Change is something we all experience, all the time. There are countless catchphrases around the concept of change, such as “the only constant is change”, but why is it so hard for us to actively pursue the change we want to see?
All too often, I see people wading in the “lazy river” of life. You know what I’m talking about, that slow moving water where you can sit on an inflatable tube, drink in hand, and let the current take you where it wants you to go. Everyone knows what I mean when I talk about the water park ride, but, often times I think people miss the reference to everyday life.
Personally, I see the middle class’s existence as a product of people following the “lazy river of life”. This is not to say middle class people are lazy by any means, its to simply say they’ve followed the path generally accepted and “gone with the flow”, so to speak. For the most part, I can’t fault the people for it because its in our human nature to seek security and comfort. When provided with warm water and a gentle current, who wouldn't jump in?
Many years ago, back when the industrial revolution began, corporations needed a way to entice people to come work in big factories and support the industrialization, so we began on the journey toward what we now know as “golden handcuffs” (high salaries, benefits, perks, etc). As we got further and further along, costs rose faster than productivity and profits. Fast forward to today, most low skill, labor jobs have been shipped off to developing nations. Where does that leave us?
Unfortunately, most people stuck in this lazy river of “go to school, get good grades, get a good job” have started to realize that the river isn't actually going anywhere. The river is just a big circle, with a few twists and turns so you don't feel like you're entirely wasting your time. The realization of this is a massive step forward, but far from actually being notable progress. How do you get out of the warm, calm waters to face the harshness of reality? How do you create the faith and belief that ditching the easy path is actually a better, more fulfilling life?
These questions are always in the back of my mind as I work to build my business in real estate. I could very easily get a high paying union job in construction, where I show up, do my work, then go home, but is that what I really want? Is that all my life is meant to be? After many sleepless nights, worrying about the legacy that will endure long after i’m gone, I’ve decided I have more to give. We all have more to give.
There’s a simple question I ask myself many times a day. At first, its an easy question to answer, but ask it enough times and you’ll reach a point where you sit back in your chair, look up to sky and think “hmm, I really don’t know”. The question i’m referring to, of course, is: Why?
Ask yourself “Why?” before and after you do anything. Ask it enough and you’ll start to see where you’re doing things for no real reason, perhaps simply because you're caught up in the gentle current of the lazy river of life. Get out while you still can, make a change, live a full life.