The BS Files are kinda like the X-files – full of myths and urban legends and mysterious things. I feel that it is my duty to tackle them (occasionally). Because, you know, the truth is out there. Here is October’s case.
Case #6. You have to hate where you are to make a change. Bullsh*t!
There are lots of versions of this one, and it’s related to the rock-bottom myth: that you have to hit rock bottom before you can make a positive change.
This myth is based on the belief that we are lazy, complacent creatures who will never strive to do better or more unless we are forced to change because we are so miserable. It’s based on the ideas that we will always try to get away with the minimum possible effort, that we don’t really have our best interests at heart, that we can’t choose what’s good for ourselves or the world unless we are forced into make the right choice.
That’s all a bit bleak House, isn’t it. Not to mention bullshit.
Yes, you can make amazing, life altering changes from rock bottom. I’ve done it. You probably have, too. That’s a wonderful, beautiful, miraculous thing. Mysterious, even.
We think there is some mysterious thing that has to happen to create the motivation we need to change. We usually think this has to be something bad, and we call it rock bottom.
Truth: Motivation isn’t the key. We think it is, but it isn’t. Choice is the key.
Truth: Choice comes before motivation. Said another way, motivation follows choice. When you make a choice, once you decide something, you create the feeling of motivation inside yourself. Think about it. When you can’t decide (“oh, I don’t know, I don’t know”) how motivated do you feel? Not very; probably just the opposite – unempowered. But once you’ve made a decision, really made the decision, how much motivation do you have? All the motivation you need.
Truth: You can choose to make a change for the better from anywhere. It is always available to you, even if you love where you are, more is always available. (I borrowed that from my friend Wendy Yost.) You can choose to become more fit, even if you are already healthy. You can choose to take a new job, even if you have a wonderful one. You can choose to paint, even if you love to sing (and keep singing). I could really get lost in the possibilities here – but you can choose your own.
Rock bottom, misery, struggle – those are all scarcity and desperation – not motivation. They aren’t necessary to choose something better. It’s magic that we can choose better from that place at all, which just proves that better is available from anywhere.
And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!
Love and light,
I signed off with “love and light” back when this was originally published and I’m not gonna practice historical revisionism by changing it now.0