Nothing is more fatal than living a life of complacency. We all deal with it, we all run into it. The key is to not become devoured by being complacent.
Taking the leap to follow a dream is challenging.
Doing the necessary work to make the dream possible is tough.
But keeping those feelings you first had when reaching towards your dream is the hardest part.
I find myself wrapped up in so many day-to-day things. I start to just coast through the days. Nothing bad, nothing good. Just coasting. I wake up each morning sleepily reaching for the coffee mugs. I get dressed in the same clothes I’ve worn 1,000 times before. Then I start the mundane tasks: dishes, laundry, going to work, doing school, scrolling through social media feeds. It’s a routine, a safe routine. One that I can do without putting much thought into.
Then it happens…I head to the grocery store. Normally nothing noteworthy happens while heading to the grocery store. But for me, there is every single time. Why? Because I’ve made the choice to have it be noteworthy. I’ve made it a trigger in my life. Now to be fair our trip to the grocery store involves a few windy coastal roads, a view of the ocean, and crossing a river on a four mile long bridge. But I refuse to become complacent in that drive. It’s those views that I am enamored by each and every time. I let myself become awed by the waves, by the huge vessels that are rocked to sleep in the water, by the grey hills rolling in the misty background. Some days it’s foggy and grey. Other days its bright and blue. But no matter what it is incredible.
What I really want is to wake with each day excited to start the day. Where I look into my closet and see only colors that suit me. Where the time I spend doing chores doesn’t matter because I’m being present in those moments. Where driving down the road amazes me. There are so many times where I am complacent and I don’t treasure those moments. But in making an effort to not become complacent keeps the awe in life alive.
We are getting close to the two-year mark of when we started this journey. It has flown by, yet this life is so natural I feel I’ve been living it forever. After two years i am not ready to be complacent. I’m not ready to view the trees that tower above us as normal. I’m not ready to view the ocean, rivers, and Puget Sound as just water. It’s all too magnificent to be just trees & water.
6 Tips to Keep from Becoming Complacent and to Keep the Dream Alive.
1. Find awe in the small things.
Take time to look at life as if you’ve never seen it before. Make yourself take a moment and remember what you used to find amazing, to remember those feelings you had in the beginning. Then to go out and view those things again with a fresh point of view.
2. Create triggers.
Find things that spark something inside of you. Then find a moment, a place, an item that becomes a trigger for that spark. Have triggers around that force you to feel those feelings of awe, excitement, and joy every time you do or see them.
3. Take Time to remember.
Life is busy i know. Start realizing when you’re appreciating life and revel in that moment. Even if just for a second. Do you remember how it felt when you first followed your dream and there was that “We actually did it” moment? Feel that feeling again.
4. Do something that brings the awe and make it part of your routine.
For us it is the outdoors. Whether it is a walk or drive on the beach. A hike through some magical forest. Driving up some forest service road. Or just going to look at the waves crashing in the ocean. Those moments always snap us out of complacency. Always. So we make a point to do those things and do them often.
5. Stop making excuses. Better yet, stop complaining
Attitude is everything. We’ve all heard it, we all know it. You’ve followed a dream for a reason. If you have to complain about life, maybe you’ve followed the wrong dream. Nothing feeds a miserable life more than negativity.
6. Realize it’s not the dream that makes you happy.
It’s you. Sometimes we think “If I only had this….then i’d be happy”. “If i had more…..then i’d be happy”. Truth is if that’s the attitude we have, we will never be happy. If you can make your dreams come true you can absolutely do what it takes to be happy.
I have spoken to many people who have made drastic changes in their lives, and hitting the moment where life is just life again is common. Your new life because just life. For me it hit at the one year mark. I remember mourning the fact that our dream life was now just life. Sounds a bit silly, but it happens. Then you realize you can now start concentrating on being present in life. You aren’t spending your time wishing and longing for things, you’re living them. Now you can no put your energy into loving the life you have.
Of all the possible avenues of life there are to live for, complacency should be viewed as the switch that killed the will to build.