The way we’ve always done it….
The most dangerous phrase in the English language. So much of moving forward in life is unlearning and challenging limiting beliefs and habits that hold us back. Yet so many of us don’t even ask or look for a different way because it doesn’t dawn on us that there could be other possibilities. We assume the best possible choice is what was presented to us and settle with what we get. In my experience that is never the case. The only way I have ever moved forward was to question the status quo, change my perspective and find a new way.
So where or how do we start? Believe that this is the truth. It starts with the belief that our thoughts, habits and learned behaviors create our lives and that we have the ability to change them.
Be open to the fact that we don’t know what we don’t know. If we aren’t open to the idea that there are an infinite number of different possibilities that we don’t even know about yet, we will not look for them.
Let me give you a simple example: how do you peel a banana? Do you grab the top twig like piece, cut or pull on it to open and then peel? If you said yes, that is how most assume is the best way to open. That’s how your grandpa did it, that’s how your mom showed you how to do it and that is how you do it. If you never stopped to consider that maybe there is a better way, this is how you would teach your kids and how they would teach their kids. See how that happens? Just because we learn a certain way and “we’ve always done it this way”, does not make it right, best or most efficient.
Back to the banana, have you ever seen a gorilla peel a banana? They flip it upside down and peel it from the bottom. No tools needed, no smashed banana tops. You want to know why? Bananas actually grow from that little twig thing on the top, the don’t hang from it, they grow upward from it. So the twig and the top part of banana has to be the strong enough to support the banana as it grows. This makes the top part the toughest part of the peel and the hardest place to start if you are peeling it. Did you know that? Did you even think to question it?
Okay I know you are thinking, “great Shanna now I know how to change my life by peeling a banana from the bottom first! Whew thanks for that epic advice” Ha! Not my point in sharing though. My point is this… If you have been peeling a banana the hardest way possible your whole life believing that it was the best way, is it safe to say there are probably a ton of other beliefs and behaviors you are living out right now that are not the best possible way? What else have you always believed that needs to be questioned?
My answer is probably everything. People are so skeptical of what I do, because it’s not what we’ve always done. We are taught to go to school, go to college, get a good job, work 40hrs a week, look forward to weekends and vacations, buy stuff to make us feel better, go into debt to pay for that stuff, retire at age 65 and then live our life…if we are lucky enough to have a retirement plan. That’s “the way we’ve always done it”, that’s what works. Up until 8 years ago, I was right in line with that, I believed that, was miserable and 100% thought my life would change when I got more school, the perfect job or made more money. I didn’t know there was a different way. Just like you may not have known there was a different way to peel a banana until you heard it from me. I didn’t know there was a different way to live until I met someone who was living very differently.
It’s very different to not have a job or a boss. To work from home without a physical location, tons of overhead and employees. Work in flip flops from a beach, take vacations whenever you want. It’s really odd to make a full time income working 10-15hours a week. Even more odd to have two parents who stay at home to raise the kids, retire from W2s by age 30, and make money while you sleep. But that is exactly what we have been able to do. I tell you not to brag, but to raise your lid on what is possible. If you aren’t happy with any part of your life start questioning things. It’s your life. YOU are the one that gets to decide how to spend it. Isn’t that awesome news? I needed to hear that 8 years ago and now I’m giving you permission to live differently too. Just because it’s how you’ve always done it doesn’t mean it’s the only way. What you truly want exists, don’t settle until you get it.