if-this-then-that

I thought this would be a good story to share because I often here people making their big life goals – the goals they claim they really want – conditional.  They have the ‘someday’ mentality. ‘Someday when all the conditions are perfect, I’ll do the thing I really want to do with my life.’

I believe what they are really asking for is guaranteed success. Before they are willing to begin, they want someone (God, the Universe, Madam Golda) to look into the future and tell them that if they go for the thing they want, they will definitely get it and it will be just as they dreamed it would be and life will be wonderful. Without this guarantee, they refuse to act.

I’ve been down this road myself, sticking with the safe option, the perceived ‘sure thing’, the steady paycheck. All the while watching one day bleed into the next and wistfully dreaming about ‘someday.’

I don’t know if you know the story of Liz Murray, the lady who went from being homeless on the streets of New York City to attending Harvard and becoming a successful international speaker, author, and life coach. Their is a movie out about her life called Homeless to Harvard. All the odds were stacked against her. She had only a grade school education. She was living on the streets and being raised by two drug addicted parents.

But she wanted a better life. To get it, she knew she had to give up the if-this-then-that mentality. She said: “Before I had my transformation, I always had this illusion I call if-this-then-that. If I find a quiet place place, then I’ll study. If I get some more cash, then I’ll go to school. We do that when there is no real commitment to a goal. We’re saying ‘I’m committed unless…’”

She goes on to say there is a big difference between ‘I’m committed unless’ and absolute commitment. Absolute commitment means you’ll do whatever it takes. No excuses! No waiting for permission to act. No waiting for someday. No waiting for absolute guarantees.

To begin, you have to begin with absolute faith. Let go of the if-this-then-that mentality. This reminds me of a story Joseph Campbell, the late 20th century philosopher and mythology expert, told of a Native American father’s advice to his son: “As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm. Jump! It is not as wide as you think.”

Are you standing on the edge of a chasm?

Take a good look at it.

Now jump!

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