The happiest people on the planet are the ones who are constantly trying to better themselves. Who are constantly looking for ways to get better, for ways to improve, to be stronger, smarter, and more capable of anything and everything.
The happiest and most fulfilled people are the ones who never stop evolving.
Imagine that you are driving down a back road through a dense forest, sunshine barely penetrates the full treetops high above you and there is a plume of dust following in your wake. You are not even sure where you are exactly and find that you really don't care. You are comfortable and enjoying the moment. As you come around a bend you suddenly see thick storm clouds rolling in over the tall pine trees. You pick up on the metallic smell of rain and the coming storm on the breeze through your window. As you crest a hill, you drive directly into the sudden storm. Rain lashes at your car and what was just a smooth dirt road is now a series of flooded puddles, mud and some serious ruts. Out of nowhere a huge pothole opens up in front of you and having no chance to avoid it, you hit the rut head on. Mud covers the front end of your vehicle and with a sickening feeling you realize that you are stuck.
Stuck in a rut.
The storm passes just as quickly as it came. However, you are mired in mud and aren't going anywhere for the time being. You try to dig out your car but it is hard work. You try pushing your car and that too is hard. With the car only giving an inch or less at a time, you grow quickly frustrated. "Why am I not getting any where?" you ask yourself, as you pound on the roof. Why me? Why now? Do you just give up? Do you walk until you find help? Do you just sit there in hopes that someone finds you?
What do you do when you find yourself stuck in a rut?
Becoming stuck in a rut is not always as in-your-face and can't miss it clear as the above scenario, sometimes in life you don't even realize that you are so mired in a rut that you can't move. Day in and day out you simply exist. You don't want to try - it's too hard. You don't want to push yourself - it's too much work. You don't want to think, do or plan anything. You don't go out, you don't have fun, and you don't do anything except the bare minimum to get through your day. Motivation goes on hiatus, interest in anything goes too. You work, you come home and you veg in front of the television, choosing to "live" the lives of the characters on your favorite sitcoms instead of your own.
Perhaps initially you needed a break from life's chaos. Possibly you suffered a loss, a break-up or life event that you needed to process. Maybe you required some time to acclimate to life changes and in the process of healing your wounds, coming to grip with a new reality, or after making peace with something, you simply forgot to start moving forward again.
Do anything for too long and it becomes a habit.
Hide from the world every chance you get and you will eventually "forget" to get back out there. Set your brain on autopilot and do only the bare minimum to get through the day and this will become your new normal. Lose interest in living life, having fun and making memories and you will find that after awhile, you cease to care.
Effectively, you cease to care about anything.
If you continue on doing the same thing over-and-over-and over again, you are going to get the same results. Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Or do you feel like you are missing something but have absolutely no idea what it is. It is like driving the exact same route to work every single day. You become oblivious to the scenery because you see it all the time. Then one day you get rerouted because of some construction and are forced to turn down a new road. Immediately your brain kicks on and you start seeing all that is new and different. Maybe you get lucky and find a new coffee shop you never knew existed, maybe you stop at a different convenience store and meet the man of your dreams, who just bought a winning lottery ticket. Things you would have missed out on forever had you never made that turn. Quite frankly, you would have missed out on, because left to your own devices, stuck in your rut, you never would have stepped outside of your comfort zone and done something different in the first place.
The same premise works for life too. But, you have to see the rut that you are stuck in first. You have to see it AND want to pull yourself out of it. Maybe you are happy coasting through life. Maybe you think adventure is too scary or happiness is a myth. More likely is the chance that you aren't even aware of what you are doing or not doing for that matter and you aren't even aware that you are coasting through life and not actually living it at all.
Self doubting all the time - is a rut. Dating the same type of person that never works out over and over again - is a rut. Working dead-end job beneath your capabilities and not constantly looking for better - is a rut. Allowing fear of what could happen because of what happened in the past to stop you - is a rut. Thinking that you don't have to try any longer is one of the biggest ruts of all.
The happiest people on the planet are the ones who are constantly trying to better themselves. Who are constantly looking for ways to get better, for ways to improve, to be stronger, smarter, and more capable of anything and everything. Because it makes them feel alive, accomplished and motivated to reach even higher. The happiest and most fulfilled people are the ones who never stop evolving.
Ruts are easy. Ruts hold you tight and at
times can feel almost comforting. But ruts hold you back and mire you so deep that happiness no longer exists. Look at your life right now. What can you make better, do better or start doing to fire up that spark of passion and set you on the course of becoming a more fulfilled and happy person? This is what you need to be doing. Not later, not tomorrow, not next week - right now.
Do something that makes you come alive and want to live fully. Explore your passions, your ideas and dig yourself out of whatever rut you find yourself mired in. Find that glimmer of a spark in the center of your soul and do whatever it takes to ignite it. Feed that flame and become alive again. Live in the moment instead of in the rut.
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