He looks at me across the table, eyes steady, gaze clear. “Here’s the deal,” he begins. “I hate my job – really hate it. There is no place for me to move up, it’s the same crap every day, and the people I work with are toxic.” He stops for a breath. “But I make a great six-figure income and we have a good lifestyle.
“It feels like I can’t leave the money, but I can’t stay in this job much longer.” Now, his resolve falters. “What can I do?”
Well, the first thing he can do is stop with the either/or thinking.
Thinking like: Either I do work I hate to make money I like, or I do work I like and go broke.
Notice how there’s no possible happy outcome in his mind. And I’ll tell you what – he’s not alone in that thinking.
She tells me that she loves being a full-time parent, and feels complete when she’s mothering her children. There’s just this one thing – she’s not so sure if she’s happy in her marriage. She tells me:
“Either I fulfill myself as a mother and stay in a blah marriage, or I get divorced and become a single working mom who never sees her children. I just can’t do that to my kids.”
Again with the either/or.
What you need to know about either/or set-ups is this: they allow us to justify not making any choices at all. We neatly set it up so every alternative is a crappy one – allowing us to avoid the uncertainty of change, and maintain the status quo. Then, slowly, slowly, slowly, because of our fears, we lose our passion, our joy and our selves.
Which is really sad.
Especially since there is another way.
You knew I’d have another way.
I call it “The And Way”.
The And Way says, “I can be happy in my work AND earn a healthy living.”
It says, “I can be the kind of involved parent I want to be AND have a satisfying marriage.”
It’s “I can eat what I want AND maintain a healthy body.”
I love The And Way. And you will, too.
How do you start living The And Way?
When you hear yourself doing the either/or thing, hold up a minute. Ask yourself this: Is that true? Of course, it may feel absolutely, 100% true. But explore. Is it really? Do you know anyone who does work they love and makes all the money they want?
Come on, you know someone who does.
You know me, don’t you?
When it comes down to it, you almost always know someone who’s doing what you tell yourself is impossible. And as long as you keep this person in mind, you see that there is an And Way.
Then you just have to pursue it. Sure, you may have to adjust a few things in your life. But you just might find that adjustment liberating.
Fear of change is the most human of emotions. But it’s also the most limiting of emotions. It keeps us stuck.
Knowing that positive change is possible – that there is always, always, always The And Way – is your first step toward crafting a fulfilling and happy life.