People say life is short. I disagree. While many lives are indeed cut short, life is long — an average of 80 years long. That’s why personal fulfilment is so important. I mean, do you honestly want to look back at decades of life lived in neutral? I don’t. So whenever I feel complacency creeping in, it’s time for a reboot.
I recently returned from a three-day marriage reboot in New York.
My husband and I have been together for coming on 10 years. While that may not sound like a long time, it’s 3,650 days. If we’re capable of forming one habit in 21 days, we’re capable of forming 173.8 habits in 10 years. That’s a lot of habits, and what are the odds of them all being good ones?
Being the creatures of habit we are, we’d slipped into a few that weren’t doing our relationship any favours and truth be told, we’d become pretty complacent with our new normal. Things weren’t bad. They were fine. They were good…enough…until we agreed that good enough just wasn’t good enough for us.
We knew we could do and be better. It was time for a reboot. We weren’t out to reinvent ourselves or our relationship. We simply needed to take a few days to restore our factory settings; tap back into the feelings that drew us to one another in the first place. And that’s precisely what we did.
Complacency isn’t bad. It’s just fine.
“What’s wrong with fine?” you might ask. “It’s better than bad.”
Agreed. Things could be a lot worse than fine. But that doesn’t mean fine is good. Let me ask you this: How do you feel when you ask your partner how you look and he or she says, ‘you look fine.’
Exactly. I positively hate that answer. I don’t want to look fine. I want to look awesome! Similarly, I don’t want my marriage to be fine. I want it to be awesome. In fact, there’s not a category in my life where I wouldn’t choose awesome over feeling fine. Because fine leaves me unmoved and that just feels like a waste of this incredible capacity we have to feel, love, experience, express, and so much more.
My husband has been a film editor for about 34 years. He loves his work, and a good thing too; he works his ass off. When vacation time approaches he gets pretty excited. That said, in our 10 years together I have literally never, EVER heard him say, “I don’t want to go in today!”
Ain’t that something?
The unwavering passion he has for his work is pretty exceptional. I’d say those who 100% love their jobs 100% of the time are few and far between. But there are plenty who 100% dislike their jobs 100% of the time. And probably many more who get up every day and go to a job they don’t necessarily dislike but one they don’t really give a s**t about.
Which is worse? Disliking your job altogether or not really caring about it? I’m going to say the latter. If you really dislike your job enough, you’ll likely recognize it’s time for a reboot. If you simply feel meh about it, though, you can easily slip into complacency and that can be a much harder place to take action from.
But act you must!
Can’t quit your job? Nobody’s asking you to.
You don’t have to totally reinvent yourself. I’m just saying it could be time for a reboot. How you choose to implement that reboot is up to you. For example, you could:
- take on a mentoring role and weave the satisfaction of helping others in and around those day-to-day tasks that leave you unmoved
- take some courses so that you can improve your skillset and approach the boss for a new opportunity — one that will inject more excitement into your role
- set firmer boundaries so that instead of having to manage tons of projects like a machine, you can manage fewer with genuine passion and drive
As for your relationship…
I can’t tell you how to reboot your relationship, but I can tell you this: the small things can really make a big difference. In our recent reboot, my husband and I agreed on the following:
- More long, lingering hugs — we’re here for decades; we have time
- Better listening; when you’ve known someone for years, it’s too easy to think you know what the other person is going to say and subsequently tune out before they’re done, but we all want to be heard
- NO NETFLIX IN THE BEDROOM! (Did I say that loud enough?)
And it’s made a difference. I’ll spare you the details. Just trust me on this.
So, is it time for a reboot in your life, and if so, where?
Work, relationship, health and wellness, community — in which area(s) of your life do you feel you’ve allowed complacency to sneak in, and why aren’t you doing anything about it? Why do so many of us settle for so much less than awesome?
I have a theory.
In a world where millions of people would give their right arm to have the jobs, relationships, physical health and community we enjoy in the free world, it’s fair to say, “we shouldn’t complain; we shouldn’t be greedy; we should consider ourselves lucky; we have shelter, food, friendship — we’re privileged.”
Yes. You’re right. We are privileged. It’s an incredible resource that we are blessed to have so let’s not waste it.
Respect your privilege, use it thoughtfully, and live your most fulfilling, joyful life. In doing so, rest assured you are not being selfish. The happier you are — not in those fleeting moments but in the deepest depths of your heart — the more love and compassion you will spread.
Gift yourself by living your best life and without even trying, you’ll gift the world with your best self.
Viv for today xo
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