Think about what you’ll be like at 90. None of us is very good at accurately imagining our future. When I ask clients what they most regret as they look back at life, most speak of regret in terms of something they’ve done. When I change the question to what they think they will most regret at 90, most speak of something they failed to do – like not spending enough time with one of their kids, their spouse, or not really understanding who they are. When we think of the present we regret acts of commission and when we forecast we mostly think we’ll regret acts of omission.
This really doesn’t make sense, does it? You see, our brain doesn’t keep very good track of our omissions, so as we ask it to remember what we’ve deeply regretted, it doesn’t find anything we failed to do but an abundance of shit we stepped in when we did. This explains why so many of us have an abundance of fear when it comes to doing and not so much when it comes to not. We cannot forecast how we’ll feel if we hold onto our conflict with another teammate for years, but we are certain it won’t stink as much as stepping into it now. So we wait. And, don’t even seem to regret it.
Until we imagine ourselves at 90.
You tend toward inaction. ACT. Admit you suck at forecasting pain – you overestimate it. Embrace acute pain. It’ll be over before you know it. Preload your pain response. When you tell yourself there’s no out, its amazing what get’s done. When climbing the French Alps I told myself there wasn’t an option to stop on any climb. My mind overruled muscles. I was free to stop or turn around at any point. Nobody was holding a gun to my head. However, my preloaded commitment kept the pedals turning all the way to every summit. It was a satisfying victory over self. You and I are happiest when we choose to act into fear, when we choose PA, acute pain, and commitment. Commit. Do the work. Face your fears by acting into them. Don’t give yourself an out. Doesn’t make sense at first blush, but it does.
What acute pain would eradicate some of your chronic stuff? Embrace this…