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How To Live Your Passion: Stop Thinking ‘Familiar’ Means ‘Easy’
There was probably a time in human history when venturing into the unfamiliar was a bad idea. If you foraged for food in a forest, then yes, trying a new red berry that no one else ate was probably a recipe for disaster.
We’re a little past foraging for berries now.
And yet – people like sticking with what they know.
Do you know why they always tell you on airplanes “remember, the nearest exit may be behind you”? In an emergency, people’s instinct is to exit through the same door they entered. Even if it’s far away or dangerous to reach. That’s why they have to label other doors “EXIT” with red lights and point them out. People will stick with what’s familiar even if it kills them.
They’ll also keep buying familiar things even if they aren’t the best option. They’ll keep eating familiar foods even if it’s making them sick. They’ll keep doing same job every day even if they want to jab their eyes out.
The kicker: When you ask someone to change, they usually turn into an excuse machine.
I’m too tired. I’m too busy. I will be bad at it. I don’t know how. Something awful could happen. It might hurt.
Having a valid excuse for something is not actually a reason not to do it.
Yes, exercise is hard. So is having heart disease.
Yes, running your own business is hard. So is working all day at a job you hate.
Yes, creating relationships in the community is hard. So is having an empty client calendar.
Staying with the familiar seems easy only because the downsides are familiar.
You’ve already figured out how to cope with the bad parts of life as you know it.
But if you decided to run a marathon, you don’t know how you’d handle the time committment, the training, the exhausted legs. You don’t know what would happen if you sent images into a competition and people said they didn’t like them. You don’t know how you’d deal with the stress of being the world’s greatest wedding photographer.
You don’t know how you’d handle the bad parts of a new adventure, so you’re content to also sit out on the amazing parts.
This is crazy.
The next time you catch yourself making excuses for not making a change, stop. See if you can’t find a reason why it’s actually familiarity and not ease that’s holding you in place.
There are times and seasons for everything. If you gave birth yesterday, then today probably isn’t the day to launch a new marketing campaign. Be sensible. But please, oh please, don’t settle for ‘easy’ now. You’ll just be setting yourself up for ‘hard’ later.
Try the unfamiliar. You may find you’ve been walking right past the best fruit in the forest.