Fighting Nazis, bad Bones and Just Getting By…
I cannot stand TV anymore. I used to like it. Favorite show of my youth? Rat Patrol! The fictional ongoing tale of WWII jeeps patrolling the Nazi-held Sahara. Our heroes were the four man team that was headed by the dashing actor Christopher George, playing Colonel Troy. He and his team would play a cat-and-mouse game with the super forces of the German Army in North Africa. But my relationship with TV has changed, and it doesn’t provide me with the enjoyment it used to, and it takes precious time away from my goals. I was reminded of that on Friday night. After a long day at an industry conference, I just want to wind down. Days of Meetups, meetings and conversation can be exhausting.
I flopped down on the bed and flip on the TV, hoping to relax over some mindless hotel cable TV. And the EXACT opposite happened. After scrolling through 100 channels of nothing-to-watch, I landed on a rerun of “Bones.” I remember thinking this TV show was OK. But the mindless plot, soulless characters and insidious advertisements made me go ballistic. Why would anyone waste their time watching this infuriating drivel?
But here’s the thing. I didn’t turn it off right away. I let it play, and watched it for, like 30 minutes before I turned it off. Now, to be clear, the show didn’t bother me AFTER 30 minutes, it bothered me RIGHT AWAY. But I just put up with it, hoping it would get better (but secretly knowing it wouldn’t). I was putting up with something that I had complete control over, “hoping it would get better.”
The feeling is familiar. Putting up with people, activities and situations that are unacceptable.
We all have places in our lives that feel unacceptable. And the BEST part of being human is that our all-powerful brain gives us warnings that something is wrong, and we should do something about it. Our brain is like a massive air raid siren saying “Hey! This is awful, let’s do something different!” But most of us ignore that feeling. We put up with that person or situation or circumstance and say things like “that’s just the way they are”, “I won’t have to put up with this forever” and “I hope this will change”, and put off making the tough call by saying “wait until I get a better job”, “it’s only 3 years to retirement”.
We put off the momentary discomfort of saying the bold thing. We don’t say or do what there is that would change the situation. And the cost? The cost is continuing to put up with the familiar, intolerable situation as is. Status quo. And the longer you put up with it, the harder it will be to change it. See here's the insidious thing: we get used to the intolerable. We get used to not having our way. We get used to having it be "OK" but no better we get used to being mildly disappointed. We get used to so-so. We get used to "Good enough".
How much longer are you willing to tolerate the intolerable? How much longer are you willing to feel that predictable energy drain every time you think about that part of your life? How much longer are you going to keep putting up with "more of the same" how much longer are you willing to be disappointed with different parts of your life? How much longer are you willing to not have Life be the way you want it be new?
Because I know that's not enough for you. You KNOW you are capable of so much more. You know there something better, you know that if you just got over your self or some of your circumstances, or if you just were willing to put a little effort in you could start on a new path.
Stop being the man who is just like everybody else. Stop putting up with things that are intolerable. Stop putting up with people who drain your energy. Stop putting up with things that don't work for you. If the cost of you having a happy and fulfilled life means that some people need to go elsewhere to comment or judge others, so be it. And good riddance. Time to move on.
One swing,. We get just one swing at this Life.You get one swing at making a life worth living for yourself. You get one swing at having your dreams. Why continue to have it be more of the same. Tomorrow is not the time, when you lose 30 pounds is not the time, when you get divorced is not the time, when your kids get out of school is not the time, now is the time! Don’t let the bad-reruns of your life take one day after another from the ticking clock of your life.