Obstacles to action when you know what you want

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Re: Obstacles to action when you know what you want

Postby pattyn » Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:44 pm

cshore knitter wrote:anger at the fact that at 51 years of age I still don't have enough time to do what I want to do
When time is short, why oh why do we think it's the stuff we want to do that we don't have time for? Perhaps all that other stuff we're doing is just a horribly inefficient route around the obstable of needing food and shelter. Resistance monsters are really good at getting us to stick to whatever will keep us from changing too much.
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Re: Obstacles to action when you know what you want

Postby velvet » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:28 pm

A really huge obstacle for me has been poverty. Because I was poor, I didnt think I could have what I wanted. A few years ago, I was having a New Year's Day brunch with two friends and we were talking about what we wanted to do for the year, what were our real goals, and I honestly said that one goal I absolutely had to do was to go to Paris, I didnt know why, but I Needed to go, and yet, it seemed so impossible, so unattainable, as if Paris didnt really exist in my world. I wanted it more than anything, but it seemed so unattainable. Just the flight alone would be prohibitively expensive. One of my friends, who grew up in Italy, was incredulous. She assured me that Paris really did exist, and she'd been there, and it was attainable. But deep down, I just didnt see how it could ever be possible for me to go to Paris. But the conversation stuck with me, I pondered it, I wondered why I thought I could never have Paris. I started to think there had to be a way. And then I had a major trauma, and I had to find a way to make my life worth living. I had to find something to live for. And I knew the very first, and most important thing, was to go to Paris. I scraped up money, I pulled out a credit card, I told people at work I'd take any extra hours and the more I worked, the more I was around for people to ask me to cover their shifts. And I just didnt care. I didnt have to eat much there, I just had to get to Paris. I made the decision in September, bought the flight tickets in November (the moment I heard an airline had a special deal), and flew to Paris in early December. The flight was still expensive, I ate really cheaply, but I was able to go to Versailles, and many places in Paris. There was some fallout after the trip. I was stressed about charging the flight and hotel. And I hadnt gotten a nanny job so I was running out of some money. My family criticized me for going to Paris. My mother, who criticized me for living without a car for several years and living in a tiny apartment, and being so careful with money (sometimes I did not have enough to eat), could not believe I would date to go off to Europe. (She is, by the way, now wealthy). Deep down I had been very afraid of what others would think if I went to Paris. But I did pay off the credit card eventually, I did find a job in February (a fabulous job), and it was all worth it. I think my biggest challenge is dealing with being so poor and being judged so harshly. I do the best I can with what I have, I am very responsible financially, and I am very creative at getting what I want. But it definitely hurts that I am criticized (often behind my back, sometimes to my face) and nobody I know appreciates all I have done with so little. Being poor means I feel trapped in my home because I've got an affordable rent, and I can walk everywhere and buses are so convenient to my home (perks like that help me feel grateful for what I have). But I dont have a way to make much money, or work many hours (physical and other disabilities). If I moved to a less expensive location, fewer nanny jobs would be available and the pay would be drastically cut (I've worked for $2 an hour before and it's so not worth it). So gosh, it's been a very wordy response, but generally Poverty! I can wiggle around that issue a lot, but it's still quite tough sometimes.
I see that they are happy, not because they got luckier than all the rest of us when they found each other, but because they passionately desire and believe in their happiness.- Susan Page Destination, Determination, Deliberation! - Twycross, HP&TH-BP
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Re: Obstacles to action when you know what you want

Postby pattyn » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:57 pm

You say poverty is an obstacle, but you went to Paris in spite of it. You're getting an education from Fancy University in spite of it. You live in a place with better jobs in spite of it. You're obviously an expert on getting around this particular obstacle, a resource to all on this board who feel stuck behind it.
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Re: Obstacles to action when you know what you want

Postby Scenario Thinker » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:02 pm

velvet wrote:Being poor means I feel trapped in my home because I've got an affordable rent, and I can walk everywhere and buses are so convenient to my home (perks like that help me feel grateful for what I have).
I grew up very poor. Now, I make a decent living and could afford a nice gas-guzzling SUV, bigger house, etc., but I CHOOSE to live in a very affordable townhome, pay extra on the principle every month, I walk, bus and train everywhere if possible (for someone who doesn't actually live in Chicago, I think I can get almost anywhere in Chicago by walking, bus and train ... I got everywhere in Paris, a foreign land, via subway, etc.). I pretty much stay in my home when I'm not at work, I run, walk and bike for fun. I'm saving a ton of gas, my car is paid off (and hopefully doesn't just rust out from inactivity :) ), I consider it my used car, because instead of worrying about getting the next car, I have a perfectly good used one right in my garage. I guess my point is, it's not that bad "living poor", whether you can afford it or not. It doesn't hurt that I don't care what people think of me walking around with a big backpack looking somewhat transient.
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Re: Obstacles to action when you know what you want

