Another day, another excuse not to bother living your life. There is a pattern that the majority of people follow on day-to-day basis. It’s the result of years and years of adapting to our surroundings and doing all that we can do to get as far in life as we can while simultaneously doing as little as we can to get there. Comfort — after the necessities for survival — is arguably the greatest of human motivators, or un-motivators. Comfort gives us instant satisfaction and the illusion of continued satisfaction.
Of course, there are those out there that truly believe that achieving comfort is sufficient for their happiness. However, for most of us staying within such a comfort zone gets boring time and time again. For this reason we find ourselves in a constant battle cycle of giving into the idea of comfort. only to stir ourselves to immediate inspired action for short bursts before our level of discomfort gets too high and we quickly fall back to our old ways of playing it safe.
It’s not that we don’t understand what it is that we are doing — because we do. We have a relatively good understanding of what it is that we wish to accomplish and to a reasonable extent understand the actions required to get us there. We also have a relatively decent understanding of the difficulties that we will face and the difficult positions we will be putting ourselves in; to a reasonable extent, we understand the amount of comfort we will be giving up in exchange for the realization of our goals.
This is where the battle takes place. We pin immediate comfort against our dreams and let them battle it out. The problem is that comfort plays it dirty. Comfort convinces us that circumstances that we are facing are worse than they actually are. Comfort makes us believe that the tribulations we will come across will take greater tolls on our mental and physical health than is likely to prove true.
We approach things with a negative outlook, always believing that the world will make things more difficult than it actually will be. This is the case no matter how good our circumstances; I am sure that you have all convinced yourself to believe that a future event would be more difficult than it actually turned out to be.
This becomes even clearer when circumstances do prove to be difficult. The recession in the United States is the perfect example. People were losing jobs. Spending was at an all-time low, people were saving as much money as they could at laughable interest rates, which were lowered in order to better motivate people to spend and invest. The outlook has been bleak in the U.S. — and the world — for the last decade or so, give or take depending on whom you ask. With people announcing the recession and claiming that things will certainly look miserable for the foreseeable future, it’s no surprise that people started believing it.
Yet, while the general populous folded their hands there were those who managed to make the best of the situation. There’s no need for me to name all those that have made a name for themselves in the past decade or have amassed a fortune. You surely know more than a handful of ‘celebrities’ — who believe it or not are just people like you and I — or have access to the wonderful resource that is Google.
Now tell me this: if someone could do it, then why not you? It’s obviously possible to flourish in the most difficult of circumstances. In fact, if you were to ask around then you’ll find that the best time to go after your dreams is exactly when situations seem to be at their worst.
Because human nature follows a similar pattern to that which I have just mentioned, you must assume that most people are discouraged when the going gets tough. Most people make themselves believe that there is no possibility for prosperity because that is exactly what they are led to believe by the media. When the average person hears that the going is about to get tough or is tough they decide to sit out and wait out the storm. This is when the applying simple rules of economics should take precedence over your reasoning.
Making your life goals come true is difficult mainly because there is so much competition out there. Just like trees fight for water and sunlight, human beings fight for the limited resources out there (mainly money and people's time in the form of attention). The more people you have fighting for the same thing, the smaller the percentage of people who will achieve those goals. There simply isn’t enough to go around to each person simultaneously — of course, over time you may argue that such a balance could be reached.
Nevertheless, the more people that you have fighting for any limited resource, the smaller the percentage of people (not number of people because the number will basically remain the same) that will attain those resources. The beauty of the recession is that the majority of people retracted their names from the race.
The majority of people convinced themselves that their dreams need to be put on the backburner because they were not going to achieve their goals due to the fact that the amount of resources out there became more limited. What the majority of people failed to realize is that while the total amount of resource (money in circulation) decreased in recent years, the number of people fighting for those resources also decreased — and did so to a much greater extent.
While people are spending less money, the amount of people or companies trying to get into the game also decreased, essentially making it easier to get off the ground. The fact is that the largest decrease during the recession was not the amount of bills in circulation or spending, but rather the amount of new businesses trying to get a piece of the pie.
There are always those that are trying to get their foot in the door — granted. But over the last 5 years or so businesses have been closing down and deterring others from starting. The truth is — and always will be — that a good business is a good business no matter what the economy. As long as you are selling something that other people need or want, then there is always a way to make a profit off it.
Sure, you may make a larger profit were the economy better, but if the economy were better then you’d also have more competition and most likely never get your business off the ground. What we should all have been doing in the past decade is doing our best to figure out which industries are thriving the most and which have the least amount of competition.
A little bit of competition is always a good thing, but once the competition starts to rise in number differentiating your products or services enough to stand out become very difficult. I can promise you this: the companies that were started and built a solid foundation during this most recent recession are the companies that will be at the top of the food chain for years to come when the economy bounces back — which it always will thanks to the equilibrium created by the rules of any market and economy.
If you allowed your fears and worries to deter you from trying to leave your comfort zone, then you have missed out on a hell of an opportunity. But you are in luck. What goes around comes around — you’ll surely find another recession in the next few decades to take advantage of.