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Be Aware of Your Mind or it Will Keep You Safe!

These past few months, I had quite a bit of problems with my laptop. The handyman in me tried to fix the cover with a piece of duck tape, while the not so patient side of me was sometimes – I must admit – using it as a punching bag. Ouch! It was so laborious […]

These past few months, I had quite a bit of problems with my laptop. The handyman in me tried to fix the cover with a piece of duck tape, while the not so patient side of me was sometimes – I must admit – using it as a punching bag. Ouch! It was so laborious to open a webpage or save a document that I kept a book by my side or an episode of the Big Bang Theory (my favourite TV program!!) on stand-by so I could either read or watch TV while the grey little monster dragged its imaginary feet! 

Interesting how we often do the same thing in our life, don’t you think? We put up with an uncomfortable situation instead of making a plan and taking concrete actions to really fix the problem. We know there is better “out there” but a part of us prefers to suffer – often in silence – because of all the things our not-always-logical mind makes us believe: it’s hard to change, it’s too complicated, it won’t work anyway so why bother, it’s too difficult… I will stop here but you get the gist?!

The problem is that whatever we focus on, our rational mind will always find reasons to justify our thoughts. As I often say, asking our mind for advice is like asking a weathercock for directions! It will take us wherever the wind blows, or in our human experience, wherever our thoughts go!

Asking our mind for advice is like asking a weathercock for directions!

So, after putting up with a very uncomfortable process for several months, and because I was seriously considering my front window as an option to fix the problem, I finally decided to bring my laptop to the spa… aka the repair shop! The pain had become so intense and intolerable that status quo was not an option anymore, and I HAD to deal with the situation once and for all. 

To my great surprise, the repair was done in a day at a very reasonable price! I drove back home telling my improved new best friend, equipped with a double dosage of RAM, all the wonderful things we would create together! My enthusiasm, however, went down the drain fairly quickly when the time came to install the new operating system: the grey little devil didn’t want to recognize my password!! Talk about a jerk!! 

So here I go on a Saturday night trying to hack into my own computer. (By the way, even if all the coding seemed intimidating at first, it was SO easy… I mean child’s play!!) After a few attempts (those codes are very picky apparently!!), I managed my way in. 

Upon completing what first appeared to be a very complicated task, I realized how small and insignificant my fears and doubts were in comparison to my desire to succeed! Also, it was now quite obvious that when following the right set of instructions with a laser-focused attention, while believing that it will work out, it’s fairly easy to change an uncomfortable situation! 

All this got me thinking…  how hard would it be to hack into our own operating system so we could make changes in our life and finally live up to our true potential?! 

How hard would it be to hack into our own operating system?!

If this idea sounds interesting, just know that in order to do so, you will need a big WHY. The WHY has to be big enough for you to stay focused when the ride gets bumpy. In my case, my big WHY was that my computer was my main source of income. I had NO other choice but to stay focused and try to fix the codes until I succeeded. 

Then, you will have to find a way to quiet your mind. Since your mind is extremely skilled at keeping you in an eternal state of homeostasis, if you attempt to make any significant changes, be ready to get an earful from Ms. Smarty-Pants-Know-It-All! You know that annoying voice who kept reminding you that “those things” only happen to you, you’re just like your mother, you will never amount to anything, or that you are not good enough! You know the voice I’m talking about right?! We all have one! Mine has the most annoying squeaky voice and can be quite bossy at times!

This voice is there to protect you by keeping you safely anchored to your same old patterns. What is known is safe. It doesn’t have to be comfortable, enjoyable or fun… as long as you are safely tucked in your routine, all is well. That is why change is so difficult. Not only does it require a level of energy greater than everything you have done so far, you will also have to quiet that annoying little bugger!

That’s also why we watch too much TV, work at a job that we hate, stay in a dead-end relationship, or put up with friends who drag us down. We accept status quo in an attempt to “occupy” time and avoid the surplus of energy that would be required to change an undesirable situation. We fear the pain that change could cause to us, and to others. We wait while hoping that things will get better, or that suddenly the situation will disappear by some magical trick. It didn’t work for my laptop, I doubt it will work for a boring job or an unhealthy relationship!

Change is scary.

And if you do find the energy and courage to make some changes, what will often happen is that your mind will let you throw a temper tantrum, but after a few days, it will take over to bring you back to where you were. Change is scary. So your mind will jangle all sort of yummy and fun things right in front of you to divert you from your plan, or will generate crapy feelings to make you crawl under the cover until the storm passes. If you don’t have a great support system in those times of change, the odds are that you will stop before you reach your goal. Thanks to your mind, you will find all sort of good reasons to justify why this new awesome project is not much of a deal after all!

The mind is a crafty-two-headed-monster equipped with an ironclad agenda, and it won’t hesitate to use the most crapy strategies to keep you safe in your comfort zone. 

If you want to make changes in your life, don’t wait until you reach a point where the front window becomes an option! Express how you feel either to a trustworthy friend or a diary. Know that no magical phrases will ever fix the problem. Find an accountability partner or hire a coach who will help you identify the necessary steps to reach your goal and will be there with you on the road to transformation. 

Change can be uncomfortable and overwhelming, but in the end, it is SO worth it!

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    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

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