What Are You Willing To Do?
What are you willing to do to live the life that is best for you, that fulfills your potential and brings you the greatest amount of possible satisfaction? And how long are you willing to strive for it? What are you willing to invest, how long are you willing to work and wait? What are the lengths you are willing to go to achieve the life you deserve to live?
Most people want to live some version of a better life. Unfortunately, too many people want (or worse yet, expect) immediate change to occur. While I love it when I can help a client feel better, gain an insight or make a healthy decision in the very first counseling session, straightening out lives can be a lot like straightening out teeth -- it can take a lot of consistent pressure and guidance to achieve the desired outcome, and the process is not always free of discomfort.
I want to emphasize that I'm NOT talking about years of therapy! Self-improvement takes many forms. I've met with many people for only one or two meetings during a significant period of transition or crisis, and a lot of good came out of that concentrated work. A pivotal 'bump' at the right time can work wonders. This is one reason why some of my clients may go many years between appointments!.
The undeniable fact is that the choices we've made in the past inevitably influence our present life. Since we are all to some extent living out the consequences of prior decisions, it's just as true that today's choices are going to influence the kind of future that we are creating for ourselves. Often a great deal of time must elapse before the deepest changes we want to bring about in our lives are able to fully become evident.
Many life improvements are so wonderful that they are worth a great deal of effort and patience to bring them about. It's tempting to want a better life NOW without being willing to work particularly hard to achieve it.
Gold is expensive because it's difficult to find and extract from the earth. A golden life can be just as difficult to obtain. Dedicated effort and self-examination are essential in bringing about the best future possible. Quick fixes and the easy attainment of major life goals can feel initially satisfying but may not last without the resolve to climb all the way up the mountain.
So, once again, what are you willing to do?
Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT is an Atlanta psychotherapist who helps individuals and couples live better lives.