…you drown by staying there. I am not sure where exactly I saw this quote, but I did jot it down and wanted to expand on this idea. I thought there would be a bunch of easy analogies to make for this, as it is a great metaphor for life itself.
Let’s start with an obvious one that lots of people struggle with: your job. Do you work for a tyrant of a boss? Do you start getting that feeling of dread on Sunday night, because you know tomorrow is a work day? Are you underpaid, under-appreciated? Overworked? Overwhelmed? Do you just hate what you do as a job? Any of these are very good indicators that you are primed for a change. You are drowning and it is time to take some action to save yourself. As the analogy goes, you don’t drown by falling into a river (accepting the job), but you drown when you stay there (not actively making a change).
So now the question is, what are you going to do about it? If you stay put, you will slowly continue to drown. You are dying a slow and painful death, day by day. If it was absolutely a life and death scenario, you would have done something about it. For example, if you are a construction worker and your boss asked you to climb out on a crane and free a stuck cable 100 feet in the air, you probably quit on the spot and start looking for another job tomorrow. But in most cases, the job is more like a boa constrictor, slowly but surely squeezing the life out of you. A boa doesn’t crush you in one fell swoop, it slowly tightens its grip, squeezing the air out of your lungs, and not letting you take another breath. Eventually to you pass out, and then you die. It is a process that takes time, but once the process starts it is a foregone conclusion how it will end. Now while I am not suggesting that your job will actually kill you in every case, I am absolutely stating that your job can slowly squeeze the life out of you.
Are you seeing the affects of this squeeze already? Do you drink or smoke your troubles away? Do you lose sleep, over-eat, have a bad attitude? Are you unhappy? Do many of your conversations end up with you bitching about how much you hate your job? Time for a change…
Here is an easy segue into the next most common proverbial drowning: your relationship. Are you in a toxic relationship? Does your spouse or significant other support your efforts, your dreams and goals? Or do they hold you back? Are they a train wreck on a regular basis? Does their view of the future align with yours? Are you hanging on to this relationship because the sex is amazing and so you tolerate the rest? Here is a good place to start, so I’ll pose this question: why are you selling yourself short? How long ago did you lose your sense of self to the point that you tolerate bad behavior, poor support, etc. from the person who is supposed have your back through thick and thin? Are you staying put because you are truly stuck financially, or are you just lazy? If it is the former, start making a plan and saving money to make your exit possible. Yes, every break up is painful, even when you are drowning and finally decide to swim to shore. You can be the one who initiates the break up and you will still have lonely nights and doubts that you did the right thing. But don’t think that is a reason NOT to do it. At some point down the road you will realize consciously what you knew deep down all along: that relationship was killing you, day by day, and you needed to get out. It ain’t easy, but think of the alternative…
One more thought to expand upon for the topic: pursuing your passions. I just have one question to begin with…if not now, when? How much time have you lost already? What is really holding you back? If you say “time”, you are not prioritizing things in your life correctly. Drop your Fantasy Football team(s) and your video game habit. Get rid of your binge watching and “going out with the girls” so often. If you want things to be different, you have to do things differently. It is as simple as that. The definition of insanity, accordingly to Albert Einstein, is ” Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.
Does your passion pursuit eventually free you from your day job? Help ake you more money and gain financial freedom sooner rather than later? It is personally rewarding, nurturing your soul? What void does it fill for you? For the world? If you don’t pursue this, will someone else, and beat you to it? Will you just continue to wallow in your own version of mediocrity and play it safe? Pardon my French, but F*CK THAT. Don’t deny yourself, and maybe the world, of your gift, your talent or your contribution. Look around, the world needs it. YOU need it. If you die with this trapped inside you, how will you feel on your deathbed? I’ll tell you…you’re gonna feel terrible, and be filled with regret. And you will KNOW it is far too late to do a damn thing about it.
You do not drown by falling into a river…you drown by staying there.
If you continue to live your life doing the same thing(s) you have been doing, you are get more of the same. You will continue to slowly drown, day by day, the life getting sucked out of you. If it takes a New Year’s resolution or a near death experience to rattle you out of your stupor, that is unfortunate, but at least something got your attention. Don’t let that slide…ACT! Change jobs, make a clean break from your toxic partner, start that side hustle you’ve been meaning to. People less capable than you have done it…why can’t you? Don’t the fear of the unknown hold you back, grab your nuts and jump. Day by day, your life is passing you by…stop procrastinating and get to work! You will be a better person for it.