The 3 Constants In Life

The 3 Constants In Life

There are three constants in life.

You can think of them like north stars. You can count on them to always be there, no matter how good or bad life gets.

The first is that nothing ever stays the same. If you don’t like change you’re going to live a very unhappy life.

At times you’ll find yourself in the valley of despair. You’ll stare up at the vertical cliffs around you and think, “I’ll never be able to climb out of this.”

But that’s your mind forsaking you – because nothing stays the same.

Other times you’ll find yourself on top of the mountain where you’ll have months or years of win after win.

You’ll tell yourself, “I’m on top of the world. A master of all that I survey. I’m smarter and more capable than anyone else.”

But this is your mind deceiving you again as it feeds you a false sense of your own ability.

The most successful people in any field are the ones who remember that everything is temporary. They don’t get too excited during the good times and they don’t lose hope during the bad times.

Whatever you’re going through right now, I promise you it’s temporary. So keep your spirits high and your ego in check.

The second constant is uncertainty.

No one can see the future. We’re all forced to make decisions with incomplete information and without the benefit of total trust in the people around us.

When it comes to the little things, like going to the grocery store or asking a friend to take us to the airport, we do fine.

But when it comes to the big things like choosing to start a business, most people are paralyzed by fear.

They find every excuse to avoid taking the chances that are necessary to create the life they want.

The people who lead the most fulfilled lives are the ones who face uncertainty with courage.

They don’t allow the fear of an unknown future to prevent them from taking action. They aim to make the best decisions they can with the knowledge and experience they have. Then take ownership of the results.

The third constant is the need for work.

I find the whole “FIRE” movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early) to be troubling.

Not because it’s bad to start investing early or to become financially independent – but because the mindset implies two things.

  1. That the work you are doing isn’t meaningful (otherwise you would keep doing it)
  2. That there is something noble or desirable about retirement.

It’s a mindset I call Happily Ever After. It’s the belief that there is some point in the future when you ‘make it’ and life suddenly gets good.

But there is no happily ever after – certainly not at retirement.

If you don’t believe me, ask someone who’s been retired for a few years.

I was having a chat with my father-in-law over Christmas. I don’t remember the context of our conversation but he said something that stuck with me.

He said, “You know, when you get to be my age one of the big struggles is figuring out what you’re going to do with your day.”

How do you find meaning and fulfillment when your day has no purpose?

Some people shift their focus to family or friends, injecting themselves into the lives of others.

You’ve probably seen it in an old relative who shows up to your house on Monday to fix a broken doorknob he spotted at Sunday brunch the day before.

Or the grandparents who NEVER miss a grandson’s basketball game no matter how far they have to drive.

Others find purpose by volunteering at their church or shelter.

The point is that ‘work’ in whatever form it takes, is required for you to have a fulfilled life.

When you accept this truth you can stop waiting for some future date when can start doing the work you want.

The goal isn’t to retire early. It’s to have the opportunity to do meaningful work every day of your life.

So those are the three constants. Nothing stays the same, there will always be uncertainty and you’ll always need to work.

Embracing them will lead to a less stressful and more meaningful life.

Out of curiosity, how good are you at dealing with uncertainty? Are you guilty of putting off the life you want because you think you need to wait for things to be better?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Email me back and let me know.

Jason

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