Seriously Though

Excuses, excuses: The problem with “It is what it is” and “That’s just how I am”

Life is hard, right?

There’s so much happening that our to-do lists never seem to end. Scratch one item, add another. We also have countless choices in what to be. Long gone are the days when you found a job and retired from it 30+ years later. All of it can overwhelm us into a paralytic state, leaving us settling for mediocre and feeling stuck. Feeling stuck, we start looking for excuses. We use phrases such as “that’s just how I am” to justify our lack of motivation and/or desire to be more, to be better, and “it is what it is” to convince ourselves that we’re really all just victims of circumstance, unable to control that all-illusive it that controls us.

It’s easy to do and it’s understandable considering what we’re up against, but at the end of the day they’re excuses. Stuck is merely a state of mind. You can decide what it is. And as far as who you are? You can reinvent yourself any time you’re ready to take the risks and make the sacrifices required.STUCK IN A RUT copy

I know for a fact this is true because a few years ago I made the decision to quit my seemingly secure  job in higher education and start on a new path. I had no idea where it would lead, all I knew was that changing my life was worth whatever I was about to go through.

It wasn’t easy. I had more ups and downs during the ensuing years than in all the previous years combined. There were times when even knowing I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be, I was ready to stop and settle for ‘almost there.’

During early days, I thought, “Wait, if I had the courage to throw myself into a journey with no clear destination, then I can also find the courage to share my writing.” I did, and I threw myself into figuring out how to best share it. I took on various work projects in which I had no previous experience, and volunteered my time. The risks and hard work it all took have paid off in more ways than even I know right now, because the rewards continue to come.

But my story is more long and complicated than yours has to be. Change doesn’t need to come with a dramatic flair of jetting into the sunset. It can come in little choices you make daily. Want to lose weight? choose a glass of water instead of soda, for example.

Whatever it is that’s important to you, it’s all about what you’re willing to do and give to get it, no excuses. Because in life it is what you make of it, and you is who you choose to be.

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