The other day I was a little thirsty. Had some work to do so I delayed my short trip to the kitchen as much as I could. After one or two hours, the thirst become really important to me, so I left my home office and went to the kitchen. To my surprise, there was only a small bottle of water left in the house. This is happening extremely rare as I am quite a freak when it comes to water, food and supplies. Well, I took a glass of water, pour the whole bottle in it, then put in on my table and start looking at it.
“If I don’t drink the water, I’ll have this glass full for a long time”, I thought. “It’s the only water I have in the house, so it’s really precious, must take good care of it”. But after a few seconds I realized I’m still thirsty. More and more thirsty.
“If I drink the water, I won’t be thirsty anymore. But I won’t have any water left in the house. I know in several hours I’ll be thirsty again, and then I won’t have this glass full of water. It will be empty. That means I should really go out and start looking for some fresh water. And I really don’t wanna do this right now.”
Learning To Let Go
I’m sure you laughed while reading the monologue above. You have all the reasons, it’s a weird monologue. A guy talking with his glass full of water is always funny, I know. But as thirsty as I was, I realized this monologue was something very common to me. It’s a monologue I play every time I’m afraid to try something new. Every time I’m on a safe environment and I’m enjoying it and try to squeeze everything out of it. I was really enjoying working on my office and the idea of getting out for some fresh water was really unpleasant.
And I realized I have to do it. As unpleasant as it seemed, it was something necessary for me. And I also realized that every environment is perishable. Each situation is finite. Trying to extend a pleasurable situation beyond its natural boundaries it’s not only useless, but most of the time quite impossible. You must accept this sooner or later. You have to drink the water and accept that you’ll have to find fresh water soon. You can’t rely on a single glass of water to quench your thirst for your entire life.
Keeping your game into a single playground will soon dry it out. If you don’t do something to constantly refresh your resources, you’ll empty your field by using it. If you don’t get out in the wild to get some water you’ll run out of it.
But soon I started to explore the advantages of the other side, the safer one: “I can hold on my thirst for a little while. I will still have this glass of water. I think I can resist at least 4-5 hours more. And whenever I’ll be really thirsty I know I have this backup plan.” The magic word here was “backup”.
Having a safety web is what everybody dreams of. Knowing that your life path is insured makes for a great sleep at night. That’s a mindset of conservation. Don’t use your resources. Don’t make that trip, don’t start that relationship, don’t even think to start something new in your life. You’re good as you are. You have enough water in that glass and your thirst will fade in time anyway.
Keeping a safe game will make the water older. Yes, even water can get older and its taste become worse. Your resources will conserve but your life won’t advance. You’ll remain safer but you won’t grow. I know I had this mindset for years. I was stuck.
Learning To Enjoy
It was only when I started to avoid conservation and seek joy when things started to improve. Only when I started to really use my resources without any fear of loss. And by resources I don’t mean only material resources. My ideas, my skills, my emotions, my physical energy, everything is a resource. If you don’t use one of your resources and strive just to conserve it, you will actually help it decay. In some cases it might even rot.
It was only when I gradually replaced my conservation mindset with a joy mindset that my life become really abundant. And by that I mean really going out and get what I wanted, without worrying that I might lose something in the process. And when I ran out of it, getting out again and get some more. That mindset created abundance, not the conservation one. And it worked in every area of my life: personal development, relationships, career, wealth. Every time I was focusing to maintain a status-quo things were actually shrinking. I had to go out and get some more.
It’s quite a paradox, but only in the beginning. The fact is the more you use what you’ve got, the more you attract what you want. The more you do the more you have. The conservation mindset is really a scarcity mindset, because conservation is another word for death.
You have to let go some stuff in order to make room in your life for something new. You have to let go of your habits, of your assets or of your emotions in order to experience new habits, new assets or new emotions. Doesn’t mean you should start clean every day, with zero resources. It’s about assessing what’s really old, what’s dragging you down. This is what makes you feel uncomfortable, not the new stuff you just started.
If you don’t drink your last glass of water, the only thing you’ll feed would be your thirst, you’ll make it bigger. If you drink the water while you’re thirsty, you’ll be forced to find some fresh water soon, but you know what: that’s the fun part.
You wanna know what happened with my glass of water? With a harsh move I took it and drank the water to the bottom. Man, that was good. 🙂
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.