Today I’m talking about how it’s time for us all to get out of the parking lot and get on with our lives. I was reading Chris Brogan’s newsletter earlier this week, which had the very odd title of “How to Crush a Rebellion”. The gist of the article was that the way rebellions are crushed is to lure the rebels into a false sense of security by making them think you’ve surrendered, so that the fire within them dies down, and then quietly and gently destroying their will to continue so that they don’t even notice that they are the ones who are, in fact, being defeated.
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Basically, Brogan’s view is that you destroy a rebellion by making the rebels think they’ve won and then making them so damned comfortable where they are that it’s much more palatable to accept excuses for why things have to stay that way than it is to continue the fight.
It was an interesting metaphor and I was particularly interested in this one in light of the podcast episode I did a couple of weeks ago about not playing small in your life (episode #1421 Go Big or Go Home). In that episode I talked about why it’s so important that you stop holding yourself back because your greatest gift to the world is to become all that you are capable of becoming. I also talked about how amazing this world could be if we all let ourselves shine as brightly as we can.
The perils of the parking lot
It’s not rocket science. I think that, at some level, we all instinctively understand this concept; we know that the best way to create the kind of life that we most want is to get out there and live it, and that the best way to create the kind of world that we most want is to contribute our best to it, and I think that we all get that the combination of these two ideals is where the real magic happens – we are only able to contribute our best when we are living our lives in the best possible way for us – when we are living our lives in accordance with our own highest principles and working towards goals that mean something to us. In short, we are best able to make this world a better place when we are in alignment with our vision and when the work that we do is in service of those we most want to be of service to.
It doesn’t sound like something particularly hard, does it? All we need to do is figure out what our principles are and what we’d most like to be working towards, and then go and do it. And it’s not like you have to be your own boss to accomplish all of this – you can most certainly be working for someone else and still be working from your highest principles towards goals that mean something to you.
So why is it that so many of us are stuck in that rut of dissatisfaction?
It’s because the rebellion has been crushed. You’ve found “good enough” and that’s where you’ve decided to settle. The forces inside your own mind that call you forth towards your highest good have been lulled into complacency and you’re too comfortable where you are to bother moving anymore. You found yourself a parking spot and now it seems like such a risk to get out of the parking lot and continue your journey; what if you can’t find a better spot later on? You’re tired. There’s money issues. The odds are against you. Everyone says you’d be an idiot to give up what you have to take a foolish risk on something else.
You can have results or you can have excuses
These are all convenient excuses. And it’s just so much easier to carry on as is, to bitch about the Establishment and harp about how it should be so much different. And so the status quo is kept and the rebellion fizzles out. And that’s why there are so many unhappy people today, and in my opinion, it’s one of the biggest reasons for the unprecedented rise in mental health issues we’ve been seeing over that last few decades.
So many people have given up on their own principles highest callings and decided to settle for the safe route out of fear. But turning your life into something you’ve settled for never made anyone happy. And spending your life doing something you hate just leads to bitterness, anger and regret… and what kind of a life is that? Do you really want to get to the end of your days and realize that you never even took the chance to do what it was you most wanted to do with your life? So many people drag themselves through their lives, doggedly focused on their next vacation or on that holy grail of “when I retire…” They make retirement the be-all and end-all of their existence. My father died of cancer at 70 years old. He survived only one week from the day he told me it was terminal. For the love of everything you believe in, don’t put off doing the things you want to do in life, and don’t waste your time here doing things that don’t matter to you.
Get out of the parking lot or you’ll start to rust
If you never get out of the parking lot you’re in, you’re just going to rust in place, and you will never know what you could have done. So figure out what your touchstones are, figure out what you most love to do, figure out how your talents and gifts can help the world and figure out where you would most like to use your talents to make that difference. And then make the choice and make the commitment to go out there and do it, because it’s not the big bad Establishment that’s holding you back. It’s not society, or your parents, or your boss. It’s not lack of money, or lack of talent or lack of support. Trying to blame other people or any kind of circumstance for you not going after your dreams – these are just excuses that keep you parked where you are. And until you are prepared to let those excuses go and realize that the only thing holding you back is YOU, then you will never get to where you want to be. YOU are the only one who can get you from where you are to where you want to be.
The rebellion starts with you. It starts with your own thoughts. It starts with doing the vital work of looking deep within you for the answers to your own existence. You know what you want. And what’s more, you know that you can have it. Don’t settle for anything less. Shake off the complacency and false sense of security that has lulled you into a stupor; get out of the parking lot and get back to the journey that is your life. Get out there and live…
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Nathalie, this is by far one of your top two podcasts! This was great and I really needed to hear it!
But, Nathalie, aren’t others the ones who implant these limitations to us in the first place? I mean, how it one to go on if being told that they are not good enough for A or B? Are we to go on anyway? Be happy anyway and go after it anyway, as Abe Hicks tell us. Are we supposed to intuitively know not to listen, love ourselves, know the universe loves us even more and know that it will all be okay? Maybe when we are younger we know this, but them we get beaten up by circumstances and then we doubt again. But maybe this is just another way for the universe to show us to start believing in it again? How else would we? Can unconditional love be found only in the universe? Some parents raise their children conditionally, you know. It is hard.
Just filling you in on where some of us are. I think one of the good indications that we are on track is listening to these podcasts and reading similar stuff,right? We need indicators along the way for sure.
Thanks A. — much appreciated! 🙂
When you’ve spent a lot of time listening to other people tell you you’re not good enough or that there’s something wrong with you for thinking the way that you do or for wanting the kind of life you want, then yes, it’s obviously much harder to push through all that and still get yourself to where you want to be. Words can do a real number on you, especially when you internalize them and start spewing the same sort of negativity at yourself. You are the only one who can decide whether to continue working towards a particular dream or not; this is your life and you get to choose your path. If you decide you are going to continue, then you have to be strong enough to ignore those around you. Do your best to surround yourself with people and material and ideas that keep you inspired and motivated to keep going. Be open to any opportunities that come your way, and don’t be afraid to jump on them when they do. If you miss an opportunity, no worries — just keep looking for the next one that comes your way.
You already intuitively know to love yourself; it’s the reason it feels so awful when people say horrible things to you. You can feel that it is untruth because the real you knows how wonderful you are. You are light. You are love. You are infinite source. When people say mean things designed to hurt you, it does because it clashes so strongly with the truth inside of you. Remember that you come from a place of unconditional love; this is who you really are. And it is who those other people really are, too. I sometimes wonder if the nasty people are there to remind us to look within and find the love that is always there, rather than expecting it to come from the outside.
And yes, there are always signs when you’re on the right track. But the biggest indicator is how you feel about what you’re doing — if it’s the right path for you, you’ll just know it. And you’ll just as clearly know it if it’s not.