Just before the holidays were approaching and my husband and I were getting prepared to buy the gifts for our children, we both experienced that silent painful understanding…You know that knot in your stomach? You know that uneasy feeling in your body because you know you can’t experience the holidays as you would like to?
My husband said to me, “I am just trying to get used to not having as much…trying to live on a budget.” While this may be a normal comment and one that most people would understand and accept, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
My response to my husband was a bit unusual and one that resonated and pushed us forward to do what we needed to do to reach our goals.
You see we should never become complacent or comfortable within our limitations. We should never decide that what we have is all that we are going to get in life. If what we want is more in life, financially and personally, then we should always be uncomfortable. We should never become settled in this life of the norm or the average.
Living on a budget is not what we should accept as normal. Just because so many others find this place of limitations normal does not mean we should have to accept it as our realty.
The very painful issue that we live with…whether this be our job or our financial situation…we should keep at the surface, right along with the vision of what our life will look like when all the pain has washed away. The painful issue should be right at the surface, like a really unattractive zit. So that every time we look in the mirror we have this constant reminder of what we don't want, of where we never want to be again!
I told my husband that we should never accept this to be our life! In order for us to want more, then we have to know where we don’t want to be and at the same time head towards the direction of where we want to go. I told him that we should be upset. We should not be ok. And, we should remember this feeling. We should not put it away or develop a tolerance to it. It should be so nauseating that it drives us to do whatever it takes to make it never surface again.
I had a very similar conversation with my friend the very next day. She called and said she hates her job. You know that very feeling that you are way too smart, way too qualified and no one seems to care? Well, this is my friend. It is what she said afterward that sent shivers up my spine.
My friend said she is trying to get used to it, that she is trying to make the best of it…
What I told my friend was a bit different from what others might anticipate…You see I know my friend has greater aspirations than her job. She is much more valuable than the person who is required to answer phones and make sales.
I told my friend never get used to your job! Let your job be a reminder why you are finding a different way to live life. Let the job be so painful that it motivates you to continue to do the things to get you from never ever having work for someone else again. Do not become settled in doing less than your potential. Do not get used to getting paid less than what you deserve.
So when we think about what we are currently doing to support ourselves and our families, do not turn off the painful thoughts. Use them to motivate you. Use them to remind you why you need to change and do better. Use them to wash away the fear you have about taking the next step or doing what is challenging.
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