Postby velvet » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:55 pm

Please dont misunderstand me, I was explaining (not complaining) how I got around the poverty issue. and I'm really proud of myself for how creative I have been. Travel is very important to me, and I have found ways to make that happen as much as I possibly can. Being really adept at my local public transportation is a skill I've taken to Paris, London, Santa Barbara, Vancouver, Victoria, New York City, etc. Once you learn basic skills, you can adapt pretty quickly to a new city's transportation. Poverty is clearly not a total block for me, but I do deal with it as a barrier in some areas. Having a home seems impossible. Moving from this tiny studio seems impossible. I just figure it's my lesson to figure these things out and find ways around the barrier, and even more, around the barrier inside my own head/psyche by deciding I'm worth it and it's that important to me. learning how to save money, and how to choose to live for my dreams, has been my saving grace.
I see that they are happy, not because they got luckier than all the rest of us when they found each other, but because they passionately desire and believe in their happiness.- Susan Page Destination, Determination, Deliberation! - Twycross, HP&TH-BP
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Re: Obstacles to action when you know what you want

Postby pattyn » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:26 pm

I met a gal in Montreal who said she gets around by BMW - bus, metro, and walking.
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Re: Obstacles to action when you know what you want

Postby dani » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:41 pm

velvet and Scenario Thinker, Congratulations to you both on what you've done with your lives! Personally, I never thought of poverty as being a barrier because of all of the rags-to-riches stories I grew up reading. It's taken me a long time to learn that the media plays up those stories because they are the exception. I grew up in what might be called a "privileged" environment. You'd probably never know it by the perfectly wretched childhood I've written about on these boards. On top of that, many people who were supposed to care about me ignored my tragedies and issues entirely and chose instead to constantly remind me of what "great" circumstances I grew up in. In fact, I was being used as a scapegoat for their issues, and I paid dearly for the cost of their stuff with my already battered self-esteem. Does anyone remember the newspaper serial-cartoon about Dondi? He was an orphan who was shuttled between a batty rich aunt and impoverished family, or something like that. With the aunt, he wondered what all of the " 'vantages" really were. Anyhow, my parents both came from deprived backgrounds and made it into the middle class way too late and probably paid for it with their lives. Nevertheless, they were very frugal people who believed in saving for what you want, including their first home. I never knew what a mortgage was until I was an adult. They had no use for the "buy now, pay later" credit philosophy just coming into vogue in the fifties. I was always admonished to buy things on sale. Today, I live much like both of you do. When I have money, it primarily goes into computer stuff; that apparently is my passion and basically my life now. Sure, I'd love to travel and see the world, and sometimes take local outings, but my enjoyment is at home. I'm just grateful that computers and the Internet saved me from an otherwise bland lifestyle. I guess what I'm really saying is that we carry the values we grew up with throughout our lives. I sacrifice travel for a great place to live and an electronic environment that lets me be in the world. You two sacrifice other things to get what you truly want, and I have to believe that you grew up with a strong values foundation. This is getting lengthy (I haven't posted in awhile and seem to be playing catchup here :mrgreen:), but I also think we tend to replicate our backgrounds in some ways. Because I grew up in nice homes, my chief priority is living in comfortable surroundings. Sometimes I feel lucky to have done that, but along with ST's logical philosophy, I've probably directed my energies towards attaining the housing I feel entitled to (yes, I admit there probably is a sense of middle-class entitlement involved with my abodes), have avoided such stumbling blocks as a bad marriage or relationships, and kids, legitimate or otherwise. So, much of my "luck" may be due to lack of baggage as well as motivation. BTW, Velvet, it's awfully hard to find a decent place in the Bay Area; the public transportation there and in Chicago is superb, so cars aren't necessities. I had a friend who lived well enough in both cities without a car. Thus it may not be your background, really. Aren't we lucky to be able to afford our dreams?!? Best, dani :)
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Re: Obstacles to action when you know what you want

Postby Scenario Thinker » Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:54 am

dani wrote: ... all of the rags-to-riches stories I grew up reading. It's taken me a long time to learn that the media plays up those stories because they are the exception.
Yes, statistics, anyone can TRY to go from rags to riches, but the reality is that few will make it past the three standard deviations from the mean like they show in the media.
dani wrote:I guess what I'm really saying is that we carry the values we grew up with throughout our lives. ... I also think we tend to replicate our backgrounds in some ways.
True and true. I grew up in a very small house for having 4 kids and 2 parents, but I liked sitting in my room and thinking. Now, I have a home to myself, it's just the right size and in a quiet enough neighborhood to allow me to sit and think. I get out and run around the neighborhoods of town like I used to get out of my house as a kid and run down to the woods by the river and "escape" to think.
dani wrote:have avoided such stumbling blocks as a bad marriage or relationships, and kids, legitimate or otherwise. So, much of my "luck" may be due to lack of baggage as well as motivation.
Probably the same with me, too. Married once, but no kids, and I've sworn off relationships for now, so it allows me to do what I want and maybe be truly who I am for once.
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Re: Obstacles to action when you know what you want

