Once upon a time… a kid. This is no fairy tale, it is a stark reality. Humans, at least in our experience with the work we do with many high performers, appear to live 3 different realities. The goal of all pursuits for us within the company is simple, increase performance. We have many ways to do this, coaching, assets, services, and even assistants. However, all of that seems to matter very little until we can break one simple paradigm, your existence.
Naturally, we only get one life, so this is not an alternate universe or reincarnation conversation. This is a conversation of choice. Every day, every human is met with a choice, that choice, what life I want to live today. These lives can be split up into three categories, the caged life, the comfortable life, and the charged life. And that choice is made each day. While life would infer that we are entangled in it for our existence, thats just not true, we can vacillate between these lives, and many do.
I have written many times about how we as a company see the world. We see a world in which people accept the lives they live and do the things they do, not because they have to, but because no one showed them an alternative. We believe that if you show someone that an alternative route is possible, it can open the possibility that such a route can be followed.
That word view makes this life choice incredibly important. As how you choose to live your life affects your ability to see and accept the alternative paths available to them. Luckily this isn’t that difficult in theory, as like most things it simply starts with awareness. When we make our clients aware of the life they are choosing, they are far more likely to choose a better reality. So let’s look at what these life choices look like.
The captive, or the caged life is unfortunately the most common. Its name says quite a bit about what, and how this life sees the world. From within a cage, or specifically not in control of their life, but rather their life is controlled for them. It’s not unreasonable to see how this happens to many people. Life for the most part is subconscious. Few people are self-aware in all of their actions and instead are creatures of routine, including negative routines. These cages are built of life experiences or trauma. As such they rarely venture into unknown and uncomfortable scenarios, so the boundaries they build are firmly set. Their identity is set, and it’s set based upon restriction, not what’s possible. These people generally feel tethered, to life, location, work, relationships, etc. Attached to, not in control of. They generally feel as though the world corners them into their reality, and they simply must not disappoint their masters, many of these masters are simply in their minds and perceptions.
It’s easy to see how this reality comes into existence. From birth, we are enticed into conformity. We are nudged strongly in how to look, think, act, and feel by our handlers. Parents, professionals, social norms. Free thinkers are problematic in a systematized world. This is the reason most are willingly inside this caged life. A caged life has a lot going for it, attention, care, and rewards as long as we behave. Or at least that’s the narrative in their mind.
The comfortable life is the life of paradox. As this life is also, self-explanatory. The “lucky few” who live the comfortable life are shrouded in a gilded cage. And a gilded cage is still a cage. As you might imagine, those who have an abundance of comfort aren’t typically willing to risk that comfort in pursuit of more. Their life is not as dismal as the caged life, these people have followed more fortunate circumstances. They have houses, spouses, cars, and kids, and objectively from the outside, they appear to be doing alright. Their life, a culmination of the sacrifices, has ultimately led to its current comfort. Little less adventure here, and more work there. This life is common as we most likely get into this life because we follow the path laid out by others before us. Parents, friends, mentors. And then one day it hits them, life is, well, it’s just fine. Mediocre. The trouble brews. In the back of your mind you start asking the deep questions, is this all I am meant for? Am I living my life, or someone else’s? Have I made too many tradeoffs?
In this inevitable moment, and it will happen to 100% of anyone in the comfortable life. The comfortable life becomes uncomfortable. What’s important here is that the only true human motivation is the avoidance of discomfort. Imagine that restlessness when you want to avoid your own life? Sadly this is the reality of a large majority, but because they “did the right things” they are far more reluctant to challenge them. Their inner narrative says things like “Don’t be a fool you have a good life” or “Don’t be ungrateful, do you know how good you have it”. Yet despite that inner narrative, the question still tugs at them,” How did I end up here”. As you can imagine, or maybe even experience, a bad place to be is wanting to escape your own life.
The charged life is a different reality, and the third life, that we hope to move you all into. The charged life is obvious to the other lives, but to the caged life the idea of living a charged life is a question of survival, to the comfortable life, it’s a question of whether they will be accepted and successful. To a person living a charged life, the question is simple “Am I living my truth, and actualizing my potential ” and they ask themselves this every day. To the charged life, the boredom and aimlessness of the comfortable life is repulsive. The charged life seeks joy and purpose through experience and challenge. Comfort to the charged life is a curse of the dying. The charged life sees the world for opportunities and possibilities and the comfortable life sees it for familiarity and therefore stale. To the comfortable life is mysterious, the charged life is magical and meaningful. To the few who live their lives charged, they don’t feel disengaged or restless for the trappings of our lives. We see our lives for our creation, we create our own world, our own reality.
From the outside, the charged look like they are living a charmed existence. They are somehow lucky outliers. However, this is not true. The charged life ultimately takes the most work of the three, as every day it’s under threat. The charged life is made possible through intention. Life on the other hand is very much in reaction. Every day, we are faced with the choice, do we react to today, or act in pursuit of tomorrow. The charged always have their eye on the future, the caged and comfortable their eyes on the past. To the charged few they do not consider what they are getting from the world, they ask what they are giving.
Now you can likely see why it’s so vital that we bring people to the charged life, as in, in charge of their life. The other options are anything but in charge, they are in reaction. To the comfortable and caged, the charged life seems whimsical, unattainable, and fanciful. It is antithetical to their existence, and most notably the way they see the world. To these two, the charge seems to be above existence, above the fray. However, the charged few are quite grounded. They are methodical and intentional, in their life. Ironically is the life that the caged and comfortable are meant to live, but until you become charged are you actually free enough to live methodically? Until then, everything takes of your intention, fractures your routines, gets in your way, and shuts you down. When you become charged, through freedom you become responsible, intentional, capable of being routine and structured. Steadfast in pursuit of tomorrow, unencumbered by yesterday.
Almost every person who lives a charged life was once caged and comfortable. That’s the secret. It’s not an intrinsic trait or luck of circumstance. The charged life becomes possible only when it’s possible, and generally, that means living a caged or comfortable life first, until the discomfort becomes so unbearable that change has to occur. We call this the paradigm of action, people will not change until the pain of staying the same, outweighs the fear of change. It’s a truth of life. We call it the crystallization of discontent. When you become so laser-focused on what you don’t want, you are clear to visualize what it is you do want. Quite often, this future visualization is not possible until you are absolutely clear about what you will accept no more.
This can all be expedited upon awareness, and that is the purpose of this blog today. If we can help make you aware that life is choice, and there are three lives of choice, we can start to provoke awareness. Through awareness, we can show alternatives, and from alternatives, we can guide action. This is the power of having a coach, a coach’s job is not to simply tell you what to do, we instead make you aware of what you are doing, what you are choosing, and the patterns you are absent-mindedly replicating, and then we challenge those paradigms. We show you an alternative path, and that leaves you to choose, stay on this path that is clearly not working for all the reasons identified, or choose the new path.
You’ll only choose the new path when you also choose to live charged. Your life is your choice, which one are you living?
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