’m more present than ever to how disciplined I am not!
But here are my choices: argue with the laws of the universe (I think we all know how that’ll turn out), quit, or keep standing for what I truly am committed to. And while I’m not 100% disciplined, I’m more disciplined than I’ve ever been. I’m meditating on a regular basis and, rather than going to the unconscious, my commitments are front and center.
I’m not perfect, but I have noticed that having a different and “perfect” life is highly overrated.