A year ago, I packed everything I owned into my girlfriend’s car and left my hometown of Constanta, Romania for a lot of unknown possibilities in the capital of Romania.
Don’t tell her that, but I was kind of scared to death.
You see, just like most other folks, when you’ve been doing something in a certain way all your life, it’s almost impossible to decide on a new way of doing it.
But I had to decide. She had gotten a new job, a much better job, and I couldn’t tell her not to take advantage of such an opportunity because I didn’t feel like stepping outside my comfort zone.
Now, the thing is that opportunities don’t look like an incredibly easy and fast way to achieve something.
At first, I found it tough. I had a hard time sleeping at night. Yeah, I’m that kind of person. It wasn’t my bed, my house, my city. Damn, I felt so out of place in ways I never felt before that it felt like this wasn’t my life at all, as if I was experiencing a dream from another life, a me from a different universe. And even though every aspect of my life was being improved upon, I felt like going back to the safety and comfort of a life I understood at an emotional level.
And here’s the funny thing about comfort: we prefer a hell we know over a heaven we aren’t accustomed to.
Yes, we will prefer to live a life that is short of our expectations and desires if that means we never have to step out of our comfort zone.
After a few weeks of doing… well… the same kind of things I used to do back home, the coronavirus pandemic happened. Now, why is this important?
Well, living in the capital meant that our bills and rent were much higher than back home. Thus, I had a simple choice to make: do or die. Well, do or go back home with my tail between my legs.
That’s when I started to change things around. A lot. I began to actively seek ways of earning more, while doing more.
I was adapting.
Also, as lockdown measures were put into place, going home was no longer an option. I was here, whether I liked it or not.
And I decided to like it. To stop thinking of it as a struggle, but an opportunity to grow.
What felt like hell became heaven.
We can get anything we want in life if we’re willing to adapt to changes in our environment.
And every single time, without fail, if you want something you never had, you have to become someone you’ve never been.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”Charles Darwin
I have written about change, over and over again. About how painful it can be. About the fact that we are both the marble and the sculptor. Yet, it feels that this message is worth repeating, over and over again.
Change is inevitable.
If you can’t see it, you are about to be blind sided. Change is going to slowly creep up on you because you’ve decided to be reactive rather than proactive. You are waiting for the environment to change in such radical ways that you have no choice but to change.
Because, you see, we’re smart enough to understand that we always have a choice: it’s either adapt to subtle changes in your life, in the people around you, in your income, or you can decide not to.
And that’s how you get lost. That’s how you screw up your life. That’s how you “wake up” one day to find our that your significant other has been cheating on you, and they are planning to leave you.
You did not decide to adapt to the changes in your environment. You chose the comfort of being who you’ve always been over the discomfort of becoming who you should be.
If you do not actively pursue change, if you do not work on yourself to become the kind of person who can have what you want, what you will get is a lot of heartbreak and pain.
Ignorance isn’t bliss. Ignorance is suffering. Ignorance is spending your life on the sidelines, wishing for a chance to play the game.
We must strive to adapt our environment to us, and if we fail, we must adapt to our environment.
We must force ourselves to change the way we do things, the way we think about things, and the way we react to things.
If not, we will have to live the rest of our lives with the gnawing sense of having lost something that we can almost describe, but never quite understand, we will have to live with the bitterness that comes to haunt us during our most lonely nights, the ghost of who we should have been but decided not to.
The Secret Ingredient to the Secret
Now that I’ve let you in on this little secret (urging you to become adaptable), there’s something else that you might want to change about your mindset:
Odds are that you are reading this because you are actively pursuing the the secret to living the good life. Well, at least you wish you lived the good life. You wish for more, but you also want it instantly delivered to your smartphones if possible.
For this reason, we have Tony Robbins, Tom Bilyeu, Gary Vee, Dale Carnegie, Mark Manson, Robin Sharma, The 4-Hour Workweek, The Eight-Minute Abs, The Secret, The Law of Attraction, NLP, Rich Dad, Poor Dad … it’s all there, all fighting for your attention.
There are about a million blogs out there sharing lifehacks, tips, and tricks to help you get anything you want in life, and reminding you every minute of every day that, “You can do it.”
Yoga and meditation. Mindfulness. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Hypnosis. Binaural Tones.
All this is supposedly helping us become one with the universe, allowing us to manifest our desires and dreams and aspirations.
I know, because I tried them all. I have notebooks filled with positive affirmations and whatnot. I used to listen to binaural tones, and I used to fall asleep to Paul McKenna whispering supreme self-confidence into my ears.
So, then… why the hell did I spend most of my twenties struggling? Why did spend most of my twenties feeling filthy, repugnant, irrelevant? Why did I feel weak? Why did I cry myself to sleep at night? Why did my voice shake when I had to talk to someone?
What good is knowing that you should work out to be healthy if you never go to the gym?
What good is knowing everything there is to know about nutrition if you only eat fast food?
What good is repeating a bunch of affirmations about you being confident, successful, and attractive if you spend the rest of your time on the couch, binge-watching TV shows?
If you know what you should be doing to have everything you want in life, tell me, what don’t you do it? What’s holding you back?
Is it that that you don’t want it bad enough or that you don’t believe enough or that you aren’t close enough with your god or your inner soul or the universe? Is that it?
There’s a reason why personal development is a multi-billion dollar industry while 9 out of every 10 businesses fail within their first year. There’s a reason why there’s literally billions of words out there on the Internet designed to help you get the most out of life, and yet more and more people are feeling lonely, depressed, and anxious.
There’s a reason why watching one inspirational video after another, or reading one bestselling self-help book after another is not doing much for you.
It’s so simple, you might not believe me when I share this secret with you.
The true secret.
Nike had it right. All along, they’ve been sharing the secret to success, and nobody’s been paying attention.
JUST DO IT!
What? Is this the secret to having everything you want from life?
You see, success isn’t about being smart, or knowing something others don’t, success is simply deciding to take action. There are things you can only learn by acting.
You just have to force yourself to do it.
When you feel that initial desire to choose comfort over adventure, force yourself to choose adventure instead.
If you want more money, you need to force yourself to try anything you can to earn more money. If you want a girlfriend, you’ve got to go out there and try to find yourself a girlfriend.
Whatever it is you want, you’ve got to overcome the emotional (and sometimes physical) pain and go after it as if your life depends on it.
Why? Because it does. It truly does.
I had no other way but to do it, and guess what? I am glad that I did it.
You must get comfortable with being at least a little bit uncomfortable every single day of your life.
In case you feel cheated that I might have withheld the actual secret to success and fulfillment and lasting happiness, I’ll say it again: the only way you can get something you want, after reading about it, fantasizing about it, planning about it, and doing some affirmations about you already having it while staring yourself in the mirror, is to do it.
Just do it.
Stop reading everything you can on whatever you want out of live and just go after it.
I’m telling you this because that’s what I did. That’s how I changed my life. One day I decided to do, and I just did it, even though I was scared and wanted to go back to the home I had known all my life.