Good —> Great

My life was good. Really good. I had a job I was proud of, with work that challenged me. I had health insurance and money going into a retirement plan. I had vacation time, and money to spend during my vacation time. I had two perfectly framed degrees, which (thanks to the job I was proud of + hard work) were completely paid off. Life was good.

But here’s the thing…

The easiest thing to do is to just keep going the way it’s going, especially if it’s not perfect, but it’s not broken. You just… keep going… because… it’s good.

And here’s the thing about that….

When you have it good, you can actually talk yourself out of great.

My good life was good, until it was only that. My heart began to yearn for greatness. Living in good, while waiting for great led to a lot of this:

So things were good. But I decided I’d rather destabilize them, because they can be much better, and should be. (YOLO, right? My immediate apologies for the use of that).

The chaos that follows once you’ve initiated destabilization is hard to put into words. The world is simply not set up for salmon who prefer to swim the opposite way the stream pushes them. But, ever so slowly, I can see the dust settling.

My advice to move from a good life —> to a great life:

1. Decide what “great” means to you. I spent years trying different “lives!” Did great mean lots of money? No. Figured that out. Did great mean living on my own? No. Did great mean having a 8-5 job? Not necessarily.

2. Don’t be afraid to do something besides what you are doing. Be smart about it, of course. I am a huge fan of calculated and informed risk-taking. But then take it!

3. Learn patience. This 8-letter word can be quite a {insert your own word choice here}. By definition, it seems simple: The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. It’s that last part that gets ya! But that is all part of the journey. Moving from good to great doesn’t necessarily happen on your timing.

4. Know where you are and where you want to be. Be aware of each and every step of your journey, because life doesn’t stop simply because you are on a mission. That mission is your life, even the destabilization phase.

5. “Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They are different processes.” I once heard this rule, and I always remind myself of it. When I get an idea, or when I think of something, I allow it to follow through to completion. Then I analyze. I try to keep the same outlook on decisions. Yes, I go ahead and calculate to make an informed decision, but I try to keep my over-analyzing self away. I bring her in later to either a huge success or disaster, either way… she’ll decipher through it. But what I really appreciate about this rule is that it makes me sit back and trust both parts of myself: my creative and my analytical selves. They both have unique strengths and are used at different times to help create my life.

6. When people don’t believe in your dream, simply smile and then keep working. Don’t let someone else serve as a hiccup to you. If you know what you are doing, well then by all means… proceed!

7. Have a strong family and friend network. There will be rough times, that comes with destabilization. But loved ones pull you through those times when you question yourself, or need a shoulder to cry on, or just need someone to sit across from you and eat sushi while talking about their life. It’s important.

8. Be willing to put yourself out there. Meaning, that if it doesn’t work… you will be OK with that. Not many people follow their dreams or risk the good, so when someone decides to do so, you have an audience of people watching to see “how it turns out.” Be OK with that. Love that. Don’t fear that.

9. Don’t be afraid to admit when you are stressed / scared / lost / overwhelmed. I admit this to myself and to others as often as I need to! I am human, you are human, and you are going to feel somewhere between an upstream-swimming salmon and a circus act. You chose something different than the masses, and that is stressful, scary and overwhelming. But it’s also fantastic, freeing and full of joy.

10. Drink good coffee; listen to good music; read good books. Stay inspired, so that you keep your momentum and passion for the great life you imagine.

Begin. Giving up the good isn’t easy, but go ahead. Dare to dream of a great life.

 

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One response to “Good —> Great”

  1. Brittany says:

    By far one of the most supportive and motivational things I’ve ever read. Thank you Sheena, I needed that 🙂 I’ve recently destabilized and I’m very scared but I’m chasing my dreams…I have to, I’ll be miserable if I don’t. I’m not one to settle for “good”. Thanks again 😉

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