Have you ever wondered, “is this all there is?” It’s a question I’ve asked myself at different stages in my life. In his book, The Charge, Brendan Burchard takes a deeper look at the three states of life, which answered the question for me. “Is this all there is?”
Caged is State number 1, and most people experience it at some point. Picture a strong, wild animal, confined to a cage for years on end. The cage could be rules or expectations from your boss or social circle. It could be physical limitations, financial disadvantages, racial barriers, etc.
These limiting factors are real, and they can affect the way a person interacts with the world for a long time. They can set someone up to feel Caged:
On the defensive, hurt, victimized, backed into a corner, vacillating between biting, snapping, and snarling at those passing by, and feeling defeated, beaten down, powerless, and alone. Or, left trying to guess who could provide for them, and desperately seeking their attention.
It’s not pretty. And I am not proud to say I pretty much spent a decade here. After a couple of bad decisions in my twenties, that led to a few more bad decisions, I was often looking around asking
“Is this all there is?” and I was feeling trapped, disadvantaged, and not very powerful to change it.
But then I did change it.
I dove into personal work, and discovered personal responsibility.
I took classes, read books, made friends with uplifting people, revealing the keys to my cage. I took ownership of all those bad decisions, and every other factor that had victimized me before. My life was my own!
I even figured out a few things about work and money. Then I figured out more things about relationships and family, and schedules, and taking care of a home, and investing for the future, and being a responsible citizen.
And I got: Comfortable.
Comfortable is the 2nd state where most people find themselves. It’s a nice reprieve for a while, as it feels SO MUCH BETTER than Caged.
Comfortable is about forever feathering one’s nest, tending to the day-to-day, having the same small problems over and over again, and coasting along on the surface-level of life.
After reaching a certain level in my business a few years ago, I kind of…. hung out there! I stayed, and stayed, and when a few opportunities came along to grow… I, uh, well, I just stayed put!
But after about a year or so of this, I caught that insidious thought going through my mind again:
“Is this all there is?”
I had made it to the horizon I had been looking at for most of my life. And a big part of me did not want to even look at the next one.
But as the restlessness grew, it became clear that I had to dig deep once again, discover a new layer of purpose, prepare for a new learning curve, and set out on my next adventure.
Now, I am committed to living in the 3rd state: CHARGED!
Charged is not always comfortable (though there is plenty of pleasure here), and I still rub up against a rusty old cage wall sometimes.
And, at the same time, this state is full of passion and purpose, riding the edge of your deepest desires.
This where you are building something. Seeing it before it exists.
In this states, life takes place NOW. It’s Daily. Hourly. LIVING the Moment.
Breathing, swimming, playing, failing, falling, learning, sharpening, and knowing you are alive. There can be rest during work, recharge during generosity, and beauty during sadness here.
And you just may find that this truly is all there is.
Living CHARGED is a state that pays you back internally, well before you see the results externally. If you have developed your inner awareness, it is the path of instant gratification – you can immediately feel the power of almost every choice you make. The moments of joy get closer and closer together, until you are living a joy-full life.
When you are ready, I highly recommend it!
So which state are you in today? Caged, Comfortable, or Charged?
Which one are you craving?
And what can I do to support you in getting there?
Amanda’s passion is working with women who find themselves in higher levels of leadership than they planned – needing to speak, negotiate, or sell. She shares tools to help them stay in Joy & Authenticity as they lead. You can find out more at Everyday-Light.com.Join the Conversation