In society there is an inclination to drag everyone down to a common level of comfortable misery. Cut loose the cords that bind you down and encourage a rising tide to lift all ships!
In Dan Miller’s 48 Days Online Radio Show this week, he used the phrase “comfortable misery” in describing those who are not happy – but are not yet disgusted enough to want to make a change.
When it comes to weight loss, overcoming addictions, looking for a new job, fixing a relationship, etc. we have to come to a point where the misery of continuing to do what we’ve always done is greater than the potential pain of change.
And sometimes change is painful. And sometimes we make it out to be much more than it is! And in making change, it is easy to compare ourselves against others who are doing something better than we are and to make excuses as to why it is so easy for them, or why we cannot make the change.
As you look at others who are more successful, more accomplished, more talented than you are at a particular skill, are you excited for them? Or are you envious?
There is a big difference between being self-assured and selfish.
To be self-assured is to wish the same success you have on others, to appreciate other’s successes, and to want to see them be more successful. It is an attitude of abundance.
Envy seeks to take away what another has out of spite and hatred, and is driven by the desire to destroy. It is an extremely destructive emotion, one that cannot bring personal happiness and is sure to bring social harm. ~ Ron Paul, Liberty Defined
We have good friends who moved about a year ago to a monster of a house. Rather than congratulate them, most of my neighbors made discouraging remarks about how hard it would be to clean, how “things aren’t important” etc. I didn’t hear anyone excited for them.
Unfortunately, recently we found out that the foundation of their new home is cracked and their home is sliding off the hill where it was built and our friends have had to move again into a smaller home. I haven’t let anyone in our current neighborhood know because I suspect there would be a bit of gloating and “I told you so” or even worse, false predictions that our friends are being cursed for greed or something silly.
I’ve been working for the past few years on comfortable success. Thanking God daily for everything I enjoy. Health, strength, sound finances, living within our means, working hard to live a good moral life and see our children be successful.
What I’ve found is that I’m thrilled for others success. It is their success. I do not want it. I have my own successes. When I hear of another’s failures, I am sad for them. No one “deserves” pain and anguish.
Learn: What is your self-talk when you hear about another’s success? In the current politically charged atmosphere, are you keeping it human? Can you accept that this is a race between two good men who value their families, or are you overcome by the vast availability of negativity about how the world is going to end if candidate A or B wins?
Act: Start each day in gratitude. It makes a HUGE difference. A difference people have noticed in me and I have noticed in myself. It takes work, and every day is not perfect, but when I start with gratitude I find any trials in the day to be easily overcome or put into proper perspective.
Share: Share your time. Share your talents. Share in other people’s time and talents.