Why is it that such a large percentage of people live out their entire existence in poverty? What prevents them from ever taking action to change their circumstances and eliminate the pain of going without some of the necessities in life, not knowing where your next meal is coming from, always having to go without, in an endless stream of sacrifice? Ask anyone if they had the choice between having money, or not, and it’s fairly easy to predict the answer to that question. But when you look at the level of poverty in the world today, many of those who would have answered they’d rather have money, simply don’t.
And this isn’t even about poverty. That’s just a simple example that’s easy for people to understand. What I’m getting at is a universal concept that can be applied to any area of life, it any level. If we change the question to would you rather be optimally healthy, or sick, everyone’s going go pick healthy. So why are there so many sick, out of shape people out and about in the general population? Why is McDonalds still in business?
The answer to these questions are quite simple. If you lack a clearly defined purpose, if you have no reason to be healthy, or to have money, then what’s going to motivate you to go out and take action to make those things a part of your life? Making money requires work, effort, persistence, overcoming failure, trying new things, making sacrifices, a lot of time, and effort. If you have no emotionally-charged reason to undertake the effort, how can you even expect to be motivated to get off the couch and begin?
Being healthy, fit, and in shape also requires hard work, dedication, discipline, acquiring an understanding of nutrition, physiology, and biochemistry. Again, without a strongly desired outcome in mind, something that means everything to you, why bother chasing this outcome?
If we were to take every cancer patient on the planet, clean up their diets, only feeding them clean, natural, organic foods, free of toxins, abundant in vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and phytonutrients, making sure they exercised daily, and kept them in a positive state of mind, how many of them do you think would recover? But even when the doctor delivers the bad news, some of these people still aren’t motivated to make any minor changes in their lifestyle habits, let alone do anything to that extreme. Why?
Isn’t it programmed into our instinctual nature to preserve ourselves and survive? Fight, or flight? Why is it when the threat drags itself out slowly for years, that we lose that instinct to fight it off by any means necessary?
That’s because instinct is a primal part of the brain that only operates in the present. If a disease isn’t a direct threat to survival in the next ten seconds than there is not instinctual response to act.
Without a clearly defined purpose, without an emotionally leveraged reason to act, to change, to overcome, to survive, people will not take action.
If you have no reason to improve your health, no purpose for changing your financial situation, then what motivates you to do anything in your life? Without a clearly defined purpose in life directing our course of action in there’s an autopiolot default goal that we coast towards. If we don’t decide what we want out of life, and why, then we’re all robots programmed to achieve just one thing. Comfort.
Why live in poverty? Because it’s comfortable, it’s familiar, it’s all you’ve ever known and requires no effort to experience day, to day. Work is tough. Why would you want to do that when you can be comfortable and contribute nothing?
Changing your lifestyle habits, the foods you routinely eat, and are unknowingly addicted to, in an effort to re-addict yourself to something that helps your body and immune system to function optimally would require discipline. It would force you to be uncomfortable throughout the transition phase. When you have no purpose, why would you abandon being comfortable for even a short time frame? When you’re on autopilot, the desire for comfort overrides all other behavior options and dictates your path to the one of least resistance.
Someone who possesses a purpose operates on the opposite end of the spectrum. They decide what their life is going to be, and they have reasons why they’re willing to do whatever it takes, for how ever long it takes, to make it that way. Why does this individual work so hard to escape poverty? Because he realizes there’s more to life, he understands his limitless potential, he wants to help his family, his future children to have a better life with more opportunity. He values his life and the time he has here on earth. He loves himself enough to want something better. These reasons make him relentless, unstoppable, and capable of achieving anything.
The same goes for our health example. The individual lacking a purpose in life usually lacks happiness, positivity, and the routine endorphins that go along with it to boost their immune system. They mope around through life at a low level of consciousness wondering why they don’t feel good, completely oblivious to the fact that what you focus on impacts how you feel.
You have the power to choose your thoughts and what you focus on. You have the power to choose how you feel. But then again, autopilot thought loops are much more comfortable to allow to exist, than cultivating a strong sense of self-awareness, and consciously disciplining your mind to focus on the positive, actually making physical changes to your brains pathways, making it easier to routinely access those states.
Your mind becomes addicted to the states you access most frequently, regardless of whether they’re positive, or negative. What is accessed most is both comfortable, and familiar. As such, will become the default state because the familiar is always more comfortable and less demanding than the unknown.
So the purpose lacking, comfort zone dweller mentioned above gets a serious illness. What do they do? Pretty much nothing. They go to the doctor, take some medicine to manage the symptoms, completely aware that it’s not a cure, and they continue on the exact same lifestyle habits which created an environment for the disease to thrive in the first place.
This “solution”, if you can even call it that, is easy, comfortable, and society has been conditioned to accept it as the reasonable thing to do if you’re unfortunate enough to happen upon a disease with no real cure. It’s easy for the majority of the masses to accept it when it isn’t their life being impacted by the disease, isn’t it? Are these the individuals who’s opinions you want to give consideration to when it’s your life on the line?
The individual with a purpose, if thrown into the same set of circumstances, with the same exact disease, will paint a completely different picture. They value their life significantly more than they value rotting away in their comfort zone. They have dreams, goals, desires, self love, appreciation for life, cherishing every moment they get on this earth.
They want to be around for their loved ones for the long haul and will not allow anything to get in the way of that. This person is going to get far out of their comfort zone and revamp their entire lifestyle. They will not go down without a vicious fight. They’ll research their condition, absorbing all the knowledge they possibly can, studying those who’ve overcome it already. They’ll implement drastic lifestyle change based upon the understanding they’ve gained. Everything they put into their body will be strategically selected to enable the immune system to function at its’ peak.
They will be in the gym every day, sweating out the toxins, building strength, increasing the amount of oxygen in their blood, giving their lymph system the movement, and oxygen needed to clean out the body. They’ll consciously stay optimistic and hopeful, even if they encounter set backs, constantly exposing themselves to positive influences, and reading uplifting books. The mind body connection is very real and arguably the most important ingredient for defeating the disease.
There are no guarantees to winning the battle, however the second individual of the two described above not only has significantly better odds of survival, but also a much more enjoyable, and inspirational existence for those they love. Is it easier for your closest friends and family to watch you suffer, laying down without a fight? Or, for them to watch you refuse to give up, not allowing your condition to get the best of you?
Is comfort your friend, or is comfort the perfect environment for growing and preserving all that is wrong in the world?
There’s a time and a place for comfort and as always, balance is optimal in life, however if you have a purpose, the comfort zone is not a place you want to dwell long term. The answers you seek and the realization of your dreams lie within the depths of the unknown. A place you’ll make your home in a purpose driven life worth living.
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