“It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.”
According to one survey, 50% of people hate their jobs.
And yet many of those people stay at jobs they hate for years or even decades.
Sometimes not for the better, humans are amazingly adaptable. We can deal with a lot of mental pain before we snap and do something about it.
In this video, Chris Willliamson explains what’s called the “Region Beta Paradox”…
If you were to go a mile or less, you would walk it. And if you were to go more than a mile, you would drive it. Paradoxically, you would go two miles quicker than you would go one mile.
So that means that sometimes worse situations can be better than better situations.
And this is an issue if you only decide to act after you cross a certain threshold of ‘badness’… you can end up being stuck in region beta.
For instance, the friend that should leave his job… but it’s just about passable. His boss isn’t that much of a d*ck, maybe the benefits are okay. These people would be better off if their situations were worse because it would galvanize them into actually doing something.
You can get stuck in this chasm of comfortable complacency that sits somewhere in the middle. If things are good, great, no problem. If things are bad, great. Activation energy to go and make them good. If things are just about passable, you end up being comfortably numb.
What’s the solution to getting stuck in region beta?
Think — If you don’t set aside time to think about what you’re doing and where you’re heading, you’ll just continue on this path. Set aside a few hours to think deep alone or with someone you love about the path you’re on.
Imagine Where This Leads — You’re going to die. And the path you’re on will lead somewhere that, if you’re honest with yourself, is relatively predictable. Where is it leading? Is that where you want to go? You only live once.
Work Your Way Out — If you’re unhappy, admit it. Admit you don’t want to continue on this path. Then brainstorm sustainable ways you can work your way out. This might mean applying for different jobs, getting a degree in a different field, building a new habit, waking up earlier to work on a side-hustle, or something else.
Make a Commitment — Write down what you’re going to do differently. Set a goal. And then take relentless action.