Tips On Avoiding A Circular Life
Tips On Avoiding A Circular Life
August 19, 2013
Winston Wayne Wilson
We all know that life is a circle – our individual lives are, too. Our feet might be programmed to walk in a straight line to get us from point A to point B; however, cosmically speaking, our lives move in circles in order for us to attain experience, wisdom and purpose. That said, each person’s life is not one giant circle along which he or she must navigate. Rather, the blue print for each of our lives is like an elaborate pattern of circles – just like the crop circle in the picture.
Our individual crop circles illustrate the unique patterns of our lives. We significantly influence the pattern of our crop circles because we are the authors of our choices. All of our choices, good or bad, circle back to us vis à vis consequences. In essence, our crop circles are aerial representations of our challenges and choices, as well as the related consequences. All the circles in our lives form a very unique picture that becomes our life story. Therefore, if we spend our lives stuck in one circle then all we will have in our crop circle is, well, one circle. The goal in life is to successfully navigate as many circles as possible so that the pattern of our crop circle can be elaborate and interesting. Only the universe has the proper vantage point to see a person’s life in all its aerial glory or lack thereof. Our crop circles are considered complete at the end of our lives. At that point, all our deeds and actions will have created a pattern based on the ultimate number of circles we navigated.
Circles start to appear in our lives once we are old enough to make choices. Circles can appear one at a time or in groups. Either way, each circle that appears in our lives represents a challenge that we must navigate. Circles can be large or small, depending on the difficultly level of the challenge. Once we successfully navigate the challenges in a particular circle, we move on to the next one.
Each circle contains information on how to navigate the next circle. We must, therefore, take the time to learn the required lessons in each circle; otherwise, we will lack the skill and experience to navigate bigger, more challenging circles. Each circle also contains traps as well as opportunities for escape. A successfully navigated circle becomes illuminated, which is life’s way of illustrating that we are now experienced in handling a particular challenge. The more illuminated circles there are in our crop circle pattern the more experience we are deemed to have.
Things become problematic, however, when we get stuck in a particular circle and our lives become “circular”. In other words, life is a circle but it should not be circular. Thus, our goal is to avoid getting stuck in any one circle. Our lives become circular when we get stuck in a pattern of typically bad or unproductive behavior. Every encounter, job, relationship, or experience is a circle that comes with challenges, choices and consequences. However, circles are like grade levels in school – we are not expected to endlessly repeat the same grade. Similarly, we are expected to gain enough knowledge and experience so that we can graduate from circles.
When we keep repeating a circle then that experience becomes circular. Once stuck, we do not learn from our mistakes, we do not grow and we essentially keep repeating the first grade – thus minimizing our chances of ever graduating from that circle. Even repeating a good circle can be a bad thing because it means that we are not growing. We are in a comfort zone. We are resting on our laurels.
Why do we get stuck in circles? At a basic level, no one teaches us in kindergarten how to navigate the circle of life. Also, somewhere in our psyche we are programmed to execute patterned behavior (i.e. do familiar things). Hence, we tend to do the same things over and over again – like eating the same things, maintaining the same friends, reading the same things, watching the same television shows and so on. The downside to patterned behavior is that it sometimes deprives us of the diversity in behavior that might propel us to achieve our greatest potential. We struggle to break patterned behavior because our brains are designed to recognize and respond to patterns. Breaking a circular pattern might actually throw us off. The reality, though, is that growth only occurs when we break patterns and try something new in a different circle.
There are countless numbers of circles that we can get stuck in. However, here are eight types of circles that we should aggressively avoid so that our lives do not become circular:
- Doom loop – this is where we doom ourselves to failure because we make success contingent on something that we believe we cannot control. For example, supervisors wind up in a doom loop when they fail to delegate work because they feel that subordinates are not well-trained. However, the supervisors refuse to train the employee because they feel that they don’t have time – hence they get stuck and continue to be ineffective.
- Analysis to paralysis – this is a cerebral process in which we get stuck because we over analyze everything and are unable to break our circular logic. As such, we cannot discern clear choices, make decisions or get important things done. Oftentimes, we get stuck in this circle because we are unwilling to compromise or let an option go.
- Co-dependency – we tend to get stuck in this circle during relationships in which we desire to be strong and successful but latch on to people who keep us weak and promote failure in our lives. In a co-dependency circle we are typically blinded by an obsession or addiction, which makes us unable to see how destructive the other person’s presence is in our lives.
- Insanity loop – it is said that the definition of insanity is when we keep doing the same things over and over again but expect different results. Insanity is essentially stubborn behavior. We sometimes get stuck in this circle when we lack self-awareness and cannot see how our stubbornness is directly impacting our ability to make progress or succeed.
- Resting on our laurels – we typically get stuck in this circle when the fire in our belly flames out because we are blindly basking in the bliss of our most recent success. We think the journey is somehow over and we simply get stuck in the circle of yesterdays’ success. Consequently, we stop growing in experience as our relevancy and impact in life gradually wane.
- Victimization. One of the tragedies of life is that bad things happen to good people. However, when they do, if we cannot get past that story we will wind up stuck in the circle of victimization. Using our stories to help others, as well as prevent victimization from happening to others, is one way to graduate from that circle and move on to the next challenge in our lives.
- Procrastination – this is a lip-service circle which emphasizes words over deeds and talking over walking. Hence, we keep telling ourselves and others that we are going to do something but never get around to it. We typically get stuck in this circle when we either lack the discipline or the right strategy to consistently follow through on our dreams or to execute our plans.
- Spinning wheels – this is a circle of pride. This is most often manifested in our inability to ask for help – kind of like getting lost and circling around for hours rather than simply driving up to a gas station and asking for help. We get stuck in this circle when we are too proud to have someone else see us in a vulnerable position. While others might have the keys for us to unlock the doors to our highest potential we cave in to our pride and wind up endlessly spinning our wheels.
My challenge for you is to think about a circle that you are currently in. Think about how long you have been in it. Ask yourself whether you have been lingering for too long in that circle. If yes, then it is time for you to graduate from that circle. Commit to doing everything in your power to learn the lessons that you need to ensure that you finally graduate and move on to the challenges in another circle. Don’t forget to leverage the help of your advocates. Enjoy your week.