What Happens When You Let External Forces Dictate Your Life?

23 Feb 2021

We often use external forces as an excuse as to why we’re stuck. We get too comfortable and shy away from doing the hard work. So, how do you get unstuck?

Comfort is letting external forces – things that are outside of your control – determine what it is you are going to do with your day.

It’s easy to use the pandemic as a reason to not do things. To sit back and relax and tell yourself that once things get better you’ll learn that new language or get in shape or launch that project or start writing that novel that’s been bouncing around your head for years.

Getting started is hard. Comfort is easy. But comfort is also another form of laziness. Comfort means not making the progress and change you want to see.

Doing hard work does not need to be made more difficult in your mind.

In software development, when at the beginning of a large-scale project, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Your mind races, thinking of everything that needs to get done. You feel a sense of helplessness, of not knowing where to start.

Start small. Start with the smallest unit possible.

Don’t let external forces push you towards comfort and ease. We all feel stuck in life from time to time – like our feet have been dried in concrete blocks. We have difficulty making decisions or doing the hard things we know we should be doing.

How to get unstuck

The easiest way to get through any roadblock is by simply starting – by starting with the smallest unit possible.

Pick away at enough units and slowly, over time, you’ll discover how much you’ve accomplished in a shockingly short period of time.

Just don’t get hung-up on what or where to start.

If you want to start exercising everyday, just start by doing five to ten pushups. Then check it off your list. Done. You did it. Move on. Don’t let your mind take over.

Tomorrow do six to eleven.

And so on until you’ve built the habit, engrained in you forever.

Make the decision then don’t look back.

Things happen for you, not to you

There are two ways of looking at events that happen. You can either thing of them as happening to you, or as happening for you.

When you view things as happening to you, you’re living with a fixed mindset. You’re saying that you are not the one in control. External forcing out in the world and working their way to you and have negative impacts.

The other option is to view things and events as opportunities. Opportunities to learn and grow and change. To become more than you are today. No matter the event, no matter how difficult it is to deal with, there is an opportunity hiding. It’s your job to figure it out.