Here’s something I’ve always struggled with.
When people you love or care about have lowered their standards to the point where they’re satisfied with their lives, but you know they have so much more potential, what do you do?
Do you leave them alone, or do you try and inspire them to reach higher?
Reaching higher involves risk, the risk that you fail, that now you’re back where you started, only you’re not satisfied anymore, because you ventured out there only to have your ass handed to you.
In the past, I’ve tried by illustrating to people in detail just how their status quo was really nothing to be satisfied with. That, uhm, didn’t work so well. People would get really upset and really defensive, which completely defeated the purpose. And so for a long time, I’d just shut up, for fear of getting into trouble. It’s time to change that now.
I guess a better strategy might be to illustrate to people what’s possible. Draw a picture of a future that could be, and then see if that makes their eyes light up. It’s not fool-proof, though, because sometimes you can clearly see how the risk of failure and the perceived work to get there gets people demotivated before they even begin to get inspired.
It’s not easy, I don’t have any solutions here, but it’s something I’d really like to get better at.