The most essential factor is persistence – the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come. ~James Whitcomb Riley
Obstacles and blocks on your path don’t just disappear because you decide to be persistent. Persistence is the ladder you use to climb over adversity, or maybe the hammer to batter it into submission. It takes effort and willpower to keep moving forwards towards your goal. The key point is to be persistent.
You have to believe in yourself (finally) and trust that what’s best for you is only known by you. We’ve spent a lot of time getting to know ourselves. Our maps to contentment are in hand and we know in which direction to head. We’re on a superhighway to happiness now, right?
Wrong. We now must guide our ambitions from the daydream and fantasy realm to the less fluffy and more spikey three dimensional reality we call “real life”. Sitting back and wishing for the universe to elevate you to new heights of self satisfaction and bliss isn’t a sound plan for getting what you want in life. We must strike out, blaze the trail that our maps have uncovered and expend massive amounts of effort to shape our dreams into 3-D reality… Persistence is what will get us there.
There are always impediments thrown up (mostly by ourselves) when a new path is begun. These blockages act as easy and ready excuses to give up. “I don’t know how”, “It’s too… (fill in the blank)”, “I don’t have…” are all common blocks that we create for ourselves. This stems from fear. It’s easier to keep doing what we’re doing, and remaining unhappy, than it is risk failure by trying something else.
Our egos don’t like change. Nor do they care about our actual day to day happiness. Egos prefer autopilot living, and will try to sabotage our efforts to better ourselves if actual effort must be expended to do so. This is why it’s important to identify the blocks and walls you’ll be facing as you strike out on your path to monkey contentment.
Doug and I have a pretty good handle on our personal self-sabotaging tricks. We’re writing them down so we can immediately identify them for what they are when they spring out of the woods to stop our forward progress… They’re just ready excuses that allow us to be lazy, and to give up. Our main blockages are:
- Indecision– Life is easier when there are fewer decisions to make. Doug and I spent years trading our happiness for a relatively wave free existence. But we were just existing. By not deciding what we really desired, we remained stuck and unfulfilled. Paralysis often occurs through indecision. Which choice to make? I don’t know… And nothing is accomplished. We expect indecision to regularly come visiting, along with its twin brother…
- Avoidance– Avoidance is similar to indecision, but thrives on an ever more unconscious mode of living. Avoidance prevents pinpointing choices… “What am I doing for the rest of my life? I don’t have time to think about it, Family Guy is coming on”. Addictions can stem from avoidance working overtime to keep us right where we are.
- Fear– If all else fails, Doug and I will probably run in to our old nemesis, fear. Fear is all of the what ifs, the I can’ts and the I’m nots we’ve played in our heads on a loop since childhood. Fear, for us, pops up when we try something new. Fear keeps us down. It basically is a bully who keeps asking who do we think we are trying to better ourselves… Don’t we know we’ll fail, that we’re unworthy, that we’re whatever else it can think of to scare us in to inaction.
We have to know who our enemies are going to be if we hope to manifest our dreams. There will be lots of effort expended to keep us where we are, from within and from without. Persistence is needed to plow through all of the blockages we’re going to encounter. We’ve already identified our adversaries though. They have no power over us unless we give it to them.
What blockages and impediments do you expect to deal with as you start out on your path to contentment? What do you think will try to frighten you into giving up, or will try to convince you that you’ll fail?
Write these blockages down. Compose a few sentences about each, so you will familiarize yourself with its tactics. Learn to recognize your ego trying to sabotage your efforts to change, to improve and to be content.
There’s going to be resistance and outright sabotage to try and keep your ambitions from flowering. Persist in your efforts and believe in yourself. Stick to your map and become who and what you dream of…