I don’t wanna… I’m not used to it

This really got me thinking.

I was telling an acquaintance of mine who wanted to lose weight about how a bunch of us had made a lifestyle change, eating paleo and working out using Crossfit and MovNat principles. They were interested in it but their response struck me as odd. I realized that I’ve heard it a million different times before, in different ways. Here is the phrase we all use in a general sense:

“Oh I’d love to [try new thing] but it just doesn’t fit with [current lifestyle choice].”

Here are some examples of this you’ve probably heard too.

  • Oh I’d love to start my own company but I don’t have the time (because of current job).
  • Oh I’d love to travel but I can’t do that with children, pets, etc..
  • Oh I’d love to do a zen retreat but I just couldn’t sit still for that long.

Whenever you hear this kind of statement, you should realize that they say two things about you.

The first is that you just made a choice. You said you’d love this new thing, but that you prefer the old thing. In this case, you’ve chosen the status quo. There’s no harm in that, but don’t complain about how you have nothing exciting in your life if this is the kind of statement you’re regularly making. You’ve chosen it, now live with the consequences.

The second is that you probably haven’t done any research. Everywhere out there there are families who travel with children, or who find the time to start their own company on the side. Your two seemingly incompatible things probably work fine together, and others have done it. If a blind man can walk the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail, then your limitations are absurd, and you know it.

The interesting thing is that everyone is both subject to these statements, and simultaneously have some of their own that they don’t even know about. What are your favourites?



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17 responses to “I don’t wanna… I’m not used to it”

  1. Lauren Vargas Avatar

    Several years ago when I was making some huge lifestyle changes, a mentor told me (in the midst of my complaining) that I always have a choice. I may not like my choices, but there is ALWAYS a choice. It was a matter of opening my mind and committing to a decision. For many, it is easier to complain and make excuses instead of making an emotional investment. I still struggle to keep this wisdom top of mind.

  2. Betsy Talbot Avatar

    We’ve just sold everything we own to travel around the world. “I’ll just live vicariously through you” is something I hear a lot and it breaks my heart every time. You don’t have to want my life, but I certainly hope you want the life you have. If not, it’s no one’s fault but your own.

    Thought-provoking post – thanks.

  3. Frederik Vieten Avatar

    Some people rather keep their old, familiar lifestyle, because it provides them with a feeling of safety. It takes a proper mindset to change your current lifestyle, some are able to change and some aren’t. Just like Lauren says, for many it is easier to complain instead of making the (perhaps much needed) emotional investment.

    Definitely a thought provoking post, makes me wonder about my own open mindedness and will to try new things.

  4. Kathy Drewien Avatar

    I learned a long time ago we only make a decision to change when not changing is more painful than staying the same. I’ve also heard that anything after BUT is an excuse.

    There have been times in my life when the knowledge I made a decision to stay the same crept up to a conscious level. Amazingly, armed with new knowledge, I was free to venture forth.

  5. Sherry Ott Avatar

    Super post – life is all about choices. You can choose to be miserable and stuck, or you can get out and DO.
    Of course (since I run a website about inspiring Americans to take career breaks and extended travel) I’m partial to the “I wish I could travel but I can’t leave my job”

    It’s hard for people to see the possibilities sometimes, and that sometimes you have to take risks to reap rewards…and that just makes me sad.

  6. Terry Avatar

    We are conditioned to plunk our brains on the shelf and forget about our awareness and consciousness.

  7. Sophie Davis Avatar

    Betsy, you raise a very good point. Some people really do live their lives through other people’s lives. That’s why gossip and tabloids are so popular.

    People need to find purpose in their lives. Like you said it Julien, it’s all about choice. It’s scary that it all boils down to something so simple and it has huge consequences on how we lead our lives.

    Thanks Julien!

  8. John McLachlan Avatar


    1. I’d love to crew/pay to sail on a boat up the British Columbia Coast from Vancouver to Prince Rupert and take a 4-6 weeks to do it never once connecting with the Internet or the news (except weather news) BUT I’m too afraid to take the time and the open waters scare me a little. How lame!

    2. (it’s one you already listed). I’d love to spend a week in a zen/Buddhist retreat BUT, people may think I’ve gone too far or have joined the Moonies. How lame!

    3. I’d love to travel around the world with my partner, never once using a plane BUT I haven’t yet because we’re too afraid to dump our work/don’t feel “ready” yet. Lame, but not too lame as this one may happen in about five years.

    Julien, I really do have to say that though I have things I’m copping out on, I’ve also done some things that others have not or that have stretched me and they’ve ALWAYS been worth it.

    To me, we treat these situations like when someone close to us dies. When someone dies who is near and dear to us, our world shifts for a while. We see everything very differently and we swear will do things different/treat people differently and such, but then, life intrudes and slowly we forget and we waste our time and forget the learnings. We do this with the amazing things in our lives. We have an amazing experience doing something that really challenged us and then we swear we will do more of it, but then the “scared little kid” in us comes back and we drop our big plans.

    Well, I loved this post. Thanks for it.

    PS – I am doing one thing. I’m building a house on a small island and will live there within two years. For me, this is taking courage and I get the comments from friends that range from “Are you nuts?” to “It must be nice!”

  9. harrietglynn Avatar

    It’s worth noting that every choice comes with a sacrifice. If you decide to travel, you sell your house (or whatever). If you decide to start your own business, you go lean for a few years and drop going out. And so on. If we move to a small island, we can’t live in the urban centre anymore. I think we’d like to make the choice and not the sacrifice.

  10. Rick Avatar

    Challenged to not sit on my own laurels/butt over making that change last year. Thanks for this.

  11. Steve Haase Avatar

    Overcoming inertia–be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual–is a key step in any kind of development. And it *always* ends up being simpler than it seemed before I made the choice to change.

    Thanks for the thoughts, Julien.

  12. John McLachlan Avatar

    Harriet: you said it so well. “I think we’d like to make the choice but not the sacrifice.”

  13. Lindsey Simpson Avatar

    For the past year and a half, I wanted to become a vegetarian but every time I thought of the extensive amount of change I would have to face I pushed that desire to the side for another day. I thought about the research it would take, the lifestyle changes I would have to make and the impact it would have on my day-to-day routine.

    Recently (about a month ago), I stumbled upon a new wave of the vegetarian movement called flexitarianism. It satisfies a lot of the reasons I wanted to make the switch while also removing some of the aspects that were deterring me from taking the plunge.

    All it took was a little research – just like you said. I couldn’t agree more like the notion that life is all about choices. With choices come mistakes but they also bring about some of life’s most amazing things.

  14. cantubury Avatar

    Humans do not know they have choices because institutions and society and culture have brainwashed them into thinking that someone else is looking out for them. we are all here to serve each other. start today by telling one person that not only do they have many choices but that they can choose by brain, mind, heart or spirit those alternatives. dont subscribe to “institutionalization”

    1. DoomRater Avatar

      Philosophy of “Every day the same dream”?

  15. Phyllis Nichols Avatar

    Most days we just give away the most powerful option we have.

    The power to choose. To decide. To say “this” is what I want in my life.

    Great reminder.

  16. Howard Stein Avatar

    My number one favorite statement to hear from people is, “I’m just not comfortable with that.” Hoo-Boy! I don’t even respond. Why even begin?

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