Postby velvet » Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:59 pm

Oh actually, I'm rather different from my upbringing and family in a lot of ways. Working class parents, big beautiful old house (but not fixed up) in a very small town in the country, very, very different values and attitudes about money than I have now. I'm sure one of the reasons my mother is irked with me is that I have almost no debt. With all the money she has now, she's got debt. They didnt teach me a thing about money - I never had any to my name, so it was an incredible shock to be out on my own and have no preparation for real life. What I learned by example was just that you pay your bills at the last minute. It was such a refreshing idea when a therapist suggested I pay my bills when I get them - I was having such a hard time managing my life at all, that keeping in mind bill due dates was so much work for me. It became a lot easier to just pay things right away so I could be on time. What my family taught me by *not* teaching me life skills has informed me of what to teach children - I'm really great at explaining things so that children understand them. From how to greet people, to how to walk on the sidewalk when there are other people (seems a good number of adults dont know to go to the right hand side), etc. if I had children, I'd teach them a lot about money. I'd make it simple, practical, and give them practice at making decisions with money.
I see that they are happy, not because they got luckier than all the rest of us when they found each other, but because they passionately desire and believe in their happiness.- Susan Page Destination, Determination, Deliberation! - Twycross, HP&TH-BP
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Re: Obstacles to action when you know what you want

Postby Unity » Sun Jun 08, 2008 5:50 am

For me the biggest obstacle has always been that although I know exactly what I want it's so different to anything I've ever heard anyone doing, and never read it in any of the 1001+ motivational books I'm always reading, that I find myself attracting difficulties so I can use them as excuses whenever anyone asks what I'm doing. Especially now that circumstances have changed for me so people keep asking when am I going to ......... So either I use an excuse or else pretend, well actually I lie. Just in the last month I've had an unwelcome and surprising (but sweet) appearance of fledgelings all over the house (my worst phobia has been birds) so I've been sleeping on the couch. The person who was to block the hole after they left messed me around twice and didn't turn up so now it still needs doing. Yesterday I woke up to find a massive heavy stone frog planter (with flowers) and a wishing well on my front lawn :D So I was knocking on doors and been to the police who apparently will be picking them up in the week. What will come next I wonder :D
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Re: Obstacles to action when you know what you want

Postby MyPasswordIsInvalid » Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:25 pm

pattyn wrote:I met a gal in Montreal who said she gets around by BMW - bus, metro, and walking.
I love this. I'm taking this saying and making it mine. I love buying my monthly Metrocard: unlimited rides on trains and buses. It's my little freedom card.
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Re: Obstacles to action when you know what you want

Postby MDG » Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:12 am

Barbara, How much of 'resistance' is just plain old 'discouragement'? I'm thinking that it is very difficult to clearly explain ones ideas and objectives to another, especially clearly enough to get understanding and enthusiasm...or even a little co-operation. Most of the time we get 'obedience', as far as the relationship will allow. "Joe said to put it here, because he wants it handy tomorrow. I think it looks awful here...but I love and trust Joe, and want to make things easy for him." A week later, the item is still there, and I don't feel like making Joe a nice supper. Today, I don't even think I love Joe all that much! You can think of other examples, I know...such as out and out humiliation...where one wasn't expecting any. Pile up a few of those, by not dealing with them in the moment, or when feelings cool down...and 'resentment' rears its ugly head. "Nyah, nyah...so's yer uncle!" :mrgreen:
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Re: Obstacles to action when you know what you want

Postby marymary » Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:33 pm

Someone with more wisdom than I remarked that the obstacles are there to tell us how important the goal is. Resistance is an internal obstacle. One thing I have noticed is that as soon as the "change" switch is flipped, there will be an invasion of a negatron (the worst sort of person, who fills you with back handed encouragement, what-ifs, "how wonderfuls" that are not so wonderful, etc.). Resist! Better to project resistance outward on the negatron -- where it can be avoided -- than to internalize it and be "just too tired" to live your life. Such a person recently entered my life. I can get distracted by it, or, following the logic above, see it as a good sign, that change is already underway and that the "negatron" is just living, breathing inertia. Who needs it?
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Re: Obstacles to action when you know what you want

Postby Tituba » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:35 pm

Great thread
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Re: Obstacles to action when you know what you want

Postby pattyn » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:04 pm

Thanks for bringing it back to our attention!
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