There are two different modes or paths that we travel on in life; I call them the Blue pill path and the Red pill path. They both have their costs and benefits, and understanding these differences is essential to living a good life.
Most of our time we spend on the Blue pill path. The Blue pill path is like sitting on a fairground carousel ride. It's undemanding and unremarkable and doesn't require much effort from us to travel on it.
The Red pill path, on the other hand, is like a mountain trail. It has steep gradients that often demand effort and are uncomfortable to travel on. But the Red pill path pays with views and experiences that are new and expansive.
The Blue pill path is our default setting. It's made up of the same experiences that we encounter from day to day. Remembering back to your high school science classes, this is Newton's first law of inertia. In simple terms, it says that things will carry on doing what they've always been doing.
Nature has a clever way of locking in this behaviour; it's called habit. A habit is something mindless, thoughtless, effortless and automatic; it's like a machine running on autopilot. The upside of the Blue pill path is that it is familiar and comfortable. The downside is that it just goes around and around, so it never takes us anywhere new.
If we're satisfied with everything about our life, the Blue pill path is just fine. But, if we ask ourselves, "what is important to me?" and find something we don't currently have, we need the Red pill path.
Whereas the Blue pill path is related to Newton's first law, the Red pill path is related to his second and third laws. These say that the amount of change we can create is relative to our effort. My favourite writer John G. Bennett sums it up like this;
"Change can only be proportionate to the amount of force which is put into it."
Effort is about how much work we're putting into something. Effort shows itself when we stretch beyond our comfort zone. In IDOJO, we call this the Law of Sore. Anyone who tells us we can build a meaningful new outcome or behaviour in our life without effort is selling fake news.
Setting out to build a better life is a Red pill path. Understanding how it is different from the Blue pill path is crucial. When setting out on any journey, it's essential to know what'll be expected of us. Maybe a journey we're considering undertaking is not worth the effort required. In this case, let's save our energy for one that is important.
But the more we ask ourselves, "what is important to me", the more we realise potential outcomes we do want to make a stand for. The key point that Newton's laws of motion and the Law of Sore remind us of is this. Things will stay the same until we're prepared to make an effort for the change we want, and that will stretch us in an uncomfortable but healthy way.
Without force nothing can move. Without effort nothing can change.
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