I don’t know about you, but when life is coasting along smoothly I tend to get a little complacent.
A bit of drama every now and then shakes things up, in a good way.
It puts me on my toes.
Gives me the edge I’m looking for.
Some of my most creative moments have come to me in the middle of a crisis.
Have you noticed how the human spirit thrives on drama?
We often hear people saying they don’t need that sort of drama in their lives, yet regularly they tune into soppy soap operas with tragic cliffhangers and enjoy watching movies filled with crime, suspense and horror.
Ok, I’ll admit to my sick, shameful soap opera addiction.
I’ve been obsessively devouring episodes of “The Bold and the Beautiful” since it first went to air in 1987.
People function at their best in the midst of a dramatic situation
For those of you who live in Australia, like me, you know we experience a range of natural disasters including bushfires, floods, and severe storms.
These events cause great financial hardship for individuals and communities and can result in loss of life.
I was an insurance investigator involved in the assessment of property losses in the aftermath of the Ash Wednesday bushfires that swept across Victoria (and South Australia) in 1983 – the deadliest in Australian history until Black Saturday in 2009.
We lost 21 lives that Wednesday night.
A dozen volunteer firefighters were among those killed.
In near 40 degrees Celsius heat and strong winds, strangers rallied together offering hugs and rugs, prayers and shelter, even the shirts off their backs to help others who’d lost everything including the clothes they stood up in.
There was no competition.
Just an unbiased willingness to get to work and do something awesome.
As a human race, we do drama really well.
Have you noticed how well you manage when there’s a lot going on?
I remember when my livelihood depended on closing a substantial property deal some 1,700 kms away from home.
I had to get up at 3:00 am with next to no sleep the night before, pack a travel bag, prepare school lunches, get my daughters up, dressed and breakfasted (my youngest whinging and resisting all the way), summon a taxi, do the before-school-hours-drop-off and get to the airport through heavy traffic in pouring rain, then sit in a stuffy plane on the tarmac for an unstated amount of time due to a weather delay, knowing full well I stood little chance of making it to my appointment on time.
It almost did my head in.
Finally, when I met up with my client at a coffee shop in Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, I was surprised with how cool and relaxed I was and how well I had my shit together.
Sure, I was late.
I was wet.
But he was later.
And he was wetter.
The two of us?
We totally hit it off!
It was a business match made in heaven.
The transaction was a lay down misère.
When faced with a seemingly impossible deadline did you manage to meet your target?
You know that feeling – you’re utterly exhausted yet amazingly exhilarated because, against all odds, you finished your project not only ahead of schedule but within budget?
On those occasions when you’ve had to deal with something painful, like an illness or injury to a loved one, did you suddenly feel like your priorities were snapped into perspective?
Did you see the best of yourself come out?
As I see it, we actually need drama in our lives
People, we are made for drama!
We function well in stressful situations.
We do brilliant stuff under pressure.
It brings out the absolute best in us.
Lack of drama can bring out the worst in us.
The problem is when there’s no drama going on, when our lives are stale, comfortable, boring even, we feel the need to create some drama.
Unfortunately, that can bring out the worst in us.
Before we know it we’re making mountains out of molehills.
We’re picking fights with loved ones for no good reason.
We’re adopting self-sabotaging behaviours, like getting ourselves well and truly stuck in the compare and despair trap where jealousy rears its fiercely ugly head.
Our mean girl shows up for her finest hour, taking centre stage and hurling her best ever insults, like …
“You are a complete fraud. You know it. Your customers know it. The whole world knows it! You and your miserable business are doomed to failure.”
We’ve got to stop throwing ourselves under the bus, just because life is too damned boring and we crave a bit of excitement!
Don’t allow your life to get to the stage where it becomes samey.
Switch gears often.
Dare yourself to do something daring.
Not just different, but D-A-R-I-N-G!
Take on a new hobby or interest outside of your business.
Practice self-love, self-acceptance.
Most of all, get out of your head and start focusing on the happiness of others through random acts of kindness.