Not Impossible: Being at peace with yourself and challenging the status quo at the same time

Folks, in case anyone had any doubts, starting a company ain't easy. And, I'll be honest, sometimes I want to throw my start-up in the bin. On those days, I listen to the Startup Podcast, episode after episode, searching for comfort and similar struggles and familiarity and inspiration. Who'm I kidding? This is basically every day.


In my current world of start-up life, I've been thinking (too much, as usual) about two tensions. I think both of them will sound pretty familiar. One is procrastination, the other peace and the status quo. Okay, I grant you, they probably don't sound familiar yet. Bear with me. 

Side note: This post got way long, so I'm splitting it in two now. Second theme of procrastination to follow tomorrow - seems only appropriate ;D

Finding Peace, Challenging the Status Quo

I often feel like I'm in the middle of a battle, a long protracted fight. With what? I'm never totally sure. It's just that sometimes/oftentimes/allthetimes, life feels like a struggle, a war I'm waging with something else. And I recently had this epiphany that it's not supposed to be like this. I'll admit I probably should have realized this sooner. 

The good news is I've also realized the origin of this struggle - I am super - and I mean super de duper - into improvement. I love improving myself. I love improving my work. I love improving processes. I love mentoring and helping people grow. I love getting better. I love helping other people be better. Questions of what does "better" mean aside, improvement is a passion of mine. 

One of the darksides of this drive for improvement is that it makes it very difficult to be at peace where I am now. This is where I often find that the Zen and Buddhist philosophies I admire fail to resonate with me. I want peace now. And I also want to be improving and growing and evolving. And I wonder - if I'm at peace now, does that mean I am okay with how the world is now? Because I'm decidedly not. And, even setting aside the world's issues, I also don't want to stagnate where I am now. I want to be like that lady down there, free and frolicking, and also like a lady making moves. 


I don't completely have a resolution to this tension. But, I'm getting there. I have realized there is something to be said for not fighting. For letting the world and myself evolve at their irregular pace. For going with the flow, just a tiny little bit. For letting things unfold. For allowing your energy to regroup. 

To me, this also relates to the idea of wanting others to change. Separate from helping others grow, this is more like when your friend is dating a moron and they know it, you know it, the moron may even know it, but the relationship won't quit. I've been in my own equivalent to this. And what I've realized is that we can push and push and push ourselves to be at a certain place, but until all of us is ready to be there, we just, quite simply, aren't there yet. Some things have to unfold in their own due time. We can fight to be further along, or we can give ourselves the space to evolve in peace.

When we're ready for change, be it moving on from a relationship, or getting back to our workout routine, or pushing forward on our startup, change will come much more naturally.

So, here's to going easy, at the pace of the current, as we challenge what is.