We usually need something to happen to get us out of our comfort zone in order to make us change. Here's a great example of something that drove me to the point of change and how you can relate this to everyday life
I now have a garage door opener. Yes. A garage door opener. Sounds silly right? That is until you hear about how this tiny device became a solid headache every time we came home from.
We moved to Sandpoint, Idaho in early August 2017. Back in Illinois we were used to certain amenities. Our lawn got mowed every Monday by the town home association. Our driveways and sidewalks were always snowplowed with zero worries. And most importantly, we had a garage door opener.
Stay with me here. I know it’s a basic luxury but you don’t understand the importance of such a thing until you don’t have one.
Once we moved to our new home in Sandpoint, we lost those precious amenities. We had to mow our own lawn. Since I was used to it being mowed on Mondays, guess what, Monday’s were my days to mow. We don’t have an association to remove our snow. We are the snow removers.
But one of the things that I found interesting when we moved here was that there wasn’t a garage door opener.
I repeat, there wasn’t a garage door opener. There was a keypad. I guess that's a good thing. But no garage door opener? Seriously?
How is that shit possible man? Seriously? This must be that ‘Idaho’ shit man. So on we went. Using the garage panel on the outside of the garage and entering the code every time we left the house. In the beginning, it wasn’t too bad. It was Summer. It was hot. It was nice to get out of the car and enter the code.
No big deal. Pull up, hop out of the car quickly, enter the four digit code, hit enter and then get back in the car.
But as time wore on, that simple act began to wear on us.
Fall came. The weather got colder. The rainy days came. It became cumbersome to get out of the car and punch in a code after driving all day. It was even more annoying when the code didn’t go in correctly and you had to wait a few seconds to re-enter.
This shit sucks man. But on we went. And then the snow came. Lots of fucking snow. And that’s when this became annoying.
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Why did it take so long for this to become annoying? Why? I had lived in this house and this problem didn’t become a thorn in my side until four months after I moved in. Four.
So what took so damn long? Comfort.
I allowed myself to get comfortable with a problem instead of just tackling the issue in the beginning. Yes. I said it: I allowed myself to get comfortable with a problem instead of just tackling the issue.
Why am I highlighting that sentence? Because I always tell people that I am going to let you know when I’ve made a mistake and how you can learn from my mess ups. Also, it’s to let you know that I’m not fucking perfect. I’m human and a part of being human is recognizing your faults.
My first blog on my webpage was about how I struggled to get items for my wife during my Christmas shopping spree. Well during that same shopping spree, I finally decided to get a garage door opener from Home Depot. I purchased a universal garage door opener and brought it home as if it was my Christmas present.
I couldn't wait to program the damn thing. I could finally envision myself driving up to the house and opening the garage door from the curb. Oh the joy that brought to my heart.
It took about 20 minutes to program both of the garage door openers correctly and then presto!!
Once I hit the clicker, the garage door opened, then closed.
After moving into our beautiful Idaho residence on Tue, Aug 8, 2017, I allowed 137 days to go by before I finally decided to change my situation with that garage door. That’s 19 weeks. 4 months. What the fuck was I thinking?
I thought what we all naturally think when something is starting to break down in our life. I thought, eh, it’s not that bad right now. I’ll fix it when I get to it.
Have you ever had that kind of thought? Then what? It only gets worse. Your problem worsens and all you do is adjust to the problem. Sort of like putting on a bandaid instead of just taking care of the wound and allowing it to air out.
The nagging garage door (non-existing opener) is a metaphor for life. We often times allow problems to grow into massive headaches over a long period of time. It’s called laziness and procrastination.
You see, it wasn’t until I got uncomfortable with stepping out into the cold winds and rain that I began to say, it’s time to get an opener. It wasn’t until I got tired of driving long hours in the snow to only come home and then have to step out of the car to punch in a key code. Damn man, I’ve got to get that opener.
There will be things in your life that you will reach a point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. You won’t have anymore excuses as to why you’re pushing off what needs to be done immediately. You have a sense of urgency to get that problem under control now as opposed to getting to it when you feel like it. You have a sense of urgency.
I was upset at myself for allowing such a thing to go on for so long. I scrutinize everything in my life because I don't want bad habits to form and for me to end up having them come back to kick me in the ass.
I once yelled at my son for dropping a balled up piece of paper trash in his sister’s doll house and not throwing it away. I told him the significance of that kind of act and how that small act of laziness can easily turn into a habit of laziness.
Maybe you have some problems that you’ve allowed to go on for more than three, four or five months. Maybe your problems extend further than that. Maybe they are a few years old.
Whatever the case, don’t allow yourself to reach a point when you’re tired of being sick and tired.
Jump on your problems right away. Do not allow them to linger around. Do not let them fester. If you can take care of it now, then do it now. If you don’t know where to start, then create a task list to go towards the goals that you’d accomplish.
It’s all about having control of your life. That little hand sized garage door opener is the best damn Christmas gift that I got for myself.
It was also the best lesson that I learned in a long time. That lesson? Don’t waste time with problems that you can fix when they’re small issues.
Be awesome, all day, everyday.