Paradox

We all have things that we would like to be doing differently, ways in which we would like to be “better.”

Assuming we’re talking about something plausible and within shouting distance of reality, we have some vision or ideal image of ourselves that would be better, stronger, faster, smarter, more relaxed, richer…

The paradox is that we generally like who we are – we are who we are because we’re comfortable with it. We are what we are because we are. (“Wow! Farm house, man!”) But it’s true. If we truly don’t like some aspect of ourselves badly enough, we’ll do what is possible to change it.

Within reason. (If you’re 5’6″ and your dream in life is to play center in the NBA…)

But that vision of ourselves in our heads won’t be us. It might be a better version of our “right now” selves, but it won’t be the same. It can’t be.

There’s the rub, there’s where the trepidation hides, there’s where the outright fear comes from. What if we make the changes and then we don’t like being that person? No matter how much we wish or hope, none of those changes come for free. Are we willing to pay the price? Will that also change us into someone different enough so that we don’t like them?

What if those we love don’t love us any more when we become that new and improved version of ourselves? What if we don’t love those we love now after we’ve gone and deliberately changed ourselves?

That’s some scary shit, right there.

Lose ten pounds? Twenty? Great! How many hours are you going to spend at the gym, or running, or on a bike, or whatever? How much are you willing to change your diet, while everyone else in your home keeps eating the same as they always have?

Quit drinking or smoking? Do you stop hanging out with your friends who drink or smoke?

Need to get more done and work harder, maybe go back to school and get that degree at night? What do you give up to get those hours? Time with family? Time with friends? Time just chilling?

Finally, when you see some of that happening and there’s part of your brain that says, “All right! About time!” why is there also part of your brain that says, “Shit, what if this is the wrong move after all?”

Which one wins? Or is this a no-win situation?

James Tiberius Kirk didn’t believe in the no-win situation. Do you?

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Paul

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