In a Ted Talk by Mel Robbins, she points out that the odds of you, or any single individual, being born is 1 in 4 000 000 000 000.
When you think about it like that it magnifies what our lives are composed of: what we’ve done and what we haven’t done, what we have and what we don’t have. Forget about material possessions like your dream car, or dream home. Think about your life’s goals. From book you want to write, the job you want to get, the marathon you want to run, to the body you want to be in. How many of these have you not achieved because you haven’t started to pave the way there? Why?
For most of us it could be that we put off starting our journeys because we’re think about the effort it would take, the trials and tribulations that we we would experience, and then somehow conclude that going through that trouble isn’t worth it, and our current states are ok after all. In other words, we trick ourselves into thinking that what we want is a kind of plus, not really a necessity for life.
Think about your behaviour throughout the week. How many times have you relegated to your usual routine and not pushed through something you want to and should be doing, but don’t do? Maybe it’s your goal to get up earlier in the morning to go for a run. Getting up earlier than you have to is never easy (I’m a renowned snoozer, so much so that I’ll even set my alarm at an unnecessarily early morning hour, so that I have the delight to press snooze a few times). But you want to start running in the morning. You’re at an impasse, and you convince yourself that you’re fine. You’ll do it on the weekend. But that weekend has come and gone many times.
“You were born not to be just fine,” said Robbins.
The bigger issue with “fine” is that you say it to yourself. That thing that you want, I guarantee you, you’ve convinced yourself that you’re fine not having it. That’s why you’re not pushing yourself. It’s the areas in your life where you’ve given up. Where you’ve said, “Oh, I’m fine. My mom’s never going to change, so I just can’t have that conversation.” “I’m fine. We’ve got to wait until the kids graduate, before we get divorced, so we’ll just sleep in separate bedrooms.” “I’m fine. I lost my job, I can barely pay my bills, but whatever – It’s hard to get a job.”
Completing a small task first thing in the morning, like making your bed, can position you to start feeling in control of your goals. A simple task like making your bed can make you feel accomplished. You can tick it off the list, and start on the next item. Making breakfast, eating breakfast, leaving the house and so on. If you break your day into segments, but call them goals, you’ll get into the habit of setting and completing goals.
Robbins calls this activation energy: follow through with one thing, and the rest will follow. But the window for this energy is remarkably short, about 5 seconds. Just 5 seconds to choose between I’m ready to achieve my goals, and I’m fine. Did you really beat the odds of existing so that you could be just fine?
Take the time to find what you want, but don’t squander your winnings. If the probability of you being your best self is 1 in 4 trillion, what’s the probability of you being your best self?