LIVES OF ORDER, BOREDOM

#lifeisgood #UnchainTheElephant #findyourpassion

“I had been seduced into a life of little conviction – a logical, systematic existence. My best talents had been buried beneath well-intentioned, but ultimately lifeless rules, meant to hem me into the corporate fabric.”
Erik Wahl
Life is good.
It is. Really. But for some, a “good life” is not enough. They have been taught what a “good life” is, and they live by what they are taught. Yet, they long to do something else — something their parents, teachers, preachers and bosses would never advise them to do.
Erik Wahl, in his book “Unchain the Elephant: Reframe Your Thinking to Unleash Your Potential,” compares an elephant’s behavior in the wild, vs. an elephant’s behavior in captivity. He points out that elephants that are born in captivity are chained to trees and posts. When they test the chain, and realize they can’t go anywhere, they eventually learn that they are not supposed to go anywhere. As a result, the tether becomes unnecessary and the captors need not fear the elephant will take off.
Wahl was told at a young age by a teacher that art was not his strength. He quickly became conditioned to believe that he would never be an artist. Yet, eventually he became a well-known graphic artist – but only after he got good grades, played by the rules and had a great corporate career.
“I gave away my freedom at a young age,” Wahl says.
Many of us want to please our elders. They purport to know what is best for us. So, as children, we listen, obey and are guided to a “good life,” whether we like it or not. Our elders truly believe they are only after our best interest.
But what if adulthood comes, and we find that though life is “good,” something is missing. How many people can, like Wahl, reflect on that, THEN take the steps to unleash a passion. Without passion, we go through the motions of life. Those motions may lead us to good things, but it is like pedaling a stationary bike. You might be making progress toward good health, but you are not going anywhere. Life is so good where you are, you believe, there is no need to go anywhere?
We all learn to take pleasure in little things. We are told to stop and smell the roses, as the song goes, but not if it’s going to delay your next work project. Completing work projects gives you the money to make life “good.”
What if you could make money without completing such projects? What if money came to you while you were stopping to smell the roses?
What if you could pursue your passion without worrying about making a living? Believe it or not, there are many ways out there to do that. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. If you can be financially successful pursuing your passion, as Wahl and others have done, that’s a gift. But many need a financial cushion to give them the time to pursue a passion.
Are you a chained elephant? Are you an elephant without the chain, who has been taught never to escape? Is what you have learned about creating a good life enough for you? If so, your stamina is to be admired. If not, and have a passion you might not dare pursue, think about the chained – and tame, unchained – elephant. With instincts marginalized, it has everything it needs for a “good” life.
Go wild, if you dare. You just might find a great escape.
Peter

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