Everyday there are things in our life that run a muck. Sometimes we can catch it as it’s happening and intervene. Other times we don’t see it until it’s a four alarm fire. What we don’t realize is that most of the fires in our life, we start. We wonder why things happen to us knowing we haven’t done anything. That is the biggest problem, not doing anything. Here are four things that we do unconsciously that starts an avalanche of problems.
- Neglect. Neglect by definition is to give little attention or respect to. Like your child’s behavior which used to be cute but is now publicly embarrassing? Your marriage that used to be full of love and joy but now you can’t stand to be in the same room with one another? Your credit score that seems to reduce itself by 100 points a day? Your weight that you make excuses for? The body that you hide in baggy clothes? All of these things are the consequence of neglect.
- Indifference. Indifference by definition is the lack of interest concern or sympathy. Much like neglect it has the same type of consequential universal reaction. For example, your credit score is dwindling because you are indifferent about paying your bills or paying them on time. You have no sense of concern or urgency on your responsibilities. You see no need to work out so you don’t. As long as your kids aren’t bothering you, you implement no real discipline, and so on.
- Fear. Fear is a feeling induced by a perceived danger. The keyword here is perceived. Perception can be altered depending on your position. Like the rear view mirror on the side of your car that says “objects in mirror are closer than they appear”. Life has no such warning but that would be great if it did. Just like you have to look before you switch lanes to prevent collision, you have to look around in your life to prevent destruction.
- Complacency. This is the dreaded comfort zone that people warn you about. You get comfortable with below average or even substandard life that you have no clue what’s going on around you like going to the job that you hate because it pays some of the bills instead of updating your resume or going back to school because staying at the crappy job is easier. Or not disciplining your kids because you want to be their buddy instead of a parent. By the time you realize the whole forest of your life has burned to the ground.
- Keeping up with the Kardashians. The phrase “keeping up with the Jones’s” is a bit outdated for this day and age of social media, but the same applies here. Being so wrapped up in keeping up appearances in a one-sided media platform is a dangerous distraction. While you are falling victim to the drama and consumerism which is social media, your own world is falling to pieces. Social media only tells one side of the story. It’s there for advertisement and entertainment. It is a bad representation of real life.
Now that we have established how most of the “fires” in our lives get started, let me give you a few “emergency contacts” (tips) to help you put a few out.
- Call the “Fire Department”. In other words, get some help. Most times the people who truly care about you can see the fire from the outside better than you can from the inside and will be glad to help in any way they can. This also applies to counsel. Talking to someone could be the biggest and best help of all.
- Get Moving. You can’t do anything standing still. Real lasting change requires action. Have you ever seen a firefighter standing still or not doing anything at the scene of a fire? Not doing anything is what got the fire started and action is the only way to put it out.
- Call Serve Pro. Not really but you have to clean up the mess. Remove all the debris (negativity) from your life and evaluate what you really want. Remove some things, and even people, that no longer serve you any purpose. I know you love your tribe but what good are they if they can’t help you or at least warn you about what they see. “Hey friend, your house is burning”.
- Have a plan. Make sure you know where all the “exits” and “fire extinguishers” are. Have people designated to help you and keep them updated on how you’re doing. If you’ve ever experienced the devastation of a real house fire like me, you know how important it is to prevent rather than put out. Have a plan and people in place to help you. You won’t regret it.
Your life doesn’t have to “burn” but once and a while a few small fires flare up. With the right support and training (self discipline), the next fire won’t be so bad.