Why is it that some people need a wake-up call?

This is something i’ve been pondering for a while. Why is it that some people seem to have their lives in order, while others wait for something major to happen before they take stock of their lives?

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a dig at the latter group. I am one of them, after all. Surrounded by people who seem to have their lives figured out, I was the one who didn’t live up to his potential but rather sailed through life. From personal experience, I can honestly say that this was partly due to being comfortable with my circumstances. I felt safe and secure. I did try to improve myself but didn’t try too hard  for fear of failure. I’d prepare to make changes only to begin to be paralysed by all the “what ifs”, for example “what if I leave my full time role for a better, temporary role and it doesn’t work out?” and “what if I make these changes to my behaviour only for my relationships to be affected”. Lastly, there was an element of laziness. It was almost as if I expected success to come and find me without putting in all the effort and hard work which everyone else does. Stumbling through life in this manner will never help you to fulfill your potential and live the life of your dreams.

On the other hand, there are those who are able to motivate themselves and are constantly striving for self improvement and progress. They don’t need a push, because they are hungry and determined enough already. They put the work in relentlessly, learn from their failures and keep persevering until they achieve their goals. What is the difference between the two groups? Mindset and hunger.

Well, having sailed through life until getting stuck in a rut, I desperately needed a kick up the backside to snap me out of it. And boy did I get it. In hindsight the experience which forced me to re-evaluate my life was a blessing in disguise, although it didn’t feel like it at the time.

In my last post, I described my hospitalisation and near-death experience. For me, this was my much-needed wake-up call. As I was brought out of an induced coma and was recovering, I had hours to think. Between visits from family and friends, I literally had nothing to do so I would have a nap if I was tired, or just think about my life so far. Being unable to sleep at night on the ward, I was never short of thinking and reflecting time. Sounds pretty straightforward doesn’t it? The truth is that it brought up a whole range of emotions.

The biggest emotion was regret, mixed with shock, at how I had lived my life to that point. Just before going into hospital, I had separated with my fiancee, but then while at my lowest point, she was there by my bedside every day without fail. That was unconditional love and a reminder of how stupid I had been. The separation came about because I had behaved awfully and taken this wonderful woman for granted. Seeing her standing by me opened my eyes to what a nasty individual I had turned into and was a painful reminder of what I had lost. As I reflected and played it over in my mind, I knew that I would need to seek help as soon as I recovered. I was disgusted at the things I had done and said and knew that this moment would serve as the catalyst for change. Never would I lower myself to that level again.

It wasn’t all negative though. I got angry as I reflected on my life, and then became hungry. I got angry because I hadn’t fulfilled my potential and pretty much wasted my life by playing it safe. I didn’t get sad or look for scapegoats though, instead I got hungry. The more I reflected, the more determined I became to turn my life around. The thinking time was a blessing because it gave me the opportunity to plan how I would get my life in order. By the time I was discharged, I knew what I had to do and how to do it. As I recovered and regained my strength, I put my plan into action and my life has come along in leaps and bounds in a short time. That cretin who was admitted into hospital is gone for good, because I feel like I have been reborn and have a second chance at life. There is no greater source or motivation. I am a different person and have changed for the better but I am not finished. In the words of Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise”. This has become my motto, and I wake up every day determined to go to bed a better person than when I woke up. Every day I am looking to gain knowledge, become a better person and find my perfect job which will challenge me while supporting my growth personally and professionally.

I needed a kick up the backside and got it. Now my life is improving day by day. It’s a powerful feeling, these small daily accomplishments make me feel unstoppable, like a force of nature. I now understand how people stay hungry and motivated without the need for a push. Steady progress keeps you hungry, and helps you to overcome any obstacles while remaining positive.

The message I would like to share with you is that if you are sailing along in life but crave more, or are stuck in a rut, don’t wait for something to happen before taking action. I was stupid enough to leave it until something bad happened which forced me to reflect on my life. Don’t make the same mistake. You don’t need any super powers or to wait for the perfect time, because neither actually exist. Learn from the always-motivated self-starters;

  • Take responsibility. Your life, so far, is the result of your choices and actions. Understand that it is you who controls your life, nobody else.
  • Take small steps towards your goals every day. No big actions, just baby steps.
  • As you start to see progress, you will find your levels of hunger and motivation grow.
  • Small victories will help you to stay fired up and keep going, even when times inevitably become difficult and challenging.

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