How many of you wake up asking yourself that question?
I guess we all do, at least occasionally.
Listen up. We aren’t living in a medieval world of serfs and kings. The world in which we had to put up with our lot is long past. Way too many people are sitting out situations that they hate, allowing days, weeks and even years to go past whilst they moan about how tough it is. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, and I don’t mean to underplay the serious hardship that many people are enduring. But I’m talking about the day-to-day grind that we endure simply because we can’t see a better way.
The good news is that something rather extraordinary is happening. Millions of us are choosing not to put up with ordinary, and starting to look for extraordinary lives.
This may be driven by a desire to create a more sustainable, ethical lifestyle. Many of us have realized that less is more and have embraced a life where we play our part in the wider community. But that’s not it. I’m talking about waking up to the idea that you are part of something big.
So if you woke up with a heavy heart and asked yourself whether there was a better way, here are some pointers that will get you throwing back the duvet and going for it.
1. I’m worth it!
There’s that powerful voice inside us that says ‘don’t be ridiculous. That’s for other people. People who are better than you. You’ll fail’. Ignore it. I know that’s easy for me to say, but if your self esteem is at a low point then staying put in a job you hate or putting up with the grind isn’t going to make it any better. And to be honest, why not you? Why shouldn’t you deserve a great life? After all, if life is feeling that bad, what have you got to lose?
2. Right here right now
Every day, something happens that’s a little out of the ordinary. See those moments as opportunities. A kind of foot in the door, allowing you to prize it open a bit more until you have grabbed that moment by the neck and you are going for it without even realizing that you have. We spend far too much time overthinking things through and not seizing the moment. Just do it.
3. See, the glass is half full!
Another thing that stops us is that sometimes it’s easier to see what might go wrong. If you expect that, then it probably will. I’m not suggesting that you go all Pollyanna, because the world sometimes does serve up bad stuff. Instead, be a pragmatic optimist who takes the good with the bad, hoping that the good will ultimately outweigh the bad, and with the understanding that being pessimistic about everything accomplishes nothing. Hey, there’s even a League of Pragmatic Optimists. Join them.
4. Break the rules
Personally, this is my favourite. I almost revel in the idea that I can do things that I shouldn’t. I don’t mean break the law, but I do mean confound the world by doing things that you wouldn’t normally be expected to do. The other day, I heard a really heartwarming story from an ex-colleague, now friend, from my old corporate life, who whispered to me that he’d just started doing stand-up comedy. I wish you could have seen the joy, the excitement in his eyes. He’d come alive.
5. Cause and effect
Your story is for you to write. You don’t have to be in someone else’s story, a victim of your circumstances. Stop thinking about what is happening to you and start thinking about what you can make happen. Use your past to write a new story with new characters and a more interesting plot.