The Cost of Status Quo - Part 1
I get to meet a lot of really interesting people. Some are clients, some aren’t. I sometimes have a coaching session or two with someone who isn’t a client just to help them begin to sort out whatever they need to sort out.
All of these are successful on some level. Some have hundreds of millions of dollars. Some are career people, business owners, CEOs, or perhaps their adult children. For the sake of this learning, I can put them into two different groups. Those who are ready and those who are not.
I know what happens with those who choose their future, Group 1. I work with Group 1 people who may have money, businesses, career, family, skills, nice homes, work ethic, and/ or any of a long list of positive qualities, characteristics, and circumstances.
The Group 2 folks have a lot of that same good stuff as well. Both Group 1 and Group 2 also have things they don't want. Business or career may be stuck. Relationships not remotely what they used to be. Adult children who are struggling. Just too busy all the time and not having the peace and fun they’d truly like to be experiencing every day. Those unwanted elements derive directly from what I call the “rocks in their backpacks”. They are the holes, the burdens, the pain, the frustrations, the fear, all of the negative emotions. Lack of clarity and full commitment are examples. All of the thoughts and beliefs that hold them back from everything they truly want.
The picture I’m trying to paint is one of a lot of good stuff. And, a lot of what people don’t want. When they back up, slow down, and just get it out on the table, they have an opportunity to become really clear. People typically don’t do that on their own. They are just living their lives. Chasing around harder and harder with a backpack full of rocks wondering why their backs hurt!
OK. Group 1 has some of what they want and some of what they don’t. Ditto Group 2. So, what’s the difference? Here it is, and effectively the definition of these two groups.
Group 1 decides to do something about it and moves forward.
Group 2 decides to continue doing more of what they have been doing.
It is no more complicated than that. It is not gray. It’s black-and-white. I hope that saying this straight out will serve you and those you care about. I am very clear about this, and very passionate. I see it over and over again in my work. It’s just so obvious, except to those in the middle of it.
What Are the Outcomes?
Group 1 changes their lives, and their financial and other outcomes, dramatically. Money is in the equation for most people. I see people all the time begin to grow their businesses way beyond what they had been doing. They get new careers going, and more. They begin to think differently, make decisions differently. They clear out a ton of internal beliefs, judgments, and patterns of thought that stand squarely in their way. Those have mostly been in there so long, and are so familiar, they can’t be seen as the limitations they are. Often severe limitations. These lucky Group 1 folks become happier, more fulfilled, and less stressed. It all just becomes more graceful and richer.
Now, you say that sounds like a fairy tale. I am saying unequivocally those willing to open up and “do the work” begin to experience life differently. It starts fast and continues forward, so long as one chooses to keep moving forward. How much and how fast change that change takes shape is secondary. Group 1 knows where they are going.
Group 2, on the other hand, is creating by default. They aren’t wrong or bad. They just haven’t broken out of the pattern. They are busy doing what they have been doing, pretty much as they always have. So, things are not changing dramatically for Group 2. And they really cannot change. Parts might, on the surface. Someone gets a new job. They might make some other move. But what has changed fundamentally?
If someone has been creating life for 50 or 60 years (pick a number) whatever they have is a direct result of them. Of how they are and what they do. What comes next cannot be anything other than more of the same. That is, it can't dramatically and fundamentally change without a significant shift in thinking and approach. In my experience, people simply won’t do that on their own. A part of them may want to. They may talk about it. But, ultimately, the scenario is “do more of what you have done, get more of what you got.”
Why People Choose Status Quo?
I think at least 99% of the people in the world have material changes they would like to see. Much of that is acute. In any event, when we really examine it, and put all of our circumstances, characteristics, outcomes, wants, likes, dislikes, etc. out on the table, there are significant elements we would like to change. Most people don’t know what all of those are at first, but a few of those unwanted beasts will be obvious.
There are many reasons people choose not to create everything they really want. Reasons they default to the status quo. Be thinking about that, and we’ll pick up next week with the second half of this two-part article.