This is something Naval Ravikant is repeating lots of time:
- Everybody wants to be rich
- Everybody wants to be fit
- Everybody wants to be happy
First, if you don’t know Naval, I really suggest you take the time to listen to what he has to say on YouTube. At first, he appears as focused on entrepreneurship and wealth but he’s much of a life philosopher. One kind of a gem.
Anyways, everybody has the inner desire to be Rich, Fit and Happy… then why aren’t we all wealthy, in good shape and genuinely pleased with our lives?
On Top of The Desire
Humans are multilayered and something even psychology has great difficulty to explain is how can a human being wanting something and doing something else? To be fair, it’s not so much the explanation part that poses the problem, it is the action part. Once someone tries to figure out why he produces certain behaviors and/or patterns of thinking, they can quite easily find an answer (I didn’t say THE answer). But when that same person tries to know what to do in order to attend to the matter at hand, then they’re pretty much on their own. Yes, even with the aid of a therapist of some sort, the work has to be done by the person.
You know what they say: I can only show you the door, I can’t make you open it.
Self-sabotage is the name of that stupid game.
Of that part of you on top of your healthy inner desires. As a couple:
- You want to be close to each other
- You want to understand each other
- You want to build happy memories together
- You want to grow together
All those desires are normal but the layer called self-sabotage is often at work when for some reason, that you can’t explain, you don’t normally act in the interest of your relationship.
And there’s a lot of counterproductive behavior we can adopt in order to sabotage our own happiness.
- Always being late
- Too much negativity
- Speaking before thinking
- Not doing the errands our spouse waited for us to do
- Using sex as a punishment even when we don’t want to
- Entering a stupid argument we promised ourselves not to
And the list could go on and on…
From Inner to Outer
I believe self-sabotage is not the evil we made it to be, I believe there’s a reason we started sabotaging something good that’s happened to us. For me, self sabotage is a way to protect something our unconscious holds dear. Somewhere, within us, we believe that holding on to “that thing” keeps us safe. If not happy, at least safe! And remember, our mind is not designed to make us happy, it is designed to keep us safe. Why? Because safe people pass on their genes, not happy people. If, by miracle, it coincides… then great, but it was just random.
Thing is, we can’t attend to patterns we don’t even know we’re having. In order to end the dark, you have to shed the light on places within yourself that you would rather keep in the dark… safe!
In order to look at what is going right in our lives, we need to make it a constant conscious effort. Try to answer the following questions few days and see what happens. When you start to notice things that are going well in your relationship instead of only what is wrong or what could go wrong, you know you’re headed in the right direction.
- Name a highlight in your day.
- What did s/he do that made you smile today?
- What did s/he do that made you grateful and why?
- Why are you grateful for your home today?
- What made you really laugh today? (Laughing Out Loud is the all-cure remedy, laugh together!)
- What did you learn about yourself today?
Again, everybody wants to be Rich, Fit and Happy. I don’t know how to be rich (but apparently people are selling the formula for a few bucks…). Fit is a relative term, it depends on what your goals are. Happy, I know it can be achieved when you make conscious your patterns, this is why you should work on those questions everyday for a few weeks.