It’s interesting how most of our activities easily fit into the frameworks of pain and pleasure. Pain and pleasure would easily explain why you said, thought, felt or acted in a particular manner, at a given point in time. These two emotions are strong driving motivations and determinants of our performance. How you feel before doing a certain thing influences how you do it – and how you feel after accomplishment (or failure) influences your next objective.
My observation has it that we first seek safety before exponentiation; avoiding pain before pursuing pleasure. Under normal circumstances, first seek to define a context/environment before the product; and we do so much in the interest of either improving or upholding our self-images.
Seeking safety before exponentiation of efforts is logical; of what value is it to invest an effort if the probability of losing along the way was higher than the potential gains? We, therefore, establish pain points and start addressing them before exploring pleasures. We seek to understand the contexts that affect/influence us, and it’s after establishing that taking a chance towards progress is worthier than staying the same that we make extra efforts to multiply our value at a certain place, or among certain people.
Of interest in today’s article is the progressive nature of our efforts. Yes, it feels good to get started in a particular line of interest. Overcoming initial obstacles e.g., getting into a new position brings with it a feeling of importance and a new image under which to define ourselves. And because you had overcome so many obstacles and challenges prior to getting there, it’s natural to wish that the going now be with more of positive feelings and less of bad feelings. And in as much as we psychologically expect things to be this way, the reality is very much different – there is a pain in every process, and that pain demands to be felt.
So you see it’s understandable when things go wrong, and you understand why and get to correct your ways and rewards resume gravitating towards you. But this happens only when we’re around what we’re used to – the so-called comfort zone. And many times we get so accustomed to the comfort zone that we want new experiences. The pursuit of adventure ultimately leads us to what I like to describe as unfamiliar territory; a place you progress with more of instincts and less of assurance. You’re therefore more vulnerable, especially when things go wrong. Going wrong in the course of a new adventure means that you’re on a trajectory of failure, and failure has with it the burden of a deteriorated self-image. But it’s in these moments of things not working out that we learn, unlearn, take detours, reroute altogether or simply stick there for a little longer in order to get desired results.
The two things that shall help you in moments of uncertainty are:
- Trust the process
- Embrace a growing/learning attitude
As simple as these two may sound, they are key to surviving difficult moments and moments of uncertainty.
Therefore, lead your life to reach your goals; live deliberately.