A few months ago, I’ve read a blog post on a self-development site. The theme of the post was how people are equal no matter their performance, lifestyle, power. Then I’ve checked the comments section. This post alone had more comments than the last three combined.
It wasn’t particularly useful. It did not present any kind of strategy or hint towards obtaining something. It was a simple validation of “I’m equal to a Fortune 500 CEO even if I earn 1000 times less”.
And this was one more time when I’ve realized that people don’t want to hear the truth. To quote from “A Few Good Men” …
… “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!”
Right now, there is more information for reaching the person you want to be than anytime in our history. Twelve years ago, if you wanted to learn a foreign language, you had to buy an expensive course that was about 10 times more than my monthly allowance. Now, it is free.
Instructions, inspiration, guides are available everywhere you look. You can go online, you can join groups on Facebook, you can buy books and so on. I’ve got over 70 books on my Kindle and I’ve read at least 50 of them. This is the equivalent of a college education for less than $1000.
But this is worthless. People don’t want to hear how to change. They want to hear something that validates their own ego. This is the sad part.
Recently, I’ve been contacted by someone to ask for my advice. This is a rather common thing and I usually reply as I enjoy it. This person was not after a solution. He was after a validation. A sanction. I tried to give him solutions but I’ve soon realized that no matter what I say, he’ll do none of them. So I gave up. I wish I could help him but I knew that I couldn’t. Not from a coaching perspective anyway.
So here’s the harsh truth …
It’s not that you don’t know what to do. Even if you don’t, there are ways to find out. There are ways to understand anything from dating to nuclear physics (however, don’t build a nuclear plant in your basement as that guy who appeared on the news. It’s illegal and you’ll get 24 angry special forces soldier knocking your door).
It is only about the fact that you don’t want to do it. You know, when it comes to ethics, I believe in only one advice. This is “don’t complain about something that you can change and you are doing nothing to make it better”. You have no right to complain about your failed marriage if you are not changing it. You have no right to complain about your job if you are not giving your best or looking for other opportunities.
And here’s the kicker …
Nobody cares about your excuses. You may have the perfect excuse or reason for anything you are not doing right now. Yes, you may be too old, too poor, too young, too rich, too married, too single, too smart or too dumb. And you can repeat this to yourself as long as you want it if it makes you feel better.
But your life will be the same if you don’t do anything. Having an excuse for not exercising won’t make you fit. Having an excuse for not working hard and smart won’t make you rich. Having an excuse for being temperamental won’t bring back the lost friendships.
Life is not about being a lawyer, in front of a jury and explaining why you’ve did or did not some things. Life is about creating your reality.
But this creative process is your choice. Only your choice. And there isn’t any middle road. It is either “I’m doing it” or “I’m not doing it”. Knowing how to do it but not doing it … finding reasons why you can’t do it … saying that you’ll do it later does not put you one inch above someone who doesn’t want to do it.
It is existence or non-existence. Life or death. Action or inaction. Pick action. It is the only way to change your life for the better. Your ego may hate you (since you’ll have to admit that you lied to yourself and that you actually suck at some things) but your self-esteem will love you (since action is the fastest way to build it).
And ego does not equal self-esteem. Ego is based on weakness. Self-esteem is based on strenght.