So, once you have resolved your anxiety, depression, trauma, smoking or drinking habits and have managed to boost your confidence – what then? What if a perfect mindset and a healthy body still doesn’t attract that great love or haul in the riches you desire? What if good mental and physical health is as good as it gets?
Most people would be grateful for that much, because take away the pain, and you feel at peace. Take away the distraction of pain and your potential is restored. But what if that potential remains unfulfilled? What if that perfect partner fails to materialise, or if that dream job never shows up, despite your personal readiness? Many people believe that we create our destinies, that healing the heart, for example, will materialise a perfect mate. But there are people who would disagree.
There are those who have been quite content in their minds and bodies and in their own lives. They have not been waiting for that mystery mate but instead, have simply continued life as if this is, as good as it gets. They have operated on the premise that there is noone coming. And as a result, they have lived their lives in a productive way, free of expectation. Take away that expectation of something unknown, and you are left with the responsibility of being present.
Once you have resolved your resolved your personal limitations, and can think and operate efficiently, the next step is acceptance. If you can accept life for what it is, that this is as good as it gets, rather than what it might be in some alternate universe, you can begin to get excavate its riches, its hidden gems. But if you are waiting for something to happen, you are not engaged, and you are not present, and if something were to happen, you may very well miss it.
Goal Setting Vs As Good As It Gets
In hypnotherapy and NLP I do a lot of work with goal setting – reaching and achieving goals. OK so you want to lose 30 kilos. OK so you want to quit smoking. OK so you want to resolve past trauma and feel better. OK so you want to beat anxiety or that depression that’s been holding you down. Great!
But there are degrees of goal setting. The above list represents personal goals where you are in charge. You have the power to make choices that will result in these outcomes. But when it comes to the fate or destiny category of goals, the status quo changes because you are no longer the power broker. OK so you want to become a famous actor. Maybe, if you have demonstrated your interest, know the right people, have the right look, and have the talent – it could happen. But what if it doesn’t? Are you going to put your life on hold?
I remember sitting in a Japanese restaurant in Sydney’s North Shore, next to Eric Bana, before he became really famous. He was telling his friends how hard it is to pursue acting, and how noone could understand the challenges. I also remember Hugh Jackman working at the desk at a gym in Mosman. Congrats to these guys who managed make their dreams come true. They worked hard, they didn’t quit, and they supported themselves in whatever way necessary in order to pursue their dreams. But that doesn’t mean that every would-be-actor who shows talent and persists with their goal will make it.
A Wretched Woman
I knew a woman who was utterly miserable. She had such a high esteem of herself that she counted on becoming a famous actor, despite the fact that she had zero appeal. She didn’t work because she didn’t want to dilute her focus away from her goal. Unlike Hugh Jackman, she thought she was too good to lower her standards. She was miserly with money, which she obtained mainly through her partner’s feeble income as a musician. She would even share a coffee with her partner when out at a cafe, and talk down to the waitress when she took the cup away before the last bit of froth had been consumed. Her ego had made her one of the most unlikable people I had ever met.
After around 15 years of rejection in the film and television industry, her self esteem plummeted. She felt bad inside that noone had recognised her amazing talents. She felt denied, unjustly treated. She could not summons the grace to accept her situation. She constantly griped about how others had ‘fallen into’ good fortune. Even if she had some talent, it was just not happening for her. What she had was as good as it gets. But her ego was unrelenting. Having reached a point where she recognised failure, she decided to manipulate her parents for their hard earned fortune. She had a sense of entitlement that would be met, one way of another. In order to do this, she tried to sabotage her siblings so that she could have it all.
This person was ruined as a human being, let alone the damage she caused to others, because of her bloody obsession with achieving her goal, and her inability to say, this is as good as it gets. As good as it gets doesn’t mean give up. It means living as if this is as good as it gets, without expectation, while pursuing your goal until such time as you achieve it, or that you simply don’t want to do it anymore.
I’m a big fan of the ‘as good as it gets’ mentality. It’s another way of saying, making the most of what you have. It does not mean giving up. It means taking responsibility to be fully present, and seeing what happens. I think John Lennon said it well in Beautiful Boy, that ‘life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’.
In the mean time, if you are stuck with the nuts and bolts, the things you actually do have the power to change, I can help 🙂