February 12, 2021

The cash value of your existing fulfillment

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During the beginning of the pandemic, there was a productivity meme going around that said:

After years of wanting to thoroughly clean my house but lacking the time, this week I discovered that time wasn’t the problem.

It’s funny because it’s true. Human beings truly have a remarkable ability to delude ourselves. It’s the talent that separates us from the animal kingdom, aka, is kicking the can down the road for months or years at a time, promising ourselves that we’ll get around to certain things, yet knowing in our hearts that they’re simply not going to happen.

Denial is an adaptive defense mechanism. It’s evolutionarily advantageous for the propagation of our species.

That is, until it’s not. Until some crisis comes along and calls our bluff. And an unprecedented event happens that exposes the cracks in our armor.

That’s what makes tough times tough. They drag all our issues out of the dusty closet, and we’re forced to confront the biting reality of our hidden feelings, neglected needs, human fragilities, toxic dependencies and inglorious pasts.

What about you? Did the pandemic surface any of those bloody bits in your life?

Sure did for me. Quarantine very much reminded me of my work at home days when I was a full time entrepreneur. And not in a good way, either. Sheltering in place made me realize just how poorly I ran my business for so long. Not to mention, how lonely of an existence it was.

Oof, it makes me sad just thinking about it.

Honestly, part of me was laughing at my younger self during the pandemic, thinking, wow, I would have been completely screwed if this virus struck a decade ago. My business would have evaporated like a fart in the wind.

Dodged the bullet on that one.

However, crisis does more than just expose our weaknesses. It may punish us for our previous bad decisions, but it also rewards us for our good ones.

My mentor used to tell me that your life will always catch up with you, either to pat you on the back, or kick you in the ass.

That’s another one of those evolutionarily advantageous, adaptive traits of the human species. If our meaning making machinery is already in fine working order, then we’re harder to kill.

If we’ve already put in the work to build a life of individuation and wholeness and connection, then we’re more resilient.

And if we know how to interpret traumatic events in such a way that we don’t lose our innate peace, then survival is a matter of course, rather than a hard fought, brutal victory.

It doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges and frustrations along the way. But if there was ever an underrated source of leverage in this life, it’s our current state of fulfillment.

Did you ever notice that happy and healthy people are harder to control, harder to scare, and harder to sell consumer goods to?

There’s a reason for that. Because when you already have a satisfying life to begin with, stupid bullshit won’t distract you from it.

Those messages don’t work on someone who is already okay with themselves.

What did your last crisis reveal about you?

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